Woods-Watch 2015: James Woods Falls Short of WSOP Gold Bracelet
Today James Woods made his first WSOP final table and we followed him every step of the way to his eventual 7th-place finish.
Woods had a tough final table to deal with and although he was able to assert himself early, in the end he couldn't overcome chip leader David Peter's superior stack and experience.
Woods battled his way to seventh before busting. He earned $28,832 which was his biggest WSOP cash so far, and his second-biggest overall.
PokerListings.com was all over the action like Lester Diamond on Ginger McKenna and we have all the action plus a ton of extras for you below.
Keep reading for the rundown of James Woods's day and stay tuned for a full interview we did with him which will be up soon and linked here.
6:00pm - James Woods Finishes 7th for $28,832
Sadly, the dream has died. James Woods is out in seventh-place courtesy of a one-two combo from Nick Petrangelo and chip leader David Peters.
The crippler started with Petrangelo raising to 35,000 from the cut-off and Woods defending from the big blind. Both players checked down the J♣ 8♦ 4♥ 7♦ 8♠ board and Petrangelo showed 5♠ 4♠ which was good enough against Woods's K♥ T♠.
Woods was left with roughly 10 big blinds which he wasted little time putting to work.
David Peters raised on the button and Woods jammed all-in. They tabled their hands and it was a race between Woods's pocket deuces and Peters' K-Q.
A king on the turn swung the odds way in Peters' favor and a brick on the river made it official.
5:10 - Q&A With Andreas Hoivold
On the first break of the final table, PokerListings discussed the final table and James Woods with Andreas Hoivold, an EPT champion with more than $1.7 million in live tournament earnings.
PokerListings: We can tell by your demeanor this meas a lot to you. How much fun are you having?
Andreas Hoivold: The reason I play poker is to play final tables, big final tables, and World Series final tables are, of course, the biggest you can get.
To be honest, I was more excited before it started. I had a really bad run from the start but now I’m back to average.
I’ve been playing pretty well.
PokerListings: It’s kind of a special final table with James Woods here. How he’s played so far?
Hoivold: I haven’t seen him make many mistakes. I mean, he’s even been taking some pots where he's probably not had the best hand.
He’s playing well, I was expecting him to play not that well to be honest.
PokerListings: Do you think other players at the final table feel the same way?
Hoivold: It’s hard to talk for others but I would think that more people than I would say he’s played better than we expected.
Then again, he’s won two tables like the rest of us. To win one table you can get kind of lucky, but to win two…
PokerListings: Especially against tough players in this event.
Yes, exactly. I played the $1,500 shootout the last couple years without playing this and the level of players in this tournament is better.
Because of the Colossus, the people that were in this one weren't bad players, they were good players.
PokerListings: As a poker professional you must be interested in the growth of the game. What effect do you think someone like James Woods succeeding in this event has on poker?
Hoivold: It’s not in any way bad for the game. There’s no downside, it’s an upside.
People like to have him around, he’s nice, he’s just like the rest of us except that he’s James Woods.
Also, he’s probably like twice the age of the second-oldest at the table too but he still kicks ass and he’s here at the final table of the World Series of Poker.
PokerListings: You probably want to win this bracelet for yourself, but if not, would you like to see James Woods win?
Hoivold: I want to play him heads-up, I have to admit that, I would like nothing more.
He said Doug Polk taught him a lesson yesterday and I hope that I can teach him another lesson, teach him a little bit better than the last lesson he got.
4:30 - Once Upon a Time in Las Vegas
It's been a somewhat uneventful level for James Woods but thanks to a few small lost pots he's now second-last in chips with about 275,000.
Players are on a 20-minute break and when they return the blinds will go up to 6k/12k with a 2k ante which means Woods is flirting with shortstack status.
We spoke to Mr. Woods on the break and he expressed how much winning would mean to him.
"If I win this bracelet I'll probably burst out in tears," he said.
We'll have the full interview for you soon, as well as a short conversation we had with Andreas Hoivold.
4:00 - Harwood Out, Woods Bluffing
It's roughly two hours into this final table and we've lost our first player. Loni Harwood, a very tough player who was seated directly to James Woods's left, has been eliminated in 10th for $13,150.
Derek Bowers opened to 18,000 and Harwood moved all-in for 93,000. Bowers called with A-5 and was ahead of Harwood's K-Q. An ace hit the flop and Harwood could not recover.
Shortly after, James Woods was on the button and called a raise from Nick Petrangelo.
Two other players came along as well and the flop came down 9-7-2 rainbow. Woods fired 52,000 and Jason Les was the only caller.
They both checked the T♠ on the turn but Woods took the lead on the A♣ river with a bet of 82,000. Les took a few moments before calling and showing 9-4 for third pair.
