day 7, 27 down to 9
i decided not to wear my rivera jersey today, thinking that if i did make the final table, i'd wear it then, following the old torre adage of never bringing in the closer without a lead. (though i had worn it on days 5 and 6, since i figured i was going to bust each of those days)
i started with around 3.6 million in chips. they had 3 tables left, both of which were positioned pretty close to the featured table.
here was the complete seating of my first table, which began as the featured table:
seat 1: jamie gold
seat 2: me
seat 3: lee kort
seat 4: rhett butler
seat 5: prahlad friedman
seat 6: fred goldberg
seat 7: sid jain
seat 8: paul wasicka
seat 9: richard wyrick
here was the payout structure for that day:
not too shabby looking, things were looking pretty good. and as crazy as it sounds, my nit side moved aside and i was not at all concerned with this. i was getting to the final table. it was going to happen.
blinds 25k/50k 5k ante
this day starts with ppl firing out million dollar bets, to which i cannot resist but do my dr. evil impressions of "ONE MILLION DOLLARS." prob too lame to make it on espn.
around a couple minutes in, wyrick (the short stack ninja who i played with at multiple tables throughout the series) moves in in the CO for around 550k. gold calls with AKo against wyrick's A7o. KT588 and we're down to 26.
8 minutes later we get prahlad and jain AIPF, prahlad with KK and jain with 88. prahlad actually flops a set with KQx flop, to which jain says, let me get a 200-1 or 1000-1 shot here. to which i nerdly reply, "actually it's a 989-1 shot."
a player busted out at another table nearby. once there was a multiple of 3 at the table, they always reshuffled the tables so they would be even. i imagined that they would do this until it got down to 18. as a result, eric lynch came to our table. we exchanged a few words, being fellow 2p2ers, but he seemed to be all business.
soon after he sat down, wasicka doubles up with QQ vs AQ all in against prahlad. the fireworks were not stopping for the first orbit.
then lynch gets into this hand with gold at around 4:15 on this video:
lynch vs. gold
rizen pushes all in for around 1.7m against gold when gold makes a big raise pf to around 500k with A6o when gold had TT.
i'm thinking wtf...you have to know there was no FE against gold in that spot...and gold wins another big pot, obv.
again, when the fireworks fly and you're nothing but card dead, you can't really do much...i whittle down to around under 3 million and keep on struggling.
i witness a few interesting hands though. the jamie gold bluff and the top top hands speak for themselves on this clip:
my only big hand with kort was when we had gotten into a big pot on the end of one of the earlier days where he bluffed all in with trash against me where i almost called him down light. i forget the hand exactly, but he was obviously prone to tilt. the hand pissed me off because he slammed down his hand when i folded.
people ask why i didn't say anything during the top top hand. part of me didn't mind because i wanted kort finished off, but part of me didn't know what to say exactly, since it happened pretty quickly, and it didn't seem like the talk would've changed the action at all (i.e. gold probably calls anyway)
30k/60k 10k ante
i dropped to around 2m, being totally card dead. i had to make something going, so given my tight image, i tried to raise UTG K6o to just go for a blind steal. unfortunately, rhett butler and prahlad call me behind.
flop 457 two hearts. i continuation bet for 450k, prahlad calls. time to get lucky i thought...
i think for a bit, and decide that the heart draw out there is not worth getting tricky here. i push for my stack, and prahlad ends up folding. oh wellz. i'm back up to around 2.5m again.
me vs. prah
soon after, prah goes all in against gold. gold ponders for a bit and does one of his funky tv producer math and says i'm getting 2-1 i call, obv. clip here:
prah vs. gold
then comes my hand where i utterly destroy gold. the action folds to gold in the SB, who bumps it to 200k pf. i call with A8d in the BB.
flop comes AA7 two hearts. gold bets 400k, and i move in for around 2m more. he almost insta calls with 76, to which i show him he's all but dead to that very same 989-1 shot. blank on turn, and i'm up to over 5 mil. word.
after dustin holmes gets knocked out in 19th, the tables combine two make two. i get seated at the non-featured table, here's the seating:
1. Richard Lee
2. Michael Binger
3. Dan Nassif
4. John Magill
5. Doug Kim
6. Kevin Aaronson
7. Erik Friberg
8. Fred Goldburg
9. Sirous Jamshidi
not the hugest fan of mcgill, he came off as pretty much an [censored]. jamshidi did not seem to know wtf was going on, so i figured to try to play a big pot with him. alas, jamshidi, after making some donk moves, is eliminated soon in 16th place, so no dice on that.
