One of the most common questions that people new to poker, or new to the WSOP ask is: What is a shootout?
A shootout is a tournament that is structured like a series of single table tournaments. Let's say there are 100 people entered in the shootout. The 100 competitors will play ten handed at ten tables. ONE winner from each of those tables will meet at the final table to play for all the money. Generally, if you win your first table, you are in the money. Players start each round with the number of chips they have accumulated in the prior round. For example, in event # 16 each player started round one with 1,500 chips. Each player started round two with 15,000 chips (1,500 x 10 players).
So, here we are at event # 16- The $1,500 No Limit Hold Em Shootout. 780 people entered this shootout, so the first round was 78 tables of ten handed play. At the end of the first round, 78 people had made the money, and the decision (for the sake of time) was to play 13 tables of six handed poker. This would speed things up, as the blinds would come around that much quicker. So, at the beginning of play today, each player started with 90,000 chips (15,000 x 6 players at each round two table). We started at 13, and the plan was to play down to 10, and then go to the ESPN stage (this tournament will not be televised...still they can use the final table).
Given that the Limit Shootout from the night before did not break until nearly 5 am, it looked like we could be in for another long night. Each player started with 90,000 chips, and the blinds were 400-800.
So you figured it would be a while before someone was eliminated. Alan Goehring did not comply with those wishes. About 90 minutes into the tournament, Goehring had been raised several times by Anthony Reategui. On a board of K J 8, all diamonds Reategui moved in on Goehring again. Goehring had flopped a set of Kings, but Reategui had flopped a baby flush, which held up when the board did not pair. Alan Goehring - 13th place - $9,690
Shortly thereafter, Gank got Ganked. Brett 'Gank' Jungblut got clipped for most of his chips when his AK ran into AA. On the next hand, Gank decided that his J 9 suited was good enough to put the rest of his chips in with. He again ran into a pretty big pair(J J), and Brett Jungblut was running out the door before the last card hit the felt. Brett Jungblut - 12th place - $11,840.
The bubble hand for the final table was definitely one for the ages. Chris McCormack had played well, and was on cruise control toward a WSOP final table. Chris got involved in a big pot with Allen Goldstein where all the money went in preflop, and McCormack had pocket Aces, and Goldstein had pocket sevens. The flop came Q 7 4, and McCormack was as crushed as any poker player I have ever seen. Bad beat of the day award goes to Chris McCormack. Interestingly enough, had Goldstein just smooth called the raise preflop instead of re-raising all in, he would have had another victim, as Phil Gordon would have flopped a set of fours, and Goldstein would have busted two players, and started the final table the monster chip leader. Chris McCormack - 11th place - $13,995.
Now we were down to the final table, and the lineup looked like this.
Allen Goldstein - 287,000 in chips
Anthony Reategui - 285,000
Kenny Robbins - 116,200
Phil Gordon - 85,000
Paul Kroh - 80,000
Young Phan - 79,500
Erick Lindgren - 74,500
Darvish Imani - 67,900
Ted Lawson - 34,500
Keith Quilty - 33,300
As might have been predicted, Keith Quilty was the first to go. The short stack entered with about 15 big blinds, so he had a little time to play. Keith felt his A 6 was good enough to take a shot, though, and take a shot he did. Paul Kroh called from the big blind with KQ, and when a King spiked on the river, Quilty was left feeling cold. Keith Quilty, 10th place - $16,145.
Next to go was Erick Lindgren. Erick put his money in with A 7, and got called by Anthony Reategui with Q 10. A queen was the first card off, and Erick was off to dinner at Fix. Erick Lindgren - 9th place - $20,450.
About an hour elapsed until the next elimination occurred, and boy was it a doozy. The two dominant chip leaders decided to play for all their chips. Allen Goldstein opened with a raise, and was re-raised by Anthony Reategui. Allen immediately came back over the top, and was quickly called by Reategui. Allen showed pocket nines, and Reategui showed pocket queens. This was a pot for about 75% of the chips in play...still seven handed(!!!). No help came for Goldstein, and he was sent home wondering what might have been. Allen Goldstein - 8th place - $25,835.
