WSOP Main Event: Single Dutch

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The idea was simple, but the best ones always are. On the walk to the Rio this morning from the Palms hotel across West Flamingo, we already knew that Noah Boeken and Thierry van den Berg, two Team PokerStars Pros from Holland, would be sat side by side when play began. "Double Dutch!" said my colleague Brad Willis, a shock inspirational moment in the morning heat, an out-of-nowhere brainwave that can revive a mind growing short of ideas. This post almost wrote itself.

As the second level began I headed across the floor to the tournament desk ready to negotiate safe passage across the media rail. With a letter of transit and an official guide I'd planned on watching a few hands to get the lay of the land and get a quick word on their afternoon. I hadn't got half way to the desk when the announcement came, "Exiting in 138th place.... from Holland..."

Main Event_Day 6_IJG_7944_IMPDI.jpgThierry van den Berg


Thierry van den Berg was out...

Cue hair tearing, fist shaking rage and a mild tantrum in front of people I respect. The post was ruined. It had been a simple concept designed to showcase two players who had spent a lot of this week ripping the tournament apart. Now what? Half the double act was gone. Never mind, I thought, press on anyway.

Main Event_Day 6_IJG_7927_IMPDI.jpgThierry van den Berg and Noah Boeken in happier times...


Van den Berg dominated the table, appearing like an unelected leader at any table he'd been assigned to, the spokesperson should there ever be a strike, or a riot. But his demise was in the tea leaves, coming as his stack fell to a perilous condition. Just a day or so ago a few hundred thousand would see you right. Now that's a one move left stack and Van den Berg demanded better for himself.

That meant taking action, so he checked his J♠6♠ in the big blind for a three way pot. The flop would be Van den Berg's last, coming Q♠5♠[5]. Van den Berg check-raised all-in for about 300K and banked on catching that last spade. His opponent turned over king-queen which put end to the Dutchman's World Series dream when no spade arrived on the river. Van den Berg had only been all-in twice all tournament. "I thought it was a good move" he said after wards, but the disappointment was clear to see.

Main Event_Day 6_IJG_8000_IMPDI.jpgNoah Boeken

That leaves Boeken. He shot up the chip chart yesterday, jet-packing his way to 2.4million. A real shed load. He has 2.3million of it left, enough to sooth any short-lived remorse for his countryman's exit and more importantly enough to take him well into the day alongside an empty chair, with 129 left.

Wait....

"Finishing in 128th place, from California...."


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ELIMINATION OF THE HOUR

Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier is out. He has nursed a short stack all day and has been up and down, but got it all in pre-flop with A♠K♥ against K♣K♦. That rarely ends well and this was no exception. The board came 2♥2♠3♦6♥J♦ and ElkY was last seen heading out of the Amazon Room.

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TABLE MOVE OF THE HOUR

Nicoel Peppe's table was broken and she headed to the vacant seat beside Joe Sebok, two from Fabrice Soullier and across from ElkY. "Way to join a table!" shouted a supporter as she forced a fold from Soullier on the river on her first hand, betting 200,000 on a board of A♥Q♣6♣4♠8♥.

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THE HOW IN THE HELL DOES HE NOT BET THAT RIVER HAND OF THE HOUR

We catch up on the flop with a mountain of chips in the middle and a four-way pot including Team PokerStars Pro ElkY. On the turn, it's a 250,000 bet to ElkY and the man on the button, Scott Cook, both of whom call. At this point the board looks like: 3♥5♦K♠3♦. On the river, the original bettor and ElkY both check. Cook hems and haws and finally says, "I just can't do it." He raps the table and sees both of his opponents turn over ace-king. "Chopped pot!" someone yells from the rail before Cook turns over pocket fives for fives full of threes.

In our next episode of Monsters Under the Bed...

ElkY meanwhile is down to 360,000.

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MORE ELIMINATIONS OF THE HOUR

All three players below earned $40,288

127th -- Michael Casella -- PokerStars qualifier
132nd -- Don Tran -- PokerStars qualifier
137th -- Nasr El Nasr -- PokerStars qualifier

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JOE GIRON PHOTO HOUR

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VIDEO BLOG OF THE HOUR


Watch WSOP 2009: Day 5 Over view on PokerStars.tv