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WPT Championship Day 1 Recap

by Shannon Shorr |  Published: Apr 29, '09

This will be part 1 of 6, recapping the days of the WPT Championship leading up to the final table (which I already recapped in the previous post). I'm going to do my best to remember the bet sizing, exact details, and important hands from each day, but alas it was a 7 day experience and it's possible I'll mess some stuff up and forget some important hands. I pride myself on never messing up the hand lines or bet sizes when retelling them, but whatever, it will hafta suffice. After everyone arrived, my starting table was Scotty Nguyen in the 1 (I honestly forgot all about Scotty being at my starting table to begin the tournament, so it's fairly interesting that we both made the final table from the same starting table), an unknown that played ok in the 2, Gregg Merkow in the 3, Ryan Young in the 4, me in the 5, Erik Cajelais in the 6, Narendra Banwari in the 7, Blake Cahail in the 8, and an aggressive unknown South African in the 9. Early on Gregg raised to 300 from MP and I decided to call with 73hh in the CO. Cajelais called. Banwari called. Flop 764 with two spades and a heart. Checked to me I bet 900, Cajelais and Banwari called. Turn Jh. Checked to Cajelais who bet 3000. Banwari tanked and folded, I called. River Kh making my flush. I planned on checkraising the river, but sadly Erik immediately checked behind. I then lost a 35k pot to the incredibly intimidating but equally cool Erik Cajelais. Someone raised to 600 and I called with black 44, Cajelais raised to 2500, other guy folded and I called. Flop 832 with two clubs.I checked, Cajelais bet 4000 and I called. Turn 6. I checked and Erik bet like 11,000. Erik can have air here a ton, plus I picked up a gutter, so I called. River Q. Check-Check and Erik's A8o was good. I slipped down to 70k in the third level but rebounded after taking a large pot off of Merkow. Gregg limped UTG for 200 and I limped 97cc. A couple others limped and we saw 973 two spades. Gregg led out like 700 and I made it 2500ish. Gregg called. Turn offsuit 6. Gregg checked, I bet 5500, Gregg called. River offsuit 7. Gregg checked and I faught with myself for a full minute on a bet size before finally betting exactly 14000. Gregg thought for 3 long minutes and called me with what I presume was something like AA or KK. I was back around 100,000. I got bitched around for a lil while and was down to like 52000 when Erik and I tangled once again. I raised AsKh to 1300 at 2/400 (25). Erik called, and Victor Ramdin raised it to like 4500. Folded back to me. I got a strong vibe from VR and decided to just call. Erik called. Flop T83 with two spades. Checked around. Turn 2s. For whatever reason, I checked instead of leading, Erik bet 10,000. VR instafolded, and I called with 42,000 behind thinking my hand is very often already ahead. River red Ten. I checked and Erik played with his chips before settling on betting 15000. Erik is certainly capable of valuebetting as thin as anyone, but I felt like my hand looked strong enough and Erik can only really bet a ten or a flush. I felt VR very often had an Ace, and since I had an Ace it's hard for Erik to have AT. I called and Erik said the most beautiful words you can hear in poker, "You got it," and my Ace-King high was good. If I'm wrong I'm at 25,000 but instead was at like 90,000. Soon after I won a funny pot. Narendra raised up front to like 1700, unknown called 1700, Ryan Young called in the SB. I found T6o in the BB and raised to 8900. The two others folded and Ryan found a call in the SB. Flop J73r. Ryan checked, I bet 13000, Ryan called. Turn T. Ryan checked and I settled on checking. River Q. Ryan checked and I had a decision to make. My ten is very often the best hand because it's very difficult for Ryan to have a Jack in his hand. He is a very unpredictable player though and it IS possible. I finally checked and he turned over two nines, and my hand was good. I was nice enough to dump those chips right back to Erik though on the following hand. I raised the button with QTo and Erik reraised me out of the SB to like 5500. I called and the flop was K94 with two clubs. Erik led 8000 and I raised to 18500. Erik thought and raised me 30,000 more leaving himself with 20,000, I folded and he showed me the Ac which was enough for the best hand. I really hated tangling with Erik all day, but it was mostly unavoidable in a tournament like this where there are very few marks. It just happens when you're sitting next to each other. The most important hand of the night came with like 40 minutes remaining. Erik raised UTG to 2000, Victor called, Ryan awoke from a nap in the SB and played with his chips before calling, and then I found KK in the BB. I raised to 11000. Erik thought forever and just called leaving himself 65000. Victor folded, and then unbelievably Ryan announced all-in covering both of us from the SB. I called all-in and then Erik tanked for a while before folding two nines (that's how crazy our table was playing that two nines is actually kind of a big toss in that spot). Ryan showed two black jacks. The flop came K73 or something with two spades, so I hadda sweat running spades or running jacks only. Turn offsuit 9 to clinch it and river Jack to shoot me up over 200,000 in chips. One more interesting one came up with a few minutes left in the night. I decided to open limp (for the first time of the day) with Ts8h in the CO. Erik limped the button, Narendra completed and Blake checked. Flop KT5 with two hearts. Checked to me I bet 1800 into like 3500. Cahail checkraised it to like 5500. We were both deep, so I decided to splash. Turn 9h. Blake checked and I have the easiest bet ever. I bet 8500 or something. Blake tanked a long time and called. River As. Blake checked and I bet 23000. Blake made me sweat it for an eternity before folding, and I showed the Ts. I ended day 1 with 205800 and the average was something like 110,000 at the end of the day. Day 2 recap coming soon.  SS

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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