Timeline

Event 18 - Matusow Takes It!

After hours upon hours of grueling final table play, Mike "The Mouth" Matusow has defeated Jeffrey Lisandro heads-up to take down the $5,000 No Limit 2-7 Triple Draw w/Rebuys tournament and clinch his third WSOP bracelet!

On the climactic hand, Matusow open-shoved all-in and Lisandro made the call for his tournament life. Lisandro drew one card and after some serious thought, Matusow decided to stand pat. 

The Mouth turned up a Q-8-7-4-3 low and Lisandro showed 9-6-5-3-x as he squeezed his last card. It came a queen, giving him a Q-9 low and thus clinching the tournament for Matusow!

For the victory, the  Full Tilt Poker pro takes $537,857 while Lisandro earns $347,004. Stay tuned for a full recap and interview with the winner!

Level
23
Blinds
25000/50000
Ante
15000
Players Left
1
Tables Left
1
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Event 18 - The Mouth versus The Iceman!

It's been a back and forth battle in the rac for the deuce to seven bracelet but so far it's the mouth who is on top.

He has pegged back the lead from Lisandro, turning thins round in imperious fashion. Mike's supporters on the rail are drunk, enthusiastic and vocal, a combination which is leading to some ear-bursting whooping and hollering from the crowd.

Mike actually had Lisandro allin once, calling his shove after they both drew, Mike showing T-8-7, Lisandro T-8-5 which was good!

"I didn't want to make my hand" Mike told the crowd.

It was almost over that hand but Lisandro's hand was just a smidgen better, so he survived. Lisandro has changed his hat in an effort to stop the rot.

Mike maintains the advantage for now, but the battle continues...

Here are the current chip counts.

Mike Matusow
$2,600,000
Jeffrey Lisandro
$$950,000

 

Level
23
Blinds
25000/50000
Ante
15000
Players Left
2
Tables Left
1
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Event 18 - Three Handed Marathon Is Over!

Yes the prolonged three handed battle between Mike Matusow, Barry Greenstein and Jeffrey Lisandro is OVER!

Barry Busto!

Barry Greenstein
Bye!

Barry Greenstein found himself short and shoved from the small blind, Lisandro calling quickly from the big blind.

Both drew one, Barry showing 9-7-6-2 currently in the lead versus Jeff's T-8-4-5.

As Barry looked at the card he drew he grimaced, not impressed, as he presumably paired up.

Jeff flipped an Ace to take down the pot, meaning Barry Greenstein is OUT, eliminated in 3rd spot for $225,553.

He handed Jeff a signed copy of his book, as is his customary practice when knocked out of a competition.

Mike Matusow starts the heads up with a deficit but is in a positive frame of mind.

"One double up is all I need!" was his assessment.

Expect fireworks!

Level
23
Blinds
25000/50000
Ante
15000
Players Left
2
Tables Left
1
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Event 18 - Digging Their Heels In!

Any thought that reducing the players to three handed would bring a swift resolution to the final table has been blown away. Every time a player finds himself disadvantaged with a short stack, he doubles through or picks up a decent pot to bring himself into contention again.

No one is conceding ground at the moment.

Here's what's been occurring at the table.

Twice The Ice

Lisandro calls a button raise from Barry Greenstein, and Matusow also calls from the big blind.

Two for Greenstein, One for Lisandro, One for Mike.

Barry Greenstein
Getting On Top

Greenstein now fires out $200,000, only to find The Iceman shoving his stack in for $560,000. Matusow folded what he later claimed was a T-8 whilst Greenstein was uninterested in calling, passing up quickly once the dealer turned to him.

A nice pot for Lisandro, bringing him back up to close to the million mark and continuing the trend of the shorter stacks winning out in the crucial pots.

Ice Melting 

Mike Matusow
Making His Mike
 

Having won that nice pot, Jeffrey gave much of his winnings back, calling Matusow's shove over his button raise.

Both drew one, but Mike flipped over 8-4-3-2-7 for an almost unbeatable hand, and Lisandro couldn't do any better, meaning Mike doubles up.

Here are the current chip standings, courtesy of worldseriesofpoker.com

Barry Greenstein $1,740,000
Mike Matusow
$915,000
Jeffrey Lisandro
$750,000

 

 

Level
23
Blinds
25000/50000
Ante
15000
Players Left
3
Tables Left
1
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Event 18 - Mike Up Guys!

The players have recently returned from their dinner break.

Here's what's been occurring at the felt.

Mouth Bites Back

Having seen his stack decimated by Jeff Lisandro, just before dinner, Mike came back, clearly in no mood to give up easily, shoving over the top of several raises and showing down pat hands when his opponents gave it up.

