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The bubble bursts: WSOP Day 4 notebook

14 Jul 2010

By Aaron Todd
Day 4 of the World Series of Poker's Main Event started with 15 tables in the Pavilion, while the majority of the players were in the 120-table Amazon Room at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino. Fourteen of the tables had been broken in the first hour and 15 minutes of play, and just nine players remained in the cavernous space.

"We're at the final table … of the room," said Eric Morris.

"It's nice and peaceful," said gray-haired Darrell Ticehurst. "Why would they want to move us?"

One hand later, the table was broken and the players were sent to the Amazon Room. Both players survived and will return for Day 5.


It was all aces at Allen Cunningham's table early, as the 2005 WSOP Player of the Year doubled through Alexander Roumeliotis with pocket aces against ace-king.

The next hand, Michael Souza won a small pot and flashed pocket rockets after his opponent folded.

"You played them better," said Souza.

"The trick is to have your opponent barely beat, not crushed," replied Cunningham.

Cunningham busted out late on Day 4, cashing in for $24,079, while Souza ended the day with about 150,000.


With players approaching the money bubble, most tables were all business without much table talk, but there were a few exceptions. After re-raising Nicholas Rosenberger all in, Julian Rembert started giving some free advice.

"You might want to save it for another battle, brother," said Rembert. "You could suck out, I guess, but if you fold, I'll show."

Rosenberger pondered a call for a few seconds before throwing his cards in the muck, then looked visibly disgusted when Rembert flipped over ace-queen.

"Nice speech," said Rosenberger.

"I know you folded ace-jack," said Rembert. "I was way ahead."

"You weren't way ahead, you were behind," said Rosenberger.

"I never lose with ace-queen," said Rembert.

"Well, if you never lose with ace-queen, then I guess you were ahead," replied Rosenberger.

Rembert finished in 667th place to win $21,327.


Joe Awada thinks that Scotty Nguyen is one of a very small number of players that can drink beer at the table and not see their play suffer.

Joe Awada thinks that Scotty Nguyen is one of a very small number of players that can drink beer at the table and not see their play suffer. (photo by Vin Narayanan)

Players at Joe Awada's table were discussing a final table from another tournament where a player at the table was ordering drinks two at a time.

"The only people I know who can get away with that are Men the Master and Scotty Nguyen," said Awada, who wasn't able to hang on long enough to cash.


Just before the bubble burst there was aggressive action on one table, with the initial raiser finally mucking and saying he folded ace-queen. The all-in player turned over ace-queen, while the opponent who had him covered revealed pocket sevens. The flop brought an ace and a queen, while the river gave the player a full house with another queen.

"You sure you had ace-queen?" someone at the table asked.

"I lied, I had ace-jack," the player admitted.


Pondering a player's all-in bet, Jesper Hougaard said he felt like the player was on a draw.

"Do you want to go home or do you want to double up?" Hougaard asked the player.

"Well, I definitely don't want to go home," said the unknown player.

Hougaard eventually called, revealing king-jack for an open-ended straight draw, while his opponent showed king-queen for top pair. Hougaard missed, but still has a healthy chip stack of nearly 900,000 heading into Day 5.


Gavin Smith enjoys a laugh at the ESPN secondary feature table on Day 4.

Gavin Smith enjoys a laugh at the ESPN secondary feature table on Day 4. (photo by Vin Narayanan)

Gavin Smith and Michael Mizrachi started the day at ESPN's secondary feature table, and they attracted a fan that may have stood out more than either player. Dressed in a white vest bedazzled with green shamrocks, a giant green bow tie and a cowboy hat, the man even drew attention from the players.

"Where are you from?" Mizrachi asked the middle-aged gentleman.

"From Dublin, originally," he replied.

"That was my first guess," said Mizrachi.

"Do you have one of those (vests) to give the Grinder to wear?" asked Smith.

"He can have this one tomorrow," said the Irishman.

"You might want to give it to him today," said Smith. "He doesn't play that good."

It was Smith, however, who didn't make it to Day 5. He squeaked out a cash, finishing 730th. Mizrachi may have to find the Irishman tomorrow to see if he can wear that vest.


The Mizrachi family continues to dominate at the WSOP. All four brothers (Michael, Robert, Eric and Donny) cashed in the Main Event, and while Eric Mizrachi busted out early, Donny tripled up when he flopped a straight and dodged David Benyamine's flush draw and was able to avoid seeing another opponent turn a set into a full house.

Donny and Robert both finished the day with over 400,000 chips, while Michael has about 240,000.


Vince Van Patten, best known as Mike Sexton's fellow commentator for World Poker Tour events, got to be on the other side of the camera today, sitting at the secondary feature table with Jean-Robert Bellande and Karina Jett. Apparently the Star-Spangled Banner was going off in his head quite a bit today; Van Patten ended the day with over 500,000 chips. Bellande has about 350,000 and Jett has 80,000.
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