WSOP on ESPN: “Facial Hair Showdown at the Agro Corral”


We’re dangerously close to the live conclusion of the 2014 World Series of Poker Main Event next Monday and Tuesday. In the meantime, the start of Day 7 aired on Sunday night on ESPN in the form of two one-hour episodes. Scott Palmermade headlines out of the gate, doubling through Dan Smith(pictured) with A-3 against queens after an ace hit on the river. Billy Pappas, who was also in the hand, folded jacks on the turn.

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After slow-playing pocket kings, Sean Dempsey bet 550,000 on a board of 6-4-Q-5-J. Mark Newhouse, who had 9-7 suited for a rivered flush, put Dempsey all-in and he called, busting from the Main Event. Also exiting was Brian Roberts, whose K-J could not draw out on Eddy Sabat‘s A-Q after all of the money went in before the flop.

Thomas Sarracalled all-in before the flop with A-10 and ended up in a race against Andoni Larrabe‘s pocket eights. Sarra admitted, “I knew it was a terrible call, but I felt something wasn’t right.” Results-wise, Sarra made the right decision, hitting trip tens on the flop and doubling to nine million in chips. Larrabe (pictured) was the youngest player left in the field at age 22.

Dan Sindelarcracked aces with nines to take the chip lead. Also trending up was New Jersey pokerplayer William Tonking, who called all-in against Pappas with aces against jacks on a ten-high flop and doubled up.

Not as fortunate was rafting guide Bryan Devonshire, who had pocket tens and moved all-in before the flop against Max Senft, who had A-J. Senft came out on top of the race after hitting an ace on the flop and Devonshire turned in his second deep Main Event run in four years.

One-time chip juggernaut Kyle Keranen5bet all-in before the flop with K-Q of hearts and got a taker in Bruno Politano (pictured), who had him crushed with kings. After a flop and turn of 6-10-7-3, Keranen was drawing dead and out. He took 38th place in 2012, making multiple deep runs like Devonshire.

Also excelling in a follow-up Main Event performance was Leif Force, whose parents reportedly wanted to name him Life, but settled on Leif. In any case, he got his money in with K-Q against A-10, but could not suck out. It was his second time making the final three tables of the WSOP Main Event.

To close out the first episode, Smith called all-in before the flop with A-K of spades against Jorryt Van Hoof, who had pocket fours. The action was 5bet before the flop, leading ESPN poker commentator Norman Chad to dub it the “facial hair showdown at the agro corral.” Smith lost the flip in the end and Van Hoof shot up to fifth in chips.

To open the second one-hour episode, which began at 10:00pm ET, Sarra 3bet bluffed with eight-high against Sindelar, who had top pair. Sindelar released his hand and Sarra continued to chip up. Then, Palmer bit the dust after running ducks into bullets.

Newhouse (pictured), who finished ninth in the Main Event last year, was the talk of the town for much of the second hour of coverage on Sunday night. After all, amid fields numbering in the thousands, the chances of any player making back-to-back November Nine appearances are infinitesimal. In fact, eight players have made back-to-back final tables in the history of the WSOP, according to an ESPN infographic, the last being Dan Harrington in 2003 and 2004.

It wasn’t looking promising for Newhouse either, as he doubled up Felix Stephensenwith A-9 against A-K and shed half of his stack. Also trending downward was Scott Mahin, who called all-in on a flop of 6-10-8 with two diamonds holding 10-8 for top two pair. Larrabe had the nut flush draw, which hit on the river to send Mahin home.

The final hand shown on Sunday night saw Andrey Zaichenko call all-in drawing dead after Van Hoof made a straight to end his Main Event run in 17th place. Van Hoof, meanwhile, jumped to second on the leaderboard.

This week, you can catch the final two prepackaged episodes beginning at 9:00pm ET on Sunday on ESPN. The November Nine will air on Monday, November 10 and Tuesday, November 11 on a delay on the network’s family of stations.

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  1. I like never even consider the current facial hair status of the players…unless someone showed up with something that stuck out real bad…other than that, never gave two yanks of a frogs crank about facial hair…

    wsop…still mad about the KK hand that guy blew vs newhouse