His stack at a lowly $450k ish pre-dinner moved rapidly up to $700,000. He's not going down without a fight!

It got even better for Mike as he called a bet from Lisandro preflop and drew one to Lisandro's two. 

Barry Greenstein
Steady As She Goes

On the river Lisandro counted out $100,000 and was quickly called by Mike who tabled a T low, Lisandro mucking his bluff.

Lip From Mouth

Revitalised and chipped up over a million now, Mike has got his voice back, taking time out to have a joke with the crowd.

When Jeffrey Lisandro, who has been pretty aggressive, folded from the small blind, Mike had this to say,

Jeffrey Lisandro
Getting It In The Neck From The Mouth

"What time is that folks. 11.05? Make a note of it, at 11.05 Jeffrey Lisandro folded from the small blind for the first time in his life! Give him a round of applause!"

The crowd, entertained by Mike's antics, obliged and warmly applauded Jeff for this rare show of generosity!

Level
21
Blinds
15000/30000
Ante
7000
Players Left
3
Tables Left
1
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Event 18 - Player Down!

Finally the players have clashed swords and it is the fiery Mike Matusow who has drawn first blood in this four handed battle.

Not So Easy Squeezy (Lindgren OUT - 4th)

After Jeffrey Lisandro popped it up to $85,000 on the button, The Mouth flat called from the small blind.

Erick Lindgren saw this as a great opportunity to squeeze and moved allin. Mike took his time and....called!

Erick drew 1 card, Matusow two.

The tension rose as Matusow flipped over his hand 8-7-6-4-2. A monster 8-7 low at this stage and one Lindgren was unlikely to match.

He rolled them over and as expected, he couldn't beat this, shaking his head as he got up from the table, whilst Mike fist-pumped as his customary show of pleasure as he realised he had won the hand.

No second bracelet for Erick today!

Erick Lindgren is OUT, eliminated in 4th spot for $156,151.

Since Erick's elimination, Barry has been putting the pressure on Lisandro, re-raising allin several times to pick up pots off the iceman.

Toothless Mouth?

Lisandro raised it up to $85,000 on the button, only to find Matusow re-popping it to $285,000 from the small blind.

A pass from Greenstein but Lisandro refused to let 'The Mouth' bully him, making the call.

Mike stood pat and Lisandro drew one.

Lisandro checked the river, and Mike bet out $200,000 confidently. Lisandro interrogated Mike for a short while, receiving no response from his impassive figure.

Eventually he called and Mike scowled his displeasure immediately, mucking what was obviously a bluff as the audience gently applauded Lisandro's bravery.

Mike has a chance to get his composure back as the players have now broken for a dinner break.

Jeffrey Lisandro
Nice Ice Baby!

Current Chip Counts

Here are the pre-dinner chip counts. Lisandro has taken a stranglehold on the competition and Mike will have his work cut out to breach the deficit.

Counts courtesy of WorldSeriesOfPoker.com

Jeffrey Lisandro $2,035,000
Barry Greenstein
$1,150,000
Mike Matusow
$405,000

 

 

Level
21
Blinds
15000/30000
Ante
7000
Players Left
3
Tables Left
1
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Event 18 - The Chess Game Continues

The play proceeds at a cautious rate. There is a wealth of experience, 6 bracelets and $20,000,000 in tournament winnings between these last four players, and none of them is likely to give his chips away without a fight.

Pro Parity

The four pro players are like poker playing blocks of ice, focused 100% on the play.

Barry Greenstein, watched by his son Joe Sebok from the crowd, is languidly folding, or occasionally raising with the same laid back motions ; the baseball-capped Erick Lindgren is chewing robotically and relentlessly on a piece of gum as he looks to pick up his 2nd bracelet of the series.

Jeffrey Lisandro is nicknamed The Iceman, so you can probably make an educated guess at his demeanor. He has done well to drag himself back into the chip lead after being short not long ago.

Mike Matusow is the only player to be making any show of emotion, fistpumping and taking a brisk walk whenever he makes a good call or wins a nice pot.

The four pros are like snakes, coiling and circling round each other, waiting for a hole to appear in each other's defences so they can strike.

Given the players' talents in this game though, it seems unlikely there will be many opportunities, and it may take several big hands to bump heads before we see out next elimination.

As it is at the moment, the players are maintaining parity, Lindgren the shortstack, but he is only one decent pot away from the chip leader, Jeffrey Lisandro.

