Last Men Standing

It was fun while it lasted

Going into Day 3, Gregg and I were the only two NCPT members remaining in the Main Event. Neither of us were endowed with chips to spare. Early on, I doubled up when my pocket aces held up against KK. Pre-flop, there was one caller, the guy to my right raised, I re-raised, he re-raised, I shoved. The board did not hurt me or help him, so I doubled up to 131,000. After that early promise, I went completely card dead. There were stacks over 200k and 300k at my table, so hard to play with air.

Forty five minutes into Day 3 action, Gregg ran into a windmill. He woke up with AK and bet 5K. The button made it 12k, he called. The flop came 296, Gregg shoves and the button according to Gregg, “can’t call fast enough with pocket 9s.” That ended Hamer’s run.

I made it through the first break, at which point I was down to 33k. The blinds had gone up halfway during the first two hours to 400 antes, and 1200-2400 blinds, since we had played an extra half a level the night before.

So, with less than 15 big blinds to go, it was time to find my shoving hand. Starting hands were abysmal. When I got pocket 3s and shoved pre-flop, the next four players folded until it got to Louise Francoeur, who had about 350,000 in chips, and with whom Norm Chad had been shamelessly flirting with earlier in the session, going so far as to give offer her a Starburst, which apparently he did last year before she cashed. She insta-called and turned over AA, which held up, ending my Main Event.

Getting knocked out of any tournament sucks, and this one in particular. You’re making the sausage for 10-11 hours a day plus the breaks between levels and 90 minute dinner break. You focus, you play your best, you get a beat down. But it’s what we do. For a few days a year, you get to test your mettle against the best in the world, a good chunk of them who do nothing else but play poker. If you went out to play golf with Jordan Spieth, Rory McIlroy and Jason Day and didn’t come home the winner, would you be beating yourself up? You can’t even call what I play at a country club golf. How about singles in a Grand Slam tennis tournament? Anyone of us going to make it through the first round? How about win a set? A game? So, sure, none of us won, none of us cashed, none of us bagged chips at the end of Day 3. It kind of makes sense. The thing that doesn’t make sense, is Begs making it to the November 9. That is freaky-deaky. And I’m not taking anything away from Begs. The endurance, skill, and luck involved in getting through this tournament is ridiculous.

On the morning of Day 3, I rode over to Rio with a guy who turned out to be a neurosurgeon from North Carolina. I asked him, “Which is harder, brain surgery or making it through the Main Event?” Without having to think about it, he said “Making it through the Main Event. You can learn how to do brain surgery, and lots of people can do it.”

So, any of you guys want to enroll in medical school with me? Oh, I forgot, I can’t stand the site of blood. I guess I’ll stick with poker.

Mike Levine: I am knocked out

Up until the dinner break I was feeling very sure of myself. I started the day at 69k and managed to get my stack up to 115k although I was surrounded by big stacks and pros. I thought the poker gods were on my side, especially after this hand slightly before dinner break. In mid-position I raise to 2,500 holding 8s. I get one caller and then a Danish poker pro who was on the button and had a massive stack makes it 7,500 and then the short stack on the bb shoves for 13.5k. I fold, and the two guys behind me call. But of course the flop is a 8d, 6d, 4c and the turn is 6s. Would have made the boat. On massive tilt cursing my luck, when the 7d appears on the river and then after more betting the Danish pro shows the straight flush. I would have been out and dodged a bullet.

Filled with confidence, two hands after our return from dinner, it is folded around to me in sb where I find a9. I raise, poker pro with decent size stack to my left calls. A-10-3 on the flop, and long story short my pair of aces lose 20k as he called me with 10-3. A couple of hands later, I lose another 20k with aq, when q his on flop, but another good size stack holding onto a flush draw, hits a k on river. Now I am down to 55k in chips and on massive tilt.

I got down to 35k, doubled up, back up to 80k, back down to 40k when another guy hit a straight on river against my aq which turned into trip qs. In the 9th hour of poker on the day, down to 25k and with each revolution costing 4200, I shove on sb with a5 after button makes a positional raise after it was folded to her. But bb woke up with qqs and I was gone.

