WSOP Event #12: How's this for a mixed bunch?
The eight-game mixed is one for the poker purists; only those with a thorough grasp of all disciplines need apply. Add to that a $10,000 buy-in and you're guaranteed a smaller field packed with the best in the business.
A walk to the Miranda room in the Rio, therefore, is rewarded today with a collection of the biggest names in the business, from grizzly legends like Doyle Brunson, to young-gun internet pros like John "Pearljammer" Turner. In all, 194 of them are tucked away for the following format:
A round of Limit 2-7 Triple Draw followed in turn by Limit Hold'em, Limit Omaha Hi/Lo, Limit Razz, Limit Stud, Limit Stud Hi/Lo, No Limit Hold'em, and finally Pot Limit Omaha. Thankfully, the dealer places a red card with the name of the current game on the table, or there could be some confusion.
No chance of that for Team PokerStars Pro Daniel Negreanu, who shares his table with the likes of Sebastian Ruthenberg, Brandon Adams and Roland de Wolfe. As we plough on through day two of this event, he's nestling in the top five, at one point up to 160,000.
As I passed by, Kid Poker was preparing to play a hand of No Limit Hold'em. He liked the two cards that skimmed across the felt from the dealer, and opened up with a raise under the gun. He called a re-raise, and the two players saw a flop of 8♠4♠5♥. Negreanu check-called a 10,200 bet.
On the 6♣ turn Negreanu fired out first with 8,500. Call. The river was K♦ and this time the Canadian made it 21,500, too much for his opponent who claimed he had A♠Q♠ for the missed flush draw.
"Really? Well you definitely needed a spade," said Negreanu, implying an ace or queen hitting on the river would not have been enough.
Over on the next table sits Team PokerStars Pro Victor Ramdin. We have not seen much of him in the Series so far, but he's looking set in for the long-haul here, with 30,000 in front of him. It's not plain sailing, though, as Patrick Boueno just knocked off a pot. Ramdin raised pre-flop in an Omaha round to 3,000 - called by the Frenchman. On the 2♥9♦J♦ flop Ramdin checked and was forced to fold when Boueno fired out 5,100, showing a pair of aces.
Team Pros Katja Thater and Ivan Demidov were sharing the same felt until a few moments ago when Thater busted, and on the table next to them Vanessa Rousso is struggling to gain any momentum. "Awful two levels," she said. "I'm down to 14,000." Her partner Chad Brown is more bouyant and has now gone through 60,000.
Dario Minieri went early today, but the Brazilian Team PokerStars Pro Alex Gomes, who final tabled the PCA main event this year, and who already has one WSOP bracelet to his name, is chipped up nicely on 90,000. He lost a little on a recent Limit Hold'em hand. With blinds at 1,000-2,000 he re-raised pre flop and got two callers who saw a 4♠3♦Q♠ flop.
The early position player bet and the two others called to a see a 9♦ turn. A 4,000 bet from the same player was too much for Gomes, who let the other two to see the [10d] river - check, check. "Two pair," said the early position player showing Q♦[10h]. It was good.
Congratulations to Team PokerStars Pros who are in the money today. Tom McEvoy and Maridu Mayrinck are still in day two of the $2,000 No Limit Hold'em, each already guaranteed $3,894, and while short are playing for a rather nice $569,199 first prize.
All photos © Joe Giron, IMPDI