Here are the current chip counts, courtesy of worldseriesofpoker.com

Jeffrey Lisandro $950,000
Barry Greenstein
$930,000
Mike Matusow
$925,000
Erick Lindgren
$705,000

 

Level
21
Blinds
15000/30000
Ante
7000
Players Left
4
Tables Left
1
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Event 18 - Lisandro Short - No, Wait, Stacked

Down to just four players, the game isn't moving all that much faster. It's clear that all our remaining competitors want the bracelet badly enough that they're completely focused at the table.

The Lisandro Show

With Tom Schneider and his short stack gone from the field, the attention has turned to Jeffrey Lisandro. He was involved in several important hands during the last level, several of which went badly, but he’s still hanging in there.

Just after Schneider’s elimination, Lisandro called Erick Lindgren’s preflop raise to $60,000 from the small blind. Both men took one card, and Lisandro checked after the draw. Lindgren bet $115,000 and Lisandro made an immediate call. Lindgren turned up 9-7-6-4-2, which was good enough to take the pot.

About 20 minutes later, Lisandro made it $60,000 to go from the cutoff and Mike Matusow called on the button. Both men drew one card, and Lisandro fired out $100,000. Matusow reached for his chips, waited, and then moved a stack of $5,000 chips forward.

“Pair,” said Lisandro. That sent Matusow into celebration mode as he turned over K-9-7-3-2, good enough to take down the pot.

Jeffrey Lisandro
Lisandro rides the roller coaster, survives - for now.

Finally, the Iceman decided to get all-in after Lindgren opened for $60,000. Lisandro shipped it for his last $175,000, which Lindgren called, and then stood pat on the draw. E-Dog drew one card, saw that he couldn’t beat Lisandro’s 10-8-7-6-3, and mucked his cards.

After all that, Lisandro sat on $360,000. Following a stretch of pots taken down without a draw, he got involved in one further key pot after he and Mike Matusow called Barry Greenstein’s $60,000 raise before the draw. Lisandro drew one card, Matusow drew one, and Greenstein took two.

Lisandro came out firing after the draw, making a big bet of $200,000. Both his opponents folded and he turned up 7-6-5-4-3 - a straight, which is no good in deuce-to-seven lowball.

“I bluffed them!” said the Iceman with a smile, in a rare show of emotion.

Le Break!

Most of the breaks during WSOP tournaments are used to clear the players out, giving them a chance to stretch or catch a smoke or a bite while the tournament staff goes through color-ups or prize pool calculations. The last break in our game, however, was used to move the final table back to the ESPN set.

It’s a good call on the part of the WSOP management, responding relatively quickly to an issue the way they have today. It’s just too bad they didn’t consider making this decision yesterday, when they could have given all seven of these titans of poker the spotlight - and the respect - that they deserve.

40 Chip Counts to Freedom

Here's a look at the current chip counts, courtesy of WorldSeriesOfPoker.com:

Barry Greenstein
$981,000
Erick Lindgren
$961,000
Mike Matusow
$925,000
Jeffrey Lisandro
$725,000
Level
20
Blinds
12000/24000
Ante
6000
Players Left
4
Tables Left
1
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Event 18 - ZOMG! Four Players Left!

The beat goes on, as does the tournament clock, at our final table. We're down to four now and there aren't any signs it'll be over anytime soon.

Moving the Table

It looks like our final table is going to be moved over to the ESPN set after all. According to WSOP Communications Director Seth Palansky, ESPN had to get extra insurance coverage to indemnify them against any possible accidents on the set. That coverage has been secured and the remaining players will move to the set after the next break.

Schneider Schtumped! (5th)

It looks like last year’s WSOP Player of the Year, Tom Schneider, is going to have to wait a little longer for his third career bracelet.
Jeffrey Lisandro raised to $60,000 under the gun and Mike Matusow immediately flat-called. Schneider then moved all-in from the button for $185,000. Both other men in the pot called and went to the draw.

Lisandro took one card, Matusow took one card, and Schneider stood pat. Lisandro then checked, prompting a quick $200,000 bet from the Mouth. Lisandro mucked 8-8-5-3-2, and Matusow declared he had a 9-5-4-3-2.

Schneider quietly mucked his cards, and Matusow bolted out of his chair. “YES!” he screamed, pumping his fist, before approaching Schneider and shaking his hand.

Tom Schneider
Schneider comes up short, finishing 5th.

We talked to Schneider as he was cashing out about his final hand - he said he stood pat on a 10-7.

“I had a shot to triple up there,” said Schneider. “When Jeff checks, I know I’ve got him beat, and I just have on guy to fade. And then Mikey draws it.”

