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Poker Blog established in 2003 as the first stop for poker news, poker stories, and bad poker advice.

July 20, 2004

2004 WSOP Episodes #5 & #6

by Luckbox

Here we go again...

After dabbling in 7 Card Stud and Omaha Hold 'Em the past two weeks, ESPN will stick to just the classic card game tonight. We've got the $1500 NLHE final table followed by the $5000 NLHE final table.

While last week's events featured familiar faces like Paul Phillips, Mike Matusow and John Juanda, this week's events don't seem to have any top pros. Some have made it to some big final tables, but there's no Phil Iveys in this bunch.

That doesn't matter much, though, because poker is poker, and I love watching. As usual, go here and listen to "Save a Horse, Ride a Cowboy.", and then head back here.

8:00 pm CT
First up, it's the $1500 NLHE featuring Tonio Scali, Scott Fischman, Scott Epstein, Rollo Johnson, Mike Magazu, Kent Washington, Jason Vriyayuthakorn, Gaya Awada, and Blair Rodman.

8:01 pm CT
813 entrants in this one. We learn three dealers are among those playing for this title. Jason V. is first all in with pocket 8's. Fischman comes all-in next with rockets. Reminds me of Moneymaker's 8's last year, when an 8 on the turn knocked out Aces. The flop is K-K-3. The turn is an Ace, and that's it. Jason V. is out in 9th. Good... that's one long last name.

8:04 pm CT
Washington bets with his pocket 8's. Scali, with his short stack and Yankees hat, moves all in with K-8 suited. Ouch. The flop is 6-T-5, all hearts, but Scali needed spades. The river is a 7, and Scali is out in 8th place. This one is moving fast.

8:06 pm CT
Awada bets iwth his pocket 10's (Jackpot hand!), and then Washington comes over the top all in with the Hilton Sisters. Decision time for Awada. He's gotta figure Washington for a bigger pair, and that means fold. Washington had a big enough stack that he didn't have to go all-in unless he had something big. Awada throws his hand away. Right play. Washington shows his Q's. Why'd he show?

8:09 pm CT
First commercial break. There's no All Star game to distract me, but a check on the Phils shows they're trailing Atlanta 2-1. Bah.

8:12 pm CT
Two dealers are in front right now. That includes Fischman (a former dealer) and his Hookers (J's). Washington looks at Big Slick, unsuited, and moves all in. This time, I think he'll get called. Fischman has a big stack. Of course, he might be thinking about those Q's from above. Does Fischman risk a big part of his stack pre-flop? Some consider J's a medium pair. If that's the case, maybe you fold. Fischman does... showing his J's. Washington doesn't show this time. Dutch Boyd doesn't approve of showing. Now Fischman is chatting with Boyd and friends on the rail.

8:15 pm CT
It's time to learn about "The Crew." Fischman is a member, along with Dutch and some unknowns. They say they're taking the world by storm. We even get a slow motion walk down the road. Cheesy.

8:16 pm CT
Johnson moves all-in with pocket 6's. He's an amatuer and short-stacked (I'm not saying he's short-stacked because he's an amatuer). Awada calls with A3o. Why? Guess it's because he sensed that A-K-Q on the flop. The turn is a Q. The river a 7, and Johnson goes home in 7th. Tough beat. Bad call by Awada, but sometimes you get lucky.

8:17 pm CT
Second commercial break. Denzel Washington in a remake of The Manchurian Candidate. Yeah, that's brilliant. Remake what's considered one of the greatest movies of all time. No chance of a bomb there! Or is Hollywood making another political statement? But I digress...

8:20 pm CT
It's the government mandated Chris Moneymaker interview. But we also get a taste of poker blogger Paul Phillips. Now there's a player! Daniel Negreanu has become an ESPN favorite as well. He's got a squeaky voice. But he sure knows how to play.

