The $111,111 One Drop High Roller is the second biggest event of the 2013 WSOP, and the field certainly reflects that. In addition to some of the biggest names in poker, millionaires and billionaires from all corners of the world came together to play for the second-largest prize ever awarded at the WSOP outside of the Main Event.
Phil Ivey and Daniel Negreanu are each in the mix as they try to add to their collection of WSOP bracelets, each coming off of a victory down in Melbourne at WSOP Asia-Pacific. While each player has had more than their fair share of media coverage, you don’t often get to see what the early stages of a tournament are like.
Ivey got off to a rocky start and dropped dangerously low several times. He ran his stack up from 70,000 to almost 400,000, only to lose it all with just minutes left in Day 1. Below is a full account of Ivey’s roller coaster of a day.
12:45 – Ivey plays his first significant pot, raising to 1,500 in early position. Meyers calls on the button and Matt Hyman calls in the small blind. The flop is A A 2, Ivey bets 2,000 and only Meyers calls. The J is checked by both players, but Ivey bets 7,000 on the Q river. Meyers tank-calls and Ivey shows A 4, only to be shown the A 4 for Meyers as they chop the pot.
1:07 – Ivey sends his first text of the day. He’s multi-devicing with a Blackberry in his hand and an iPhone on the rail of the table.
1:21 – Cheong is moved away from the table as a new table is opened up.
1:25 – Benny Chen, who won the Millionaire Maker earlier in the 2013 WSOP, assumes Cheong’s spot in Seat 6.
1:31 – Level 1 comes to an end with Ivey sitting on 287,000 and the blinds going up to 400/800.
1:37 – Ivey gets up to take a stretch, talks to another player one table over and says, “Here’s 50″ to Glantz, dropping two $25,000 chips in front of him.
2:15 – Glantz and Ivey continue some light chatter, but there’s something between them. Specifically $125,000 in chips sitting on top of a bundle of cash, totaling $135,000. They’re helping someone buy into the One Drop High Roller.
2:26 – Through the magic of Twitter, it’s discovered that the player in question is Matt Marafioti. Marafioti needed to exchange chips from the Commerce in order to buy-in, and Ivey, Glantz and Chen are combining their efforts to help him out.
2:31 – Level 2 comes to an end. As Ivey exits the room he stops to talk to Dan Shak and gives him a fist bump after seeing his stack. Shak had just scooped a massive pot and increased his stack to 460,000 before the break. “How do you do it?” asks Ivey. “How do you do it? Seriously.” Ivey has 275,600.
3:10 – Ivey has his first major stumble. With 30,000 in the pot on a board of 8 7 2 3, Ivey checks, Meyers bets 15,000 and Ivey calls. The T on the river makes Ivey check again, with Meyers responding with a 35,000 bet. Ivey slams down two blue 5,000 chips and a green 25,000 chip to call and Meyers tables 3 3 for a turned set. Ivey slips to 200,000.
3:20 – Two-and-a-half hours into the tournament, the field reaches 150 players.
3:28 – Marafioti finally comes to collect his money.
3:47 – Jason Mercier stops by after busting out of Event 44 in brutal fashion in 16th place. “Got two-outed for three times average, all-in on the turn,” says Mercier. “What was the buy-in?” asks Ivey. “$3K.” “It’s alright man, you’ve got this one,” jokes Ivey.
3:50 – Meyers recounts the details of Mercier’s elimination. Mercier flopped top set with 9 9 and got it in with a full house on the turn against an overpair of A A, only for the A to spike the river.
3:52 – By the end of Level 3, Ivey’s slipped further down to 179,000. Blinds are up to 600/1,200 and there are now 154 players in the field.
3:58 – No one is immune to being moved in a tournament, not even Phil Ivey. A 20th table is being opened and by being the next big blind, it’s Ivey’s turn to move. Ivey gives the floor man an incredulous look as he racks his chips, leaving his buy-in receipt behind. “Want me to give it to my kid?” asks Glantz, jokingly. “I’ll give it to my son, he’ll love it.”
4:01 – Ivey’s new table is no picnic to say the least. Freddy Deeb occupies Seat 1, Justin Bonomo’s in Seat 2, Ivey takes the 3 Seat, Bill Chen is in Seat 6, 2012 BLUFF Player of the Year Marvin Rettenmaier has Seat 7 and Shaun Deeb completes the Deeb bookends in Seat 8.
