WSOP Main Event: Mr. Unpronounceable
He is a man of results, but has a name so barely-decipherable that an addled tournament reporter may be hesitant to cover him.
Team PokerStars Holland Pro Joep van den Bijgaart has made final tables in the Sunday Million, Sunday Warm-Up, and Sunday $500,000 on PokerStars. At just 22 years old, he came to the World Series this year and made his first big final table at the $1,500 Limit Hold'em Shootout.
The curly-headed pro from Holland is as likable as just about anybody you'll find at the WSOP. In the first four hours of play, he has made many a friend at his starting table as he ran his stack up north of the 40,000 mark.
Just a bit ago, a lady old enough to be his mother limped in from the small blind and van den Bijgaart played nice-nice. The flop came down K♦T♦T♣. The lady checked and van den Bigjaart smiled. "I gotta bet now," he said, and put out 125.
"Ah, big boy!" the woman exclaimed. It was probably the first time the Dutch pro had been addressed as such since he was a toddler.
The 8♦ fell on the river. The lady checked again, and van den Bigjaart bet 450.
"You going to show?" the woman asked, and then folded.
Mr. Unpronounceable smiled again. "I only show my bluffs," he said.
"Or," suggested another opponent, "when he gets called on a bluff."
Another smile from our young man, and now he heads off for his dinner break.
As we strive for accurate, comprehensive, and entertaining reporting here, we consulted our Dutch correspondent Steven Smith for some assistance.
"It's Yoop," he said, as he wrote down the correct spelling of the name.
Smith nodded. "Yoop. Van. Den. By. Hhhhart."
"Van den by heart," we repeated,
"Hhhhhhart," he repeated. "You can't say it, can you?"
No, we can't. Fortunately, we're not on the radio.
* * * * *
QUOTE OF THE HOUR
"But I thought we were friends!" --anguished cry heard across the Amazon Room.
TWEET OF THE HOUR
"Enjoying 4th of July with Panorama peeps, then sleeping early for main event tomorrow =) Have fun and be safe people! " -- Brazilian Team Pro @Maridu enjoying her day off and celebrating American holiday.
STATISTIC OF THE HOUR
Number of Swedish players starting on Day 1B: 5
Number of Swedish journalists covering Day 1B: 8
HAND OF THE HOUR
Greg Raymer and one opponent got to a flop, costing 1,000 apiece. It came 6♣9♣2♦ and Raymer's opponent bet 2,000, which Fossilman called. The turn was the K♦ and the 2,000 bet was repeated, as was the call. The river was the 4♥ and this time Raymer's opponent checked, prompting a 6,000 bet from the Team PokerStars Pro. Call. Raymer showed A♦K♥ and his opponent angrily mucked, showing a bare king in the process. Out-kicked.
"I'm back over 30,000!" Raymer announced in delight, both arms held aloft, in the direction of his wife and father on the rail.
"Hallelujah!" said Cheryl, before keeping the celebrations in check. "Now
play nice," she added.
JOE GIRON PHOTO HOUR
VIDEO OF THE HOUR
Watch WSOP 2009: Darrick Rains Online Qualifier on PokerStars.tv