8:21 pm CT
We're down to 6 when Washington looks down at AJ. He raises. Rodman looks down at Get Smart and moves all in. He's a bit short stacked, so it's a good move, although he must have hated to see the raise in front of him. With 9's, he's probably hoping for a bunch of folds. Washington has a decision to make, and he calls. It's a coin toss. J-2-K on the flop, and Washington is way ahead. The turn is an 8. The river is a 7. Rodman is out in 6th. So far, pocket pairs have had trouble against over cards.

8:23 pm CT
It's time to learn about Kent Washington. He's known as "Raiseitis." Apparently he moves all-in a lot. What a terrible nickname.

8:24 pm CT
Magazu moves all in with K-?. The pocket cam didn't pick up the other card. Washington has A8. It's only a few chips to call, so he does. Magazu hadn't looked at his other card, either. It's just a 5, and he's in big trouble. The flop is T-9-4. The turn is a 3. The river brings a Q, and Magazu is out in 5th. Perhaps it pays to look at both cards before moving all in. Washington has a huge chip lead now.

8:26 pm CT
Third commercial break. My Phils now trail 3-1. They suck. I don't know why I care so much. Wait... they've got two men on and no one out in the 8th. Why do they tease me so?

8:28 pm CT
It's another glance at the outer tables. We see Men the Master and Jesus. It's time for the "Nuts." Week 1, Ferguson cut a pickle with a card. This tim it's a carrot. Boring. I want more chip tricks.

8:29 pm CT
Epstein (WSOP rookie) moves all in with K5. Didn't he remember what happened last time with this hand? He's in the small blind at least. Fischman has K7s. He's got a HUGE advantage in this hand. That's what they call dominance. Fischman calls. It didn't cost him much. The flop is 5-2-9. It's a miracle! The turn is a 7. It's another miracle! The river is a Q, and Epstein is out in 4th. Imagine going from ecstasy to agony in just two cards.

8:32 pm CT
We're down to just 3 (all dealers), and we're getting a feature on how dealers play poker. Apparently they're more aggressive than most players. I'll have to remember that. I guess they watch a lot more poker than I do! Norm Chad says dealers lose more than they win.

8:33 pm CT
Washington plays his Q9. Awada has Get Smart and moves all in. He's the short stack. Can Washington really call? No way. He calls anyway. Horrible move with that hand. The flop is J-3-J. The turn is a 2. Suddenly they're each on flush draws, but Washington's heart is bigger. The river is the A of diamonds, and Awada doubles up. What was Washington thinking?

8:34 pm CT
Fourth commercial break. Phils are within a run with a runner on and 2 outs in the 8th. They'll still lose. says the count to Burrell is 5 Balls and no Strikes. That's a little unusual.

8:37 pm CT
Washington's lead isn't so big anymore. Awada looks down at Cowboys. He simply calls the big blind. Slow player. Washington has A5s. He raises. Awada now gets to decide how to best take Washington's money. Awada moves all in. Can Washington call again? I doubt it. Fischman heads over to Dutch Boyd and says he wants to play heads up with Washington ("He's a sitting duck.") Washington actually calls. The flop is 5-J-T. The turn is a Q. Now he needs a K, a 5 or an A. The river is just a T, and Washington doubles Awada up again. I don't think Fischman will get his wish.

8:39 pm CT
We get to learn about Joe Awada now. He's an immigrant who started with the circus. He became a juggler and that brought him to Vegas. Then a car wreck ended his juggling career. Quite a story. Now he's a Casino game inventor. Is that one of the coolest jobs ever?!?!?

8:41 pm CT
Fischman looks at 87 in the SB and calls. Awada looks at K8s, and checks. The flop is 8-3-4. Fischman could be in trouble. Fischman checks. Awada bets out. Fischman immediately raises. He must have thought he had a read on Awada, but that read is wrong. Decision time for Awada, and he moves all-in. I'm sure the "Crew" member wasn't expecting that! He has to lay it down. Awada could have had anything from the BB, Fischman has to fold (how many times have I said that?). Fischman thinks Awada is on a draw. He's wrong. Fischman folds. The raise was clearly a mistake. Thanks to the rabbit cam, we learn the turn would have been a K and the river a 3. Fischman would have been killed in the hand.

