WSOP Main Event Day 7: William Thorson, demon-slayer?
We will not count our chickens before they have done anything but hatch and run around the barnyard like mercury scattering on glass. We may not believe in any sort of jinx, but we're not going to talk about a no-hitter and we're not going to say the "s" word at a craps table.
But, listen, William Thorson has some demons to slay after his 2006 13th place run in the Main Event in which his pocket jacks went down to Jamie Gold's pocket kings. So, there's that. There is also the fact he doesn't have a WSOP bracelet.
But he's on form right now. There is no doubting it. He won the PokerStars Baltic Festival event a few weeks ago. He's among the final 50 players left in the field here today. And, he is positively abusing the feature table.
In just the past hour he has eliminated powerhouse Tony Dunst with ace-king versus ace-queen, made the nut flush against Matt Affleck in a pot worth six million, and forced Michael Mizrachi to fold with a pre-flop five-bet all-in. It's pushed him to the chip lead with nearly 13 million chips (that's about 6% of what's in play with 47 players remaining).
Add to all of that that Thorson made it out of bed in time to make his ESPN interview this morning and you have the makings of a man who senses he is going to make it out of Day 7, into Day 8, and...well, let's just leave it there (because of the chickens and all).
ELIMINATION OF THE HOUR
When you first look down at your cards you're unlikely to think there and then that this is your last hand. That's the kind of thing that dawns on you in hindsight, as you stand waiting for an escort to take you to the payout desk and look back at the table you once sat at which is playing on without you.
That's the experience James Manning just endured, coming to terms with the realisation that he is expendable and that the tournament is going on just fine without him.
After Sergey Rybachenko moved all-in for about 800,000 Manning called for a little less, turning over K♦A♦. Rybachenko showed two black sevens for race to stay alive. The board ran 9♠3♣9♣4♥4♥, the action paused at every street to allow the camera teams to inject suspense.
A final count confirmed an end to Manning's Main Event dreams. "Have fun," he said as he stood waiting for an escort to guide him to the payout desk - one he no doubt wished would get a move on. No one answered him and he disappeared to the rail.
VERY SELECTED CHIP COUNTS OF THE HOUR
William Thorson: 13m
Theo Jorgensen: 10.5m
Bryn Kenney: 7.8m
Johnny Lodden: 4.3m
Michiel Sijpkens: 4.1m
David Assouline: 2.9m
BEST BRAZILIAN OF THE HOUR
This just in from our Brazilian correspondent Sergio Prado: Eduardo Parra has now gone deeper in the WSOP that any other in history. According to Prado, until today, Rafael Caiaffa, who finished 55th in 2008, held the distinction.
DRAWING DEAD OF THE HOUR
Eric Assouline and Jason Senti got it all in pre-flop. Assouline had Senti covered in chips (Senti had about 1.8m) but he was way behind with J♥J♦ to K♠K♣.
Assouline's vocal rail began bellowing for a jack and the security guard allowed them to come in a little closer to the action. "Come on, your buddy's all in."
They poured forward just in time to see the dealer peel off the flop. In the window: the K♦. Next to it: K♥. "The hand's over," said Assouline and sent his friends back behind the ropes.
ACCOUTREMENTS OF THE HOUR
Sitting on the table in front of Dag Palovic:
1 x cell phone
1 x Blackberry (the cellular device, not the fruit)
1 x pair of sunglasses
1 x silver pendant on long chain
19 x piles of five orange 5,000 chips
18 x piles of five green 25,000 chips
1 x lavender 100,000 chip
HAT ADJUSTMENT OF THE HOUR
From hand one on day one, Michael Skender has worn a PokerStars baseball cap. However sometimes he wears it peak forward, other times peak backwards. He switches it every time he makes a bet.
DOUBLE UP OF THE HOUR
Theo Jorgensen: Receiving a second chair to stack on his first from the WSOP Media Director.
TABLE FOR ONE OF THE HOUR
When things get tense at the WSOP, there isn't time to run to In-And-Out for a burger. This railbird is making do.
JORGENSEN KNOCK-OUT OF THE HOUR
James Fennell did what he could. He found pocket eights and moved in for his last million and a bit. He couldn't have counted on Theo Jorgensen calling with 9♠7♦ but call he did. "That's just what I thought you'd turn over," said Brendan Steven, watching in seat five, enjoying the luxury of not being involved.
The flop came 4♠7♠9♥. A great flop for Jorgensen, even Steven covered his mouth slightly. Jorgensen's two pair left Fennell needing another eight. On the A♠ turn it was looking increasingly likely and Jorgensen permitted himself a slight smile. Fennell's departure was confirmed by the T♣ on the river.
Jorgensen shook Fennell's hand before turning to Steven. "That's how you play nine-seven," he said. He was about to delve deeper before he noticed Fennell was still standing nearby, waiting for his escort. So he addressed what he was going to say to him instead. "It's hard for me to see you with aces, kings or queens."
Fennell said something too quietly to hear and walked off to collect his money. Jorgensen up to more than 9 million chips.
JOE GIRON ELIMINATION PHOTOS OF THE HOUR
STATISTIC OF THE HOUR
Percentage of players out of the remaining 47 who are representing PokerStars: 53%
COMPARISON OF THE HOUR
Biggest stack by size: William Thorson's with nearly 13,000,000.
Biggest stack by surface area: Dag Palovic, with 4,200,000, who arranges his chips in stacks of five.
THE 'YOU CAN CALL ME BACK' MOMENT OF THE HOUR
Two men using the bathroom, each talking to someone on a mobile phone mid-flow.
ATOMIC FIREBALL FACT OF THE HOUR
The factory which produces The Official Candy of the PokerStars Blog, the Atomic Fireball, can package 720,000 fo the sweets daily.