WSOP Event #2: John Duthie gives Chan a close shave
John Duthie is a wiley old fox. Not content with having a successful TV career, he went on to create the hugely impressive PokerStars European Poker Tour. The only problem with that is he can not play in his own events, so has to watch jealously from the sidelines as his tournaments play out across the most delux venues in Europe. It's why he likes coming to Las Vegas so much - he can play in the WSOP.
Today the Team PokerStars Pro took his seat in the $40K No Limit event, knowing a deep run would add to his already bouyant bankroll - bolsted as it was recently when he came second in the PokerStars SCOOP $25K heads up event for $250,000. He has a tough table (well, let's face it they're all tough at this level) which includes Tony G, David Williams and Terrence "Unassigned" Chan, a former PokerStars executive who now plays out some of the biggest games going. In last month's SCOOP series he won back-to-back Limit Hold'em events, proving that cream does indeed rise to the top.
It was no great surprise that Duthie and Chan would tangle, and in the last pot of level 2 they got into a monster. We picked up the action on the river as the board showed 4♦2♣A♠[10s]J♠ and Duthie was tossing 50,000 (yes, 50,000) into an already bulging pot. It sent Chan into an involuntary "whoooaaaa" twitch. He thought, studied the board, and open folded A-K. "Good fold," said Duthie, showing his A-10 for two pair. "I knew he had A-K," he told me as he stacked his new loot - now up to 140,000. Chan, meanwhile, slips to 82,000.
Team PokerStars Pro Vanessa Rousso has also got off to a good start. She was up to 177,000 at one point before being hit by a rivered two outer to take her back to 132,000.
It's not often we get to talk about male facial hair here on the blog. But let's be honest, there's a lot of it about. There's certainly a fine selection on table 83, where Team PokerStars Pro Barry Greenstein sits with Chris Ferguson, Humberto Brenes and Andy Black - all with carefully-crafted beards or moustaches.
In fairness, Black's is not exactly well kept, it's more of a bushy monstrosity in which a small child could be lost for ever.
It certainly caught Mike Matusow's attention. "Have you decided to grow the beard until you next win a tournament?" he bellowed from across the room. "If so, it will soon be growing down to the floor." Much laughter all round.