8:44 pm CT
Fifth commercial break. Let's see if the Phils lost again. Whoa!!! It's tied in the top of the 9th. We'll see...

8:46 pm CT
Washington looks down at Crabs. Pocket 3's aren't great, but he's short stacked and it's short handed. He moves all in. Fischman calls with AQ. It's another coin flip. So far, pocket pairs have been dead. The flop is A-6-8. Washington is dead like the rest. The turn is a 4. The river is a K, and Washington is out in 3rd.

8:48 pm CT
Well, I think like many, I'm rooting for the casino game inventor over the "Crew" member. Fischman seems like too much of a punk for his own good. It's the upstart vs. the veteran. Fischman says he might be the best player there is. Um... sure. Awada shows the proper respect. And you have to respect that. Go Joe!

8:49 pm CT
Awada plays his 85. Interesting. Fischman sees a flop for free with his T9. The flop is 5-9-8. Jackpot for Awada. Fischman bets. Awada raises. Does that worry Fischman? Remember how he played top pair earlier. Fischman calls. The turn is a deuce. If Fischman thought he was ahead before, he's gotta think he's ahead. Fischman goes all-in!! Decision time for Awada, the shorter stack. Awada knows the 2 didn't help him. Awada calls. Fischman is in trouble. The river is a 5, giving Awada a boat. That loose call with 8-5 became a huge hand. The "Crew" is crying.

8:52 pm CT
Sixth commercial break. Phils didn't score in the top of the 9th and Braves have a man on with two outs in the bottom of the 9th.

8:54 pm CT
Awada is the chip leader now, and he's got Presto. He raises. Fischman looks at Big Slick and he re-raises. Awada thinks about it, and looks very concerned. Is that a tell? He calls. The flop is 9-7-4. With rags on the flop, Awada has to be happy. Fischman goes all-in, apparently representing a bigger pair. If I'm Awada and my read was two big cards, I have to call. Awada does. He's been reading his opponents like a book. The turn is another 9. The river is a miracle 7. Wow. Awada was a 4-1 favorite, but the two pair on the board gives Fischman the best kicker. Sometimes the better play doesn't always win the hand.

8:57 pm CT
Fischman is the overwhelming chip leader now. The "Crew" just might get their bracelet. Fischman goes all-in with A6s and Awada calls with K7s. The flop is A-K-4. Fischman is a big favorite. The turn is an 8. The river is just a J, and Fischman is the winner. Lucky bastard. It happens.

9:00 pm CT
Next up, it's the $5000 NLHE with Young Phan, Thomas Keller, Salim Batshon, Martin De Knijff, Lee Watkinson, James Edward Sousa, Frank Sinopoli, Phillip Marmorstein, and Eskimo Clark.

9:01 pm CT
Sousa looks down at my exact Jackpot hand, TsTh. De Knijff calls with pocket 9's. Phan is short stacked with the Hilton Sisters, and he moves all in. Decision time for Sousa. He's asking for the count, and calls. Can De Knijff call? Not likely. He folds. Heads up Q's vs. T's. Phan is a big favorite. The flop is 2-J-3. The turn is an A. The river is another Q, and Phan doubles up.

9:05 pm CT
Sousa has AQs this time. Now he raises big, announcing he's on tilt. I doubt anyone believes him, it's not something you usually announce. Clark goes all in with Big Slick. Everyone else folds. Sousa is in big trouble, but calls anyway. The flop is 4-2-Q, but Clark has a flush draw. The turn is a T, now Clark has a straight draw. The river is a K, giving Clark a better pair. He had quite a few outs, but was behind going to the river. Tough beat for Sousa this time, of course he was way behind before the flop, so maybe things evened out.

