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

August 3, 2004

2004 WSOP Episodes #9 & #10

by Luckbox

Tonight on ESPN's coverage of the 2004 World Series of Poker, we get the $3000 Pot Limit Texas Hold 'Em championship and the $1500 Razz championship.

Coverage of the PLHE final table likely won't be able to convey to the viewers the slight difference this game has from NL. That's because the final table coverage often shows nothing more than a series of all-in bets. I hope we get to see more than that!

Razz, on the other hand, should be very interesting. It's a version of 7-Card Stud where the low hand wins. Anyone who's played it knows it's a fascinating game. It's also very difficult to play well, in my opinion. Unfortunately, I know too little about Razz to truly live-blog it, so you'll have to settle for just PLHE.


8:00 pm CT
The players tonight are Phil Hellmuth, Gavin Griffen, Gabriel Thaier, Phi Nguyen, Frank Sinopoli, Ram Vaswani, Tom Lee, Gary Bush and Jerry Reed.

8:02 pm CT
It's going to be Hellmuth's night on ESPN. We've already heard how great he is (final tables, bracelets, winnings, etc.).

8:03 pm CT
Sinopoli raises with his Presto. Vaswani raises with Big Slick and Sinopoli calls, and he's got the smaller stack. We're about to lose our first player, I'm guessing. The flop is 7-2-9. The turn is an 8. The river is a 3 and Sinopoli is alive and well, and telling everyone about it.

8:05 pm CT
Hellmuth is talking it up. What's new? Tom Lee raises with A4s. Hellmuth has the Hilton Sisters and he re-raises. It's back to Lee and he goes all-in. I think we're definitely losing our first player now. The flop is 8-2-J. The turn is a 9 and Lee has his club draw. The river is a club. Amazing!!! Hellmuth gets beat by runner-runner club. That doesn't bode well for the bad boy of poker.

8:07 pm CT
First commercial break. I've got nothing to watch and the Phils don't start until 9:05 CT.

8:09 pm CT
Jerry Reed out in 9th. Phi Nguyen out in 8th. I'd call that uncerimonious. We didn't get to see their hands! Thaler bets with Big Slick. Hellmuth calls with his pocket 10's and then decides to check in the dark. The flop is Q-8-K. Bad news for Hellmuth and Thaler bets. Hellmuth talks directly to the camera and throws his cards away. He had to, but he makes it sound like it's brilliant.

8:11 pm CT
More Hellmuth talking to the crowd. He does tend to whine a bit. Now it's time for a profile and we get to hear from his mom. Awwwww. We learn Phil has given away 8 of his 9 bracelets. That's nice... but it's not like he would need all 9. It's amusing to watch his family playing poker. That's like my family.

8:13 pm CT
Second commercial break. Prediction time. Hellmuth is about to bust out. We've already done the profile and heard an awful lot from him. His time is drawing to a close.

8:15 pm CT
Griffin plays his KQs. He has a chance to be the youngest bracelet winner ever. Vaswani has pocket 4's and is considering a play. He calls. The flop is 2-6-5. No help for Griffen and Vaswani has a gutshot straight draw. Check. Check. The turn is a 3 and Vaswani has his straight. Vaswani calls and Griffin should definitely fold. Why stay in the hand? He actually raised big. Uh oh. I'd call that a bad read. Vaswani goes all-in, now Griffen has to fold. Bad bluff.

8:17 pm CT
It's time for a Vaswani profile. We find out he's part of a London version of Dutch Boyd's "Crew." Maybe we'll get an old fashioned rumble some time. Features like these make me crave an Olympic version of poker. But I guess that's what the WSOP is already!

8:18 pm CT
Hellmuth looks down at 69o and calls from the small blind. Griffin checks his K5s. The flop is 5-6-J. Hellmuth is in better shape and they've both got a pair. Griffin bets enough to force Hellmuth all in and Hellmuth calls. I sense a suck out. The turn is a 9 and Griffin has a flush draw. I don't sense that two pair holding up. And the river is the 5th spade... Hellmuth goes out to another runner-runner flush. You can't exactly say he played poorly there. Hellmuth is out in 7th. And we lose the most interesting player at the table. And it's time for a little whining... maybe he's entitled. "If there weren't luck involved, I guess I'd win every one," Phil says as we go to break.

8:21 pm CT

8:24 pm CT
We're down to 6 and we get another Phil interview. We hear he played perfect again, but still lost. Phil, better than anyone should know that that's the way poker goes.

8:25 pm CT
Sinopoli looks at KJs and bets. Griffin has Snowmen and raises enough to force Sinopoli all in. That's a tough call, especially without an Ace, but Sinopoli calls. The flop is 6-J-8 and although Sinopoli gets his pair, Griffen gets his set. The turn is a 6. Only a J saves Sinopoli and only a 7 comes on the river. Sinopoli is out in 6th. Griffin is on a role since his bad bluff earlier.

