WSOP Diary Day 16: George Danzer just misses first WSOP bracelet for PokerStars
It was quite a spectacle. On one side of the World Series of Poker final table stage was a large contingent of Germans cheering their man on. On the other, a smaller, yet still vocal bunch of Americans rooting for their favorite. With each pot won, shouting, songs and rigorous applause rang out from the one side or other. You had to feel for the other players in the $10,000 2-7 Draw Lowball World Championship final: when they bagged a pot, there was virtual silence, as if their efforts were a mere sideshow.
The rail from Europe, about 30-strong, was here to support Team PokerStars Pro George Danzer, fighting to win his first-ever WSOP bracelet, and the first of this year's Series for PokerStars. The locals were backing their man, David 'WhooooKidd' Baker, a prolific PokerStars online player. Strike that, make it locals plus one Brasilian - Team PokerStars Pro Maria 'Maridu' Mayrinck, who is Baker's girlfriend.
Danzer threatened to pull it off, pushing for the chip lead early on, but with four players left he doubled up John Juanda before Baker began to run away with it. Baker disposed of Juanda to extend his lead further before Danzer fell in third place, for $115,295, to Eric Cloutier. The heads up lasted a matter of minutes as Baker sealed the deal for the bracelet and $294,314.
All of this after the day started with ten still in the field. Danzer was second in chips at that stage, and still in was fellow Team PokerStars Pro Daniel Negreanu. The Canadian was short-stacked, however, and never able to recover, busting in eighth place for $26,004, his first WSOP cash this year. "It was nice to get that monkey off my back," he said.
As the final table of seven got going, so did the rail. The German crowd included Team PokerStars Pros Florian Langmann, Sebastian Ruthenberg, Johannes Steindl (actually Austrian) and Arnaud Mattern (actually French). If Danzer won a hand - even if it was a raise and take - they burst into pre-arranged song. The first, something like: "Super Danzer, la, la, la, la, la," prompted the tournament floor to quip: "And they haven't even started on the beer yet." To be honest, I think they had. More songs followed in subsequent hands, including one sung in German. "We don't understand. Please translate," bellowed someone from the American side. "It means everyone but George can go home," came the reply to much laughter. Even Tom 'durrrr' Dwan, sitting quietly in the stands, came in for some good-natured banter about missing out on his first bracelet earlier in the week.
Sadly for the Germans, it was Danzer who "went home" sooner than they had hoped. The killer was when Danzer raised all-in for 463,000 from the small blind, and Cloutier called all-in for his last 419,000 from the big. Danzer drew two cards, Cloutier one. Cloutier had 5-6-7-3, adding his new card, a 10. Danzer showed 9-5-3. His first drawn card was a 4, but the next was a king and the German was left with less than 50,000 as a result. "George can make it happen, oh-oh-oh-oh!" sang his rail, but he couldn't. Next hand he was out. He moved all-in in the dark and Baker called what amounted to a small raise from the big blind. Baker drew two cards, Danzer one. Baker had 8-4-3, picked up a 6, but then drew another 3 for a pair. Danzer had 10-7-4-3 but his one draw card was another 7. The higher pair sealed his fate.
We're used to seeing Danzer on the EPT circuit, a maelstrom of No Limit Hold'em if ever there was one. To be honest, his passion for 2-7 Draw Lowball had evaded us. "Yes, I play it a lot," he said. "There's a weekly $200 tournament on PokerStars and I've won that four times." With a relatively small field packed full of big-name pros, going so deep in the $10,000 World Championship is quite an achievement. Congratulations to Danzer on his biggest tournament cash to date, and to Negreanu for shrugging of the monkey.
Maria Mayrinck would have railed Baker for longer, but she was involved in the other big talking point of the day, the start of the $1,000 Ladies No Limit Hold'em World Championship. As usual this was an electric tournament, always colorful and creating a unique buzz in The Rio. This year, however, around half a dozen men chose to enter as well. They are entitled to under the rules, but it created considerable and sometimes furious debate around the tables. It's not my place to pass judgment here, but suffice to say when one of the men busted, and the whole tournament stood up to cheer and applaud, I hoped the "gentleman" concerned felt a little awkward.
Team PokerStars had a good turnout in this event. As well as Mayrinck, Vanessa Rousso, Holland's Fatima Moreira de Melo and Veronica Dabul from Argentina took a shot, but all were to fall before the end of day one. La Sengphet took the overnight chip lead with 117 of the 1,054 starters still standing.
There is other good news for PokerStars, however. At the time of writing, Team PokerStars Pros Pat Pezzin and Alex Kravchenko are making good runs at the $1,500 7-Card Stud. With 12 remaining, both could well have made the final table when play resumes later today. If he can do it, it will be Kravchenko's second of the WSOP this summer.
Day two of the $1,500 Pot Limit Omaha was also drawing to a close, but both Michael Keiner and Jason Mercier, the defending champion, were to fall earlier. Keiner, in his first event of this Series, got $4,647, while Mercier received $3,357.
Also still going tonight (2.40am local time) is day one of the $2,500 Limit Hold'em Six-Max. At the time of writing, Team PokerStars Online George Lind is not far off the top of the leader board, with Greg Debora - freshly arrived in Vegas from leading Canada to victory in the Americas Cup of Poker in Peru - Noah Boeken from Holland and Brasil's Andre Akkari not far behind.
Finally, congratulations to PokerStars player Eric Buchman, who followed his fourth place finish in the WSOP Main Event last November with a bracelet today. He won the $2,000 Limit Hold'em for $203,607.
Good luck to all PokerStars players when events re-start later today, Saturday.
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Tweets of the Day
@Maridu (Maria Mayrinck): Bakes just won a wsop bracelet!!! Omfg!!!
@RealKidPoker (Daniel Negreanu): I just read a guy for being French based on the fact that he checked a flush on the turn and raised me on the river. He was shocked!
@RaSZi (Lex Veldhuis): I think playing ladies event is really pathetic as a guy. Joke or not, sidebet or not. Why not just leave it alone.
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Thought of the Day
Come on England! (With apologies to American World Cup fans)
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Previous WSOP Diary entries
WSOP Diary: Negreanu, Danzer eye $10K Lowball bracelet
WSOP Diary: Hold me, darling - this is going to be BIG
WSOP Diary: Why Peter Eastgate is missing from the World Series
WSOP Diary: Ville Wahlbeck joins Team PokerStars Pro
WSOP Diary: Durrr misses biggest-ever poker payday, pros overjoyed
WSOP Diary: Poker's clean-up operation begins again
WSOP Diary: Manchester United soccer star Darren Fletcher tackles World Series of Poker
WSOP Diary: $10,000 Stud Championsip draws big names
WSOP Diary: Nh, gg, wp Daniel Negreanu, k?
WSOP Diary: Grinding out $1.5million with perfect timing
WSOP Diary: Team Pro Maridu needs Baker, Baker needs dough
WSOP Diary: Viva la revolution in Las Vegas
WSOP Diary: Safari, so good for Noah Boeken
WSOP Diary: Barry Greenstein mixes it up in the $50K
WSOP Diary: Going supersize in Las Vegas