The World Series of Poker Main Event final table - the story so far

The World Series of Poker Main Event final table - the story so far

Sunday, 7 November 2010

It has been around eight hours since we shuffled up and dealt the first hand of the World Series of Poker Main Event final table with the November Nine returning to play down to heads-up. The first few hands pretty much set the tone - Jarvis stole the blinds; Senti shoved and did the same, then Joseph Cheong won a 20,000,000 pot.

Since then there's been plenty of pre-flop action and some big bullets being fired after the flop too. We've lost two players - Soi Nguyen and Matt Jarvis - and Michael Mizrachi has done what Phil Ivey in 2009 could not: taken the chip lead into the dinner break.

The first level saw Matt Jarvis reduced to the short stack after losing that big pot to "subiime" aka Mr. Cheong. That left him with less than Soi Nguyen and especially than Jason Senti, who had been relentlessly putting his chips in the pot and picking up valuable blinds and antes to increase his stack by several million.

In the last hand before the break, Nguyen found himself short as he had been for over eighty minutes and picked up A-K on the button. He moved in and Jason Senti snap called from the blinds having found Q-Q, which improved on a Q-T-3 flop. No jack arrived to save Nguyen who left in ninth place, leaving us with a short-stacked Matt Jarvis and a chipped-up Senti.

Mizrachi, Racener, Dolan and Candio had played fairly tight throughout the 250,000/500,000 level but began to really open it up after the break. Here's where we saw a lot more pre-flop re-raises and Joseph Cheong took over the table captain role - he even grabbed the chip lead for a while when Filippo Candio doubled through Jonathan Duhamel.

Towards the end of the level Cheong and Duhamel held the big stacks but Mizrachi soon joined them after what will surely be a legendary televised hand. All-in before the flop, Mizrachi's A-Q was flipping against Jarvis's 9-9. A Q-Q-8 flop sent the Mizrachi rail wild before a 9 turn had the same effect on Jarvis. Alas, an ace on the river more than doubled Mizrachi and sent Jarvis to the rail.

When we returned and increased the blinds once again Michael Mizrachi seemed a new man. He'd certainly had his Weetabix and took down a series of non-showdown pots to give him the chip lead he still holds. Overall he, Cheong and Duhamel have been playing exceptionally. Jason Senti started off roaring out of the gate but has lost some momentum while Filippo Candio seems to be nitting it up and pulling off a huge bluff every so often.

One player I'm disappointed with is John Dolan, who so mercilessly abused the 10-handed final table bubble. I expected a lot of pre-flop action from him but he's kind of sandwiched with subiime to his left and two of the most aggressive players to his right.

At the moment if I had to put money on the two players most likely to get heads-up I would have to say Duhamel and Mizrachi, the two biggest stacks. Though blinds are 500,000/1,000,000 when we return they still have towering stacks and are both playing very well.

It's anyone's game, though.

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