Being told not a bad showing for my first wsop, but after I dodged that bullet, I was convinced I was destined for greatness.

Anyway, good luck to everyone playing today.

Michael Levine
Cell 917 414 0371

Day 2C Table Assignments


909 Steven Begleiter CHAPPAQUA, NY, US 48,025 Pavilion / 195 / 1
910 Eric Wasserson PENN VALLEY, PA, US 91,000 Pavilion / 195 / 2
911 Blair Rodman LAS VEGAS, NV, US 31,800 Pavilion / 195 / 3
912 Stevan Chew US 61,900 Pavilion / 195 / 4
913 Craig Strobel SAN CARLOS, AZ, US 59,100 Pavilion / 195 / 5
914 Jonathan Edwards Woodbridge, VA, US 44,900 Pavilion / 195 / 6
915 William Wincer Henderson, NV, US 11,100 Pavilion / 195 / 7
916 Joe Cada SHELBY TOWNSHIP, MI, US 111,500 Pavilion / 195 / 8
917 Patrick Eskandar LADERA RANCH, CA, US 15,300 Pavilion / 195 / 9


1862 Joseph Mcdermott HOUSTON, TX, US 27,500 Pavilion / 311 / 1 1863 Hans Winzeler MIAMI, FL, US 58,100 Pavilion / 311 / 2
1864 Aaron Gustavson LAS VEGAS, NV, US 49,800 Pavilion / 311 / 3
1865 Samuel Hogin ROHNERT PARK, CA, US 102,200 Pavilion / 311 / 4
1866 Ketan Pandya EDISON, NJ, US 96,100 Pavilion / 311 / 5
1867 Sang Lee Chappaqua, NY, US 39,300 Pavilion / 311 / 6
1868 Christian Iacobellis RYE, NY, US 109,000 Pavilion / 311 / 7
1869 Jack Allen Nottingham, , GB 41,700 Pavilion / 311 / 8
1870 Christopher Swaminathan Brampton, , CA 136,800 Pavilion / 311 / 9


1600 Steven Watts London, , GB 18,000 Pavilion / 282 / 1
1601 Gurgen Arsenyan Yerevan, AM 94,200 Pavilion / 282 / 2
1602 Ronald McGinnity Kingston, MA, US 19,000 Pavilion / 282 / 3
1603 Robert Goldbaum CHAPPAQUA, NY, US 61,100 Pavilion / 282 / 4
1604 Stefan Ivanov Aheloy, BG 119,300 Pavilion / 282 / 5
1605 Michael Walsh PORT WASHINGTON, NY, US 31,900 Pavilion / 282 / 6
1606 Jonathan Lewis Shrewsbury, MA, US 76,000 Pavilion / 282 / 7
1607 Annette Obrestad SANDNES, NO 36,500 Pavilion / 282 / 8
1608 Mike McClain DAVIS, CA, US 146,500 Pavilion / 282 / 9


1407 Pratik Ghatge GB 91,100 Pavilion / 256 / 1
1408 Sauli Haapaniemi FI 32,900 Pavilion / 256 / 2
1409 Michael Gentili Lasalle, ON, CA 62,300 Pavilion / 256 / 3
1410 Bowdy Tolhopf Wollongong, AU 208,800 Pavilion / 256 / 5
1411 Daniel Kadlec Salisbury, CT, US 49,100 Pavilion / 256 / 6
1412 Joshua Ramsey MAIZE, KS, US 20,100 Pavilion / 256 / 7
1413 Pratyush Buddiga COLORADO SPRINGS, CO, US 65,000 Pavilion / 256 / 8
1414 Samuel Bekerian SHERMAN OAKS, CA, US 56,800 Pavilion / 256 / 9