“I was getting short-stacked and had to do something. I knew I was going to get called in both spots, but I don’t really mind getting it in there. I’m not a favorite against both hands together, but I’m a favorite over each one of them separately.”

This was Schneider’s sixth career WSOP final table, and he says it was by far the toughest. “No one was giving any chips. It’s really a card-catching deal - if you catch cards, you’re going to last.”

“All in all it wasn’t a bad $15,000 investment. I’ve had a bad WSOP so far and this will reset me. I’m going to go register for the HORSE event now and win that baby.”

It's Business Time

Now that we're four-handed the pace is beginning to pick up. Gathering chips now is starting to become a much higher priority, as the starting hand requirements for getting involved go down and the players get closer together in chips.

Happiness Is a Warm Chip Count

Here are your current chip counts, courtesy of WorldSeriesOfPoker.com:

Erick Lindgren $1,350,000
Mike Matusow
$1,015,000
Barry Greenstein
$830,000
Jeffrey Lisandro
$335,000

 

Level
19
Blinds
10000/20000
Ante
5000
Players Left
4
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Event 18 - Oh Noez! Stakes Getting Higher

Another level, another elimination - the game might not be moving all that fast, but at this pace we still won’t be going late into the night. Of course, this is the WSOP and anything could happen.

Official Statement From WSOP About Final Table Placement 

We spoke with Seth Palansky, the WSOP's Communications Director, and he gave us an official statement on why the final table is being played away from the stage.

"The event was never meant to be a televised table," said Palansky. "The stage area is used exclusively for televised events, so this final table could not be held there."

No Pins Dropping Here

Despite the presence of Mike Matusow, the table is mostly quiet today as these elite players battle it out for one of the most prestigious bracelets at the WSOP. The shuffling of chips at all the tables throughout the room is actually louder than anything going on at our final table - with the exceptional of an occasional Matusow outburst like “Tony G is in the hizzy!”

Top Shelf Railbirds

It seems like even with all the other tournaments going on today, all the pros in the room want to know what’s going on next to the No Limit Lounge. Among the well-known players dropping in to check on the proceedings are 2006 Deuce-to-Seven bracelet winner Daniel Alaei, Bret Jungblut, Chris Bell, and Max Pescatori.

Antanas
Stone cold killah Tony G finishes 6th.

Tony Toni Toned! (6th)

When we talked to Tom Schneider before today’s final table, he told us that he felt Tony G’s psychological game would be mostly useless because of the quality of his opponents. It looks like relying on just the cards to carry him through wasn’t enough today.

After several missteps, the G was down to just $141,000. He made his stand after Erick Lindgren opened the pot for $40,000, shoving all-in from the button. Lindgren called when the action got back to him and both men drew one card.

Tony G showed 8-5-3-2 against Lindgren’s 9-8-6-4, meaning he was in great shape. While Lindgren drew a 5 for a made 9-8, Tony G drew a second deuce to pair his hand, losing the pot and his tournament life in the process.

Tony G takes home $78,075.

Barry Greenstein
Greenstein has many, many gears, and he is not afraid to use them all.

Greenstein Gears Up

After staying relatively quiet through the first portion of this final table, Barry Greenstein has begun to pick spots to get involved.

First he picked off a bluff from Tom Schneider after the draw, calling with 2-2-9-7-3 when Schneider had paired a ten that was already in his hand.

Then just before the break, Greenstein moved all-in for $500,000 over the top of Lindgren’s $40,000 opening bet. The exasperated Lindgren eventually decided against the call, shipping the pot to Greenstein.

Finally, right after the break, Greenstein tangled with Mike Matusow and came out on the right end. Matusow opened for $46,000 under the gun and Greenstein reraised to $150,000 from the small blind. Matusow called quickly and drew one card after Greenstein stood pat. After the draw, Greenstein fired out $100,000, putting Matusow into the tank before he eventually folded.

Emperor Tomato Chip Counts

Here are your current chip leaders, courtesy of WorldSeriesOfPoker.com:

Erick Lindgren $1,450,000
Barry Greenstein
$679,000
Mike Matusow
$565,000
Jeffrey Lisandro
$525,000
Tom Schneider
$413,000

 

Level
18
Blinds
8000/16000
Ante
4000
Players Left
5
Post a comment

Event 18 - Starting With a Bang

We may have a marquee event underway today with the toughest final table lineup so far this year, but it’s not getting the marquee treatment. The final seven players in this event are set up on a regular table just outside the ESPN set, with spectators lined up two- and three-deep on the rail just a few feet away. We’re trying to get an official statement from the WSOP folks as to exactly why this huge event has been relegated to such a non-descript location.