9:07 pm CT
First commercial break. The Phils are in extra innings. Guaranteed disappointment.

9:10 pm CT
Clark calls with 65s. Keller (a newlywed) raises with Cowboys. Sinopoli has to make a decision with Get Smart. He calls. It's back to Clark, and he has to fold. Keller and Sinopoli see the flop of 6-2-7. Keller checks his K's and Sinopoli bets. It was a great example of slow playing by Keller, but the exaggerated sigh might have been too much. Keller raises. Sinopoli might think he's beat, but he has to go all in with his short stack. Sinopoli is way behind. The turn is a 3. The river is an A, and Sinopoli is out in 9th.

9:13 pm CT
Marmorstien goes all in with AQ. He's short stacked. De Knijff calls with pocket 8's. Heads up. Let's see if pocket pairs fare better this episode. The flop is 5-3-6. The turn is a 4. The river is a 4, and Marmorstein goes out in 8th. Good, he was wearing the dumbest hat I've ever seen.

9:15 pm CT
Time to learn about De Knijff. We learn he's one of the top players in the world. Pretend I didn't write that thing about to top pros up above. (And no, I don't know how to pronounce it).

9:16 pm CT
Batshon raises with AK. Sousa goes all in with AQ. Batshon calls immediately. It's the exact same situation Sousa lost with last time. The flop is A-9-4. Sousa is in trouble. The turn is a T. The river is a miracle Q, and Sousa doubles up.

9:18 pm CT
Second commercial break. It's an annoying Toyota commercial with Kenny Maybe yelling. Is Kenny Mayne's 15 minutes up yet? Stop the presses!!! Phils lead 4-3 in the top of the 10th. Bobby Abreau comes through again! I guess it's Billy Wagner time!

9:20 pm CT
We get an "all-in" montage of Sousa here. Apparently Sousa plays a little loose. He's now a chip leader again after that series of plays. Whatever works.

9:21 pm CT
Keller (nicknamed Thunder) raises with his pocket Q's. Sousa calls with 45. Huh? The flop is K-2-K. Sousa immediately goes all in. That has to make Keller pause, but Keller has to figure he's the leader, right? These are the two big stacks. Keller suggest Sousa might be on a draw. The problem with the call is that in 2nd place, it might be better to wait until later to get your money in the pot. It's a good bluff. Keller lays it down. Sousa shows 45 off. Keller is slightly stunned. That's okay, he's still got a big stack.

9:23 pm CT
We get a peak at the Stud Hi/Lo tables and get introduced to some ladies like Annie Duke and Cindy Violette (who won a bracelet in that Stud Hi/Lo this year, and was in Playboy years ago).

9:26 pm CT
Third commercial break. Runner on first, none out for the Braves, still 4-3 Phils. Come on, Wagner!

9:28 pm CT
Keller gets pocket J's and raises. Phan gets Big Slick. We've seen a lot of big hand showdowns at this table. Phan re-raises. Clark has a pocket pair of his own, 8's. He's gotta fold though with two raises in front of him. Keller has another decision to make. What's his read? Over cards? Bigger pocket pair? Smaller pocket pair? Whatever it is, he figures his ahead when he moves all in. Phan has to make a decision now, and calls. Someone will have a huge stack and someone will be in trouble. The flop is T-2-5. The turn is another T. And the river brings a 7. Keller doubles up and Phan is in big trouble now with just 4K.

9:31 pm CT
We learn a little more about Thunder now. We learn he's really, really smart. And he come to Vegas straight from his Honeymoon. I wonder how he got the nickname Thunder? Perhaps his size? He's a big man.

9:33 pm CT
Phan is forced all in with 62 against someone's pocket 8's, and Phan is out in 7th.

9:34 pm CT
Fourth commercial break. One out in the 9th, Andruw Jones is still on first (who spells it Andruw!?!?).

