WSOP Main Event: New Jersey tag team puts end to Thater hopes


Katja Thater never did anything to New Jersey, but two of the Garden State's sons, who live half an hour drive apart along I-287, just combined to ruin the Team PokerStars Pro's day.

The World Series has been a good hunting ground for the German pro. She won her first bracelet in seven card razz back in 2007 and reached a second final table that same year. That, along with results in German and on the EPT have made her a regular on the circuit.

But Katja's high main event hopes would crash to the ground within a level of the start today in the most infuriating of ways.

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Katja Thater

With a pre-flop bet of 1,600 on the table Thater called from the small blind holding [10d][10h] for a three way flop of 8♠2♥9♥. Thater checked as did the seat three player Charles Furey of Bridgewater New Jersey. That left Giuseppe Mannino to act from seat six. He bet 2,000 before Thater re-raised to 7,000. That forced Furey out. But remember him, he'd be back.

Mannino called Thater for a J♦ on the turn. This time Thater went to her chips first, flipping out oranges and yellows for a bet of 17,000. Mannino, from Chatham, New Jersey, sat and thought for a while, bouncing his leg which had the effect of making his head move up and down. This was thick drama. Meanwhile the player in seat two looked up share prices on his iPhone.

It was most of Mannino's stack to call, his World Series was on the line, but after checking his cards again he pushed in, getting an immediate call from Thater.

Her tens looked good. Mannino had turned over A♥7♥ and the tens looked even better when the [10c] arrived on the river, but only for a second. Mannino looked like his Series was done but the dealer had spotted the straight. Then Katja noticed it, unleashing a flurry of involuntary German. The English only rule is relaxed on these occasions in the name of general common decency

Thater was devastated. Mannino put his hood back up ready wanting move on. His stack had received an unexpected anabolic boost. Thater's had fallen to the 10K mark.

As that hand went to showdown Furey had admitted to folding jacks, with considerable disappointment in himself at the time. His role in Thater's bad day wasn't finished yet.
Thater is too experienced a player to let tilt effect her play for long, but in the circumstances she knew a reprieve, or revenge, would have to come fast. But she couldn't wait much longer. Forced to push with jack-eight she ran headlong into Furey's pocket aces. Game over.

You're only requirement when arriving here to play is to keep your seat, do that and you're part of poker's royalty accompanied by hundreds of your best peers. Once that's gone though the Amazon Room becomes an inhospitable place for any poker player. For that reason Thater wasted no time in heading for the door.



"You're in trouble," cautioned Jack Ury, looking at a flop of 7♣6♠6♦. Few believed him. The 96-year-old has an occasional tendency to misread flops, and his opponent, who had already set Ury all in, had tabled 6♣7♥. But the roar that greeted Ury as he exposed his cards told the story. He had 7♦7♠ for the bigger flopped full house and Ury battles on.



Approximately equal-chipped Henry Nowakowski and Sergey Feklisov get their entire 40,000-odd stacks in the middle on the following flop: Q♥7♦8♦. Feklisov shows 7♣8♣, cracking Nowakowski's K♦K♣. "All in and call on table 88!" bellows the dealer. "They're not going to want this one," says Nowakowski, keen to get this one over with. "All in and call!" bellows the floor-person. "Deal," says Nowakowski. Camera arrives and the dealer burns and turns the K♥. "Wow," says Jamie Dawick, also on the table. "That's the case king. I folded king-ten, but didn't want to tell you because I didn't want to discourage you."



"WSOP 2009... Ice.......f-ing cold!" Two and a half words summarise Team PokerStars Pro William's Thorson's World Series on his official poker blog for Aftonbladet newspaper. (Warning: Swedish.)



An overview of day 1d:

Watch WSOP 2009: Dy 1d wrap on



"You want some of this? You want to get in here and get some of this?" --Comedian Brad Garrett while getting a massage, offering massage therapist to PokerStars Blogger Brad Willis. Upon Willis' answer, Garrett told the therapist, "Wow, he's got that southern accent like you. You two could get together and start a farm."



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Jason Mercier