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The Big Game: Scott Seiver Steals the Show

The Big Game: Scott Seiver Steals the Show 0001

He has been called unpredictable, a spew machine, and what might result if Jonah Hill and Seth Rogen had a love child. Say what you want about Scott Seiver, but on last week’s edition of The Big Game, the 25-year-old World Series of Poker bracelet winner stole the show, not only with his quick-witted table talk but with his aggressive, creative play. Along with Daniel Negreanu, Todd Brunson, Tony G, and Vanessa Rousso, Seiver took on Loose Cannon Aaron Jensen, a 28-year-old computer engineer from Seattle. Staked $100,000 by PokerStars, Jensen hoped to spend his profits on a dream wedding for his fiancé.

Format refresher course: Lasting 150 hands, The Big Game is played with $200/$400 blinds and a $100 ante paid by the button. The action is pot-limit before the flop and no-limit after. The Loose Cannon keeps anything he earns over his starting stack, while the rest of the table may rebuy at any time for up to $500,000.

Tony G loses a $200,000 pot to Vanessa Rousso: On Hand #4, the action was folded to Tony G in the small blind. He raised to $1,200 holding {6-Clubs}{5-Spades} and Rousso woke up with {A-Hearts}{A-Clubs} in the big blind. She smooth-called and the G bet $2,000 in the dark. The {J-Spades}{6-Spades}{5-Clubs} flop gave him two pair and Rousso fired out a raise to $5,000. Tony G three-bet to $20,000.

“We can get it all in. You ready? If you win the hand it will keep me quiet,” the G said as the table exploded with laughter.

“That bluff I’ll call!” Seiver said.

Rousso called the additional $15,000. The turn was her gin card, the {A-Spades} making her top set. Tony G bet a rather small $10,000, into the $43,000 pot and Rousso called. Tony G checked dark again before another action card fell on the river — the {5-Hearts} making the G-man fives full and Rousso aces full.

“Now you’ve gotta show some guts. Are you going to bet it or make a really weak check on the end?” Tony said before Rousso moved all-in. Tony snap-called.

“Very nice. That showed me up,” the G offered as Rousso raked in the nearly $200,000 pot. “Well done, Vanessa.”

He came to gamble: Seiver was by far the most loose-aggressive player at the table. There wasn’t a hand he wouldn’t call a raise with from position if he thought he could outplay his opponent on the flop. Through the first 20 hands he had a VPIP of 55 percent and made a preflop raise 37 percent of the time.

Tony G succumbs to “Too Many Outs Syndrome”: Rousso limped in from UTG with {K-Clubs}{J-Spades}, Negreanu made it $1,600 with {6-Diamonds}{7-Diamonds}, Seiver flat-called with {8-Hearts}{8-Diamonds}, Tony G called from the big blind with {K-Spades}{5-Spades}, and Rousso called. They went four handed to a {8-Spades}{7-Spades}{3-Clubs} flop, where Tony G led out for $4,000 with his flush draw. Negreanu flat-called with middle pair and Seiver raised to $21,000 with top set. Tony G decided to go for it, shoving for his remaining $89,800 and Seiver snap-called. They decided to run it only once.

Tony G picked up a straight draw to go with his spade outs on the turn when the {9-Diamonds} fell. Seiver, however, thought this was actually a bad sign.

“Us kids on the internet talk about ‘too many outs syndrome,’” Seiver said. “When you pick up this many outs on the turn, you never hit. You need to be cut down to like, two outs going in to the river to hit it. It’s science. It’s medical fact.”

Seiver turned out to be correct, at least in this instance as the {3-Diamonds} hit the river. The G thought he was busto and exited the stage, but he actually had Seiver covered by $4,100 in the hand. After the commercial break, Tony G was back in his seat behind his 10 big-blind stack. However, a few hands later, he borrowed $50,000 from Negreanu to stay in the game.

The Cannon’s first move: Jensen opened {9-Clubs}{9-Spades} for $1,300, Negreanu called from position with {Q-Diamonds}{6-Spades} and Scott Seiver three-bet to $6,200 with {Q-Spades}{9-Diamonds}. Jensen called and Negreanu got out of the way. Seiver put out a $7,000 continuation bet on the {10-Hearts}{3-Hearts}{2-Clubs} flop and Jensen put the pressure on, raising to $35,700. Seiver gave up his no-pair-no-draw, leaving Jensen sitting with a profit for the first time.