4:06 – Ivey wastes little time getting involved, mixing it up in a three-way pot with Rettenmaier and Freddy Deeb. With 33,000 already in the pot preflop, Ivey checks, Rettenmaier bets 21,200, Deeb folds and Ivey stares Rettenmaier down. He eventually check-raises to 60,000 and puts Rettenmaier to a decision. He eventually drops a stack of eight 25,000 chips next to his initial bet, putting Ivey all in. Ivey quickly folds, and is left with just 110,000 of his original 300,000.
4:12 – Another pot starts innocently enough with Shaun Deeb opening to 3,500 under the gun, with Ivey three-betting to 11,000 in the cutoff. It folds back to Deeb who four-bets to 23,000, but Ivey punches right back with a five-bet to 50,000. Deeb shakes his head and puts Ivey all in, and he’s snap-called. Ivey’s way ahead with K K against Deeb’s J J and stays that way as it runs out 7 7 4 Q 4 to give Ivey a much-needed to double-up to 235,000.
4:50 – Ivey’s mostly quiet for the rest of the level, taking 242,500 into the second break of the day. Just before everyone gets up John Juanda takes the empty Seat 5 to make the table even stronger.
5:41 – Ivey plays one pot in the first 30 minutes of Level 5, losing minimal chips.
5:48 – The field is locked with a total of 166 players registered for this $111,111 tournament, building the prizepool to a staggering $17,891,000. The top 24 players will get paid, with a min-cash worth $173,723. The top five players receive over $1 million, with $4.8 million and a WSOP bracelet awaiting the champion.
5:55 – Ivey’s chances of getting a piece of the $17.9 million prizepool take a significant hit against Masa Kagawa. Ivey raises to 4,000 in the cutoff and Kagawa calls on the button. The flop is J T 2, Ivey bets 7,000 and Kagawa calls. The 3 turn brings another bet from Ivey, this time for 19,000, and Kagawa comes back with a raise to 49,000.
Ivey thinks it over, eventually calling to bring the Q on the river. Ivey checks, Kagawa bets 92,000, and again Ivey goes into the tank. He eventually calls and Kagawa shows 3 3 for a turned set. Ivey mucks, but one of his cards, the T, catches the edge of a chip and is flipped over. Ivey’s down to 75,000.
6:10 – Ivey chats up Shaun Deeb about Open Face Chinese Poker, which Deeb plays frequently. “I’ve gotta start playing that after the WSOP,” says Ivey.
6:12 – The blinds are up to 1,000/2,000, putting Ivey’s 72,000 stack below 40 big blinds.
6:48 – Freddy Deeb gets a full double-up through Masa Kagawa, getting all in on a J 7 5 with K 8 against Kagawa’s 9 6. “I need the 8,” says Kagawa, thinking his straight flush draw was still live. “I’ve got your eight right here,” replies Deeb, who has Kagawa drawing dead.
7:07 – Ivey opens to 5,000 on the button and Juanda calls on the button. The flop is 7 4 2, Ivey bets 7,500 and Juanda calls. Juanda shuts down on the A turn, folding to a 16,000 bet from Ivey, who wins his first pot in over a level.
7:13 – On the last hand before the dinner break, Ivey raises to 5,000 in early position and Freddy Deeb calls in the big blind. Deeb leads out for 8,000 on the K 6 6 flop and Ivey calls. The Q turn causes Deeb to check, Ivey bets 15,000 and Deeb quickly calls. The river is the K and it goes check, check.
“Six?” asks Deeb. Ivey shakes his head and turns over Q Q for a turned full house, which he checked after the board double-paired. With two pots late in the level, Ivey builds his stack back to 107,200 going into the dinner break.
8:46 – As the players come back from the 90-minute dinner break, they’re asked to rack up as they’re moving to the live-streaming featured table.
9:11 – Ivey’s first stab at a pot in nearly 30 minutes, a raise to 16,000, is met by a call from Kagawa and a raise to 18,000 from John Juanda. Ivey and Kagawa both get out of the way.
9:31 – Shaun Deeb opens to 5,500 from the hijack, Ivey three-bets to 17,200 and Deeb lets it go. It’s only the second pot Ivey’s won during Level 7, both of which he took down preflop.
9:48 – On the last hand of Level 7, Ivey opens to 8,000 and Juanda clicks it back to 16,000. Ivey folds, leaving himself 78,700 with three levels to go in Day 1.
