WSOP 2011: Final table stalwart brings action to the fans
Spectators may find Erick Lindgren to be the biggest draw at the Main Event feature table, but for those of us who've been here before, and are done with Lindgren, the real draw is hand caller Robbie Thompson.
I have no way to judge, no way to mark him against others, and certainly no background that would render me suitably qualified to make any such remark, but I'm saying Thompson is the best in the business.
Thompson is permanently and immaculately dressed in a suit, one that shines no less, he wears a tie fastened neatly that in no way resembled an off-duty soccer player. His shoes are polished and his hair is neatly arranged in a low-maintenance fashion suggesting great maintenance and expense.
But not only that Thompson enunciates brilliantly, sounding every syllable and every letter, an in bass tones that cuts through the ambient noise of riffle and holler, making every word sounds like an order. He's no slouch when it comes to description, particularly something as common as folding.
Emcee Robbie Thompson on duty earlier in the Series
Player one "ejects them into the muck." Player two "bangs them into the muck." Player three "kicks them in" before "the blinds both release."
Such is his command of the stage that when a player moves all-in they tend to tell Thompson. He them lets the dealer know what's going on. Neat, well-spoken and imaginative; Thompson is the voice of poker action.
That all helps when to be honest, not a lot happened over the course of half an hour on the main stage. Erica Moutinho went all in - telling Thompson first - but that was as far as that hand went. A new players arrived, dressed like he'd been called here from the beach, wearing sun hat, shorts, flip flops and carrying a back pack - an exchange student from another table.
But this is where Team PokerStars Pro JP Kelly works his beat, and the Englishman continues to show the same resolute determination we wrote about as he arrived this morning, up now to a little short of 5,000,000 chips.
JP Kelly in action earlier today
Kelly opened from under-the-gun which Lindgren raised to 250,000 in middle position. The crowds began paying attention. Kelly called and Thompson reached for the mike.
"And we head up to the flop."
The flop came T♥2♦K♣. Both players checked for a Q♦ turn. Kelly checked to Lindgren who immediately bet 350,000. Kelly then re-raised, making it 900,000. Lindgren held his chin and, well, let Thompson finish the hand...
"Erick hits the eject button and JP wins the pot."
HALVING OF THE HOUR
Sebastian Ruthenberg's stack, once more than 4 million, now just a little more than 2 million after playing a massive pot with ace-king versus queens versus fours that would've given him the chip lead.
TWEET OF THE HOUR
JP Kelly On break "4.92m with 70 left and one level to go....."
NEW RESTRICTIONS OF THE HOUR
The WSOP media has now has been relegated to a moat made of stanchions and ropes.
BIG FINISH OF THE DAY
Team PokerStars Pro David Williams down the street at the Bellagio, finishing 11th in the Bellagio Cup.
OTHER BIG FINISH OF THE DAY
Team PokerStars Pro Jan Heitman placing fourth in the PokerStars Sunday Warm-Up.
RESTRICTED ACCESS OF THE HOUR
With the field now much reduced, tournament staff have sectioned off small areas on the sidelines in which the media must stand. We can no longer roam the tournament floor freely.
FULLY CHARGED OF THE HOUR
A motorised scooter has been plugged into an electric socket outside the Amazon Room for at least five hours, presumably now with so much juice on board it could make it all the way to Henderson.
EVIDENCE OF THE HOUR
An empty crate of Millers Lite on the tournament floor may go some way to explaining the rowdy rail we wrote about in the previous post.