in fact, 14 players remain at the end of the 3rd level. the day was going at blinding speed...i get moved to the final spot for the rest of the tournament at the featured table. one to the left of gold. luke chung suffers a big beat in this hand here:
chung vs. gold
i bet here because i figure i've got a tight image and can probably double barrel successfully with a decent amount of outs, however luke chung saves me from losing a lot of chips as he fires all in after gold calls. disgusting beat yet once again, and gold wins more chips. you can see me rolling my eyes as gold claims it's a good thing for me that he's getting everyone's chips.
i then witness another gold pot...thorson against gold all in JJ vs. KK...does this guy ever lose? wtf? while i'm somewhat glad that a dangerous player like thorson is out, i can't imagine surmounting gold's ridiculous lead to take the title. heh, so i'm a bit ambitious.
after thorson is eliminated, they announce that everyone's a millionaire. i'm not impressed, as i know that the tax man will make it impossible for me to be a millionaire at this point. so i remark, "time to go for 12..." did i mention i was ambitious?
they conveniently replace chung and thorson with...cunningham and friberg. my luck during the last two days were not the best.
they change the dynamic of the table almost instantly, as cunningham and friberg both take big pots of gold, slowing him down.
leif force at the table, is probably the worst player i've seen in the final 100. he was playing the worst short stack strategy, limp/folding. he gets completely owned by erik friberg in this hand:
friberg vs. force
after force is eliminated, we combine to make one table of ten. this is the first time we play ten handed since day 1, so it's a bit scrunched. the seating is as follows:
Seat 1 - Richard Lee $8,465,000
Seat 2 - Erik Friberg $5,905,000
Seat 3 - Paul Wasicka $4,750,000
Seat 4 - Dan Nassif $5,865,000
Seat 5 - Allen Cunningham $18,000,000
Seat 6 - Michael Binger $3,640,000
Seat 7 - Doug Kim $6,190,000
Seat 8 - Fred Goldberg $4,265,000
Seat 9 - Jamie Gold $27,330,000
Seat 10 - Rhett Butler $5,165,000
a bit better than before, at least i have position on cunningham. visions of the final table were going through my head. although this wasn't the official final table, it was like the most intense game of musical chairs i've ever played. nobody wanted to be the first one out, yet i knew that jamie/cunningham were going to try to use that to their advantage. i adjusted accordingly and kept on some aggression to stay alive.
level 60k/120k 20k ante
richard lee takes a big one off me early on, as i pop his 400k bet to 1.5m with air. he moves in on me, and i throw my hand in the muck. bleck.
a hand soon came up between gold and wasicka. paul makes it 400k to go pf, and gold calls.
flop KT5 two spades.
paul bets 600k, and gold calls.
turn is an offsuit Q
paul checks, gold bets 1.5m, paul moves in for 3m total. gold calls with K7 and paul shows 55 FTW. i was like man, jamie is now going to experience some HURT.
an interesting hand that wasn't shown on ESPN comes up. butler and cunningham limp, i limp with 88, gold limps, and we go fourway.
flop Q74 two clubs.
checks to cunningham, who bets 700k. i bump it to 2.1 million, cause there's a pretty good chance he's on a draw, which he would fold, and i'm pretty sure that even if cunningham had a Q, i have some FE from my nit image. folds to cunningham, who thinks for a bit and then folds. i played with the best, and i won! w00t.
goldberg made some of the most idiot plays. in a limped pot 5 handed, he moves all in on a 742 rainbow flop for probably 5x pot, which folds to gold, who shows J7. goldberg proudly tables 74, and says, "i'm not messing around fellas." good job...i guess? he then follows up by moving all in at random times in small pots...wow. i guess the donkeys still remain even after 8763 eliminations...
but goldberg goes on tilt shortly after binger doubles through him with AQ vs TT AIPF. binger turns an A after a low flop, and goldberg acts like he just got one outered, as if the hand was a lock.
a significant hand soon after happens with me and gold. gold limps in the EP, wasicka and binger limp. i check the BB with K8o.
flop KQ9 all diamonds.
i check here and gold bets 300k, and binger and wasicka fold. i call.
we both check. at this point, i put jamie on a flush draw, air, etc.
i check, jamie bets 800k, and i snap it off. i was planning to snap call any non-diamond, non-ace river. i wait till he shows his hand, to which he mucks, and show K8.
goldberg, still muttering to himself about the loss, goes all in pf for around 2.6 million. yep, 16x BB AIPF. richard lee insta calls with KK against his Q3. richard lee takes it down, and the final table is set. sweet justice...i take a swig out of my gatorade bottle and congratulate the other players. it's go time, mofoers.
i ended the day around 6.77m in chips, not too bad, for 5th in chips. ESPN handed out cards for when we would be scheduled interviews, and we did the usual procedure of writing down chip counts, bagging, etc. it was almost surreal, the thought of making the final table, actually becoming a reality. but one thought remained in my head. time to do one thing. take it down.