WSOP Main Event: A Round On the Almost Final Table

wsop2009_thn.gifPlayers returned from their dinner break -- their final dinner break as either members of the November Nine or the Non-November Nine -- to play level 33 of the World Series Championship Event. At this point 14 players remained, seven on each table, and I was feeling in the mood for an "A Round With..." post.

When I get in that mood, there's very little that can stop me. And so damn it, here's A Round With The Feature Table as we approach the most business-like end of the business end.

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The players were stacked as follows, and the blinds were 120,000-240,000 (30,000).

Seat one: Phil Ivey 7,325,000
Seat two: empty
Seat three: Steven Begleiter 27,260,000
Seat four: Antoine Saout 12,420,000
Seat five: James Akenhead 5,090,000
Seat six: Eric Buchman 28,670,000
Seat seven: Joe Cada 19,465,000
Seat eight: Jamie Robbins 1,340,000
Seat nine: empty

Here's how it panned out:

Hand one - Button with Antoine Saout in seat four
It's folded to Jamie Robbins, who raises and takes the blinds and antes.

Hand two - Button with James Akenhead in seat five
Phil Ivey opens from early position and Joe Cada calls from the big blind. Two players see a flop of A♦7♣5♦, and Cada check-calls Ivey's bet of 800,000. The turn is the 3♦ and after Cada checks again, Ivey bets 1,500,000. This time, Cada is persuaded to lay it down. Cue raucous applause from the feature table audience.

Hand three - Button with Eric Buchman in seat six
It's folded to James Akenhead, who raises to 625,000, which is good enough to pinch the blinds and antes.

Hand four - Button with Joe Cada in the seat seven
The action is folded to Cada on the button, who raises to 700,000. Phil Ivey goes nowhere from his big blind and calls. The flop comes J♦8♣6♠ and after going into the tank for a while, Ivey checks. Cada senses weakness and bets 800,000, and Cada's instincts were correct. Ivey gets out the way.

Hand five - Button with Jamie Robbins in seat eight
Eric Buchman flexes his chip-leading muscles and opens the pot to 650,000 from the button. Cada defends his blind, but then check folds when Buchman fires out on the flop of 9♦8♥Q♦.

Hand six - Button with Phil Ivey in seat one
Action. Joe Cada raises to 600,000 and Jamie Robbins re-raises all in for his last million. All others get out of the way until action reaches Cada, who can't get the call in quickly enough. Here's why: he has A♦A♣ and is crushing Robbins' [10c][10s]. The flop comes 6♥K♦2♦, offering no hope to the all in man. The turn is no better, but the river is a definitive [10h] and it keeps Robbins' tournament alive. (Also see 'Of the Hour' section below.)

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Jamie Robbins

"And the dream goes on," says the feature table announcer, although with a little more than two million, Robbins will need at least several more of those.

Hand seven - Button with Steven Begleiter in seat three
Eric Buchman raises to 650,000; Joe Cada calls. Two of the big stacks see a flop of 2♥4♠4♦ and Buchman bets 900,000. Cada calls. The turn is the 2♦ and Buchman has another stab, this time 1,500,000. That is good.

Hand eight - Button with Antoine Saout in seat four
Joe Cada opens to 600,000. He's been the most active player in this round, despite having his aces cracked. This time Antoine Saout comes along for the ride from the button, as does Eric Buchman from the big blind. The flop comes A♠7♣8♣ and after Buchman checks, Cada finds a continuation bet, worth one million. Saout folds, but Buchman calls and it's two huge stacks again. The turn is 5♣ and Buchman bets out 2.5m, which is enough to get Cada to fold.

Hand nine - Button with James Akenhead in seat five
In a battle of the blinds, Buchman raises to 720,000 from the small and Cada calls from the big. The flop comes 2♥6♦Q♠. Check, check. The turn is the K♠ and Cada bets 1.1m, which Buchman calls. The river is the 8♦ and both players check, meaning we see a showdown. Buchman has 9♥9♦ and Cada J♠[10d].

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PokerStars sponsored player Ben Lamb was eliminated on the secondary feature table after his ace-jack couldn't outrun Jeff Schulman's ace-king.

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Lamb slaughtered

Lamb earned $633,022.

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James Calderero will not be in the November Nine. He moved all in for his last two million-odd and Kevin Schaffel called. Schaffel showed [10d][10c] and Calderero was racing with K♥J♠. He couldn't catch up, though, and Calderero is toast.

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Everyone remaining in the 2009 WSOP is guaranteed a minimum of $896,730.

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Main Event_Day 8_IJG_8927_IMPDI.jpgOne time! said Jamie Robbins as he sought the ten to keep his World Series alive. It worked.