WSOP Main Event: A round with Peter Eastgate

wsop2009_thn.gifAre we ready for our first "A Round With..." of the World Series? Are we? I can't heeaaar you! Yeah, hot-damn, we sure are.

Here's the latest in an occasional series in which we attempt to give a full insight into the mechanics of tournament poker. For obvious reasons, the hands we tend to report on for the most part are big pots, double ups and eliminations. But these tend to happen only once for approximately every 100 hands dealt, probably even more infrequently. The "A Round With..." series shows every move and every hand for an entire round of the table. Today's enthralling episode features the defending World Series champion and Team PokerStars Pro Peter Eastgate.

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Some context: this is the first round back after the first 20-minute break of the day. The players at the table, and their approximate stacks, are as follows:

Seat one - Jason Ramirez - 85,000
Seat two - Jimmy Blevins - 130,000
Seat three - Shaun Craig - 250,000
Seat four - Roland Isra - 30,000
Seat five - Ray Ressin - 50,000
Seat six - Christopher Zschunke - 80,000
Seat seven - Joseph Cada - 230,000
Seat eight - Phillip Wisser - 110,000
Seat nine - Our hero - Peter Eastgate - 160,000

They're playing blinds of 800-1,600 (200 ante)

Hand one - Eastgate in the small blind
Joseph Cada raises to 4,000 from the cut off after everyone has folded to him. The pattern continues and all others get out of the way as well.

Hand two - Eastgate on the button
It's folded all the way round to Eastgate's button. He raises to 4,000 and Jason Ramirez, in the small blind, calls. The flop comes 8♣4♣2♠ and after Ramirez checks, Eastgate peers over at Ramirez's stack and bets 5,000, one orange chip. Ramirez now raises to 15,000, which looks like a strong check-raise on a low board. But Eastgate is hardly concerned. He grabs one tower of orange chips in his left hand and one tower of yellow chips in his right hand and thumps them onto the felt in front of him. That's a re-raise and Ramirez now has to decide whether to call all in. He thinks, he makes up his mind. He folds.

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Peter Eastgate

Hand three - Eastgate in cut off
Norman Chad breezes by in his trademark jeans, blazer, sneaker combination. If he'd have been watching closely, he'd have seen Joseph Cada raise to 5,000 from mid position and pick up the blinds and antes.

Hand four - Eastgate two off the button
Peter Eastgate begins some rapid texting on his iPhone as Jason Ramirez raises to 5,000. Nothing comes between Eastgate and the text and he folds. Jimmy Blevins reraises to 15,000 from the button and Ramirez folds.

Hand five - Eastgate three off the button
It's folded to the small blind (including Eastgate) and Roland Isra raises to 4,000. Ray Ressin calls in the big blind and they see a flop of J♠A♣6♠. Isra bets 5,400, Ressin calls. The turn is 7♦ and after Isra checks, Ressin bets 10,000. At about this moment, a commotion begins on the neighbouring table where Humberto Brenes is all in and being surrounded by the TV cameras. See "Hand of the hour" below. Back on Eastgate's table, Ressin is raking in the pot after Isra folds.

Hand six - Eastgate four off the button
Eastgate folds and Shaun Craig, on the button, bets 5,500. Christopher Zschunke, in the big blind, makes it 20,600 and Craig folds. Zschunke shows aces.

Hand seven - Eastgate early position
Eastgate folds. More texting. Roland Isra picks it up with a small pre-flop raise.

Hand eight - Eastgate under the gun
Eastgate folds and it's passed around to Zschunke. He raises to 4,500, Phillip Wisser wakes up with a 15,000 reraise from the big blind and that's good.

Hand nine - Eastgate in big blind
Shaun Craig raises to 4,500 and that's good enough for the blinds and antes.

BONUS HAND! Hand ten - Eastgate in small blind
Christopher Zschunke raises to 4,500 and wins the blinds and antes.

BONUS HAND! Hand eleven - Eastgate on button
It's folded to Eastgate on the button and he raises to 4,000 and picks up blinds and antes.

That's that then. For added detail, not a single word was spoken between any of the players on this table, with the dealer announcing all the raises after players silently slid their chips into the middle. Eastgate seemed engrossed in his texting and/or music selection, but won that decent-ish pot on the second hand, picked up the blinds on hand eleven, and finished in the black for the round. We also learnt that he likes to play in position and isn't too keen to mix it up when he's speaking early.

That's just one round of thousands he'll have to play to retain his world championship.

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HAND OF THE HOUR

On a board of J♥9♣9♠5♠ Humberto Brenes is all in for his last 14,100. The pot is already about 15,000, but his single opponent folds. After the accepted moment of posturing for the ESPN cameras, Brenes shows pocket nine for the flopped quads.

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CALL OF THE HOUR

Jimmy Fricke just tanked for about five minutes then called 70,000 on the river. His opponent insta-mucked, and Fricke showed K-4 for no pair, king high. Whatever the board and the betting, that's our call of the hour.

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STATISTIC OF THE HOUR

Number of glass eyes at Greg Raymer's table: 1 (it belongs to Keith Lehr, and he is thankfully keeping it in his head today)

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CELEBRITY NEWS OF THE HOUR

Lou Diamond Phillips is working to prove he's as much a poker player as he is actor. He's worked his stack up to near 400,000, better than double where he started the day.

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MOST COVETED ITEM OF CLOTHING OF THE HOUR

The "Costanza" Yankee shirt, signed by Jason Alexander, currently worn by PokerStars qualifier Bill Tanimoto from Elk Grove, CaliF.

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FASHION GROUND BREAKER OF THE HOUR

The "no lenses in the sunglasses" look, over on table 73.

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JOE GIRON'S PICTURE HOUR

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Humberto Brenes consoles Andre Akkari after the latter's elimination