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Day 1A at the WPT Legends of Poker

Prop Bets and Late Stall Tactics Rule Day 1A

Day 1A of the Legends of Poker event at the Bicycle Casino in Los Angeles, California, began at 2 p.m. today. The first flight of the tournament attracted 219 players and they played six levels of poker into the night. This included the 2006 champion, Joe Pelton who was poised to defend his title. The early afternoon saw the exits of three notable women players in close succession. Vanessa Rousso, Kathy Liebert, and Mimi Tran all made early exits and they were soon joined by Jared Hamby, Max Pescatori and the 2006 LA Poker Classic champion, Eric Hershler.

The most entertainment during day 1A was found at the table that featured Raymond Davis and Burt Boutin. The two started an epic prop-bet battle by betting on the horse races that were on live feed in the tournament room. Davis jumped into a quick lead as quite a few $100 bills made a one-way trip from Boutin to Davis. Davis remarked at one point, "I'm going to get my buy-in back," and let out a hearty laugh. During the races the two players kept one eye on the felt and one towards the television. Davis gave a hilarious running dialogue on the action. "He's way behind; you need binoculars to see him. I think he's running the wrong way," remarked Davis. The two then turned to betting on the colors of cards, on the flop, turn, and river. At one point Boutin misplayed a hand because he was so focused on the prop bets. When the table between Boutin and Davis finally broke, Boutin had mounted a comeback that was capitalized by a $200 win on the final hand.

Back at the felt, as level four began, 160 players were left in the field and Toto Leonidas and Alan Goehring were lost along the way. One player tried to take his cards with him when he was eliminated:

A short stacked player is all in with AA against Steve Sung's QJ. The board comes KQ10Q10, and the player with aces starts to celebrate. The dealer mucks his hand, and explains to him that Sung's full house is the winner. The man becomes visibly upset, and grabs his aces off the table. He says, "I'm keeping these!" and storms out of the poker room, cards in hand. After he exits, the table, which includes Shannon Shorr and "Miami" John Cernuto, burst into laughter. Security staff eventually tracked the man down, and returned the aces to the deck.

Allen Cunningham then took one of the worst beats of the day on this hand:

After a flop of Q82, Allen Cunningham bets 2,500 from early position, the player to his left folds, and the player in seat four calls. The turn card is the A, Cunningham checks, his opponent bets 3,500, and Cunningham calls. The river card is the J, Cunningham checks, his opponent bets 4,000, and Cunningham calls. His opponent shows K10 to win the pot with a runner-runner straight. Cunningham briefly flashes his cards before he mucks, but says he had top two pair, aces and queens. After the hand, Cunningham is down to about 9,700.

As the day played on many players began to grow their stacks on pivotal hands. Peter Neff and Steve Sung were the first to jump into the 100 grand club, but they were joined later in the night by Nick Cassavetes, Brian Powell, and Anna Wroblewski. Raymond Davis was flirting with the line as well with a healthy 95,000 to his name:

With the board showing A53A on the turn, a player is all in against Raymond Davis. Davis says, "Full house," and his opponent slumps and says, "I flopped a straight." Davis confidently says, "I knew you flopped a straight." The meaningless river card is the 3, and Davis wins the pot with fives full of aces, busting his opponent and catapulting near the top of the leader board with 85,500 in chips.

Late-night bust outs included Hoyt Corkins, Scott Clements, Shannon Shorr, Justin Bonomo and Joe Pelton. The crippling blow to the defending champion was an especially painful experience:

Pelton moved all in for his last 13,900 and seat three goes into the tank. She ponders her decision for a moment and then makes the all-in call. Pelton turns over pocket aces and she shows down pocket tens. The board rolls out KK5810 and the table collectively gasps on the river. Pelton now has only 1,800 remaining.

The end of the day featured one of the most bizarre occurrences in tournament poker this year. The amateurs were obviously stalling and the professionals were not happy, most notably David Pham and Ted Lawson at table 12. The tournament clock was then paused to announce hand-for-hand play would be implemented, but this was met by an uproar from the tournament field. It was then ruled that table 12, where all the stalling took place would play five more hands, while the rest of the field played their final minute and 30 seconds. The table continued to play as the rest of the field bagged up their chips.

When the dust settled Steve Sung was the chip leader with 147,200 and 88 players remained. These players will return on Monday, August 27 to join the remaining players from day 1B, which begins tomorrow at 2 p.m.


15 years ago

Great story Ryan. This was a lot of fun to read. Keep up the good work.


15 years ago

It is rediculous that these article's can't have a decent HH converter. This <!--[ ] crap is stupid. Get rid of it!