November Nine World Series of Poker final table report
Monday, 9 November 2009
The atmosphere at the beginning of the day was incredible at The Rio, with an audience of thousands cheering for their heroes – Phil Ivey was an overwhelming fan favourite, receiving a minute-long standing ovation as he was introduced.
After words from Doyle Brunson and Peter Eastgate, play began. Slow and cautious at first, it took over one-and-a-half orbits of the dealer button to see a flop. Even then it was taken down with a continuation bet.
James Akenhead, short-stacked, finally got the ball rolling with an all-in from under the gun. Facing AK with his KQ, things looked grim for the young Brit. However, a queen on the river helped him more than double up against Eric Buchman and he was back in the game.
Chip counts swung wildly before Akenhead was the first to go. This time, his 33 couldn’t hold against Shulman’s 99 – this came after running his KK into Kevin Schaffel’s AA.
However, PokerStars pro Kevin Schaffel was next to go after taking most of Akenhead’s stack – getting 17m in pre-flop with AA, he too faced the KK of Eric Buchman. However, a KQJ flop destroyed his hopes of glory and sent him home in 8th place, giving Buchman the new chip lead.
It was at this point that Darvin Moon first went nuts. Against aggressive Antoine Saout, he 3-bet all-in on a J-2-x flop with A4o, only to be instantly called by J2o and double up the Frenchman.
Moon’s next spell of madness came after a betting war between him and Steven Begleiter, who had been playing very solid poker. Moon raised the investment banker’s bet of 5,000,000 to 15m on a low, co-ordinated flop. Begleiter then moved in, creating a 45m pot with 6m left for Moon to call. Moon deliberated, and folded with 7.1-1 odds.
He regained some of those chips when Phil Ivey finally made his stand and was called – Ivey’s AK was in great shape against Moon’s AQ, but a queen on the turn and a blank river saw half the audience get up and leave as Ivey hit the rail.
Moon then called another all-in with AQ, this time way behind the pocket queens of Begleiter. Once again, the turn saved his not-inconsiderably sized ass with an A, eliminating Steven in 6th place.
Antoine Saout then added to his stack – the Frenchman had been 3-betting more than anyone all night, and he was pot-committed when Jeff Shulman 4-bet shoved. Calling with A9, he wasn’t in shabby shape against the CardPlayer editor’s pocket sevens, hitting a nine on the flop to take play 4-handed.
Moon then commenced to go a bit nuts again – despite the average stack at four-handed play hovering around the 60BB mark, the Maryland logger saw fit to move in almost every hand. This stole back the chip lead that he had lost with some bad bluffs, before calling Buchman’s shove with KJs and hitting a king against A5o.
It seemed certain that the solid Joe Cada and aggressive Saout would overrun Moon when play got to three-handed, but the two clashed in a huge pot instead. The money went in before the flop, with Saout holding 88 against Cada’s AK. A rivered king sent Cada sailing into the chip lead going into heads-up play tonight, holding over a 2-1 lead against Moon.