Tony G pays off Brunson’s nuts: Tony G opened {6-Spades}{8-Spades} for $1,200 and Todd Brunson, who had been playing extremely tight, called with pocket tens. Brunson hit top set on the {10-Clubs}{8-Clubs}{4-Hearts} flop and checked to the G, who bet $2,000. After declaring that he’d fold if Brunson raised, Todd did just that, making it $6,000 to go. Tony G called. The turn was the {2-Hearts}, leaving Tony G drawing dead. Brunson bet $12,200 and Tony G called. The {4-Diamonds} on the river made Brunson the nut boat and he bet $21,200. Tony paid it off and was promptly shown the nuts.

Done and dusted: Tony G opened {A-Spades}{J-Clubs} for $1,500 and Seiver called from position with {K-Hearts}{2-Hearts}. Seiver hit top and bottom pair on the {K-Clubs}{Q-Clubs}{2-Clubs} flop and raised Tony’s $3,000 continuation bet to $11,000. Tony reraised to $40,000 and Seiver shoved. Tony called off his last $27,000.

“Again, this is a too many outs syndrome,” Seiver noted.

The turn was the {J-Hearts}, pairing Tony’s kicker.

“This is WAY too many outs! This is really just an advanced needle because he’s not hitting,” Seiver declared.

Again, the G was stricken with Too Many Outs Syndrome, the river falling the {4-Spades} to felt him. Tony decided to get on his bike after losing $278,600 in only 38 hands, Lex Veldhuis filling his seat.

Quote of the Week: “Half of Holland plays with your money. We have like, posters.” – Lex Veldhuis, needling Scott Seiver.

The Cannon’s first big mistake: Veldhuis opened {A-Diamonds}{K-Diamonds} for $1,200, Seiver called on the button with {Q-Diamonds}{6-Diamonds} and Jensen called from the big blind with {9-Spades}{10-Spades}. The flop came down {10-Hearts}{7-Clubs}{3-Clubs} and Jensen checked his top pair over to Veldhuis, who bet $2,600. Seiver folded and Jensen called. The {K-Hearts} on the turn, however, rendered Jensen’s hand second-best as Veldhuis made top pair. Jensen checked, Veldhuis bet $6,300 and Jensen raised to $15,000. Veldhuis smooth-called and they went to the river, which fell the {8-Hearts}. Jensen checked, Veldhuis checked behind, and the Loose Cannon lost the $40,500 pot.

Déjà vu all over again: Rousso opened {A-Spades}{A-Diamonds} for her standard $1,000 raise and Veldhuis defended his big blind with {K-Clubs}{4-Clubs}. Like Tony G before him, Veldhuis outflopped Rousso’s aces, hitting top two on the {K-Diamonds}{4-Diamonds}{3-Hearts} flop. Veldhuis made a $2,500 donk bet and Rousso flat-called. Veldhuis bet another $7,700 when the {Q-Hearts} hit the turn and perhaps sensing that something was amiss, Rousso merely called. She hit an amazing river card, however, the {3-Spades} counterfeiting Veldhuis’ two pair. Veldhuis bets $18,400 and Rousso called with aces up.

“Pretty good with those rivers there” Seiver said as Rousso raked in the pot.

Float the flop, bomb the turn: Jensen opened {K-Clubs}{Q-Diamonds} for $1,500, Rousso raised to $4,000 from the SB with {K-Diamonds}{9-Diamonds} and Jensen snap-called. Rousso led out for $6,000 on the {A-Spades}{10-Clubs}{7-Spades} flop and Jensen called, despite completely whiffing. The {4-Diamonds} on the turn didn’t improve Rousso’s hand and she slowed down and checked. Jensen had hoped she would do that, and bet $11,000. Rousso gave it up and Jensen moved back into the black.

How NOT to play on TV: (1) Don’t play many hands, (2) Don’t give very much action, and (3) Don’t say anything. Pretty much what Todd Brunson did for this entire five-episode run. Televised poker is different than casino poker, people! On the flip side, Seiver totally understood this and completely tore up the screen along with the table. Get this man an invite to High Stakes Poker or the NBC Heads-Up Championships!

Most frequently seen commercials during the Los Angeles feed of the Big Game: the Shake Weight, diet dug Lipozene,, CigArrest, and Colon Flow.

