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.
If you haven't read it yet start with Part 1 and come back here for the conclusion!
My momentum was halted three-handed while we traded (relatively) small pots for HOURS. I managed to get away with a one mirrrrrrion chip bluff bluff against Soheil, which isn't easy against a guy who hates folding!
I'll leave that one for the broadcast to show though, because it's just not the same telling the story without having Soheil mumbling, "I think I'm folding the best hand ... I'm probably folding the best hand ..."
I managed to maintain around ~4.5-6mil for three hours and ~60 hands of three-handed play, which was also three levels since they decided that the length of levels would be dropped from 90 to 60 minutes for the televised final table to force action.
It's a little ironic that they try to make the tournament even more of a crapshoot when all of the money is on the line. This is something that the WPT should really stop doing...the levels should be LONGER if they're going to change them! This was one of the only problems with an otherwise decent structure.
I had about half of the chips in play (5.5mil) at 40/80k in the small blind, and Soheil (3.6 million) folded the button. I had A♣ T♠ in the small blind and raised to 200k hoping that Cornel Cimpan would shove his 1.5mil/19 big blind stack in.
I got my wish! Unfortunately, he had A♦ K♥ =(. I forgot to ask him to shove with a worse hand in my head as I raised. Oops. This was basically a cooler in this situation, so I shook it off and was still in good shape. It brought the stacks much closer, though:
Seat 4. Cornel Andrew Cimpan - 3,000,000
Seat 5. Soheil Shamseddin - 3,610,000
Seat 6. Matt "Allinat420" Stout - 3,980,000
Then it happened. The biggest pot and sickest hand of my entire career that'll be replaying in my mind for years to come.
I (3.7mil) raised to 200k at 40/80k on the button with 5♥ 6♥. Soheil (3.2mil) called from the big blind after Cornel (3.7mil) folded. The flop came K♥ K♦ 4♥, and Soheil bet 150k. For several reasons I really felt that he had a King, so I just called.
BINK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 3♥ on the turn gives me a flush with an open-ended straight-flush draw. Soheil bets 300k, I raise 420k (<3 that number obv) more, and he ships it in my face immediately. Before he can pronouce the 'n' in "all in" I've already announced a call and turned my hand over.
Soheil shows K♠ 9♣, so he has 10 outs to fill up or make quads on the river and is a little more than a 4:1 dog...
There's 6.5mil in the pot, and winning this hand would mean going heads-up with Cornel and being guaranteed just under half a million in real money. I'd also have a >2:1 chip lead going into heads-up play, and be playing for $910k and the $25k seat to the Bellagio WPT Championship....
Needless to say, this is the biggest moment of my poker career. But in the world of TV final tables they lovvvvvve to draw out the excitement and suspense.
I stood there over the table for what seemed like approximately 15,343,921 years debating whether I should go stand with my family or be right there to see the card come off the deck. I just couldn't bring myself to walk away...I just stood there and waited...
and finally the dealer awoke from her coma to deal the river card: 9♥ in my face!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I let out a heart-felt "GAH!" but quickly went back to shaking Soheil's hand, saying nice hand, and paying that man hisss monnnnney (OK seriously, I've been blogging for years without a single "Rounders" reference ... let one slide people).
I was crippled to 445k, which was made worse by the announcement that we'd be playing 60/120k the next hand. I learned a longgggg time ago that you don't give up no matter how short you are, though. I've won a couple tournaments after being crippled to 2-3 big blinds in the mid stages, including my WSOP ring win.
I launched a serious ninja mode assaults and doubled K♠ 8♦ through Cornel's A♥ 2♠ to get back over a million. I shipped it in repeatedly afterwards and actually managed to get back into 2nd place in chips while Cornel was slipping.
Then I moved in on the button for 1.7 million at 60/120k with K♣ J♣, and Cornel called all in for just under 1.5 million total from the small blind with Q♦ Q♥. Soheil (7.4mil) folded from the big blind, and I whiffed out completely.
Then, while I had 280k going into the big blind of 120k, they took a 10-minute break to change the tapes. Nice timing. Can't just let a man die in peace!!!
I ended up calling all-in three ways on the next hand, which I should have done without looking at my cards because it's going to be the correct play regardless of my hand. I made the mistake of looking ... and found 3♠ 2♥. BAHHHHH!!!!
I called anyway after briefly trying to talk myself out of it, and was eliminated in 3rd place for $265,710 after Soheil made trips sixes on the flop with A♣ 6♦.
::pauses to roll a blunt before writing the reflective part of this blog...because it just feels right::
A lot of my friends and family expected me to be mad after taking such a huge bad beat. I guess you could look at it a lot of ways, but for me it usually just boils down to how I feel I performed.
I was pretty anxious on breaks when I was thinking about the life-changing money at stake, but at the table I was calm and focused. I feel that I made the best decisions possible with the information I had, and that I really played my best for not just the final table but six consecutive days of the tournament.
In short: Sure, I could be bitter about losing a few hundred thousand in equity when the 9♥ hit, but I'm just happy that I was able to do something I love, do it well, and win over a quarter million at it. When I think of it that way, it's kind of hard to be mad!
I'd just like to take this opportunity like to thank my family and friends who dropped everything they were doing/called in sick and drove up to Foxwoods as soon as I called to let them know I'd made the final table ... even my parents, who were scheduled to go back to work that day after a week of vacation time!
Without the support of those around me I'd never be where I am today. Thanks SOOOOO much to all of you, from my parents' down to the people I've never met who just read my blog and quietly hope for me to do well.
All of it means a lot more to me than any of you know, and is why that nine on the river will never change that fact that I'm one of the luckiest guys in the world!
More blog posts from Matt Stout
- WPT Foxwoods Final Table Preview Part 1
- Stout's Sunday Report: March 14, 2010
- Stout's Sunday Report: March 7, 2010
- Slowrolling at the LAPC $5k