WSOP Main Event: Rob "Boilingfish" Berryman Doubles Up

by Wil Wheaton

Rob Berryman's dad told me, "He's been playing well. The advice from Jeffrey Lisandro has really been helping him."

I looked at Rob's table, and saw that one of the chip leaders, William Thorsson was there, as well as a few large stacks. I forgot to record all the other details, because Rob got involved in a massive pot while I was standing there.

He raised under the gun, and Thorsson re-raised a lot. It was folded back to Rob, who calmly pushed all of his chips into the middle.

A photographer moved in next to me, blocking Rob's father's view.

"Hey, give his dad some space, okay?" I said. He stepped back.

"All-in on Table 151!" The dealer called out. ESPN cameras moved quickly into action, as Thorsson went into the tank. He stayed there for close to four minutes, and eventually called.

My stomach flipped, my heart raced, and my hands got numb . . . just like whenever I have all my chips at risk.

Rob turned up pocket tens, and Thorsson turned up . . . pocket nines!

Rob was a 90% favorite as the flop came out, all baby cards, but with two hearts, putting a possible backdoor flush draw on the board for Thorsson, who held the nine of hearts.

The turn was the hideous two of hearts, and Rob's chances of winning dropped to just under 80%. Even though the odds were in his favor, I've seen too many heartbreaking suckouts send people I care about to the rail in the last few days to feel any confidence.

"Come on," I said quietly to myself, "put a black card out there, dealer."

The dealer waited for an eternity before rapping the table and burning a card. He slowly pulled the last card off the top of the deck -- the card that was going to double Rob up or send him back to Alabama.

It was a red card. My heart stopped. "NO!"

It was the four of diamonds. "YES! YES! YES! YES!"

Rob, demonstrating a level of maturity and class that several players in the room -- including one prominent player at his table -- could learn from, nodded his head, and tapped the felt. William Thorsson, who doubled him up, did the same.

My legs felt weak, and I put my hand on the rail to steady myself. Black dots flashed at the edges of my vision.

"You're on camera," my friend Joy said.

"I don't care," I said. "My guy just doubled up!"

The dealer pushed Rob's stacks back to him, swept him the pot, then began counting out the rest of Thorsson's call.

I turned to his father, and shook his hand. What I really wanted to do was hug him, but I'm pretty sure that shit doesn't fly down in Alabama.

"Congratulations," I said, then I raced out of the room to update the blog.

After this pot, Rob had just over one million in chips.

Brad Willis
@BradWillis in World Series of Poker