Jun 14
by Don

Well it’s my turn at the WSOP when Monday comes rolling around with Event 17; a NL Shootout event.  The format is simple actually with only 1000 people allowed in the event it’s a pretty tight field.  How it works is basically you have to win your table and you are in the money.  Then the 100 winners play in 10 tables and the winners of those tables are the 10 to the final table.


So the make up of players at your table is key in this tournament since there will not be any breaking down of tables and no one filling spots as people start getting busted out.  I am sitting in the 3rd seat with 1 and 2 empty to start the tournament.   No big deal as people are often late to start, but they normally show up in short order.


The 3rd hand in the game I get KK one under the gun and I have the guy in the 10 spot betting into me.  I flopped another K and now I am cooking. He bets out and I go back over the top of him and put the pressure on.  Well after some time he finally folds so that’s good.  I probably should have just let him hang himself, but it was so early I doubt he would have. 


Well I am raking in my chips and the guy in the 2nd seat shows up, it’s Umberto Brenes.  Oh great, the Shark is at my table and now it’s going to be that much more difficult.  Umberto is actually a great guy who is pretty genuine.  He played very solidly and didn’t really try anything on anyone, but you know he probably could have if he wanted to. 


Now we are two hours in and the 1st seat is still empty.  We have just been blinding it down when guess who finally arrives; Phil Hellmuth.  So now there are two world champions at our table and you have to beat both of them to advance.  Nice.


Phil is just as advertised.  Boisterous and loud, he is immediately mixing it up.  He notes to everyone that both he and Umberto are wearing the “old school” bracelets from their previous championships.  This is not news to anyone, but thanks Phil for pointing that out.


Well I am the big blind and I wake up with AA.  This is a dream as Phil is the button and I assume that he will try something.  Everyone folds to Phil and he just calls.  He is actually saying that he is trying to trap Umberto and gets him to call.  I of course raise, and Phil then says that he is raising it up by going all-in.  Umberto shows his cards to the other end of the table (which is something that anyone else would have incurred a penalty for, but it’s Umberto and everyone loves him) and folds, which leaves me to call Phil’s all-in.  I do it and flip over my Rockets.


Phil’s face was ghost white as he turns over JJ and when the turn brought the 3rd Ace he gets up and starts to shake everyone’s hand.  I thank him and told him I appreciated him showing up late.  He smiled and walk out after playing for about 20 mins.  Mint.


So now we are down to one World Champion left and it’s the last hand before the break.  I am the small blind and l look down and see KK.  Freaking Sweet.  Umberto raises on the button with the table behind him already folded and mostly gone for break.  Well I just call and the flop brings A-5-J and I feel good about it.  I don’t think that Umberto has an A and surely he is just making a move on me.  So I check and he bets.  I call and the turn is another 5.  I think blank, but I check just to see if he will fire another one.  He does and I call because I am not feeling great about my initial read, but I don’t want to release my hand.  The river comes a blank and I check again.  Umberto fires a 3rd shot that almost puts me all in.  I now am screwed.  Either my read was right at the start and I have the pot, or Umberto actually has an A and I am basically done.  I call and watch Umberto flip over A5 for a BOAT!  Haha.  Umberto milked me like a cow all the way down and I donked off basically all of my chips.  I come back from break and go all-in with a J10 and get bounced by Q9.  Anti-climatic for sure.