Now we had one of the more extraordinary final table situations I have ever seen. We had one player, who was an incredibly aggressive player who had 75% of the chips in play. And little did I know the fun was about to begin.
The next 12 minutes were the sickest 12 minutes of tournament poker I have ever seen. Including the elimination of Goldstein, we lost FIVE players in the span of 12 total minutes, all but one knocked out by the same guy. Anthony Reategui was on the heater of his life, and it just happened to be at the final table of a WSOP event. I can't possibly explain the turns of emotion, or the abject comedy in the media area, with everything happening so fast...NO one had any idea what was going on. "WHO raised? Lawson? Wait...he's out two eliminations ago???" Listening to stressed out press people is Fuh-nee.
Let me set the scene...here were the chip counts for the 90 seconds we were seven handed.
Anthony Reategui - 850,000
Kenny Robbins - 107,000
Phil Gordon - 80,000
Ted Lawson - 61,000
Paul Kroh - 57,000
Young Phan - 42,500
Darvish Imani - 17,000
The first elimination in the 12 minute death march of Event #16 final table was Darvish Imani. Darvish called Phil Gordon's raise all in, and turned over K 10. Phil turned over K 4 of diamonds. The river brought a brutal 4, and the strangest 12 minutes of poker ever continued. Darvish Imani - 7th place - $32,290
Ninety seconds later, we had not one, but two eliminations. I will cut to the chase, and say that Kenny Robbins had pocket Kings, Ted Lawson had pocket Jacks, and Anthony Reategui called both their all ins with pocket nines. The flop was 2 3 4 all hearts, and guess who had the only heart? Reategui. No heart came, but a brutal nine on the turn took Anthony Reategui from dominant to possibly unbeatable. Ted Lawson - 6th place - $43,055. Kenny Robbins - 5th place - $53,820.
I'd like to give you a calm description, or a chip count four handed, but four handed only lasted 3 minutes. Young Phan moved all in with A 9, and was called by Reategui with KQ. The flop was A 8 8, two diamonds. The turn was the Jack of diamonds, and guess who had a diamond? Reategui. The river was the 3 of diamonds, and Young Phan was left feeling old. Young Phan - 4th place - $64,585.
Now to three handed, the count was roughly (it was all happening incredibly fast)...
Anthony Reategui - 1,046,000 in chips
Paul Kroh - 90,000
Phil Gordon - 34,000
At this point I feel compelled to say it is a shame that this final table will not be televised by ESPN. The action of the last 20 minutes from when I write this is the stuff of legend. No one would believe this unless you had seen it, and even if you did look, you wanted to look away. I have run out of adjectives. A famous line from the crashing of the Hindenburg comes to mind. "Oh the humanity".
At this point, Phil Gordon was leading the crowd through chants of "Phil Doubles up!". Wishful thinking, but it was a nice way to distract everyone from the fact that all of our heads were still spinning.
Unfortunately for Phil, those words never came to pass, as Phil called a raise from Anthony for all his money, and showed J 8. Anthony actually had the best hand for a change with A 6, and Phil was eliminated when the board blanked off. Phil Gordon - 3rd place - $75,350.
The first sign of life from anyone against Anthony was when Paul Kroh got in with the best of it, and for the first time in an amazing 7 attempts, Anthony Reategui lost a hand when his opponent was all in.
But it wasn't long until the battle was over. After a raise, and a re-raise, Paul Kroh moved all in with KQ, and was called by Anthony Reategui, with A 2. Five bricks fell on the board, and the heater of life paid off for Anthony Reategui. Congrats Anthony, for 12 minutes in June of 2005, you were the best player there ever was.
2nd place - Paul Kroh - $146,380
Champion - Anthony Reategui - $269,000
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