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Jarvis exits WSOP Main Event after gut-wrenching final hand

6 Nov 2010

By Aaron Todd
LAS VEGAS, Nev. -- In what might be the one of the most gut-wrenching eliminations in World Series of Poker final table history, Matthew Jarvis saw his tournament life see-saw back and forth four times. Unfortunately for Jarvis, the final change of fortune resulted in his elimination in eighth place.

Jarvis moved all in with pocket nines only to be called by Michael "The Grinder" Mizrachi's ace-queen suited. Jarvis knew he had about a 50-50 chance of doubling up, but those chances withered when the flop brought two queens, giving Mizrachi three of a kind. When a nine hit on the turn, giving Jarvis a full house, the Canadian poker pro's friends and family rejoiced. His father, who is battling cancer, raised his arms in the sky.

But a river ace changed improved Mirachi's hand to a better full house, eliminating Jarvis and sending the Grinder's contingent into hysterics.


Jarvis' elimination will likely be an instant YouTube classic based on the turn of fate he suffered multiple times in the single hand. (photo by Vin Narayanan)

"Made for TV, that's for sure," said Jarvis in a post-tournament interview outside the Penn & Teller Theater in the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino. "First I'm in a flip, and I'm like okay, not the greatest, but it's such a short final table that it's bound to happen eventually. Then the two queens (come), and I'm like 'Ugh.' Then the nine comes and I'm bursting with energy, but I know it's not over, I've still got seven outs (to dodge). But it's all good. (The Grinder) has to gamble with ace-queen with the image I built."

While Jarvis won just over $1 million with the finish, he would obviously have preferred to have stuck around to play for the $8.9 million first-place prize. That said, he was happy with his play on the day, especially considering his chip stack was cut in half three hands into final table play, making him the short stack.

In the first hand of any consequence, Jarvis raised with ace-jack of hearts, knowing that Joseph Cheong, who was third in chips, would likely three-bet from the button "basically with any two (cards)."

"I had a bit of an awkward stack where I was making a pretty big commitment," said Jarvis, who had hoped to become the first Canadian to win the Main Event. "I should have four-bet all in, but I thought my hand had value and I thought I could semi-trap him. I ended up double-barrel (bluffing on a 10-high board) and he told me he made a flush on the river."

Jarvis folded to Cheong's river raise, but still managed to move from last in chips to a serious threat in the early stages of final table play, shoving his chips all in again and again on re-raises to chip up.

"I knew I had to put pressure on the big stacks," said Jarvis. "You've got to play for the win; you can't put scared chips in there. I lost a flip for a 30-million plus pot, but if I win that, I'm right back in it."

Jarvis, who plays cash games live and multi-table tournaments online, says that the WSOP structure is one that suits his playing style. And the experience of making it to the November Nine is one he will never forget.

"It's so deep, you really get to play pots instead of getting into a shove-fest," said Jarvis. "It's been awesome, to be kind of an overnight celebrity. The support I've got from everybody back home has been so amazing."
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