WSOP Main Event Day 6: A round with Johnny Lodden and James Carroll

wsop2010_thn.jpgYes, yes, it's predictable, but at the very start of day six, there's no way we weren't going to do an "A Round With..." the table that had the Team PokerStars Pro Johnny Lodden sitting to the immediate left of James Carroll.

Across the table was Imari Love and the fearless Brit Redmond Lee.

This was a table for the ages, and demanded our meticulous attention from the off.


James Carroll and Johnny Lodden: neighbours early on day six

The history here is brief and simple. From the very moment they sat down (on time for the noon start) Carroll and Lodden were both eyeing one another's stack - salivating at the same time as they were sweating. The very first hand of the day set a tone: Carroll opened to 37,000 from early position and Lodden three-bet, 67,000 more. Carroll was the only caller.

The flop came 6♥6♠[10c], Carroll checked, Lodden bet 97,000 and Carroll folded. "You wanna trade seats?" Carroll said, fearing that this was just the start of what could be a very long day. "Today's gonna be a good day," he said. "It's gonna be fun."

Our "A Round With..." cameras join the action about 10 minutes after the incident above. They're now a little more settled but it's still very early in the day. Carroll has just taken a small pot from Imari Love, and is smiling. Let's get straight down to it.

Blinds: 8,000 - 16,000 (2,000 ante)

Table line-up:

Seat 1 - Redmond Lee, UK, 998,000
Seat 2 - Nicolo Calia, Italy, 275,000
Seat 3 - Marius Arnesen, Norway, 728,000
Seat 4 - Guy Thomas, USA, 825,000
Seat 5 - James Carroll, USA, 1,892,000
Seat 6 - Johnny Lodden, Norway, 1,625,000
Seat 7 - Richard Kirsch, USA, 300,000
Seat 8 - Tony Bracy, USA, 238,000
Seat 9 - Imari Love, USA, 1,086,000


The Lodden/Carroll table

Hand one: Lodden on button
Just as the players were posting the blinds, the tournament announcer was running through the recent eliminations. Five of them already, no more than five minutes into the day. No one seemed in any way interested in this news as Imari Love opened to 40,000 from under-the-gun. James Carroll called in the cut off and it was just the two of them to a flop.

It came 8♦9♣Q♦ and Love moved a big tower of orange chips into the middle. He's barely slid them an inch forward before Carroll folded and that was the end of that.

Hand two: Kirsch on button
It was folded to Lodden in the cut off, and he made a raise to 40,000. Before Lodden's chips had even hit the felt, Richard Kirsch announced "All in." (Really, if this had been any more instant, it would have been an act out of turn.)


Johnny Lodden asks for a count

The blinds got out the way, putting the decision back on Lodden and he asked for a count. "Looks like 230 total," Kirsch said and the approximation was enough for Lodden. He took a moment, riffled a few chips, and then turned to look at Kirsch, his neighbour. Kirsch flashed Lodden a big grin and the Team PokerStars Pro called.

Lodden exposed A♠9♥ and Kirsch had 5♥5♦.

"Flip," said Kirsch.
A supporter on the rail then said: "What do you have?"
"Pair," said Kirsch.
"Two overs."

The dealer peeled off the flop and there was the A♦ in the window. "No good, no good," said Kirsch and prepared to take his leave.

The rest of the board ran Q♥4♣2♣[10d] and that was that. Lodden slid over the stacks and Kirsch departed.

Hand three: Bracy on button
A strange hand, inasmuch as no one seemed interested in playing at all. It was folded to Imari Love in the small blind, who limped. Redmond Lee, in the big blind, checked and they went to a 9♣5♣7♦ flop. Lee bet 18,000 and Love folded.

Hand four: Love on button
Guy Thomas openend this one, making it 40,000 from under-the-gun. Johnny Lodden, two seats to his left, peered over at Thomas's chips, then checked the stacks of everyone to act behind him, and opted for a flat call. Everyone else folded.

James Carroll got up from his chair at this point and took a walk to see a friend on the rail. He missed a flop of J♥[10s]K♦, at which Thomas bet 80,000 and won when Lodden folded.

Hand five: Lee on button
Johnny Lodden opened this one, making it 40,000 - very much the bet de jour. Lee, on the button, counted out a raise. Lodden scratched his right eye. (His own right eye, that it. Not Lee's.) Lee pushed out a stack of orange chips, with one bonus yellow chip on the top. The blinds folded, and Lodden asked for a count. It was 110,000 more. Lodden called.

The flop came [10d]A♣3♦, which Lodden checked. Lee bet what looked like about 200,000 and Lodden gave up.

Hand six: Calia on button
This one was as straightforward as poker gets. Folded to the short-stacked Italian, Nicolo Calia, on the button, he open shoved for about 230,000. Guy Thomas, in the big blind, called instantly and Calia's tournament life was on the line.

Calia: K♣J♠
Thomas: A♥Q♣

Calia needed to come from behind, but did precisely that when the board ran K♥7♣3♥J♣2♣. That was the double up that Calia was looking for taking him close to 500,000 and leaving Thomas with something similar.

Hand seven: Arnesen on button
Folded all the way round to Thomas in the small blind, he raised and Carroll folded.

Hand eight: button with Thomas
Imari Love raised to 40,000 and Johnny Lodden, in the big blind, was the only caller. They both checked the 9♥5♣6♠ flop, but Lodden bet 57,000 on the 6♣ turn. Love called.

The river was the J♦ and Lodden fired 150,000 at it. Love called again, and Lodden turned over J♠9♣ for top two. Love mucked.

Hand nine: Carroll on the button
Folded all the way to James Carroll, he button-raised to 40,000 and the blinds folded. That was that.

And that was also that for this "A Round With..." It was a good one for Lodden, who knocked out a player and then took some chips right at the end from Imari Love. Lodden also demonstrated that he is prepared to mix it up a great deal; he could be the overnight chip leader at the end of the day. And he also might be out.


A happy Johnny Lodden



When Robert Pisano turned over his cards and immediately stood up it was obvious he had something big. The standing was instinctive. When you have aces showing on the table the tendency is to put some distance between them and yourself, ever careful that they might explode in your face.


Robert Pisano's aces are up against Johnny Chan's kings


Mountains of chips are in the middle in the biggest hand of the World Series so far

In contrast his opponent was too wise and too experienced to get excited. When Pisano moved all-in for 2,194,000, Johnny Chan called him with kings. With the cameras surrounding the table the dealer dealt a T♦5♠4♦7♠4♥ board. On the river Chan turned to Pisano and said: "Welcome to my world."


Robert Pisano fades the two outer

Pisano, who now takes the chip lead with close to 4.5 million, lined up his stack to be matched by Chan, who said a few words but paid off the man as expected. The result nearly put the former back-to-back World Champion out of the tournament, but for a few hundred thousand.


Robert Pisano arranges his new stack...


...and prepares for life as a chip leader



"Is Johnny all-in? Is Johnny all-in over there? Oh my God." - railbird close to Pisano's table.



Percentage of starting field remaining on Day 6 at this hour: 2.5%



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"2010 World Series of Poker Main Event champion" -- Text Robert Pisano has put beneath his profile picture on his Facebook page.



Imari "Doctor" Love is out.