Back in December Matt Stout made his first major televised final table at the WPT Foxwoods main event. The episode is airing tomorrow and Stout's here to give you a special insider preview on how it went down.
Get started with Part 1 and check back later today for the conclusion!
OK, I'm finally done slowrolling my blog for my first televised final table. After a while of being lazy it got close enough to the air date that I decided to hold off until the final table was actually going to be on TV.
You can catch the premiere on Comcast SportsNet (CSN) or Fox Sports Net (FSN) on Tuesday, March 23, if it's in your regional programming, If you miss that don't worry, it'll be airing nationally a week later.
You can delve into the archives to see my blogs leading up to the final table, but in short I was cruising with a huge chip lead when we got to the ten-handed final table.
I took a terrible beat against Soheil Shamseddin when I got it in preflop with aces against his nines and shortstack Tom Dobrilovic's kings, but managed to make a comeback and went into the final table in decent shape:
1. Lee Markholt - 264,000
2. Curt Kohlberg - 1,086,000
3. Eric Froehlich - 1,014,000
4. Cornel Andrew Cimpan - 3,691,000
5. Soheil Shamseddin - 2,954,000
6. Me - 1,579,000
I thought there was a chance I'd get really nervous for the first time in my career going into the day, but it just wasn't the case.
I often wake up feeling groggy and disconnected or still tired regardless of how long I slept, but I remember waking up completely focused and thinking about nothing but the final table despite only getting 5 hours of sleep the night before. (Hey, I said I wasn't nervous ... but I was definitely a bit anxious!)
On just the second hand of play at the final table I opened to 100k at 20/40k with A♠ 6♠ from the hijack. Lee Markholt moved in for 136k more from the cutoff, so I obviously called getting over 3:1. He showed A♥ K♠, but the board ran out Q♠ 5♥ 4♠ 5♣ 3♠ and I busted him in 6th place.
As far as poker is concerned, I was very happy to see Lee go. He's a great player who had position on me, and he could have been a force to be reckoned with if he had gotten a stack going.
Personally though, I'd have loved to have gone heads-up with Lee by some miracle. He seems like a really nice guy, which I learned throughout the tournament because we'd been seated at a bunch of tables, usually right next to each other.
The whole final table had developed a certain strange camaraderie, but with Lee especially it really felt like we'd made it there together in a way. It made it tough to see him go.
From there I slowly chipped up to about 2.5 million of the 10.6 million in play before taking a huge pot from Soheil.
After flatting a three-bet from 100k to 300k preflop at 20/40k, he checkraised my 420k (hehe) bet to one mirrrrrrrrion on a A♣ 9♣ 7♣ flop. It wasn't the greatest spot ever to have A-K with no club, but I'm never folding to Soheil of all people here. I shipped for 2.148 million total (1.148M more), and he folded.
That brought me to to around 3.8 million, but it was only two hands before Soheil and I would go at it again. In a blind-vs-blind confrontation I ended up making a 450k call on the river in a ~750k pot with third pair.
The funny (stupid) thing was that I called him so quickly on the river that he hadn't actually cut out the entire 450k in chips yet!!! I believe he may have been able to pull back about 200k of the bet that he hadn't actually released yet, but Soheil is a true gentleman and didn't try to play the angle and call the floor here.
After that hand I was cruising. Here were the chip counts following that hand, under an hour into play:
Seat 2. Curt Kohlberg - 746,000
Seat 3. Eric "Efro" Froehlich - 1,369,000
Seat 4. Cornel Andrew Cimpan - 2,615,000
Seat 5. Soheil Shamseddin - 1,219,000
Seat 6. Matt "Allinat420" Stout - 4,639,000
Soheil took care of some of the dirty work from there, winning huge coinflips with small pairs to eliminate the shorter stacks. First he busted Curt Kohlberg with 2♠ 2♣ to Curt's A♦ Q♠ when Curt flopped top two and Soheil rivered a set, then when his 4♣ 4♦ held against Eric Froelich's A♣ K♠.
Shortly before Eric busted, though, I made another hero call on the river against Soheil in a blind-vs-blind encounter ... this time for 500k into 1 mil. This time my hand was slightly better -- second pair -- but either way he once again had the only thing I could beat, air!
That hand brought me to ~5.5 mil, which was more than half the chips in play four-handed. I hadn't been in a tough spot yet and was feeling GREAT when we got down to three-handed play.