9:54 – Freddy Deeb opens to 8,000 and Ivey three-bets all in for 68,000. Deeb flashes the T. “How much is it?” asks Deeb as he smiles. He soon mucks, but the discussion continues. “Is my hand dead?” asks Deeb. “Is it dead because I showed the card?” Shaun Deeb quickly replies, “It’s definitely not dead, but you should probably get a penalty,” he continues with a laugh.
10:13 – Shaun Deeb raises to 7,500 in the cutoff and Ivey calls in the big blind. The flop is T 7 2, Ivey checks, Deeb bets 13,000 and Ivey check-raises to 27,000. After thinking it over for a moment, Deeb puts a stack of greens in the middle to put Ivey all in and Ivey calls for a total of 75,800. Deeb has the nuts on the flop with T T, but he’ll need to dodge Ivey’s flush draw with Q 5 to eliminate him. The A on the turn keeps Deeb ahead, but the 8 spikes the river to give Ivey the flush and a double-up to 171,300.
10:28 – Freddy Deeb raises to 7,500 on the button and gets called by Bonomo in the small blind and Ivey in the big blind. The flop is A J 8 and all three players check. Bonomo bets 20,000 on the 7 turn and gets called by both players. The river is the 2, Bonomo checks, Ivey bets 50,000 and both of his opponents fold. Ivey continues to build his stack back up, reaching 231,000 after scooping this pot.
10:42 – Ivey continues his domination of the Deebs at this table. After doubling through Shaun twice, Ivey responds to a button raise to 8,000 by Freddy by raising all in from the big blind. After Freddy thinks it over for two minutes, he calls for 93,600 total and puts his tournament at risk with A Q. Ivey has 4 4 and it’s a race, until the flop comes out T 8 2 to give Ivey a strong hold on the hand. Deeb has four outs, but the 6 turn and 9 river are blanks, sending Deeb out late on Day 1.
For the first time all day Ivey is over the starting stack, taking 348,000 into the final break of the day.
11:07 – Cards are back in the air. It’s Level 9, with 2,000/4,000 blinds and a 500 ante.
11:31 – Ivey plays a series of small pots against Bonomo, Juanda and Kagawa, essentially breaking even. He calls an early position raise from Juanda in the big blind and the hand is quickly checked down all the way to the river. The board reads K 7 6 K 7 and Ivey shows the Q, only for Juanda to table A T for an ace kicker to win the pot.
11:35 – Bill Chen runs Q Q into Juanda’s K K on a 3 2 2 flop and doesn’t catch up. After the stacks are counted down Juanda has more, sending Chen to the rail. The table is briefly six-handed while a player is moved over.
11:37 – Martin Finger, fresh off of a WSOP bracelet win, assumes Chen’s spot in Seat 6.
11:42 – Bonomo opens to 11,000 in early position, Ivey three-bets to 35,000 from the hijack and Rettenmaier four-bets all in for 145,000 total in the big blind. Ivey tanks for several minutes and eventually folds.
11:46 – Andrew Robl sits down in the long-unoccupied Seat 1.
12:07 – Ivey finishes Level 9 with 311,000. One level left before the bags come out, with the blinds going to 2,500/5,000 with a 500 ante.
12:12 – Ivey gets involved in a three-way pot. Juanda opens to 13,500 in early position and Bonomo and Ivey call in the blinds. The flop is T 8 6, Bonomo checks, Ivey bets 20,000, Juanda calls and Bonomo folds. Ivey checks the 5 on the turn, Juanda bets 40,000 and Ivey lets it go. He has 277,000 after the hand.
12:35 – Ivey gets moved again with 32 minutes left in the day.
12:40 – Ivey takes Seat 1 at Table 425, another stacked group to say the least. Tony Gregg is in Seat 2, Bertrand Grospellier in Seat 4, Salman Behbahani is in the 6 Seat, Jake Cody in Seat 7 and Ben Lamb rounds it out in Seat 8.
12:46 – Ivey folds his first few hands, but then disaster strikes. It folds around to Lamb in the small blind and he raises to 12,500. Ivey three-bets to 40,000 and Lamb ponders his next decision. He cuts out a stack of 10 green 25,000 chips and slides it in the middle. Ivey has a pained look on his face as he counts down his remaining stack, and he eventually calls.
“Good call,” says Lamb, tabling K Q to Ivey’s A T. The 8 4 2 flop is a clean one for Ivey, but the K strikes a crushing blow, leaving him with three outs to survive. The river is the 2 and Ivey quickly makes his way to the door, going out with just 20 minutes left in Day 1.
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