9:36 pm CT
Guess what, it's a Moneymaker-mention. Can't go a show without that!

9:37 pm CT
Sousa raises with AJs. Clark goes all-in with his very short stack on AT. Sousa rudely asks, "Do I have you covered?" Guess he thought he was being funny. The flop is Q-K-9. Both have straight draw. The turn is a 6. The river is just a 5, and Clark is out in 6th, and leaves without shaking Sousa's hand. Clark seems like a sore loser.

9:38 pm CT
It's time to learn about Mr. Sousa. He says poker legend Johnny Moss taught him to play and says Moss called him "one of the greatest poker players." Um... okay.

9:39 pm CT
Bashon gets A8, and has to go all in with his tiny stack. Sousa calls with J8s. He's got a huge stack, so why not? The flop is 9-J-3. Sousa is now way ahead. The turn is an 8, which doesn't help Bashon. The river is just a 7, and Bashon is out in 5th. He does shake everyone's hand.

9:41 pm CT
Fifth commercial break, and I learn that Billy Wagner loaded the bases with just one out. But Marcus Giles grounded to third and Jones was out at home. Then J.D. Drew (one of the most hated athletes in Philadelphia history) lined out to first. Phils win and move back into a first place tie! Go Phils! I never lost faith!

9:43 pm CT
Suddenly Keller is playing classical piano. Never woulda guessed. De Knijff best with his A9. Watkinson has Ducks. He started this table in 3rd, and now he's in last. He moves all in. Interesting call. De Knijff calls immediately. It's a coin flip. The flop is 5-8-7, giving De Kniff a straight draw. The turn is an 8 giving De Knijff even more outs. The river is a 6, filling the straight, and Watkinson is out in 4th.

9:45 pm CT
It's time for the "Nuts." It's Blind Man's Bluff. That's amusing. It's a table full of famous faces. Amir Vahidi knocks out both Phil Gordon and Mike Matusow. I'll be interesting to see how that "tournament" winds up.

9:48 pm CT
Keller calls from the SB with J6. Sousa has T5 and sees the flop for free. It comes J-T-J. De Knijff would have flopped a boat. Sousa moves all in even though he's drawing dead. Keller has to call with J6. Sousa says, "Make this real quick," and Keller does saying, "I'll call." The turn is a T, and Sousa thinks he's alive if another T comes, but De Knijff folded that other T. The river is a 6, and Keller knocks out Sousa in 3rd.

9:50 pm CT
Sixth commercial break. Dammit. It's another stupid Toyota/Kenny Maybe commercial. Where's the mute button?

9:53 pm CT
Keller vs. De Knijff (who we learn is nicknamed "The Knife"). Now I know the both have cool nicknames. De Knijff is apparently coming off a WPT title. Tall order for Thunder.

9:54 pm CT
Keller has a 3 to 1 chip lead. De Knijff best with J8s. Keller raises with AQ. De Knijff calls. The flop is 9-4-K, including two diamonds he needs. The "Knife" goes all in, and Keller has to fold. The flop didn't hit him at all.

9:55 pm CT
Keller bets with his 64s. De Knijff calls with K9s. The flop is 2-9-3. Keller bets, wrong time to bluff. De Knijff raises all in. Again, Keller must fold. It probably hurts to get pushed around. Keller is still the chip leader, though. He's been smart not to double up the "Knife".

9:56 pm CT
Keller bets out with Jackpot. De Knijff calls with K2s. The pocket 10's are way ahead. The flop is 9-4-2. De Knijff is on a flush draw and has the decues, but he checks. Keller bets out and De Knijff goes all in again, figuring he'll push "Thunder" around. But this time, Keller calls. The "Knife" needs a club, a K, or a deuce. It's a coin flip. The turn is a 9 of spades. The river is another 9, and Keller wins the bracelet with his boat. Well played. The last couple lay downs were very important. Don't underestimate the value of folding.

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