WSOP Main Event Day 4: Looking bad but looking good
There's a lot to write about when the subject is Pieter de Korver. The man stands out. It's not just that as an amateur player turned pro, he was the season five European Poker Tour champion, since amassing tournament winnings of nearly $3.2 million. But he also stands out because he wears really nice shirts.
You can see for yourself, just find any picture taken of him at a poker table. There's a reason for this. The shirts are made by a company called Cavallaro, owned by Dutch-Italian shirt maker Giuseppe Cavallaro. His shop in Haarlem, Holland, was De Korver's sweet store even before he played the Monte Carlo Grand Final.
Team PokerStars Pro Pieter de Korver
"I wear it always when I play poker, it's just neat," said De Korver showing astute awareness of the gentleman arts. "When I won Monaco a lot of people made good remarks about my shirts so I said 'okay, I want them to be my sponsor'.
"Now every three months I get free shirts from there. They're doing very good, they've opened ten stores. They're very hot in Holland and over the world."
For those still interested in the detail - and indulge me a little here - each shirt is double-buttoned and features a tri-button collar, usually white, in contrast to the rest of the shirt. De Korver has 15 of them with him in Vegas so if you don't fancy the one he has on today stick around.
De Korver has enjoyed a remarkable rise to the summit of European poker. He initially got his big break on a Dutch television show, sponsored by PokerStars, called "Poker Champion of Holland" in 2008, the outcome being a place on Team PokerStars Holland - first stop Monte Carlo.
There, from out of nowhere, De Korver topped an all-star final, featuring the likes of Matt Woodward and Peter Traply to lift one of poker's richest crowns. A few months later he added a six-max PCA side event to his resume, a win worth $110,000. The effect has been to leave a permanent grin on De Korver's face.
Right now though the chances World Series Main Event success are looking dubious and we may not see another shirt, at least not until the new EPT season starts next month. It's hard to keep that grin in place when you're 90 places off the money in the World Series Main Event, have only 60,000 to play with and have suffered at the hands of the blinds for some time.
But De Korver never looks far from having a good time, and types happily on his iPad while listening to his iPod, both of which just add to the De Korver shine.
"It's never fun," said De Korver of playing with the short stack. "I cannot play my own game. But I'm pretty good at short stack play. I'm used to it. I like the dynamics, because you see some people bullying and stuff. I wish I could do that. Now I've got to hang on and try to find my spot. That's all I want to do. Find my spot and double. And then find it again."
Pieter de Korver
De Korver did find a spot, in the last hand before the break, shoving when most of the players had disappeared for cigarettes or the bathroom. Andrew Rennhack, a short stack himself, thought about calling but passed. De Korver broke out the grin again, showing queen high. Rennhack winced, having folded an ace.
Good for blinds and antes. De Korver may not be able to stem this chip leak for long, and may soon be out as we approach the bubble, but it will not be without a fight, and he'll look good when he goes.
ATOMIC FIREBALL FACT OF THE HOUR
To circle the earth with a side-by side path of Atomic Fireballs (the he official candy of the PokerStars Blog) it would require two million 25-pound cases of the sweets.
VIDEO OF THE HOUR
Up there with the best of them, Team PokerStars Pro Johnny Lodden.
STATISTIC OF THE HOUR
There are 846 players remaining in the Main Event. When 99 of them have bust, we will be in the money.
COLOUR UP NEWS OF THE HOUR
The black chips, worth 100, have successfully been eliminated from the Main Event. Much like the Pavilion Room, half the dealing staff, 6,473 players and most reporters' dignity, their World Series is over.
JASON MERCIER'S DAY IN TWEETS OF THE HOUR
"Back up to 306k from 210k... me and @Berkey11 been crushing the table. He has like 600ish"
"Have 269k just lost 115k flip and then @Berkey11 busts the kid in a flip the next hand : /"
"Around 300k now. And @Berkey11 just doubled to 400k! Hellloooo"
"Have 210,400 at first break. One more hour of 1500/3k. Let's do this."
"Up to 195600. Let's goo. Uh oh @Berkey11 just limp jammed. Yup he doubles w aces. What a boss"
"Day 4 restarts in 15 mins. At same table with @berkey11 and some likely pittzsters"