Woods showed 5♠ 6♠ for nothing but a flopped inside straight draw. Woods was down to about 390,000 after that hand.
3:25 - Woods Down, Quickly Back Up
After playing a relatively restrained game for the first hour or so, James Woods is mixing it up and ramping up the aggression.
With blinds of 4k/8k and a 1k ante David Peters opened to 18,000 from middle position and Woods three-bet to 40,000 from the cut-off.
The flop came 9♦ 7♥ 5♣ and Woods bet 52,000. Peters check-called and the turn was the A♠. After Peters checked, Woods bet 87,000. Peters called again and they checked down the 4♣.
Woods showed A-J but Peters did him one better by rolling over A-K.
Woods was down to about 375,000 after that hand but got into another big hand shortly after.
Leo Wolpert raised to 16,000 from middle position and Woods three-bet to 44,000 from the hijack. Jason Les came in with a big cold four-bet to 127,000 and after Wolpert mucked, Woods called.
The flop came down A♥ 9♣ 5♣ and Les checked. Woods fired 80,000 which was enough to force a fold from Les.
With that pot Woods was back up to about 580,000.
3:05pm - Woods Keeps Rising
James Woods is picking his spots well and has snagged two more pots to climb up to around 550,000.
First he three-bet David Peters and kept firing on the flop, picking up the pot. The second he three-bet after Nick Petrangelo raised to 20k and Derek Bowers called on the button.
Woods made true believers out of them both and raked in the pot.
2:45pm - Woods Chilling, Harwood Fighting
Since picking up that early pot James Woods has been playing it cool and sitting back.
The other wood at the table, Loni Hardwood, however, has not.
The 2013 WSOP bracelet winner made a huge all-in river bluff with ace-high against David Peters on an 8-2-2-T-5 rainbow board.
Peters snapped her off with pocket tens for top full house, leaving Harwood with just 60,000.
Shortly after, Harwood shoved for 52,000 from the button with A-7 and was called by Jeffrey Griffiths in the small blind with K♣ J♣.
Ace-high was best by the river and Harwood doubled to around 120,000.
2:15pm - Cards in the Air, Second Pot to Woods
The players are in their seats and the cards are in the air at this final table. Blinds start at 3k/6k with a 1k ante.
The first pot went to 2009 bracelet winner Brian Lemke who snagged a few chips from Norway's Andreas Hoivold, but the second was all James Woods.
It started with Leo Wolpert, who also won a bracelet in 2009, raising before the flop to 15,000. Woods three-bet to 40,000 from the small blind and after Loni Harwood folded in the big, Wolpert made the call.
Woods came out firing on the K♦ J♦ 6♣ flop to the tune of 48,000 and Wolpert mucked. With that pot woods moves up over half a million.
First of Many Photo Galleries
We'll be all over this final table like Lester Diamond on Ginger Mckenna all day long so check out the first of many photos.
Final Table Chip Counts
- Nick Petrangelo - 474,000
- Andreas Hoivold - 472,000
- David Peters - 467,000
- James Woods - 462,000
- Brian Lemke - 460,000
- Derek Bowers - 460,000
- Loni Harwood - 446,000
- Jeffrey Griffiths - 445,000
- Leo Wolpert - 444,000
- Jason Les - 443,000
The Hard Way to the Final Table
To make it to this final table James Woods had to win two consecutive single-table freezeouts, but it was the second that gave him the most trouble.
Woods battled his way to heads-up play and was faced with what may have been the biggest challenge of his poker life: Doug "WCGRider" Polk.
Polk won his first WSOP bracelet last year in the $1,000 Turbo and is widely regarded as one of the best heads-up No-Limit Hold'em players in the world.
Polk and Woods fought a long battle that saw the chip lead traded back and forth.
The highlight of the match was on a flop of K♣ Q♥ T♠. Blinds were 2k/4k with a 1k ante and Woods fired 22,000. Polk called and the turn was the T♦.
Woods checked this time and Polk bet 42,000. Woods check-raised to 84,000 and Polk called.
The river was the J♣ and Woods moved all-in for 110,000. A crowd had gathered and after some time in the tank Polk folded his hand.
"That's how you win a bracelet!" said Woods as he turned over 8♠ 3♣ for a complete bluff.
Celebrity Story Time with James Woods at WSOP 2014
Last year we spoke with Woods on camera and he recounted a few gems from days of Hollywood past, including how The Walking Dead's Scott Wilson once blew an entire movie cheque in one weekend in Vegas.
Woods also talks about his experience playing in legendary Hollywood home games with Ben Affleck, Tobey Maguire and more.
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