WSOP 2017: A Round With... Liv Boeree and Andre Akkari, table-mates

Not since Day 1C of the 2017 World Series of Poker Main Event have two Team PokerStars Pros found themselves on the same table. Back then, it was Daniel Negreanu and Jason Mercier and they were on the ESPN feature table. Today it has happened again, and it's Andre Akkari and Liv Boeree, near neighbours on Table 25 in the Amazon Room.

We rarely need an excuse to wheel out our trusty "A Round With..." post, but this is clearly an ideal chance. Here's how an orbit went down on that table, with Akkari a short stack just about clinging on, and Boeree attempting to build her stack for a shy at the huge money.

Table line up

Seat 1: Oddie Dardon -- 760,000
Seat 2: Caufman Talley - 580,000
Seat 3: Liv Boeree - 440,000
Seat 4: Brent Thompson - 250,000
Seat 5: David Powers - 210,000
Seat 6: Andre Akkari - 100,000
Seat 7: David Fong - 510,000
Seat 8: Andrew Magbual - 730,000
Seat 9: Eyal Eshkar - 110,000


Table 25 in the Amazon Room

Obviously it's unusual for two Team Pros to be seated together, but other than that, that's a pretty standard tournament table for this stage of the Main Event (with about 650 players remaining). There's no enormous stacks, two fairly well-known pros (Talley, Dardon), a couple of others with a handful of decent results (Fong, Powers) and some largely unknown quantities.

Boeree might remember Fong from the final table of the $10,000 Tag Team event, at which Boeree partnered Igor Kurganov to win the bracelet. Fong finished fourth, on a team with Michael McClain and Anthony Ajlouny. Other than that, there's no reason to think there's much shared history on the table.

Here's how the round played out. We start in Level 18, with blinds at 4,000/8,000 (1,000 ante).

Hand 1: Button with Oddie Dardon

Action folded to David Fong, who opened 18,000. Dardon called on the button and it was those two only to a flop of Q♠J♥A♥. Check, check. The dealer put the J♣ on the turn and they checked it again, leading to the 3♥ on the river. Fong bet 40,000 and Dardon called, but then mucked upon seeing the J♦T♠ in Fong's hand.

It wasn't immediately easy to see Fong's cards and Boeree was among the three players at the other end of the table to crane their necks to get a peep. Perhaps Fong has been opening a lot of pots. The others were clearly keen to see what kind of cards he was playing.

Hand 2: Button with Caufman Talley

Fong was at it again, opening this pot to 18,000. He got another call from the button, this time Caufman Talley, and then Fong checked the 2♣9♣7♥ flop. Talley bet 18,000 and Fong called.

The 3♦ appeared on the turn and both players checked. Then the T♥ landed on the river. Fong checked, Talley bet 30,000 and Fong quickly folded.

Hand 3: Button with Liv Boeree

Action folded to Liv Boeree on the button and she opened to 18,000. Both players in the blinds called: Brent Thompson in the small blind and David Powers in the big. The flop brought the T♦8♦4♦ and three checks.

The turn was the A♥ and Thompson checked. Powers plugged himself in with a bet of 20,000 and only Boeree called.


Liv Boeree: Up against a flush perhaps?

The river was the 7♣ and Powers upped the voltage. He bet 75,000 now and put Boeree in the tank. After about a minute, during which she had another peek at her cards, Boeree folded.

"I would have thrown up on the table if I didn't call pre-flop," Powers said, taking the rest of the table by surprise. Boeree slipped off her headphones to listen more closely.


"I'm just saying I would have thrown up on the table if I didn't call pre-flop and saw that flop," Powers said.

"Oh," Boeree said. "I had a good ace."

"I would have thrown up," Powers said.

Sick, in other words.

Hand 4: Button with Brent Thompson

Tournament officials announced over the microphone that blinds were going up, but that there was no break. They're working it like that today after we played half of Level 16 last night in addition to the published schedule. They're still playing in two-hour chunks, but taking a 20-minute break mid-level.

So with blinds now at 5,000/10,000 (ante 1,000) Andrew Magbual opened to 20,000 and Caufman Talley three-bet to 75,000. Magbual called and they saw the T♠5♥6♠ come on the flop. Magbual checked and wasn't interested after Talley bet 70,000.

Hand 5: Button with David Powers

Andre Akkari had watched his big blind swept up in the previous three-bet pot, and was now in the small blind as Magbual got the action started with a limp from under the gun. In the 1970s, that meant aces. These days, not so much.

Eyal Eshkar seemed tempted to do something with his short stack, but folded. But a limping epidemic swept through Oddie Dardon, Caufman Talley and then Akkari in the small blind.

David Fong, in the big blind, scented some easy money and raised to 65,000, but both Dardon and Talley mounted a defence. They called. (Magbual folded his aces. Ahem.)

Three players had cards as the Q♣9♥J♦ appeared on the flop. Fong continued with his story and bet 65,000. Dardon was out, but Talley stuck around.

The turn was the 8♥ and Fong now checked. That allowed Talley to fire 115,000 and pick it up.

Hand 6: Button with Andre Akkari

Akkari hadn't found a spot to get his chips in yet and now had only around eight big blinds. Sitting with the button, he may have hoped this was his chance, but it wasn't to be. That's because Eyal Eshkar, the other short stack, open-pushed from under the gun and everyone else folded.

Hand 7: Button with David Fong

Oddie Dardon got this one started with a raise to 22,000. Everyone folded around to the players in the blinds and Magbual and Eshkar, for it was they, called.

Three players saw a flop of T♥7♦6♥ and three players checked it. Then Eshkar checked the A♠ turn too. Dardon put 30,000 over the line and it was enough to earn two folds.

Hand 8: Button with Andrew Magbual

Caufman Talley, the busiest player during this orbit, opened to 23,000 from under the gun and Oddie Dardon called in the big blind. These two neighbours then checked the 9♠8♦2♣ flop and also checked the 9♥ turn.

After the J♠ completed the board, Dardon bet 30,000. Talley shied away.

Hand 9: Button with Eyal Eshkar

Following three folds, Andre Akkari glanced at his short stack, picked it up in one hand and plonked it over the line. He was all-in and the dealer flicked forward the button that indicates as much.


Andre Akkari: Nursing a short stack

It was only around 80,000 but it was too rich for everyone else. They all folded.

So it was that Akkari and his short stack survived this "A Round With..." report. He ended with right around what he started it with, but there's plenty of work still required if he's to continue to move forward.

Boeree took a tiny hit, but is still comfortable, and the others also ended that particular orbit in very similar shape to the state they began it. That's how things are going in the Main Event at the moment.

WSOP photos by