WSOP Main Event Day 1A Level 2: Williams’ Turbulent Day, Matusow Flashes Cash

Mike Matusow paid off his opponent for information, but not in the way you'd expect. (Heather Borowinski photo)

Very few players hit the rail after Level 1 of the 2012 World Series of Poker, but an extra two hours in Level 2 seemed to make quite a difference as a few big notables fell. It’s would be hard to have a more up and down experience than David Williams, but at least he hasn’t had to take extra bills out of his pocket like Mike Matusow.

David Williams’ Topsy Turvy Day Continues

Williams is seemingly playing almost every pot at his table, as his stack has fluctuated violently again in Level 2. After dropping to 23,000 and climbing to 60,000 in Level 1, he dropped to under 20,000 in the very early stages of Level 2, but he recovered some of those chips later in the level. On a flop of J T 2 Williams’ opponent checked, Williams bet 600, his opponent check-raised to 1,350, and Williams called. The turn was the T, and Williams called a bet of 2,350 to bring the 5 on the river. His opponent fired one final bullet of 5,025 and Williams called, tabling J 8. His opponent mucked K 9 as Williams scooped the pot to get back up to about 27,000.

Williams would climb back to over 40,000, but a brutal cooler had him down under 10,000. On a J T 3 9 2 board, Williams had Q 8 for the straight, but his opponent had K Q for the one hand that could beat him, and Williams paid dearly. “Down to 10k,” Tweeted Williams. “Just had Q8 on JT39dd vs preflop raisers KQ. Lost 25k. 2nd nuts to nuts twice and I’m still in. Lucky.”

Haralabob Finds an Early Double

Haralabos Voulgaris was one of 48 players to participate in the $1 million Big One for One Drop, but he walked away empty-handed after busting in 17th place. He’s in the field today, trying at another of poker’s biggest paydays, albeit one with a few more obstacles in the way. Voulgaris is off to a strong start on Day 1A, getting involved in a big pot mid-way through Level 2.

Voulgaris opened to 450 under the gun, a player in middle position three-bets to 1,100, the big blind flat called, Voulgaris four-bet it to 3,000, and both of his opponents called. The flop was 7 2 2, the big blind checked, Voulgaris bet 5,150, and the player in middle position thought his decision over for about two minutes before raising to 15,000. The big blind folded and it was back to Voulgaris.

“You have two aces buddy?” asked Voulgaris. He eventually went all-in for 2,900 more and was called, and it was a great spot for Voulgaris to double up as his K K had his opponent’s Q Q in big trouble. The 4 on the turn did nothing, and the K on the river gave Voulgaris an unnecessary full house as he chipped up to about 46,000.

No Royal Flush for Thaler

With 4,100 already in the pot and the board showing K J 8 Q, Thaler was facing a bet of 2,500 from his opponent in the small blind and fired back for 10,000. His opponent announced all-in almost instantly for an additional 10,250 and Thaler called, saying “uh oh” in the process. Thaler turned up Q T for a royal flush draw while his opponent showed K J for two pair. The T river gave Thaler an inferior two pair and left him with just 15,225.

Matusow Pays Off His Opponent… in Cash

We picked up the action on the turn of a Q 9 5 7 board. An unknown player in the small blind and Mike Matusow both checked to Steve Gross, who bets 1,000, and both players called to go three-handed to the 3 river. The small blind lead out for 5,450, Matusow muttered and folded, and Gross went into the tank but eventually folded as well.

“How much to see that hand?” asked Matusow. The small blind said, “$150.” Matusow pulled out his wallet and pulled out all the money he had in his wallet, which was about $160. “How about 60?” countered Matusow. “A hundred,” replied the small blind. “You’re going to leave me broke,” said Matusow as he tossed the $100 bill towards the pot. The small blind complied and tabled 7 8 for a flopped flush.

A Fresh Seat Working Well For Edmund Carusoe

As we told you before, Edmund Carusoe was the beneficiary of a most unusual deal from Bob Horan, who was willing to switch seats with the elderly Carusoe so he could hear the dealer. Carusoe has been taking full advantage of his brand new seat, accumulating about 43,000 chips through two levels on Day 1A.

Carusoe slipped a bit after a three-way pot that took over 15 minutes to play out. Carusoe raised to 700 on the button, and Craig Van Doorn and Bill Gazes called in the blinds.

The flop was 8 3 9, Van Doorn threw in 2,000, Gazes called, and they all looked to Carusoe who was taking his time.

“So it’s up to me now,” he said. Dealer nodded and Carusoe thought some more then threw in the 2,000. The turn card was the Q, Van Doorn checked, Gazes put in 3,700, and action turned back to Carusoe as he eyed Gazes’ stack and asked, “How much you got left?”. “About 18k,” said Gazes.

Carusoe shuffled his chips back and forth, and eventually said, simply, “Oh man.” After several minutes he put in just 3,700 to call.
“I think I got forgotten in that round,” said Van Doorn.

The river was the 4, Van Doorn bet 5,000, Gazes folded, and Carusoe thought for a bit before throwing out his 5,000 for a call. Carusoe looks at Van Doorn and asked, “You got the clubs?” “I do,” responded Van Doorn as he flipped over K T, which caused Carusoe to muck.

Not All Two-Pairs are Alike as Basebaldy Doubles

Eric Baldwin found a double up early in level 2, picking up A K against A Q on a K Q 3 A 4 board to make a superior two-pair and get back above a starting stack. Baldwin is now up to almost 48,000 early on Day 1.

The Maven Loses Ground

With 2,850 in the pot and the board showing 8 6 3 J David “the Maven” Chicotsky was facing a bet of 1,400 from his opponent. Chicotsky, the 2008 BLUFF Online Player of the Year, fired back a raise of 3,200 before his threw in a 5,300 more to raise to 6,700 total. Chicotsky tanked for 30 seconds before folding. After the hand he was left with 25,000.

Newhouse Hits the Rail

Mark Newhouse was down to his last 4,000 chips and got them in with A Q against A K. The board did nothing to help his cause and the former WPT champion was sent to the rail early on Day 1A.

Notable bustouts:
Randal Flowers
“And I’m out set over set vs same guy w 33 on 743fd.”

Matt Glantz
“Played some terrible poker in the main event today to bust in level 2. But had a great trip; love the @WSOP and ready to get home!”

Mark Newhouse

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Tim Fiorvanti

Tim Fiorvanti graduated from St. John's University with a B.S. in Journalism in 2008. After several years in the industry, he started working for BLUFF in the summer of 2010. He worked his way up at BLUFF and joined full time as a Senior Writer in April of 2012. Fiorvanti now serves as the Managing Editor of BLUFF. He's a tortured Mets and Jets fan, along with several other frustrating allegiances, but he's also a two-time defending BLUFF Fantasy Football Champion.
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