For those of you wondering why the rest of the reports have been delayed:
There has been a communications breakdown between ConJelCo and Binion's. At the start of the World Series, everything was running smoothly. Lynne Loomis would write the story, and e-mail it to ConJelCo as soon as she got home, and we'd get it up as early as possible (often before 10am ET the morning after the event ended.)
About half way through the World Series, Lynne had to turn over her duties to Max Shapiro. Neither Binion's nor Max were equipped to e-mail the writeups to me. For most of this time I was in Las Vegas and could pick them up myself. However, now that I am back in Pittsburgh I have to wait until Lynne is able to e-mail the rest of the stories to me. She promises this will happen soon.
I know it is frustrating for those of you who are actively or passively involved with this year's WSOP, however it could not be helped. In the meantime, please enjoy Andy Glazer's column below, and visit pokersearch.com for Mike Paulle's writeups.
"There Can Be Only One"
by Andy Glazer©1999 Andrew N. S. Glazer, all rights reserved. Used with permission. Andrew N. S. Glazer is the author of Casino Gambling the Smart Way available at most bookstores.
Although we had a few glitches, it appears that the live audio broadcast of the World Series Championship No-Limit Hold 'em event went fairly well. Allegedly it can be found at www.philhellmuth.com and possibly on broadcast.com, although I'm in the wrong place at the wrong time to confirm this. You'll also be able to go to www.casinoconquests.com over the next few weeks to find out other interesting World Series tidbits.
Today, the broadcast was handled mostly by Phil Hellmuth, although T.J. Cloutier, Johnny Chan, and yours truly also handled broadcast duties. If any of you were listening I'd be very interested to hear feedback; we'll be doing this again next year, hopefully with fewer glitches.
At one point during the broadcast, Phil took a page out of my book by using a movie reference (I think I use about 20 movie references in Casino Gambling the Smart Way); he said, "If any of you have ever seen the movie Highlander, you might recall the saying "there can be only one." In Highlander, it refers to all the immortals chopping each other's heads off with swords until only one is left. At the World Series, there can be only one Champion, Phil was saying. But certainly there are some great champions still playing.
We played down from 36 to the final 6 today, but the fun really started when we had two tables left.
With 15 players left, Eric Holum was low on chips and bet his last $60,000 before the flop. Eric Seidel, who displayed an uncanny knack for knowing when to call such all-in bets today, called instantly with pocket 9s. Holum turned over A-8, and while an eight flopped, he got no more help, and was gone. Eric immediately became the least popular player at his table, as Holum's departure meant a player had to come over from the other table, and it proved to be Ireland's Padraig Parkinson, who brought about $800,000 with him. Table 2 had traded a short stacker for the chip leader and no one was happy about it, although the Table 1 players seemed happy enough.
The tournament's most dramatic hand to date took place a few moments later. Noel Furlong, the chip leader when the day started and still close to the lead now, sat in the small blind; Alan Goehring, the mystery man behind the big wraparound sunglasses, sat in the big blind, and Huck Seed flat called the $6,000 from the button. Furlong made it $25,000 to go, and both Goehring and Seed called. The flop came 9s-5h-2h. Furlong popped it immediately for $100,000, and Goehring came right over the top for another $100,000. As Tournament Coordinator Bob Thompson was announcing the bet to the crowd, and saying that Furlong was going to be facing a tough call, Huck Seed said rather quietly, "what about me?"
Thompson said "oh yes Huck Seed is still in the hand," and Huck proved by immediately going all-in for his $217,000. Furlong mucked his hand instantly. Goehring didn't look thrilled but it only cost him $17,000 to make the call and with so much in the pot he would have done so with any two cards. With Huck all-in, the cards were turned over. Goehring had pushed in $200,000 with 3-4 offsuit, an open-end straight draw; Huck had a set of 2s.
When a nine came on the turn, Huck had a full house and Goehring had no outs, a good thing since an Ace came on the river, giving Goehring a now-useless straight. In one hand, Huck had come close to tripling up, and there is nothing quite like an aggressive superstar having chips to depress competitors. Several visitors from the other table returned shaking their heads at the prospect of Seed now holding so much ammunition.
Huck's next exciting encounter came with Randy Holland, who had been battling with his relatively short stack by stealing, or at least taking, a lot of pots with all-in overbets for about 90 minutes. Huck raised it to $30,000 from the button, and Randy went all-in from the small blind; given the number of all-in bets Randy had been making, Huck didn't hesitate very long in calling. They turned them over and Huck showed pocket tens, with A-Q for Randy. The flop came J-9-6, and I promise, as soon as I saw that Jack and Nine, I had a funny feeling about them fitting in well with Huck's tens. A Queen hit on the turn, giving Randy the lead, but giving Huck an open-ended straight draw, and when a King hit on the river, Huck had Randy's chips and crowd favorite Holland departed.
Huck continued his flair for the dramatic with a confrontation with Chris Bigler. Chris bet $24,000 before the flop and Huck called from the button (Huck seems to have this preference for getting his money in when he has the button, I wonder if there is any correlation between this and his world-class reputation). The flop came Jh-4s-3c, Chris checked, Huck bet $40,000, and Chris came over the top all-in. Huck called, turn 'em up guys, A-K for Chris, A-5 for Huck, Chris a big favorite except for those extra four outs Huck had if a deuce appeared... and BOOM a deuce on the turn! Only a five can save the now rising Bigler, and BOOM, a five on the river gives them both the same straight. Hack, hack, gasp, gasp, pant, pant. I need a more relaxing hobby like skydiving.
