Saturday, March 12, 2005

E-WSOP Day 2 Wrap-Up and Chip Counts

Remember this face. Because every other player who has seen it today can't seem to forget it.

Andreas Harnemo, Sweden

Now, let's take a walk in down a back alley where a modern-day Jack the Ripper is skulking in wait.

Welcome to the Vienna Morgue

Parisian Pascal Perrault calls himself the PP Bandit. Perhaps on some days it is a fitting moniker. However, to the none-too-casual observer, it would seem something doesn't fit today. See, bandits steal. Sometimes they pillage. They don't often kill.

Perrault is a murderer. Check that. He's a serial killer. I've seen the victims in the morgue as proof.

Victim: Elky

Elky held JJ. The Bandit held KT. The Bandit wins. That's where the serial killing began.

Victim: Justin Bonomo

Perrault raised pre-flop to 7000 (a little more than 3x the BB). Justin Bonomo made it 17,000 to go. Perrault pushed all-in and Bonomo called. The Bandit showed KQo offsuit. Bonomo, who had built his stack back to a respectable level was happy to show pocket kings.

Enter: carnage.

A queen on the flop and queen on the turn sent Bonomo home. I can't describe the look on his face. Later, I suggested he go get four drinks at once. His eyes, still glazed from the beat, swept the room and settled on nothing.

I decided it was an inappropriate time to break out the ever-trite, "That's poker" and let Bonomo wander on.

Victim: Noah Boeken

It seemed as if no one could stop The Bandit. Just a few hands after nearly doubling up with a set of twos, Noah Boeken raised the pot by 3x the big blind to 9000. The Bandit pushed all in and Boeken almost immeditely called. The Bandit showed a pair of nines. Boeken slammed his pair of tens on the table.

Seconds later the dealer laid out the flop. Right in the middle of it sat a nine. Boeken was out and The Bandit stole another players chips.

All the other players at the table muttered in unison, "Unbelievable. Unbelievable."

I can't count the victims. And I have a hard time counting the Bandit's chips.

I've seen so much blood. So much blood...

I need to clean my eyes. Let's talk about more pleasant things for a second. Just a second.


Let me say this about the Concord Card Casino. The service here is fantastic. Yell, "Service!" and you get service. The waitstaff is omnipresent. And get this: the cleaning crew cleans the men's room at what seems like hourly intervals.

It's the little things that please me. In the rough and tumble world of bigtime poker, you have to appreciate the amenities.

Of course, as a tournament reporter, I can focus on such things when I'm not writing or snapping pictures.

It's the poker players who have to concentrate. Day Two of the E-WSOP, after all, was enough to make a grown man cry.

That's where the nice-nice talk ends.


The glass broke and splintered all over the floor and only a waitress seemed to notice. It was the beginning of Day 2 and Jennifer Walsh (Hickory, NC) had come into the day with a large stack. In the span of just a few hands, she'd given it all away. It happened so quickly, one might not've noticed. She doubled up Tony "Tikay" Kendall and Ross Boatman, calling Tony's all-in bet with AQ against Tony's TT. Then she got all in with pocket fives against Boatman's nines. Again, she lost. And as she wallked away, she brushed a table and knocked a beer glass to the floor.

While in the long run, Walsh was a long shot, her hasty exit and shattered glass seem to be an ugly harbinger of the day to come. It was an afternoon and evening of shattered hopes, shattered glass, and shattered memories for the 83 people who began the day.

The chips would move quickly, so fast they were hard to track. Players rocketed from nothing to something then back to nothing before the ink was dry on my notepad. As the afternoon progessed, the Bandit emerged from the crowd and started his killing spree.

By the dinner break, we were down to 35 players. A king's buffet of beef, pasta, and salmon greeted players in a heated outdoor tent. Inside, the chips sat alone at the table. Three players, Pascal "PP The Bandit" Perrault, Andreas Harnemo, Mika Puro held more than 200,000 going into the 1500/3000/300 level.

Mr. Bubble Bush

As I've noted before, I love bubble-time. When the next player who leaves is the last to leave without money, the drama is intense.

