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This isn't my story, its my wife's. $550 Buy-in NLH, main event in their little series. $150,000 guarantee plus seat in ME of WSOP, plus Championship ring worth $15,000 (has a certified 1.5 carat diamond in it.) 438 players show up at noon. It includes quite a few of the pros from the L.A. area - Chris (Armenian Airlines) Grigorian, Warren Karp, Toto Leonidas, Minh Nugyen, plus a lot of lesser known but tough players. Prize pool is $190,000 more or less, pays 30 places. T-5,000 chips with 40 minute levels. DW and I both buy in.

I have basically a crappy day. Half a dozen pocket pairs (small to medium) with no sets and many over card flops. Best hand was JJ which I raised and got called in two places. Flop AA5r, I check, #1 caller bets, #2 caller calls flop bet and I fold. #1 bets the turn, #2 folds and #1 flashes the A. Didn't cost me much. Had AQ once, flop is all spots; samo w/ KQs, JTs, etc. Called some pre-flop raises in the first round with suited connectors, hit nothing and fold to flop bet, etc. Quite a bit of action but I'm not getting any part of it. Work down to T-3,200 chips, double up on some hand I now forget what, dance around, steal a few blinds, levels go up, my high point is T-8,500 but blinds work me over, etc. After four hours, and we are down to 14 tables out of 43 starting tables, and for the last hour I have been basically defying gravity. I get knocked out when I have M=3, five folders to me and I push with 57o. Blinds are going up next hand which will put me at M=1.7 or so. Called in one spot, and re-raised in another, and I'm out the door just at the break time.

Wife, however, has about T-16,000 at the break. I head out to the poker room to play live action NLH while she plays the tourney. Five hours later, I check on wife and she is still playing, about five tables remain. Her chips are OK, but not great. I told her, "If you get to the final table give me a call on my cell and I'll come up and sweat you."; then I head back to the live action.

A couple more hours go by and she hasn't appeared in the poker room and I heard some guy say that he had just been knocked out close to the bubble. I head back to the Grand Ballroom, (7 minute walk to the other end of the casino/hotel.) When I get there, they had just knocked out the bubble boy and were forming the final three tables. Positions 24-30 pay out something like $1,000 so I know our buy-in costs are covered. DW only had about T-40,000, and was on the short side. Average chips were T-75,000 and there were a number of big stacks at her table. I encouraged her and told me to call if she gets to the final table, and I went back to the poker room.

Another hour goes by and I keep seeing tournament players walking into the poker room (Pechanga procedure was to give a money'ed player a voucher and they would have to take it to the poker room to cash out.) Time goes by but no Alice. Finally, I step out of my game and walk over to the Grand Ballroom. They are at the final table and there are 8 players left. DW is about 5th or 6th in chips. 8th position pays like $3,950 or so. Four stacks at the table are REALLY strong, upwards of T-400,000. DW has T-240,000 in about 5th chip position and there are three other pretty short stacks. One by one the shorties get knocked out and soon its down to 5 players. DW has about T-260,000, Shortest player has about T-140,000 and the other three stacks are strong. Chip leader, very aggressive player, has T-720,000 and is two players to DW's right. The player on her immediate right has T-600,000 and is a VERY tough player. The other big stack has about T-450,000 and is a very aggressive Vietnamese player (and "Lucky" according to DW). Every time a chip count chop is proposed, the very tough player on DW's right (Villain) objects and play continues.

Finally, #5 gets knocked out and they are down to 4 players. 4th place pays like $13,980 or so; 3rd place pays $15,950, 2nd place pays $29,850 and first place is scheduled for $63,070, plus the WSOP seat, plus the $15,000 championship ring.

Things see-saw for quite awhile. Everyone has enough chips that the tournament hasn't gotten down to a crap shoot. Blinds/Antes are T-1,000 antes, T-4,000 - 8,000 blinds and there are T-2,190,000 chips in play. Along the way, chip leader starts to lose his stack, bit by bit. Finally, [former] chip leader is down to about T-180,000 when he moves all in against DW's blind. DW tanks for a bit and then calls with A-9 suited. He turns up 2-2. 5-7-8 on the flop, 9 on the turn and they are down to three players and DW almost doubles up. Then there is more see-sawing and DW's chip stack melts down some more while the other two gain some ground. Villain still doesn't want to chop.

Finally, in a key hand, DW is in the big blind. Both Villain and the other player (Vietnamese guy) have DW covered by quite a bit. Vietnamese player calls DW's blind, and then the aggro Villain raises pretty substantial. DW tanks for a while and then moves all in, which is about 120% more than Villain's raise. The Vietnamese player and Villain, without thinking about it too much, both call DW's raise. You can just see them both thinking that with the two of them against this woman, they are sure to win. They check it down. One of them shows AJo and the other shows a medium pair. K on the river and after they open, DW opens AK and triples up.

The very next hand, Villain folds, and DW makes a standard raise from the button. Vietnamese guy thinks only a bit and calls the raise. Flop is A-5-4. Vietnamese guy checks and DW makes a pot size bet and Mr. Vietnam moves all in. DW doesn't even hesitate and calls. Mr. Vietnam turns up A9o and DW turns up A5 for two pair. It holds up and DW doubles up and now has a commanding chip lead.

More see-sawing goes on and Villain is working overtime to be aggressive. DW though, has him in her sights and whittles him down, going over the top on several occassions, to which he folds.

Villain and Mr. Vietnam are both short stacked now and later, Villain finally attacks DW's blind, all-in. DW tanks for a bit and then calls with A9o. The cards come up and Villain shows KT. A on the flop and Villain is out in third place. DW has about a 3.5X - 4X chip lead on Mr. Vietnam and a split is discussed. Mr. Vietnam wants to split the money evenly, let DW take the WSOP seat and he gets the championship ring worth $15,000. DW counters with an even money split and she gets the WSOP seat AND the ring. Mr. Vietnam won't go for it so DW posts the blind and says "Deal".

DW just absolutely controlled the heads up, taking about 75% - 80% of the pots. She had a good read on him and when he showed weakness by not raising, she either raised or bet the flop. Chips were still deep enough that they got good play for their money but DW was in control and kept whittling Mr. Vietnam's stack down.

The final hand DW made a smallish raise and Mr. Vietnam pushed all in. DW called with pocket 8's and Mr. Vietnam turned up K6o. No K and DW was the hands down, no-chop winner. $63,070 cash, WSOP seat + $5,000 cash to come later, and the championship ring.

One final item: Pechanga is going to let her assign the WSOP seat to me so ----

I'M IN THE WSOP MAIN EVENT ! ! ! ! ! ! !

A long, but very satisfying afternoon-evening-night and, of course, DW is ecstatic.


Hundriver
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