Lex Veldhuis needs a rebuy: Jensen put in an $800 sleeper straddle on the button, but Negreanu ruined his plans and opened {A-Spades}{4-Spades} from UTG for $1,200. Seiver called with {A-Hearts}{4-Hearts}; Brunson called with {K-Clubs}{Q-Hearts}; Jensen took back his straddle, looked down at deuce-four and mucked; Veldhuis found {6-Spades}{6-Diamonds} in the small blind and called; and Vanessa Rousso looked down at {8-Spades}{8-Hearts}. She raised pot to $7,800, Negreanu, Seiver, and Brunson calling before Veldhuis repotted to $40,700. Rousso repotted to $139,800, and after hemming and hawing and talking out loud, Seiver folded. $99,600 in the pot as the {Q-Spades}{J-Spades}{7-Spades} flop came down.

“F*ck! I flopped the joint,” Negreanu spat. He would have flopped the nut flush.

The {8-Diamonds} on the turn gave Rousso a set and left Veldhuis drawing dead. The river was the meaningless {3-Hearts} and Veldhuis looked to what commentator Joe Stapleton referred to as “The Bank of Daniel Negreanu” for a $100,000 loan so he could stay in action.

Seiver’s sick call: Jensen opened {K-Diamonds}{Q-Diamonds} for $1,500, Seiver raised to $5,500 from SB with {A-Spades}{7-Hearts}, and Jensen made the call. Seiver checked the {5-Diamonds}{4-Diamonds}{4-Hearts} flop over to Jensen. Although he looked like he was about to bet, he decided to check behind instead. The turn was the {J-Spades}. Seiver checked again, Jensen bet $5,000 with only king-high and Seiver called with his ace-high. Sevier checked a third time when the {10-Spades} hit the river. Despite having not improved his hand, Jensen decided to prey on Seiver’s apparent weakness and bet $12,000.

“I think I’m about to make such a terrible call, like a laughably bad call right here,” Seiver said before putting the $12,000 into the pot. His call was not as laughably bad as much as it was psychic, and Seiver took down the $46,000 pot. Jensen was left with $64,900 in his stack.

The Loose Cannon blows up: Jensen put on an $800 straddle UTG, Negreanu raised to $3,000 with {J-Hearts}{9-Clubs}, Seiver called with {Q-Diamonds}{J-Clubs} and Jensen looked down at {A-Spades}{Q-Clubs}. He three-bet to $10,000, Negreanu called and Seiver called. There was already $31,000 in the pot as the flop came down {K-Diamonds}{9-Spades}{7-Diamonds}. Seiver checked and Jensen pulled the trigger and shoved for $60,600 with only ace high. Negreanu called with middle pair and Seiver got out of the way. They decided to run it once.

“This is for the wedding, right here. Ace or queen for a beautiful wedding,” Negreanu said.

Sadly, the turn and river fell the {5-Diamonds} and the {6-Diamonds}. Jensen could not improve his hand and for now, his dream was over.

“I could have waited for a better spot, probably but it is what it is,” Jensen told Amanda Leatherman in his post-game interview.

Jensen lasted 108 of the 150 hands, but because there still was a television show to tape, Phil Laak was woken from his nap in the green room to take Jensen’s seat.

Negreanu gets "Seiverized": Negreanu opened {6-Hearts}{6-Clubs} for $3,000 behind Veldhuis’ straddle, Seiver called with {J-Hearts}{8-Spades} on the button and Brunson called with {A-Spades}{4-Spades} in the small blind. Negreanu bet $5,500 on the {8-Hearts}{5-Clubs}{2-Clubs} flop Seiver called with top pair and Brunson called with only ace high. The turn came the {Q-Hearts} and Brunson checked to Negreanu, who bet $11,000. Seiver called and Brunson folded. When the {J-Diamonds} fell on the river making Seiver two pair, Negreanu checked and Seiver made it a very hefty $40,000 to go. Over the course of the next five minutes of airtime, Negreanu proceeded to extensively talk the hand out loud, Seiver twisting his brain along the way with his own running commentary. Negreanu eventually gave up his sixes and Sevier won the $90,000 pot.

“Scott Seiver, you make it tough to play this game,” Negreanu said.

Final profit/loss: Scott Seiver (+$251,200), Vanessa Rousso (+$131,500), Todd Brunson (+$47,300), Phil Laak (+$40,800). Daniel Negreanu (-$4,600), Lex Veldhuis (-$87,900), Aaron Jensen (-$100,000), Tony G (-$278,600)

Think you'd make a great loose cannon? Qualifiers for the Big Game are running daily on PokerStars.

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