In case you missed the bubble post, here's a snippet:

Getting to the money was as comedic as it was sad.

With 28 players remaining, Londoner Gary Bush was on a desperately shortstack and was holding on by the skin of any teeth he could find. Once, he doubled up with AQ against Joachim Sanejstra and it gave him new life.

In the interim, others came close to bubbling.

In one case, a player from the U.K. pushed in and a Frenchman labored and labored over whether to call. At one point, he picked up a mock phone and desperately asked "Mama? Mama?" The man needed advice. Finally he folded KT suited and saw his opponent turn over AK.

Clutching his heart like America's Fred Sanford in a heart attack fit, the man again picked up his mock phone and said, "Merci, Mama! Merci!"

Merci, Mama!

Shortly thereafter on another table, the button made an ill-advised blind steal and the big blind pushed all-in. The amount of money in the pot required the button to call. Still, the big blind begged.

With a pint of Beefeater Gin in him, the big blind stood and belted out the chorus to SuperTramp's "Give a Little Bit."

"Give a little bit!," he sang. "Give a little bit of your chips to me!"

The button called and with a smile turned over nine-three. The big blind had AT and took down the hand.

Finally, it came back to Gary Bush. Again in desperation, he pushed in with pocket fives and again Sanejstra called. This time with A7. Bush's hand didn't hold up and he left with no cash.

Bubble Bush

The Monied

Post-bubble, the all-ins became much more common. The action moved fast, with yesterday's chipleader, Denis Kharitonov giving away almost all of his chips to American Tim Ramsey in two hands.

"I've been waiting two days to do that to him," Ramsey said with a smile.

Tim Ramsey

And from there is became a show of middle stacks battling against Andreas Harnemo and Pascal Perrault. Both players had his own table to control until they condensed to the final ten. Luca Pagano and Paul Hersleth suffered a couple of fairly ugly beats to get knocked out of TV contention. Pagano's opponent made a five-outer, Hersleth had AK vs KQ and lost.

When ten players converged on one table, the players became increasingly irritable. The friendly banter that had been commonplace earlier in the day was replaced by harsh tones, angry faces, and the occasional ugly exchange between the players. Hardly a flop was seen and the ones that were were fairly uneventful. That was until Lothar Landauer and Mika Puro got all-in pre-flop. Landauer held QQ. Puro had AQ. Puro turned his ace and Landauer was gone.

Just a couple of hands later, Jeffrey Rogers raised all-in with 33. Simon Nowad called with AK and made his ace on the turn. Rogers was out on the next hand.

Finally, after more than 24 hours of play over two days, we reached the TV table. Hopefully after some rest the players won't be as snarky.

Final table

Seat 1: Joachim Sanejstra, 129,500
Seat 2: Tim Ramsey, 152,500 (USA online qualifier)
Seat 3: David Clayton, 287,000
Seat 4: Pascal Perrault, 641,500 (France)
Seat 5: Josh Schiffman, 197,000 (USA)
Seat 6: Simon Nowad, 301,000
Seat 7: Mika Puro,450,500 (Norway)
Seat 8: Andreas Harnemo, 821,000 (Sweden)

Now you know why I told you to remember this face.

Andreas Harnemo, Sweden

Here were the fortunate and skillful players who finished in the money.

9--Jeffrey Rogers (PokerStars online qualifier)


11-Paul Hersleth
12--Alan Betson (PokerStars online qualifier)


13--Milurat Peric
14--Luca Pagano, Italy
15--Sigi Stockinger, Ireland


16--Paul Testud
17--Cohen Robert
18--Mike Shalibi

19--Tibor Tolnai
20--Horst Riedlinger
21--Bernhard Reither
22--Denis Kharitonov, Russia
23--Luis Jaikel, Costa Rica
24--BadGirl Pham, Great Britain
25--Harry Casagrande
26--Falker Leview, Russia
27--Joseph Grech

The final table begins Saturday at 5pm.

We'll be here and plan to live-blog every hand of the final TV table.