With around 13,000 in the pot and a board reading , an unknown player had bet 8,250 into 2006 WSOP Main Event Champion Jamie Gold. "Wow," Gold exclaimed as he thought about the decision. "This is either going to be the worst call ever or the greatest call ever. I'm glad the TV cameras aren't here."
While the cameras weren't rolling, PokerNews was on hand to see Gold splash in a call. His opponent insta-mucked and Gold clapped his hands together and shouted, "Yes," much like he did on his remarkable Main Event run five years ago. Gold showed to officially claim the pot while adding, "I couldn't even beat a nine."
As the minutes tick down here in the last level of the night, it appears Gold's stack of 90,000 ought to be enough to cruise into Day 2.
As the PokerNews crew were making the rounds near table 287, we picked up a battle-of-the-blinds situation between Bastian Trachte (small blind) and Vern Pritchett (big blind) on a flop of .
Both players checked the flop, then the dealer peeled the off the deck for the turn. Again, Trachte and Pritchett checked and the other players murmured amongst each other in anticipation. Could it really happen ths one time?
It sure did - the came down on the river.
The chatter became a little louder and more excited as Trachte confidently announced a bet of 2,500. Pritchett insta-called and tabled , but when he turned up his , the atmosphere around the table suddenly went quiet again - as if they knew somehow. To quote Tommy Phuoc from The Micros: "So, this is what 2.27% feels like!"
Still, a royal flush is a royal flush! Very nice hand, sir!
Right about now, life is good for Mr. Phil Laak. He just finished 4th in Event #57: $5,000 Pot-Limit Omaha Hi-low Split-8 or Better, which was good for $133,377 and a seat in Annie Duke's Epic Poker League. Today, he's been playing on his iPad, reading Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier's Raiser's Edge, and he even grabbed the ESPN film crew to give a shout out to All American Dave; the famed chef/trainer who feeds so many grinders at the WSOP.
Oh, and he's also ran his stack up to around 80,000 chips. Pretty sick, kid. Pretty sick.
Over here in the Pavilion we're scouting for players sitting behind the biggest piles of chips. We've have spotted a couple who appear to be challenging Maynard Little for the biggest stack around.
With about 20 minutes left on the tourney clock, we see that both Ben Mintz and Anthony Miller have come close to the 170,000-chip mark. Meanwhile, Little crossed that milestone some time back and has been holding steady ever since.
Former EPT winner Julien Thew has been eliminated after he couldn't recover from around 5,500 chips having lost that earlier coinflip. The Brit was eliminated with little more than three-quarters of an hour remaining on the clock.
We've been wandering through the White Section in the Pavilion and the big stacks of Nick Olivieri and Jay Houston happened to catch our attention. To be honest, the latter player caught our eye because he is dressed in a Santa outfit, but his stack of 148,000 certainly made us do a double take.
We just ran into Will "The Thrill" Failla over in the white section who told us about a big hand where he tripled up and about his other activity that's been keeping him busy during the WSOP.
Failla pulled out his phone and showed me a video of him this morning with a full athletic suit on chugging away on an elliptical machine. He explained to us that he and Joe Hachem had a weight loss bet where Failla had to lose 40 pounds in three months. With today being the weigh in, obviously alot of his weight loss time was during the WSOP which doesn't make it easy when you're playing tournaments all day. Something else that doesn't make it easy is that right at the beginning of the series Failla had an accident while working out and tore his calf muscle. He could be seen hobbling around the Rio in athletic gear and using a scooter to get around, often with his leg propped up. He stayed strong however, swam as much as he could and won the bet by four pounds this morning. We don't know how much it was for obviously, but with playing tournaments every day (including a 7th place finish in the $2,500 No-Limit Six-handed) and a torn calf thrown in there, we're sure he's feeling pretty good about it right now.
Back to the poker, Failla said he fell to 17,000 early on and was grinding that stack all day until a recent big hand that has him up to 46,000 where he is now. He raised from middle position with and was called by a player in middle position. The flop came down and Failla led out and got a call. The turn came and again led out and got a call. The river came a and Failla said he led out for 5,000 and his opponent re-raised all in. Failla snap called him and his opponent showed for a rivered full house, but Failla's flopped eights full took down the pot and moved him up to 46,000. With only 50 minutes left in the day, unless something big happens, we'll be seeing him tomorrow and will keep our eyes on him for sure.
Mike Walsh tossed out 2,500, Matt Matros called, and an opponent moved all in for 11,075. Walsh tank-called, and Matros isolated the all-in player, re-raising to 36,000. Walsh mucked unhappily, and the hands were turned over.
The turn () and river () were both bricks for Matros, and the player at risk tripled to over 35,000 chips. Matros took a hit, slipping to 66,000.
Action folded to a player in middle position and he raised to 1,100. The cutoff seat called and then Diego Brunelli of Team PokerStars Online reraised to 3,000 from the button. The big blind tank-folded and the original raiser made the call. The cutoff seat folded.
The flop came down and both players quickly checked. The turn was the and both quickly checked again. The river completed the board with the and both checked for the third street in a row. Both players tabled a variation of and chopped up the pot.