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Finally...Excitement (long)

by Shannon Shorr |  Published: Jun 19, '07

Since I last posted I busted from Event #27, 28 and 30. 28 and 30 were pretty sick. In 28 I got AI for 90 percent of my chips with AK vs AA on A752 and event 30 was worse when I got an average stack in with KQcc vs 33 on KQ3 with two diamonds.

Finally, today though I made something happen in the World Championship Heads Up No Limit Event #31. I won three matches today and am in the money. About one-third of the 390 entrants got byes, and unfortunately I was not one of them. The structure was such that if you drew a bye you just won free equity. There was no refund like there was in the heads-up event at Mirage. Also, the structure called for doubling the chips for each match you win, however the blinds would double directly proportionally. They do this so the final TV table will have a lot of chips on camera. Each level is 20 minutes long. In my first match I drew a Danish player named Thaijs (Tice) whom I'd never seen before. He told me he is mainly an online cash game player and new to live poker. We started with 10000 chips in the first match and within 20 minutes he'd beaten me down to a 15 to 5000 advantage. I managed to get back to 9000 when an interesting pot came up. He raised the button to 450 at 75/150 and I reraised to 1400 with A9dd. He called, and the flop was Kd Qd 4s. I had 7000 in chips, and I finally settled on just betting 1500, hoping that if he raised he would raise to 3500 or 4000 and I would still have some fold equity if I jammed. In retrospect, I also could've checked. He raised pretty quickly to 4500, and I very quickly moved in for 3000 more to try to represent a made hand. He thought for a long time and folded. He later told me he folded a better Ace high. From there I took control of the match and ended it on a strange, limped pot where I had J2o in the BB. It came A22r. I checked. He checked. Turn 9 still rainbow. I checked and he bet 250. I raised to 900. He called. River 8. I bet 1500 and he moved in for 3100 total after 5 seconds of thought. I was sick but called and flipped over J2. He mucked in what must've been a bluff raise laying me great odds to call. Thaijs was a very good player and knew how to apply the pressure. I put him away deep in the third level, 54 minutes in total.

After lunch with Stephanie at Sao Paulo Cafe, I was now on to the round of 256 which a lot of players freerolled into with the bye. I drew a gentleman named JC Tran, sick, for the 6 p.m. start. Our match was epic. JC didn't give anything away all match. JC was trying to play a lot of small ball with limps, something I didn't mind to much. I decided to try to speed it up a little bit with button raises and it worked at times. He took an early 26-14 lead but then I rebounded to as much as 31-9000. He then stormed back and made a good call on the river with 98 on TT864 with 3 hearts when I bluffed the river with Q9 high. I was down to 5100 but then managed to get back up to over 10000 with some aggressive preflop play at 4/800 and the early stages of 6/1200. At 6/1200 I got lucky for the first time in the WSOP when I shoved 65dd for 10400 at 6/1200 and JC called with KdTh. The flop came Q85 and he was drawing dead when I turned a 5 for trips. We battled for two long hours and then were rewarded with a 15 minute break before the 8/1600 level. I had him 29500 to 10500 at the break. We came back and JC folded the button on the first hand. On the next hand I moved him in for 9700 with J7cc. He looked down at the Ace of spades and called, and we sweated his second card together...the 9c. Flop Ace, turn 7 for sweat but no miracle and He was up to 19400. On the next hand he open moved in and I called with A8dd. He showed K6dd and the board was no help to him. This was a grueling 124 minute affair, and it was rewarding to beat one of the best if not THE best tournament player alive. I had 90 minutes to relax before my 10 p.m. match with 26 year old Dutchman, Noah "Exclusive" Boeken. I was not happy about this draw. Noah is one of the best young players in Europe. I used to log some hours with him at 25/50 on UB and Party, and he can really play. He outplayed me early and I was down 48-32000. I got back to 36000 when a disaster cooler came up. I limped the button at 3/600 with 94dd and Noah checked. The flop came 852 all diamonds. He checked and I bet 1000. Noah checkraised me to 3000. I deliberated and decided to gamble and just call. I thought Noah had an 85ish or maybe even 8c7d type hand that he could fall in love with, and I wanted to double through and try to all but end the match right there. The turn was a black 2. Although it paired the board, I didn't sweat it too much. 52 or 82 were doubtful, as I feel like Noah would bet out the flop with those two hands. Noah led out for 5200 on the turn. Again, I decided to gamble and just call and also to control the pot if he did have a hand like K3dd. The river was a black Jack and Noah bet out 20000 into the 17600 pot. I've seen NB make overbet bluffs before, and I couldn't totally dismiss a value bet from an Ad2h or even 43dd or 76dd type hand. I called and he showed me 55, yuck. I was down to 9000 and all the way down to 6400, an 11:1 chip disadvantage. I doubled through with 55 against his K8o and again with AJss vs A3cc. I got back to around 28000 and then won a pot where I showed down a limped button with A5dd. I was up to 33000 again somehow when an interesting pot came up. We had been raising (and limping) a lot, and I found QhQd on the very next button after I showed down A5dd. I considered raising but then felt that Noah can never think I am limping a big heads-up hand on the button back-to-back. To my delight, he raised to 5100 from the BB at 8/1600. I decided to make a weak looking shove for all 33500. Noah thought for 30 seconds and called with AJo. The doorcard was a Q and then another Q rolled off for a decent flop of QQ4 for quads. I showed some emotion at the table for the first time in several months with a fist pump. On the very next hand Noah shoved his A3o into my KJo and I flopped a K, and it held. It felt great to overcome 11:1 and to beat him in 91 minutes. I shook Noah's hand and told him that that was a match that I hope to never have to play again. I had one vodka pineapple with Stephanie before we headed home. It was the first alcohol I've had since my May 31st accident, strangely enough.

Things don't get any easier tomorrow. I play a good, young cash game player named Matt Gianetti. MG and I have a little history, as he knocked me out of the 2007 LAPC with his A7 vs my T7hh on J77. I'm going to gear up for what I'm sure will be yet another long, grueling match. I assume we'll play 3 more matches tomorrow and hopefully I'll end up in the would-be final 8 that would play 3 more matches on Friday.

I have a 10 a.m. appointment with the foot doctor, so I should go to bed.


Shannon Shorr is a professional poker player from Tuscaloosa, Alabama. He finished fourth in the Card Player 2006 Player of the Year race. You can follow his progress at

Any views or opinions expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the ownership or management of
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