WSOP Event #47: Conversations with Ylon

wsop2009_thn.gifYlon Schwartz is in a conversation and it's clear he's a good listener. His eyebrows rise with sincere amazement. He offers a measured nod, sympathetic wince, and a rueful shake of the head. Even at a distance of 40 feet, there's no doubt he's listening to a bad beat story.

Look closer, though, and you realize no one is talking. In fact, none of the people sitting at the final table of Event #47 are even looking at last year's WSOP Main Event final tablist.

Indeed, Ylon is in a conversation, but it's with himself and it's all happening in his head. We can only see his expressions. They tell enough of the tale.

This is Schwartz after nearly every hand he plays--silently mourning his bad luck, quietly celebrating a well-played pot, wordlessly bemoaning the run of cold cards. If his expressions were the same when he was in a hand, he could never win a tournament. Somehow, he turns off his face when he has cards in front of him. After watching the internal conversation, the facial control is almost spooky.

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Schwartz is the lone Team PokerStars Pro player remaining at the final table. Just moments ago, he eliminated Barry Greenstein in fifth place for $57,000.

Schwartz may be most famous for his 2008 Main Event run in the no-limit game, but he is a sick limit player. Anyone who has run into him online or live knows he excels in the world of limit poker. Some of his biggest gains in this $2,500 Mixed Hold'em field have coming during the limit rounds.

Now, with four players remaining, Schwartz holds the chip lead and a chance at winning his first WSOP bracelet. One can't help but wonder what the conversation in Ylon's head will sound like if he manages to snag a victory.

Brad Willis
@BradWillis in World Series of Poker