Most of the time poker is considered a game that requires patience and moves at the snails pace. On Day 3 of the WSOPC the game moved at Indianapolis 500 speed.
On the very first hand of the day a player was busted and it was indicative of what was to come. Thomas Hover, the short stack at the table with only $40,000, decided to move all-in with 9-8 on a board of 10-6-3-A and received a call from Carlos Uz who was holding A-K. Hover was in big trouble and looking for the straight on the river. Hover had no such luck as the river fell 10♥ and within a minute of the day starting we had our first casualty.
Chris Moore, one of the big stacks heading into today's action, was hurt badly early on when Marc Fratter pushed all-in with A-K and Moore called with a straight draw and that draw never came. It was a pivotal hand because Fratter turned out to be an important player the rest of the day.
The most well-know player at the table, Tom Schneider, was trying to escape elimination and double up early. With only $40,000 to work with Schneider knew he wouldn't last many rotations so he tried to get it in good when he could. Unfortunately the Donkey Bomber was ousted when he shoved for his last $17,000 and got two callers in Vito Calluso and Chris Moore.
The flop went A♣ Q♣ 7♣ and Calluso bet $20,000 which caused Moore to fold. Schneider knew he was likely in trouble when he flipped over 8♠ 8♦ and he was right - Calluso showed A♦-10c for a pair of aces and they held up.
It was disappointing to see a player of Schneider's caliber get eliminated so early but with the way he's playing he'll be making another final table appearance soon.
Play didn't slow for even a minute with Schneider's exit. James Lindsay was the next to go when he got it in with A♠ K♥ against Uz' A♣ 9♣. Amazingly Uz spiked a nine on the flop and it held all the way to the river. Lindsay was left shaking his head as he walked to the exit.
With Lindsay's bust-out Uz took the chip lead with around $550,000 and he never looked back. In a hand that happened shortly after Lindsay's bust-out Uz got involved in a massive pot against Terry Ogle. Ogle was betting hard during the first three rounds but Uz held pocket threes and hit another trey on the river to win the pot with a set.
Several hands after the Ogle debacle Uz, who we like to call the "Uzi," targeted Chris Viox. In a strange play Viox moved all-in with Q♥ 3♥ and Uz made the call with A♥ 9♦. The board went K♥ 8♠ 4♠ J♠ 6♦ and the emotional Uz was cheering and pumping his fist. Viox was the sixth player to be eliminated and yet again Uz played a big role in the bust-out.
Uz wasn't finished. A few hands after the Viox elimination Moore got involved in a large pot against Uz and Calluso while holding Q♣ 9♣. The flop went 9♦ 9♥ 6♥ but Moore elected not to bet and checked. Uz and Calluso checked as well and the turn came 3♦. All three players checked the turn and the river came K♥. Moore bet $30,000 but Uz came back over the top for $60,000. Calluso quickly got out of the way and Moore made the call and in doing so put himself all in. Uz showed 10♥ 2♥ for the flush and Moore was finished.
The next elimination was surprising, only in that it actually wasn't Uz who did the busting. On a flop of 8♦ 6♣ 2♠ Marc Fratter bet $50,000 but Terry Ogle came back over the top by pushing all-in. Fratter calls and shows pocket deuces for the set. Ogle complimented Fratter's play and showed 8♥ 2♦ for two-pair. The turn went 6♠ and the river fell J♠ which was enough to finish Ogle's day.
It was now three-handed with Fratter and Uz the two titans and Calluso the dwarf. All three players congratulated each other and agreed they thought it would come down to them. Unfortunately this friendly moment wasn't to last and after several hands Calluso shoved with pocket nines and Fratter called with A♠ 8♦. The board went Q♣ 10♣ 10♠ 8♣ Q♦ and because Fratter out-kicked Calluso he took down the pot.
With Calluso's departure it was on to heads up play and here's where things got really interesting. With Uz and Fratter having nearly the same amount of chips play slowed right down. The two players were very friendly with each other and seemed to be testing the waters.
In the first level of heads-up play the chip stacks didn't change much. Neither player seemed willing to make a big bet and the chips just went back and forth but nothing really changed. When the level elapsed both players met outside the rail and talked about a deal. When they came back to the table they told the tournament directors they were going to split prize money 50/50 and just play for the $10,000 seat into the WSOP Main Event and the WSOPC title.
Surprisingly this did little to speed heads-up play. Although the two players were now joking and showing each other their cards on every hand neither one of them seemed willing to go all-in on a sub-par hand. They even to play their hands blind for awhile and bet $10,000 on every street without looking at their cards. Even this did little to speed up play and they decided to take another break and discuss things.
When the players got back they announced they would play only one more hand. They sat down at the table and declared they were both all-in. The flop went K♦ Q♦ 7♦ and Fratter curiously mucked his hand even though he was all-in. Uz was declared the winner and the audience was left scratching their heads.
Afterwards the players explained they didn't feel like playing a marathon heads-up session and Fratter agreed to take the $10,000 seat into the WSOP main event and an extra $5,000 but Uz would take the WSOPC title.
The WSOPC main event was finished less than six hours after the final table began. It was a bizarre ending to three exiting days of poker from the riverboat Casino in Caesars Indiana.
Congratulations to both Uz and Fratter who dominated the final table and decided to share the spoils. This is PokerListings.com signing off from the Hoosier state.