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The WSOP on ESPN: Morgenstern's Epic Day 7 Free Fall, the Flying Walrus, and More

Anton Morgenstern

The 2013 World Series of Poker continued on Tuesday night with two brand new episodes of the Main Event on ESPN. Action picked up with just 21 players remaining on Day 7, meaning only 12 needed to hit the rail before the coveted November Nine was reached. Speaking of which, next week – Tuesday, October 29 – will mark the last episodes of the WSOP on ESPN before the final table plays out.

But I’m getting ahead of myself. Here’s a look at the top 10 chip counts at the top of this week’s broadcast:

PlacePlayerChip Count
1Anton Morgenstern24,530,000
2Chris Lindh17,295,000
3Sylvain Loosli14,650,000
4JC Tran14,265,000
5James Alexander13,210,000
6Marc Etienne McLaughlin11,910,000
7Fabian Ortiz10,780,000
8Jan Nakladal9,555,000
9Bruno Kawauti9,330,000

The Rich Get Poorer: After Sylvain Loosli opened for 325,000 with the {a-Hearts}{4-Clubs} and Anton Morgenstern three-bet to 850,000 holding the {8-Spades}{8-Clubs} on the button, Mark Newhouse shoved his stack of 5.455 million from the big blind with the {a-Spades}{q-Hearts}. Loosli quickly folded and Morgenstern, who began the day as chip leader, made the call.

According to the PokerNews Odds Calculator, Newhouse would double 44.54% of the time while Morgenstern had a 55.09% chance of scoring the elimination. The {5-Diamonds}{q-Clubs}{10-Diamonds} flop was kind to Newhouse as he paired his queen and took a commanding 89.60% lead. The {7-Spades} turn further increased Newhouse’s chance of survival to 95.45%, meaning Morgenstern needed an eight on the river to win, something that would happen a mere 4.55% of the time.

The dealer burned one last time and put out the {7-Clubs}. Newhouse doubled to seventh in chips with 11.455 million while Morgenstern dropped from the chip lead to fourth in chips with 15.49 million. Could this be the start of a free fall?

The Flying Walrus
The Flying Walrus

The Flying Walrus: ESPN took a moment to visit James Alexander’s bar – the Flying Walrus — in McAllen, Texas. “What is a flying walrus? I have no clue,” Alexander admitted. “When we settled on Flying Walrus, the main reason we did it, just saying the name evokes a smile and conversation. The reason I opened a bar is because I didn’t know any better [laughs]. You shouldn’t open a bar, I’d talk anybody out of it, but I think it’s just very much who I am. I like to mingle with people, I like to talk, I like to keep things interesting.”

Interestingly, Alexander bubbled the WSOP Europe Main Event earlier this week. You can read about that by clicking here.

Morgenstern vs. Newhouse Round II: Morgenstern opened for 325,000 with the {a-Clubs}{j-Clubs} and Newhouse called from the button with the {2-Diamonds}{2-Hearts}. The {2-Spades}{a-Spades}{a-Hearts} flop inspired unease mixed with excitement as viewers knew immediately that it was going to be a big hand. Sure enough, Morgenstern led out for 425,000 with his trips, Newhouse called, and the {3-Hearts} turned. Morgenstern kept the pressure on with a bet of 750,000, and Newhouse pounced with a raise to 2 million. Morgenstern took his time before three-betting to 3.9 million only to have Newhouse four-bet all in for 10.095 million. Morgenstern made the call and just like that there was a 22.07 million pot on the line. Morgenstern had a 16% chance of winning it on the river, but it wasn’t in the cards as the {4-Clubs} blanked on the river. Morgenstern once had 29 million in the Main Event but was now just down to 5 million. Free fall indeed.

Mic Check with James Alexander: Love him or hate him, Alexander provided some antics on Day 7. See for yourself in this Mic Check segment:

Maxx Mauled by a Raptor: On an outer table, David “Raptor” Benefield, who began Day 7 last in chips among the returning 27, shoved all in with the {a-Clubs}{3-Spades} after action folded to him in the small blind. One-time chip leader Maxx Coleman was in the big and contemplating what to do with his shorter stack and the {q-Hearts}{j-Hearts}. Eventually he called off for 4.265 million and it was essentially a flip.

“I thought I was dead when he called,” Benefield told his rail, which consisted of Jason Koon and Brian Hastings. The {2-Clubs}{10-Spades}{4-Clubs} flop was no help to Coleman, and Benefield wasn’t even watching when the {5-Diamonds} turned to give him the win. The {7-Clubs} was run out on the river for good measure and Coleman made a hasty exit from the tournament floor. He took home $285,408 for his 21st-place finish – his first live six-figure score.

Anton Morgenstern exits.
Anton Morgenstern exits.

Morgenstern Hits Bottom: After Fabian Ortiz used the {k-Diamonds}{q-Spades} to double through Morgenstern, who held {a-Hearts}{k-Spades}, the German was left with 2.525 million, which was just 12 big blinds. That’s right, Morgenstern had went from the chip leader to 19th out of 20 in chips.

In the next hand, Ortiz, a 44-year-old nightclub owner from Argentina that loves '70s disco music (you can’t make these things up), opened for 400,000 after waking up with the {a-Spades}{a-Hearts}. Morgenstern then moved all in with the {a-Diamonds}{j-Spades} and of course Ortiz made the call. The {4-Clubs}{3-Diamonds}{2-Diamonds} flop provided some chop outs, but neither the {6-Spades} turn nor {9-Hearts} river completed it.

“Good game guys,” Morgenstern mustered before taking his leave in 20th place for $285,408. No doubt an extreme disappointment considering he could have likely sat out with his monster stack and blinded his way to the final table.

Company on the Rail: Like Morgenstern, James Alexander began with a decent stack but was stuck in reverse. In the last hand of the broadcast, Amir Lehavot opened for 400,000 under the gun with the {a-Spades}{10-Spades} and hit the tank when Alexander moved all in for 2.42 million. Eventually he made the call and he was glad he did as he had Alexander’s {a-Clubs}{7-Diamonds} dominated.

Alexander was still as talkative as ever, and as it turned out those words would be his last in the Main Event as the board ran out {10-Diamonds}{k-Hearts}{4-Spades}{9-Clubs}{j-Spades}. Alexander shook hands with Lehavot and then made his way to the payout desk to collect $285,408 for his 19th-place finish.

Tune in Next Week: The WSOP on ESPN will next Tuesday with the last two episodes before the November Nine climax. You can check out the full schedule by clicking here. The last two 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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