Despite the minor-league setting, the atmosphere is still as electric as you’d expect with this kind of lineup. The crowd is hanging on every move the players make, and plenty of other players are hanging around watching. Joe Sebok is standing by, consulting with Barry Greenstein between hands, and Jordan Morgan - who is alive in another tournament but seated nearby - is standing up to watch the proceedings when he isn't involved at his table.

No Kidding

Given the star power at this table, Mike Matusow couldn’t have picked a more fitting t-shirt to wear today. On the back it reads, “The Kiddie Game Is Down the Street.”

Getting Off the Schneid

Tom Schneider came in as the shortest stack remaining at the table, but he wasn’t worried.

“I feel like I’m not in a hurry. I just need to win a hand in the first round or two,” he told us before the final table started. “In fact, all I really need is to pick up the blinds and antes. I think usually people panic in this situation and I’m not going to do that.”

His patient strategy was put to the test early when he came over the top of David Benyamine’s opening raise of $30,000. Schneider’s bet was $126,000 total, which Benyamine called.

Schneider stood pat on his 10-7-5-3-2, while Benyamine drew one card to go with his 9-5-4-3. The draw didn’t help Mr. Erica Schoenberg, and the Donkey Bomber doubled up to $288,000.

David Benyamine
No bracelet for Benyamine today.

Mr. Schoenberg’s Opus (7th)

We’ve got our first elimination of the day: David Benyamine.

With hte blinds up to $6,000-$12,000 and a $3,000 ante, Erick Lindgren opened the pot for $40,000 and was called by Tony G. The big Frenchman then shipped it for his last $146,000, and only Lindgren called. Benyamine stood pat on his J-8-7-4-2, while Lindgren drew one to go with his 8-5-4-2.

The draw card for Lindgren was a 7, making 8-7 low and taking the pot against Benyamine’s J-8. Mr. Erica Schoenberg takes home $58,990.

Schneider Making Moves

Not the “push them around” kind, more like the “up the leaderboard” kind. After his earlier double-up, Schneider took down a three-way pot with Erick Lindgren and Tony G uncontested.

The big one, though, came when Schneider opened the pot for $35,000 form the cutoff. Lindgren, on the button, made it $140,000 to go. Schneider considered his move and then called.

Both men drew one card. Schneider took his time before announcing himself all-in for $166,000. E-Dog made the call but mucked his cards when Schneider showed 8-6-5-4-2. That put the Donkey Bomber up to $651,000, more than four times what he entered the table with.

Velvet Chip Counts and Nico

Here's a look at the current chip counts, courtesy of WorldSeriesOfPoker.com:

Erick Lindgren
$800,000
Tom Schneider
$651,000
Mike Matusow
$615,000
Tony G
$425,000
Jeffrey Lisandro
$420,000
Barry Greenstein
$380,000
Level
17
Blinds
6000/12000
Ante
3000
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Event Name Event 18, No-Limit 2-7 Triple-Draw w/re-buys
Venue Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino, Las Vegas
Date 9 June 2008
Final Day 11 June 2008
Buy In $5,000
Entrants 85
Prize Pool $1,735,020
First Prize $537,682
Level Ante Blinds
Level 1 50 100/200
Level 2 100 200/400
Level 3 150 300/600
Level 4 150 300/600
Level 5 200 400/800
Level 6 300 500/1000
Level 7 300 600/1200
Level 8 400 800/1600
Level 9 500 1000/2000
Level 10 600 1200/2400
Level 11 700 1500/3000
Level 12 1000 2000/4000
Level 13 1500 2500/5000
Level 14 1500 3000/6000
Level 15 2000 4000/8000
Level 16 3000 5000/10000
Level 17 3000 6000/12000
Level 18 4000 8000/16000
Level 19 5000 10000/20000
Level 20 6000 12000/24000
Level 21 7000 15000/30000
Level 22 10000 20000/40000
Level 23 15000 25000/50000
Level 24 15000 30000/60000
Level 25 20000 40000/80000
Level 26 30000 50000/100000
Level 27 30000 60000/120000

Mike Matusow
wins
$537,857

Event 18, No-Limit 2-7 Triple-Draw w/re-buys

Top Money Finishers Prize
1. Mike Matusow $537,857
2. Jeffrey Lisandro $347,004
3. Barry Greenstein $225,553
4. Erick Lindgren $156,152
5. Tom Schneider $104,101
6. Antanas "Tony G" Guoga $78,076
7. David Benyamine $58,991
8. Thomas Dwan $45,111
9. Dario Alioto $34,700
10. David Grey $34,700