1354 Michael Gordon Hoffman Estates, IL, US 49,600 Pavilion / 250 / 1
1355 Jeffrey Finkelstein LAS VEGAS, NV, US 44,400 Pavilion / 250 / 2
1356 Ludovic Geilich Glasgow, , GB 51,100 Pavilion / 250 / 3
1357 Kent Lundmark VAXHOLM, , SE 88,100 Pavilion / 250 / 4
1358 Erica Lindgren LAS VEGAS, NV, US 23,200 Pavilion / 250 / 5
1359 Benjamin Barad San Rafael, CA, US 53,200 Pavilion / 250 / 6
1360 Mark Taylor CHAPPAQUA, NY, US 29,200 Pavilion / 250 / 7
1361 Joseph McArthur PALATINE, IL, US 100,500 Pavilion / 250 / 8
1362 Mark Dietrich CENTRALIA, ON, CA 63,800 Pavilion / 250 / 9


507 Christoph Bruell Westfalen, , DE 81,400 Pavilion / 150 / 1
508 Gregg Hamerschlag New York, NY, US 73,700 Pavilion / 150 / 2
509 Michael Mcgonigle Fair Oaks, CA, US 65,000 Pavilion / 150 / 3
510 Chris Bowers Swift Current, SK, CA 52,000 Pavilion / 150 / 4
511 Ross Graham Indianapolis, IN, US 21,700 Pavilion / 150 / 5
512 Kyle Aiken Jupiter, FL, US 36,300 Pavilion / 150 / 6
513 Barry Mcfadden HOUSTON, TX, US 16,650 Pavilion / 150 / 7
514 Pandilica Florin RO 35,600 Pavilion / 150 / 8
515 Josh Prager YUBA CITY, CA, US 78,300 Pavilion / 150 / 9


577 Matthew Menes Tampa, FL, US 64,200 Pavilion / 158 / 1
578 Peter Johnston Dublin, IE 74,900 Pavilion / 158 / 2
579 Sarah Herzali PLAN DE CUQUES, , FR 55,150 Pavilion / 158 / 3
580 Joshua Sexton Ramsey, MN, US 43,900 Pavilion / 158 / 4
581 Thomas Hueber Salzburg, , AT 15,300 Pavilion / 158 / 5
582 David Perlmutter Chappaqua, NY, US 78,500 Pavilion / 158 / 6
583 Casey Long LAS VEGAS, NV, US 115,500 Pavilion / 158 / 8
584 Harvey Gitlin FORT WASHINGTON, PA, US 17,100 Pavilion / 158 / 9

Here’s the link to the whole shindig:

Busto – The sad tale of our regular season champ’s demise

From: STEPHEN SILVERMAN <stevesilverman>
Subject: Busto

I am sorry to report that I busted during level 1 today. I had QQ in first position and raised to 400 (75/150 blinds). The guy next to me called. The button made in 1375. I called and the guy next to me called.

Flop came AQ5 two hearts. I checked, guy next to me checked, button bets 7200 (overbetting the pot). I really think he might have aces here but I never fold sets on the flop so I call. The guy next to me folds.

The turn is a 5 pairing the board. I decide to find out if he is for real and lead for 15k. He shoves. I tank for a while, and make a crying call.

He shows AA for aces full beating my QQ for queens full.

Here is the had per the blog:

In hindsight I should have led the turn for less, maybe 11k. And I should have folded to his shove despite having a monster. Given how the hand played out AA was by far the his most likely holding.



Finished at 69k in chips. About an average stack. Overplayed AJ and KQ suited in last 20 minutes which cost me 20k in chips. On the last hand of the night, with blinds at 250/500 got aces for first time. An ace was exposed so I bet 2k, and everyone folded which was a bummer. Other than that and a couple of other mistakes, thought I played pretty well for my first time and learned a lot. Though I might just fold Aq and AJ. Playing those hands easily cost 50k in chips. I would raise and get called, or call a raise, often double barell on cb after it missed and get called. Not sure how to play them and why I couldn’t scare anyone away. Am I that readable?

Wish I could say it was fun. Yesterday was the hardest I worked since my days trading at Bear Stearns. I have a new found appreciation for Begs achievement and I apologize to everyone I ever gave shit to for busting out early. Allegedly sitting to left of day 1 chip leader who has won a bracelet this year on day 2. Like my chances as long as I don’t get dealt Aq or aj too often.

Gl to today’s players.

Sent from my Samsung Galaxy Tab®|PRO