Meanwhile, over at the boring table, Eric Seidel continued to pick the right spots to call all-in bets. Gary Lent bets his last $91,000 and Eric called quickly. Ad-5d for Gary, pocket 8s for Eric, and while Lent improved his chances flopping a five, no more help arrived and Eric's chips continued to swell as we consolidate to one table. At this point, the chips and seats are:
1) Seidel, $826,000, 2) Parkinson, $780,000, 3) Seed, $768,000, 4) Furlong, $520,000, 5) Paul Rowe, $153,000, 6) Bigler, $138,000, 7) Goehring, $308,000, 8) George McKeever, $200,000, 9) Ty Bayne, $179,000.
It took about an hour and a half to eliminate anyone from here, with the final table and all its money and glory so close at hand.
Ty Bayne was the first two go. He'd held pocket aces "15 or 16 times" the day before, he'd confided, and he could have used them once more. He moved all-in with Q-Q, and Furlong called with As-Kc. The flop was raggedy but contained two clubs, and when the 5c hit on the turn, Furlong could win with an Ace, King or a club, and the Ace proved as poisonous as mace; Bayne out, more chips to Furlong.
Paul Rowe next moved in with two black queens, and was called by Seidel, who held two red queens. When the flop came 10c-2d-3d, Paul shifted uneasily in his seat, as Phil Hellmuth, doing internet play-by-play, started describing what a "freeroll" was to his audience. When the 4d hit on the turn, Paul leapt about four feet in the air and turned away from the table, afraid to look at the river. But a black nine split the pot and Paul, who appeared to have swallowed his tongue on the turn, unswallowed it and sat back down.
Apparently now convinced of his immortality (remember, "there can be only one"), Paul moved all-in again on the very next hand, and Bigler called fairly quickly with pocket eights. Paul showed Ah-3h. A flop of 8-4-2 gave Paul the four fives as possible outs, but the finishing King and Jack left the gentleman in the Esalen hat very short stacked, and he exited shortly thereafter.
Meanwhile, Eric Seidel, whose timing had been superb throughout the day, calling the right all-in bets, and stealing the blinds at the right time, has suffered in three disastrous confrontations with Goehring. Three times Eric has made large raises, only to be called or re-raised by Goehring, and each time Eric has had to release his hand or lose in a showdown. Each of these hands moved more than $100,000 from Seidel's stack to Goehring's. In perhaps the ugliest of the three, Seidel raised $45,000 pre-flop, only to be called by Goehring on the button. The flop came 10-7-4. Eric announced "$90,000" but mistaking the red $10,000 chips for the gray $5,000 chips, put $180,000 into the pot.
The other players quickly correct the error and no ruling was necessary; it was let stand as a $90,000 bet. Goehring called fairly quickly. No more betting went down on the turn or river, and in the showdown, Goehring produced 7h-6h, a pair of sevens. Seidel started to muck his hand but another player asked to see it, and Seidel showed A-2 offsuit; he'd been making a move at the pot against the wrong guy at the wrong time. A courageous pre-flop call for Goehring, even on the button, but somewhat more understandable on the flop.
Noel Furlong ended the day the way he'd spent most of it, collecting lots of chips. With the blinds at $10,000 and $20,000, George McKeever made it $70,000 to go. Huck Seed called the bet from (where else?) the button, but Furlong went all-in from the big blind. McKeever called reasonably quickly, and Huck tossed his hand into the muck, eliminating the possibility of a repeat of last year's quirky ending, when Scotty Nguyen eliminated two players on one hand and the final table thus starting with only five players. Pocket kings for Furlong, A-Q for McKeever, and nothing resembling a high card ever hit the board. The final table was set, with Furlong adding to his chip lead in the process.
So when they start up tomorrow, the final table will look like this:
Seat 1: Seidel, $167,000 Seat 2: Seed, $402,000 Seat 3: Furlong, $1,544,000 Seat 4: Goehring, $828,000 Seat 5: Bigler, $319,000 Seat 6: Parkinson, $674,000
It's hard to pick against Furlong and all those chips, and he has played superbly. But I've seen Huck Seed make some absolutely amazing laydowns over the last couple of days, and even though Furlong has final table experience (he got there in 1989), I'm picking the 1996 Champion and that sixth sense of his to join the very short list of players with two titles.
Seidel, even though crippled by all the chips he lost to Goehring in the last two hours, is such a brilliant tournament player he can't be counted out, although he will have to make a relatively quick move with the blinds at $10,000 and $20,000. Bigler is a relatively new player who won a tournament at the Rio and from the natural flair and feel he's been displaying I expect to see him win a lot more tournaments, although I suspect not tomorrow. Parkinson played his big stack intelligently (conservatively), so I have less information about him than I have about the others. He's certainly capable.
Goehring is the wild card, this year's version of Kevin McBride, turning up with some unexpected hands at unexpected times, but while Kevin's unorthodoxy consisted of calling with an unusual number of hands, Goehring has been raising with some beauties (I'm still dazzled by the $100,000 raise with 3-4 offsuit and the straight draw). This will, as Seidel found out the hard way, make him hard to read, but if there's "only one" guy left who can really read, his name is Seed.
Just don't give the guy a sword. He's dangerous enough with chips.
|Internet coverage of the 1999 World Series of Poker is brought to you as a service of ConJelCo with the full and active cooperation of Binion's Horseshoe. ©1999 Binion's Horseshoe some portions © 1999 ConJelCo|