8:26 pm CT
Bush bets with pocket Rockets. Vaswani is in HUGE trouble with Cowboys. He raises enough to force Bush all in and, naturally, he calls. I feel bad for Vaswani. The flop is 2-J-Q. Those face cards must have been scary. The turn is a 4 and the river is a J. Bush doubles up.

8:28 pm CT
We get a peak at the outer tables and the game of Razz. Dutch Boyd is playing there, and we get a flashback to 2003. Then we hear more about the "Crew." Zzzzzzzz.

8:29 pm CT

8:31 pm CT
Thaler gets Crabs. That sounds bad. He's got pocket 3's and bets. Lee raises with pocket Rockets. Thaler calls and he's in trouble. The flop is K-4-5, no help. The turn is a 3!!! Wow! Thaler is alive. The river doesn't help Lee. What a brutal beat!

8:34 pm CT
Griffin has AQ and bets. Vaswani is in the big blind with JTs. He says all-in, but actually can't go all-in yet. It's just Pot Limit. That's a tough call for Griffin who has Vaswani well out-chipped. Griffin bets to force Vaswani all-in. Good read. Vaswani calls and needs help. The flop is 2-7-5, no help at all for Vaswani. The turn is a 3, still no help. The river is just a 6, and Griffin knocks out Vaswani in 5th.

8:36 pm CT
It's time for the Griffin profile. We find out he's 12 years old. Okay... that's an exaggeration. He's 22 and has been playing poker online for a couple of years. He says he's been "playing good recently." Guess that means Otis has to go to the WSOP next year!

8:37 pm CT
Lee bets his pocket 8's. Griffin raises with A8s even though he's well behind in the hand (but obviously doesn't know that). Lee calls all-in, great read by him. The flop is A-7-3. Wow, another lucky draw by Griffin. Lee has just one out. The turn is a K. The river is just a 5. Griffin actually gets a flush and Lee is gone in 4th.

8:39 pm CT

8:42 pm CT
Thaler calls the BB with A6. Bush calls from the SB with 56. Griffin just checks with 75. The flop is 6-4-4. Pairs for Thaler and Bush, a straight draw for Griffin. Griffin bets and Thaler raises. Bush is worried now, thinking he had the best hand. He throws his away. Probably the right move. Griffin will probably call with his open ended draw. No reason to raise... but he does anyway, and raises big. Thaler is talking like he wasn't respected. Sounds like Thaler doesn't have a read and throws them away. Griffin wins the pot. Nice bet. I wouldn't have made the same play.

8:44 pm CT
It's time for the "Nuts" again and the next installment of "Blind Man's Bluff." We're down to just 3 players, so thankfully it's almost over. Suddenly, Moneymaker shows up and buys in. Guess this game has different rules. Looks like Vahidi is about to knock out Scotty Nguyen. I suppose we'll see more next episode.

8:46 pm CT
Some chatting gone on now. Thaler likes to talk. Makes me miss Phil a little. Griffin calls with 89 and the other players are shocked he didn't raise. Thaler calls with 76. Bush also calls with J8s. Flop comes 6-A-K. Thaler gets his pair. And everyone sticks around for the turn and it's a J. Tough to bet those 6's now. Griffin bets with absolutely nothing and Bush has his J's. Bush is torturing himself now and throws it away. Everyone thinks Griffin has a great hand, but he's got nothing. Another great play.

8:50 pm CT
Thaler suggest they all go in in the dark, but Thaler is the small stack, he might as well suggest it. Griffin looks at pocket 7's and bets. Thaler gets the Hilton Sisters and has to raise all in. Griffin will likely call, figuring it might just be overcards. He's well behind and needs a miracle. The flop is 6-8-4 and Griffin actually has an inside straight draw. The turn is a 9 and now it's double gutshot. The river is a 5 and Griffin sucks out again. Amazing!!!! Thaler is crushed in 3rd. What a tough beat!

8:52 pm CT

8:55 pm CT
It's heads up time. The internet kid vs. the veteran tournament player. Griffin raises with K5 and Bush calls with J7. The flop is 6-T-8 and it's a straight draw for Bush. Bush checks and Griffin will likely bet... nope he checks! The turn is a K and Griffin is in great shape. Bush checks and Griffin bets strong. Bush has a gutshot straight draw and nothing more. It's time to throw them away, and he does. The rabbit cam shows Bush would have made the straight. Ouch. It was still the right play.

8:57 pm CT
Bush raises with 7's. Griffin has Cowboys and he's practically got this won. He re-raises hoping Bush will call all-in. He does and finds out he's waaaay behind. The flop is T-6-J and Griffin is even farther ahead. The turn is just a 5. The river is a J and Griffin is the youngest bracelet winner in WSOP history. Congrats!

9:00 pm CT
Time for Razz. Hope you enjoy it. I know I will. And wow! What a table. We've got TJ Cloutier. John Juanda. Dutch Boyd. Howard Lederer. This is going to be fun!

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