Sunday, 27th November 2022 12:19
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Over the last two days the bloggers have gotten to know Zackary Koerper a little bit. We’ve chatted with him in bits here and there, we met his girlfriend and we helped him clear up a registration snafu. Koerper has struck as a chill, friendly guy, just the sort we like to highlight in these large-field events.

It always helps when the chill, friendly guys play well to boot. Koerper had himself an excellent Day 1a. He didn’t top the chip counts, but the 198,900 put him in a virtual tie for 2nd place with Ezequiel Lebed. Both men trailed Rodrigo Quezada (226,500), whose most recent most famous exploit was finishing as the runner-up to Jose Barbero at the Enjoy Poker Series Grand Final a few months ago.

Still, with 125 big blinds coming into the start of Day 2, Koerper could be forgiven if he gave himself a pat on the back at the end of the night.

Today I spotted Koerper at Table 10, looking glum. A glance at the two players to his left told me why.

“You have the worst seat draw ever,” I told him.

“I know,” he replied. “I figured that out on the first hand when I raised and they three-bet and four-bet.”

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Koerper (left) and his seat draw

“They” are Day 1a chip leader Quezada, seated to Koerper’s left, and Day 1b chip leader Norson Saho, seated to Quezada’s left. Somehow through that random process we described yesterday, the table draw, three of the top four stacks in the tournament wound up on the same table to start Day 2. Even more surprisingly, they were all sitting next to each other. The average stack on Table 10 at the start of the day was 125,000, double the 62,000 average.

Now it’s not like there are still thousands of players in the field. 247 players started the day. So the statistical improbably of three of the top four stacks being seated on the same isn’t as small as it would be on Day 2 of the PCA. But Koerper, Quezada and Saho aren’t merely seated on the same table. They’re sitting next to each other.

Saho, the player in position, is getting the best of it so far, as you would expect him to do. He’s increased his count to about 250,000 by opening lots of pots and judiciously playing in position against the pre-flop raises of his big-stacked opponents. Quezada has given up a bit of ground to 205,000. Koerper’s taken the worst of it and has dropped to about 150,000.

Koerper isn’t even the third-biggest stack on the table anymore. That honor belongs to Felipe Echeveria, who had to be feeling pretty good with 160,000 until the saw what he was up against. Even Quezada seems bemused by it all. A friend came by to say hi, prompting Quezada to stand up, shake his hand, then say something quietly and point to Saho.

Saho’s sitting tall in his seat, opening lots of pots and raking lots of chips. He’s such an imposing figure right now that the player to his left, Ian Ander Luis, who started the day with 86,900, hasn’t even turned up yet.

These big stack clusters go one of two ways. Either the big stacks play careful poker all day and nobody really gets an edge, or they collide in spectacular fashion to produce a Franken-stack by the end of the day.

Given that Saho will enjoy position for most of the day (Table 10 is not likely to break until well after dinner), I’m taking Frankenstack – and saying a little prayer for the amiable Zackary Koerper.

Dave Behr is a freelance contributor to the PokerStars Blog.

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