It wouldn’t be the WSOP Main Event without a little controversy. After five days of minimal problems, the Series had its first major issue: players playing with cards missing from the deck. That controversy, plus a huge hand for Will Failla, a graceful exit from Chau Giang, and a penalty from Raymond Davis highlight the first half of Level 9 (Blinds 500/1,000 ante 100):
Missing Cards Controversy
Just over 30 minutes after players returned from dinner, there was a little bit of controversy at Table 261. Immediately following a dealer change, the new dealer noticed that the deck she was set to deal felt light. Rather than deal the hand she counted down the deck and found it only had 44 cards. Players immediately began to protest and the floor was called. Both decks from the set up were removed from play and new, 52-card decks were put in play.
The players aren’t entirely happy and are awaiting to hear from WSOP Tournament Director Jack Effel or other WSOP officials. Most are expecting some sort of compensation, with one suggesting a $2,000 rebate is in order. When asked if there were any big pots played since dinner, none of the players could remember any all-in situations, but there were plenty of flops dealt.
Once the two decks in the setup were inspected it appeared that the eight missing cards were in fact in the other deck. We’ll update this situation as it develops.
Will Gets a Thrill
Will “The Thrill” Failla opened from early position to 2,200. Jamie Gold called from middle position as did Jeff Madsen and the player in the big blind. The flop came 866. The big blind checked to Failla, who bet 3,000. Gold then raised to 8,000. Next to act was Madsen, who made it 23,000 to go. The reraises were not done, as the big blind, who originally checked, shoved all-in for around 65,000 total. Failla continued the raising by moving in himself, having the big blind covered. Gold, who stated that he had 6-7 suited and flopped trips, folded after some thought. Madsen also folded. Failla flipped over his cards to show that he flopped the nuts with 88, giving him eights full, while the big blind had trip sixes with A6. The 3 on the turn sealed the hand for Failla, sending him up to 195,000.
The table broke as soon as the hand was completed. Failla, Gold, and Madsen were all talking about the hand on the way to their new table in the Amazon room. Failla stated, “They were telling me their hands. No way I was folding there. If it had been just me and one other player I would have been sick thinking he had quads, but I don’t think I could have folded”.
Chau Giang Eliminated
Chau Giang and another player got it all-in for Giang’s last 30,000 on a flop of 873. Chau held 58 for top pair and a gutshot, but he was up against the other player’s 77 for a set. The T on the turn left Giang drawing dead and he headed out of the Amazon room.
Giang is not the only notable to hit the rail this level. Ben Fineman, Darvin Moon, Taylor Von Kriegenbergh, Phil Laak, Andy Black, Terrence Chan, and Kathy Liebert all busted as well.
Joseph Cheong Chipping Up
Action folded around to the cutoff, who raised to 3,500. Last year’s third place finisher in the Main Event, Joseph Cheong, called on the button, and everyone else folded. The flop was 763, the cutoff checked, Cheong bet 3,900, and the cutoff called. The turn was the Q, the cutoff led out for 11,000, and Cheong called. The river was the 8, the cutoff checked, Cheong bet 21,000, and the cutoff quickly called.
Cheong showed Q9 for a queen-high flush, and he scooped the 60,000 chip pot to get up to 120,000. Cheong, Matt Jarvis, and John Racener are the three November Niners from last year still alive in this year’s event.
Donny Mizrachi Crippled
Donny Mizrachi and another player got it all-in on the turn of a JJ4Q board with Mizrachi holding J8 for trip jacks. It was a good hand, but not the best, as the other player held AJ for trip jacks, better kicker. The players were relatively even-stacked, with Mizrachi covering his opponent’s 123,000-chip stack by just 11,000 or so.
The river brought the K and the other player scooped the 250,000-chip pot, leaving Mizrachi with just 11,200 chips, roughly ten big blinds.
Robert Varkonyi vs. Justin Zaki
With 50,000 already in the pot and the board reading 652 Seminole Hard Showdown final tablist Justin Zaki moved all-in from the button for 32,6000. 2002 WSOP Main Event winner Robert Varkonyi was in early position and had a tough decision on his hands.
After a couple of minutes of silent deliberation, he asked Zaki, “Do you want a call? Do you not want a call?” Zaki remained silent and Varkonyi eventually mucked, giving Zaki the pot. After the hand Zaki was up to 80,000, while Varkonyi dropped to 94,000.
Yuval Bronshtein Doubles Thru Jeff Frerichs
Yuval Bronshtein recently doubled thru one of the big stacks in the field, Jeff Frerichs when Bronshtein’s QQ held up against Frerich’s AK after an all-in preflop showdown. After the hand, Bronshtein was up to 77,000. Frerichs was still in more than good shape with 195,000.
Bellande Gets Davis a Penalty
Jean-Robert Bellande always seems to find himself in some sort of controversy. This time, it cost Raymond Davis, seated at a nearby table, a one-round penalty. Bellande busted a player to move up to 160,000 in chips when Bellande and Davis started jawing back and forth. Bellande commented, “Amazing what the rail will do to get on ESPN.” After Davis replied, Bellande shot back “You’re the only guy in the tournament still on the rail.”. A floorperson came over to tell the players to cut it out, Davis said “We’re fine, he’s just being an asshole.” The floorperson then handed Davis the penalty for directing insults at a player, while Bellande kept stacking chips.
Tweet of the Level
Joseph Cheong is most famous for his failed bluff during the November Nine in 2010, but as happy as he made Jonathan Duhamel on that hand, he’s not making any new friends at his table today. Cheong Tweeted about the aforementioned hand involving him shortly after it went down:
@subiime: “Old Asian man at my table is very angry w me for making a flush and getting value against him”
Notable Chip Counts
Nicolas Fierro – 410,000
Ben Lamb – 345,000
Kevin Saul – 290,000
Guillermo Ramirez – 290,000
Arnaud Esquiven 280,000
Joshua Weizer – 277,000
Dmitry Savelyev 270,000
Sam Simon – 265,000
Ryan D’Angelo 250,000
Sam Stein – 230,000
Latest posts by Jessica Welman (see all)
- Tournament Tracker: Weinraub, Baldwin Triumph on the West Coast - May 18, 2012
- WPT Unveils First Half of Season XI Schedule - May 16, 2012
- POY: The Calm Before the Summer Storm - May 15, 2012
- Tournament Tracker: Serock’s Aruba Win & IPT Grand Final Crowds - May 11, 2012
- WSOP: ESPN Unveils TV Schedule, WSOP Announces Improved Stream - May 10, 2012