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The WSOP on ESPN: El Matador, JC the Fisherman, and an Octo-Niner Featured on Day 7

JC Tran

On Tuesday night, the 2013 World Series of Poker continued with two brand new episodes of the Main Event on ESPN. Action picked up with just 27 players remaining on Day 7, which means there are just a few more weeks before the ultimate conclusion – the November Nine.

Here’s a look at the top 10 chip counts at the top of the broadcast:

PlacePlayerChip Count
1Anton Morgenstern21,955,000
2Sylvain Loosli14,125,000
3Chris Lindh12,030,000
4JC Tran11,970,000
5Fabian Ortiz10,810,000
6Carlos Mortensen10,790,000
7James Alexander9,445,000
8Jay Farber8,975,000
9Matthew Reed7,705,000
10Jason Mann7,500,000

Fun Fact: 2001 WSOP Main Event champ Carlos "El Matador" Mortensen had never made a Day 7 before. When he won the title more than a decade ago he did so over the course of five days.

What Are the Odds: After Benjamin Pollak opened for 250,000 from the button, Maxx Coleman three-bet all in. Pollak only had 2.995 million and wasted little time in calling off.

Benjamin Pollak
Benjamin Pollak

Coleman: {a-Clubs}{4-Clubs}
Pollak: {9-Spades}{9-Clubs}

Pollak got it in good, and according to the PokerNews Odds Calculator, he had a 66.62% chance of doubling on the hand while Coleman would win 32.90% of the time. Pollak was up out of his seat to watch the flop come down {j-Diamonds}{3-Clubs}{2-Spades}, which made him a 70.20% favorite. Coleman picked up a gutshot to a wheel, and his chances of winning stood at 29.80%. The {J-Hearts} turn saw Pollak’s percentage jump to 84.09%, which meant he needed to dodge an ace and five to stay alive. Unfortunately that proved easier said than done as the {5-Clubs} spiked on the river.

A shell-shocked Pollak could do nothing but shake his head. He was eliminated in 27th place for $285,408.

Where Are They Now: I don’t want to brag, but sometimes when I do a Where Are They Now? piece with some poker pro who has fallen out of the spotlight, they suddenly turn things around and reappear with a bang. Take Tom Schneider for example. Back in April I did one with the 2007 WSOP Player of the Year, and then two months later he wins two bracelets! Likewise, I did one with World Poker Tour Season V Borgata Poker Open Champ Mark Newhouse, and here he was on Day 7 of the WSOP Main Event.

Amir is Homer; Homer is Amir: Israeli-born Amir Lehavot is no stranger to poker. He won 2011 WSOP Event #7 $10,000 Pot-Limit Hold’em Championship for his first bracelet and $573,456.

As the ESPN broadcast revealed, Lehavot was also a Junior Chess Champion. “I definitely think that there is some correlation to my chess success to my poker success. There’s definitely analytical thinking, helps a lot in poker, but I think the two game are very, very different. There are a lot of skills that you need in poker that you don’t need to have chess. There’s a lot more psychology in poker, there’s a lot more variance in poker ... but I definitely think there are a lot of similarities as well.”

On a side not, do you see any similarities between Lehavot and Homer Simpson?

The WSOP on ESPN: El Matador, JC the Fisherman, and an Octo-Niner Featured on Day 7 101

Gee Denied: In 2012, Steve Gee made the October Nine and ultimately fell in ninth-place after an ill-timed bluff. Gee was the last remaining Octo-Niner in the field, and he was looking to accomplish the incredible feat of making back-to-back final tables.

I actually played in the Main Event, and in the last level of Day 1 I was moved to Gee’s direct right. I had interviewed him the year before, so we were familiar with one another. Gee explained that his bust out from the final table in 2012 haunted him and likely would for the rest of his life. Six days later, he was still in with a shot at redemption.

Steve Gee is eliminated.
Steve Gee is eliminated.

On the broadcast, action folded to Gee in the small blind and he raised to 250,000 with the {10-Diamonds}{7-Diamonds}. Anton Morgenstern looked down at the {8-Hearts}{8-Clubs} in the big blind and three-bet to 550,000, which prompted Gee to shove all in for 2.38 million. Morgenstern made a quick call and Gee knew he was in trouble.

“Jack or nine for a sweat one time?” Gee asked after the {8-Spades}{q-Spades}{2-Spades} flop gave his German opponent a set. The dealer did not oblige and instead put out the {A-Spades} to leave Gee drawing dead. The meaningless {3-Spades} was run out on the river, and then Gee shook hands with a couple players before exiting the tournament in 24th place for $285,408.

I talked to Gee, who has one WSOP bracelet to his credit, briefly in the halls of the Rio after his bust. He was understandably disappointed, but I think underneath he realized just how impressive his back-to-back runs really were.

JC the Fisherman: Two-time WSOP bracelet winner JC Tran is not only a family man, he’s also a fisherman. ESPN talked to JC Tran about his fishing hobby, which sees him trawl the deltas of Northern California for bass, salmon, and sturgeon (all of which was evidenced by pictures of Tran the angler).

Timoshenko Falls: In the last hand of the broadcast, a short-stack Yevgeniy Timoshenko got his last 2.165 million all in preflop holding the {a-Clubs}{8-Clubs} and was in bad shape against the {a-Hearts}{j-Spades} of Jan Nakladal. The {j-Diamonds}{a-Diamonds}{10-Hearts} flop put Timoshenko in an even bigger hole as Nakladal made two pair, but the {K-Clubs} turn kept his hopes alive as either a queen or king would give him a chop. The dealer burned one last time and put out the {J-Hearts}. Timoshenko missed and was sent packing in 22nd place for $285,408.

Here's a look at ESPN's preview from the latest episode:

Tune in Next Week: The WSOP on ESPN will continue every Tuesday through November. You can check out the full schedule by clicking here. Two more episodes from Day 7 will air next week, and if you happen to miss it, check back right here on PokerNews for a full recap of the action.

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