Greg Mueller eliminated in 22nd place; Jani Sointula eliminated in 21st place

Greg Mueller eliminated in 22nd place; Jani Sointula eliminated in 21st place

Monday, 27 September 2010

Wow. Just wow. We’re barely twenty minutes into play at The Empire and already two players have departed proceedings and pocketed £26,400 for their three-and-a-bit day slog. We went upstairs to check out the tables and noted Viktor Blom with his permenent semi-scowl alongside Greg “FBT” Mueller and Brian Powell, who seems like he’d be more at home on a beach with a surfboard than at a poker table (it’s the hair).

No sooner had we arrived at the table than Mueller pushed all in over a raise from Daniel Steinberg and was quickly called; the Full Tilt Pro was in terrible shape against Steinberg’s Q-Q as he flipped up the dominated J-J. The camera crews and note-takers milled around before the dealer laid out a flop of As-6s-6h. Things looked bad for Mueller but the deck saved him with another ace and a third six for a split pot.

Then we took a wander over to the upstairs corner table where Doyle’s Room representative and poker legend Hoyt Corkins was dwarfed beneath a Stetson hat at least four times bigger than Phil Hellmuth’s ego and enjoying the British cuisine of fish & chips... and guacamole, for some reason. Whatever floats your boat, Hoyt. Opposite him, Barny Boatman is riffling a below-average but by no means short stack, hoping to make another WSOP final table in addition to the 2009 $5,000 Shootout he finished 6th in back in Vegas.

The very next hand on the upstairs middle table had us rushing back over, thoughts of big Stetsons and Hendon Mobsters banished as Mueller put his stack in the middle again; dominated again. His A-Q had run smack into Bryan Powell’s A-K and the dealer couldn’t provide a made hand on the flop. Mueller is our first casualty of the day, finishing in 22nd place.

Mueller hadn’t even finished shaking hands with the table before “ALL IN AND CALL!” echoed again across The Empire. Jani Sointula had moved in with Q-J and Phil Ivey made the call with 4-4 as Sointula’s tournament life came down to a coinflip. It looked like his metaphorical call of tails was the right one with a J-9-5 flop and a safe K turn but the river was a cruel 4, sending a sympathetic gasp around the rail as Ivey made a set to eliminate the built rockstar in 21st place – or, as the announcer said, 22nd. Mueller swiftly corrected him from upstairs only to be acknowledged as Greg “FBI” Mueller to the amusement of the room.

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