Tuesday nights feature two new episodes of the 2011 World Series of Poker, and will eventually culminate with the final table of the Main Event. With ten of 24 episodes down, this week’s broadcast marked the halfway point of Main Event coverage. Last week, Day 5 kicked off with 378 players of a 6,865-player field, all competing for their share of a $64,531,000 prize pool.
Day-5 coverage continued with 210 players remaining, including a number of notables including David Bach (3,716,000); bracelet winner Ben Lamb (3,189,000), online star Phil Collins (3,072,000), WSOPC National Champion Sam Barnhart (2,974,000), and chip leader at the start of Day 5, Manoj Viswanathan, who, by the end of the day was reduced to just 879,000.
Top Day 5 Chip Counts
Let’s Get It On: With the blinds at 8,000/16,000 and a 2,000 ante, Bolivar Palacios opened for 40,000 with and was raised by Allen Cunningham who was holding . The blinds got out of the way, Palacios double-checked his cards and then sent them to the muck. “Reputation earned Allen that pot,” Norman Chad said after the hand.
Day 5 Quick Hits:
- 6,865 Main Event Entrants: Third-Largest Field in History
- All Former Main Event Champs Eliminated: 2002 Champ Robert Varkonyi last to go in 514th place.
- Four Women Remaining: Claudia Crawford, Amanda Musumeci, Erika Moutinho, Janet Callaway
Aces vs. Kings: The cameras caught the action when Martin Staszko was waiting to act with after Alex Moore four-bet preflop to 257,000 with . Obviously Staszko wasn’t folding, so he five-bet all-in for 1,043,000. Moore snap-called and discovered the bad news. The flop gave both a set, but neither the turn nor river changed anything. Staszko doubled to 2.112 million pot and thrust him toward the top of the chip counts.
Cheong Hits the River: We’re not sure how the money got in the pot, but 2010 November Niner Joseph Cheong was all-in preflop with and up against the of Daryl Jace, creating a pot of 1,552,000 in the process. Cheong was only a 36 percent favorite to win, which dropped slightly to 31 percent on the flop. Although Jace had flopped top pair, Cheong was still alive with a flush draw. The turn changed nothing, but the river completed the flush and gave Cheong a much-needed double.
Unlikely Elimination: On the secondary feature table, Scott Schwalich opened for 35,000 with and was immediately raised to 100,000 by Manoj Viswanathanh who held . Action folded to David Barterm, the big stack at the table, who promptly raised to 217,000 with . Schwalich wisely got out of the way while Manoj made the call. The flop appeared kind to both players, and Barter moved all-in after his opponent checked. Manoj quickly called off his remaining 478,000, and suddenly the chip leader at the start of Day 5 was at risk. In need of a queen, Manoj bricked as the hit the turn followed by the on the river. It took just five hours of play on Day 5 for Manoj to go from the chip leader (2,115,000) to bust.
“I also didn’t play that well,” Manoj said in his post-elimination interview with Kara Scott. “I’ll be honest, I misplayed a few hands early on, made a few ill-timed bluffs, also didn’t really get a lot of cards to work with, but all in all, first thing I would say is that I had a great time.” Manoj officially finished in 191st place for $47,107.
Set Over Set: On a flop of , Joe Tehan was all-in with and up against Bryan Devonshire's . It was a major cooler for Tehan, who needed the last remaining seven to take down the 1,874,000 pot. The was not it, while the gave Devonshire quads! Tehan notched his fourth cash of the 2011 WSOP, finishing in 185th place $47,107.
ESPN’s Sports Science with John Brenkus: A segment was aired highlighting the science of poker tells using high-tech sensors and two guinea pigs, poker pros David Oppenheim and Ali Eslami. After being fitted with the monitors, the two players a heads-up match and topics such as increased pulse, pupil dilation, smiles, sweat, and breathing. In the end, David Oppenheim won the match.
Hour Two: This week’s second episode picked up immediately where the first left off, with 170 players remaining on Day 5, which meant the average chip stack was 1,211,471.
Ladies for Bellande: On the featured table, Evan McNiff opened for 42,000 with and received a call from Jean-Robert Bellande who held . The remaining players got out of the way and action was heads-up to the flop, which both players checked. When the dealer burned and turned the on the turn, McNiff bet 72,000, Bellande raised to 200,000, and McNiff called the additional 128,000. The river saw McNiff check-call Bellande’s bet of 350,000, sending the 1,241,000 pot to the former Survivor contestant.
Year of the Lamb: David Labchuk got his last 548,000 all-in preflop and was up against the ever-dangerous Ben Lamb.
With 1,153,000 on the line, the flop fell , keeping Lamb in the lead. The turn changed nothing, and neither did the river. Lamb’s railbirds celebrated while their man continued to dominate the 2011 WSOP.
One Outed on the River: The cameras caught a hand at the outer tables that saw Anton Makiievskyi all-in with against Andrew Ferguson who peeked down at . The players essentially had the same amount of chips, meaning whoever won the 1,793,000 pot would be healthy, while the other would either be crippled or eliminated. The flop delivered a pair of aces for Ferguson, and it appeared Makiievskyi’s day was done. The turn left the Ukranian looking for just the on the river, which was exactly what spiked! Makiievskyi hit his one outer while Ferguson was left with just 14,000.
Flipping for Rolls: On a flop of , Max Heinzelmann was all-in and up against David Bach. With 2,173,000 in the middle, the tables was surrounded by eager spectators.
We’re assuming there was considerable action preflop, but in classic Bach fashion, he flopped well and picked up a flush draw. Regardless, Heinzelmann was a 58 percent favorite, which increased to 75 percent on the turn. However, Bach had been running well in the Main Event and that didn’t change, since the peeled off on the river to give him the winning flush and send Heinzelmann to the rail in 151st place ($54,851).
Elezra Closes It Out: At one of the outer tables, Eli Elezra held and was all-in against Andrey Pateychuk who held . Elezra was a huge favorite, but the flop gave his opponent a straight-flush draw. Luckily for Elezra, he improved to a full house with the turn, and left Pateychuk drawing to the . We saw Anton Makiievskyi hit the same card on the river not too long ago, but Pateychuk couldn’t do it as the appeared. Elezra doubled to 779,000 on the hand.
Tune in Next Week: Every Tuesday leading up to November, ESPN will air two episodes of the 2011 WSOP Main Event. Be sure to either check your local listings or come back next week for our recap of the action.