On the last hand of day 2 we lost another player so only 17 remained , these included 13 Europeans and 4 Americans confirming it is our strongest , the British contingent were
Julian Gardener in 6th place with 136,000
Peter Costa in 7th place with 97,000 about the average
Myself in 8th place with 91,000
John Gale in 9th place with 90,000
Derek Baxter in 11th place with 56,000
Tony Bloom in 12th place with 51,000
The blinds were 2000 4000 and i expected it to take at least two levels of 90 minutes to make the final , i couldn't have been more wrong , within the first level we were down to the final ten !
I started badly taking on the short stack in the BB with A3 56 ds , not exactly a premium hand but his reraise all in was too small to pass , i hoped he had KK , but no it was AA and i dropped to 60,000 , players were dropping out so fast i patiently wited for a hand so didn't panic even when down to 38,000 , my BB was raised to 12,000 and i called with 99 TJds , flop was perfect 6 9 Q , i checked and called the 26,000 bet putting me all in , he had AA but i rivered my straight to seal the double up . As the level ended i found AA v Erics QQ and won a pot , then in a three way pot with Eric and Julian i played 88 99 , the flop was 4 4 2 and wary that Eric was slowplaying to check raise i checked on the button , turn was a J and when Julian bet the pot i was sure he was just trying to represent a 4 in the blinds and called his 12,000 , river was a T and we both checked , Julian said " no pair " and my 99 won a nice pot , at the same time on the other table a player was knocked out and we were down to 10 , i had made the final with 157,000 in 4th chip position .
On the very first hand Julian raised with AA ds and the same player who yesterday took out Paul Maxfield reraised pot , Julian reraised all in and was called , Rafit had a better hand this time KK TTss , could he beat the AA again ? The answer was yes when he floped two sets ! Julian was out and we now had a huge chip leader and he was sat on my left .
Level 15 3000 6000 and we were down to 8 , i found two hands back to back , in the first i flopped the nut flush and check raised Vinny Vinh on the turn to take it down , then the next i had AA T9 and flat called a 20,000 raise from Vinny , flop was 6 6 5 , Vinny bet and i called , turn was another 6 , Vinny bet 35,000 and i raised to 85,000 , eventually he passed showing KK a great laydown . I was now second chip leader with 312,000 and really thought i could win .
I ended the level with 270,000 and with the blinds now 4000 8000 we quickly lost two more players , just 6 left , Eric was getting low , Rafit was huge chip leader with 600,000 and Vinny had built up to 400,000 , i was in 4th place when this happened , Rafit who was raising several pots opened for 26,000 , i found the hand he bust Julian with KK TTss and reraised pot to 90,000 , back to Rafit and without hesitation he reraised pot 192,000 , i had 196,000 left and had to make a very tough call , was he playing super aggressive with a bare A knowing if i don't have AA myself i have to pass or did he have the hand ? I could afford to pass and with the prize money going up $15,000 a place for next 2 out then $31,000 a place i decided he either has to have the hand or as often happens , a player wins with a certain hand then cracks the same hand , i layed the hand down .
I of course wasn't to know that it would be the best hand i was to see before my eventual demise . Eric had lost most of his chips and had only 32,000 left , i raised with AK QQss to 28,000 and he went all in for his last 4000 , he had woken up with AAds in the SB ! , he hit a great flop A 2 5 but i really got lucky , turn was a J river a T , this however soon came back to haunt me !
My blinds were being gobbled up shorthanded at 12,000 a round then as we entered the 17th round 5000 10,000 i picked up a beauty on the button , Derek Baxter who was in 4th chip position with 140,000 limped for 10,000 , Rafit surprisingly passed and with AK KJds i reraised pot to 45,000 and Derek called , flop was Q 4 4 , Derek checked and i bet my last 53,000 , he reluctantly called and we were looking at a pot of 211,000 , whoever won this would be clear third chip leader and in my case i would be looking at a minimum payday of $124,000 unless Derek recovered and i fancied as the player to my left had only $130,000 i could get at least 3rd worth $155,100 , of course my main focus was the chance at winning the bracelet but first i had to win this pot .
I showed my AK KJ for KK and 44 , and Derek turned up AQ JT for QQ and 44 , he needed one of the two remaining Aces or Queens to improve , turn was a T , now if he hit an A it gives me a nut straight as would a J , he can't make the straight as the King required would give me a full house , of course another Q or T would make him a full house but with one card to come i am a 90% favourite , the poker gods decided to punsih me for hitting runner runner agaibst Eric and obligingly and very cruelly delivered another T on the river and i was out in 5th for $93,000 .
I felt absolutely sick and could hardly talk ( that's a first !) as i went to sign the paperwork .
On the one hand i had made the final of the first ever $10,000 Pot Limit Omaha and got my biggest result to date at the WSOP but it took a while for the disappointment to leave , in the meantime Derek was out 20 minutes later , as was the other short stack Jeff Rine , this left Rafit from Israel and Vinny a Vegas pro , they fought for several hours and at one point their was what must be one of the most controversial decisions in WSOP history .
During the WSOP it has been made clear if you use the F word you get a ten minute penalty , now i heard an A list player use it in the $3000 No Limit and the dealer ignored it without calling the floor , and apparently most dealers use discretion . This was heads up playing for the title , the bracelet and a difference of $229,000 in prize money , with the audience 5 deep standing on chairs , Rafit who had 1,530,000 chips to Vinnys 120,000 uttered the dreaded word , the floor was called and he got the ten minute penalty , his supporters went mad as the dealer continued to deal passing 45,000 a time to Vinny , when Rafit was allowed back Vinny had trebled his stack ! Now there's one to discuss in every card room , i know rules are rules but imagine if this was the main event and televised , surely a warning would have sufficed ?
Fortunately Rafit remained cool and his style of controlled aggression with plenty of gamble paid off , congratulations to a new star .
I now will start my preperation for the big one , i have never been in better form so no excuses , let's hope all my diaries include me for the next 7 days !
Simon will be appearing at the following
events in 2006
Prestige Triple WSOP 2006
9th July $10,000 Pot Limit Omaha
20th July $5000 Short Handed No Limit Hold-em
28th July $10,000 Championship Event
Dusk Till Dawn Schedule 2006
12/8 Luton £1500 No Limit
16/9 EPT Barcelona €4000 No Limit
25/9 EPT London £3000 No Limit
6/10 EPT Baden €4000 No Limit
27/10 EPT Dublin €4000 No Limit
9/11 Amsterdam Masterclassics €500 Pot Limit Omaha
22/11 Blackpool £1000 No Limit
29/11 Walsall £1500 No Limit