Day 12 -$5000 No-Limit Deuce to Seven Draw
|Jesse May in
Rebuy! Bill Baxter rebuy
number three! Hes going for the record! Its Doyle Brunson in
his Texan accent and a big smile.
This was a strategy rebuy,
says Baxter, smiling as well. If Doyles gonna keep moving in,
Im gonna rebuy.
The game is no limit deuce to the seven
lowball draw, and the table is tough. Every table is tough. Deuce to the seven
has long been considered a bracelet of prestige, the event for the heavy
hitters, the big bankrolls, the players who dont mind rebuying four times
at $5000 apiece for a good bit of jewelry. Forty-five players today, and
thats a big field for this event, last year there were only twenty-eight.
Long considered a mans game, a Texans game, but the
defending champion this year is the only woman in the field, petite and blonde
Jennifer Harmon, who last year conclusively proved that tigers have no gender
bias. Jennifer is dressed in black leather today, and sitting at a table that
says run and hide. Chris Bjorin, ONeill Longston, Freddy Deeb, Bobby
Baldwin, and Scotty Nguyen are the only players she has to get through right
now, but she did it before.
Seven tables, and theyre all so star
struck that I must describe them. Ted Forrest playing with Johnny Chan, Chau
Giang, Howard Lederer, and Brian Haveson. Erik Seidel squaring off with Carlos
Mortensen and Chris Ferguson. Chip Reese battles Men the Master, Mohammed
Ibrahim, John Juanda, and Jeff Lissandro. Doyle got moved, hes now with
Lyle Berman, Mike Wattel, Hoyt Corkins, Tony Bloom, and Erik Lindgren. Then
theres Spats Appleman, Phil Ivey, Barry Greenstein, David Grey, and Layne
Flack. In the corner Billy Baxter, Allen Cunningham, Paul Phillips, and Dewey
Tomko. What is the significance of this list? All of these players are caked
up, as they say, big bankrolled and money to burn. Or else they just really
like their game. The first two hours of this event dont resemble a WSOP
tournament so much as a private game among friends. But the good buddies are
the best poker players in the world, and this is a day that hearkens back to
the old west when Texas was the center of the universe. As far as deuce
to the seven is concerned, it still is.
Doyle Brunson and Barry
Greenstein are having some friendly crossbooking bets. Friendly bets in the
neighborhood of the tens and hundreds of thousands kind. Theyre laughing
and joking like a day at the races.
All-in Barry! shouts
Against Lyle! Im crossbooking him,
Lyle, says Barry. Dont do anything stupid!
Doyles fiddling with his draw card. Gotta squeeze it
Its a liner
I think its an eight. It is. Lyle mucks his
hand. Hold on a second, I wanna see that hand! says Doyle laughing.
Hes teasing Berman, and then after a few minutes, I wanted to make
him show that queen he was calling me with.
I didnt have
no queen! retorts Berman. It was jack-ten-nine!
minutes later its Barry with his chips in the center Doyle,
Im all in!
Who you all in against?
better player than Lyle!
You mean a tighter player than
Well, I mean, a player who rates to have a better hand
Im breaking a ten, thats how much respect I have
for him. Ten what? Says his opponent, it is ten seven that Barry breaks
and he is right, the fellow had him pipped on the third card. Barry lifts up
one side of his draw card. I caught a three across, so Im a 2-1
favorite. These number guys even have percentages for a one sided
squeeze. Barry looks strong, slow lidded and whiplash thin with a brain the
size of the whole table. He sits sideways in his chair, mild mannered and a dry
sense of humor, wearing a patterned silk shirt, leather brown dress shoes and
Later on, nearing the dinner break, and the action has
got more serious. Rebuys are over. Its either the toughest field in the
world, or a hell of a spot if you want to buy a bracelet. Some players, in
fact, do call this event the buy-a-bracelet tournament, but then maybe
theyre underestimating who you have to get through. They should make it a
$20,000 buy-in and then see how bad who wants it.
5:25 pm. Its
level five and fourteen players have dropped, rebuys have been over for quite
some time. Paul Phillips is chipped up, same hat, same flip flops.
Howards carrying on a conversation of a range of topics while reraising
Brian Haveson for half his stack. Howards got position. Brian folds. A
few hands later and this time Howard is the opener, for $1800. Ted Forrest
reraises from the button to 5500 and Howard calls. Pat goes Howard, Ted takes
one. Tap-Tap. Lederer wins with a jack high. Courageous. Howards up to
about 20,000 now and in a chatty mood. The whole tables got opinions
about the main event, the size of the field, and the likelihood of a no-name
winning. Howards always been man of strong opinions, and hes never
shy about backing those opinions with money, with cash. Hes
Im starting to think its all about the ten lows in
this game. A late position player raises and Ted Forrest is over the top all in
from the button for a over tenthousand more. Its a sturdy reraise, and
now Chau Giang barely hesitates before coming all in himself from the small
blind. The original raiser folds and now its time for the draw. Chau taps
pat. Ted thinks, thinks, and then he taps pat as well. Ten-eight,
Ted says. Chau turns over quickly. Ten-seven. Ted grabs the card on top of the
deck, rabbit hunting. Its a nine. He curses softly under his breath as he
walks away from the table. The whole table looks on in amazement. No one can
believe Chau called all that money with a ten low. You get all your chips
with eights and nines, he says to Howard, smiling. I have to work
it hard with the tens.