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WSOP Day 19 - Chip Reese is HORSE Champion

Posted at 07:00 2006-07-15 There’s an old saying that when you fall you gotta get straight back up on your horse, and that was literally true on Day 19 for nine of the world’s best poker players. After an amazing nineteen-hour day, these players had to mentally and physically pick themselves up and head back down to the poker room for one more day of intense poker to crown the inaugural $50,000 H.O.R.S.E. Champion. Many players were reportedly feeling lethargic and drained, which is not a surprise, so it would a true test of character to see who could hold strong to come through the day victorious. The format for the entire final table was No Limit Hold’Em which stirred up some mixed reactions. Some felt that poker was saturated by No Limit Hold’Em, and that it didn’t make sense for a mixed game to end with a format that has not even been played in this event. Others felt that No Limit Hold’Em was the only worthy format to truly crown the ultimate all-around poker champion. Of course, there was also the TV networks who preferred the No Limit format because of the viewing audience. It added another interesting element to this already intriguing event. Chip Reese started out the day with a big chip lead, while Patrik Antonius was terribly short stacked. Antonius didn’t even have enough to cover the blinds, and despite more than doubling up on the first hand of the day, he was out two hands later in 9th position with $205,920 for his efforts. Fan favourite Doyle Brunson started the day well-placed in second position but lost a few key pots, including doubling up TJ Cloutier when Brunson’s KJ failed to improve against Cloutier’s pocket nines. Brunson busted out shortly after in 8th place with a mistimed bluff of J6 falling to Jim Bechtel’s AQ. Doyle collected $274,560 and proved that despite his age, he is still one of the best poker players in the world today. Dewey Tomko was next to go when his pocket eights were not good enough against Andy Bloch’s pocket queens. Tomko added to his already impressive WSOP record by taking home $343,200. Soon afterwards David Singer pushed his short stack all-in holding AT but Chip Reese made the call with pocket jacks and knocked Singer out in 6th place for $411,840 in prizemoney. Chip Reese had a healthy lead at this point and was patiently waiting for a good spots to make a move, while Phil Ivey and TJ Cloutier were aggressively moving chips around. Unfortunately Cloutier picked the wrong spot to move all-in when he held pocket sevens against Andy Bloch’s pocket tens. A third ten on the river and TJ Cloutier was eliminated in 5th place winning $480,480 and confirming his status as one of the greatest tournament players of all time. The same scenario reappeared when 1993 WSOP Champion Jim Bechtel pushed with pocket sevens but again Andy Bloch’s pocket tens were good. Bechtel was out in 4th collecting $549,120. Phil Ivey was now the short stack, and despite being one of the most skilled poker players in the world, he struggled to find the cards when it counted to pull down the big pots. When he pushed on a board of Qh7d3d holding Ac7h he was in front of Andy Bloch’s 4d5d but he had to avoid a lot of outs. Unfortunately the Ad on the turn completed Bloch’s flush and Ivey was out in 3rd with $617,760. This left Chip Reese and Andy Bloch to battle it out heads up for the title...and what a battle it was! Both had similar starting stacks, but Bloch took the early ascendancy. However Reese fought back and doubled up on a couple of occasions, once holding pocket kings and the other with a straight. The intense duel continued all through the night and at 9:12am they broke the WSOP heads up record of seven hours set during the 1983 WSOP. This was an incredible achievement following the previous day’s nineteen-hour marathon. Chip Reese slowly gained the chip lead and kept the pressure on Bloch. At 9:21am it was over when Bloch pushed with 98 and was called pre-flop by Reese’s AQ. The board came J7744 and Andy Bloch was eliminated earning $1,029,600 for his runner-up finish. Chip Reese collected a massive $1,716,000 and the coveted WSOP bracelet. Chip acknowledged the prestige of this event and its importance, showed by his decision to play only the H.O.R.S.E. Event and the Main Event at this year’s WSOP. Chip is a superstar of the game and this will go down in history as one of the greatest poker achievements of all time. Meanwhile the $2,500 Short-Handed No Limit Hold’Em tournament entered its second day with 38 players returning to play to reach the final table. Aussie Mick Guttman was in second position and continued his good form into Day 2. Early on he eliminated Kenna James in 29th when Guttman’s KJ dominated Kenna’s K9. Phil Gordon was able to double up through Guttman, but Gordon was soon eliminated in 16th place by Harry Demetriou when he was caught making a move with T7 and ran into Demetriou’s QQ. Demetriou continued to move aggressively through the field, amassing a large stack and taking over the chip lead. Meanwhile Mick Guttman continued his good luck when he eliminated Jordan Morgan. Mick pushed all-in holding pocket sixes, and was in real trouble against Morgan’s pocket aces, until a 6 on the flop gave Guttman a set and Morgan was sent to the rail in 15th place. However not everything went Guttman’s way. He was unlucky shortly afterwards when Don Mullis was all-in spiked two pair with 64 against his pocket eights. However, in one of the key hands of the tournament, Mick Guttman and chip leader Harry Demetriou clashed with Demetriou’s pocket kings taking on Guttman’s pocket aces. The board of A8483 saw Guttman double up and take over the tournament chip lead. From there Guttman and Demetriou were able to use their chips to reduce the field until the final table of six remained. Seat 1 - William Chen - $175,000 Seat 2 - Alex Bolotin - $280,000 Seat 3 - Harry Demetirou - $378,000 Seat 4 - Mike Guttman - $587,000 Seat 5 - Nath Pizzolatto - $102,000 Seat 6 - Dan Hicks - $321,000 Day 19 also saw the commencement of the $2,000 No Limit Hold’Em Event with 1579 players competing for a first place prize of $660,948. The day didn’t start well for Mel Judah when he was eliminated holding nothing but a busted straight and flush draw. Sarah Bilney was fortunate to survive early when she rivered a Q3 flush against pocket aces, however she also was eliminated soon after. Mark Vos, Tony G and Blair Rodman were also early casualties. Many of the big name pros were also out early. Erick Lindgren commented that both he and Mike Matusow were feeling pretty average and suffering from the affects of the draining H.O.R.S.E event from the previous day. Daniel Negreanu also commented at his table that he “didn’t really want to be here”. This seemed to open up opportunities for lesser known players to shine, and the lack of big names in the remaining 101 players certainly reflects this. They will return on Day 20 to attempt to reach the final table. Day 20 will also see the start of the $3,000 Limit Event and the $3,000 Omaha Hi-Lo Event, as well as the final table of the $2,500 Short-Handed No Limit Hold’Em.

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