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.
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.
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 |