From Mon May 05 15:23:23 2003 Return-Path: Delivered-To: Received: (qmail 15659 invoked by uid 19068); 5 May 2003 15:23:21 -0000 Received: from unknown (HELO ([]) (envelope-sender ) by (qmail-ldap-1.03) with SMTP for ; 5 May 2003 15:23:21 -0000 Received: from [] by with ESMTP (SMTPD32-7.15) id A64AB00050; Mon, 05 May 2003 15:33:46 +0100 From: "Wednesday Nite Poker" To: Subject: WSOP 2003 News Bulletin 16 Date: 05 May 2003 16:43:44 +0200 Message-ID: <> MIME-Version: 1.0 Content-Type: multipart/alternative; boundary="----=_I8IzVxmj_yQSVtpxd_MA" Precedence: bulk Sender: X-Spam-Status: No, hits=-4.5 required=4.0 tests=BAYES_01,HTML_20_30,HTML_WITH_BGCOLOR,SMTPD_IN_RCVD, UNSUB_PAGE version=2.53 X-Spam-Level: X-Spam-Checker-Version: SpamAssassin 2.53 ( Status: OR ------=_I8IzVxmj_yQSVtpxd_MA Content-Type: text/plain Content-Transfer-Encoding: 8bit If this newsletter does not read properly, your current e-mail program does not support HTML-based newsletters. Instead, you can access the complete newsletter through your web browser on this URL: Regards, Wednesday Nite Poker ------=_I8IzVxmj_yQSVtpxd_MA Content-Type: text/html Content-Transfer-Encoding: 8bit
Smoke and Demons
By Max Shapiro

Tonight's pot-limit hold'em winner said the victory had special meaning to him because it exorcized a demon that had been plaguing him ever since the World Series championship event in 2000. And the demon, he said, had been brought on by cigarette smoke, a condition he thankfully did not have to contend with this year. Now that we have your attention, let's get on with the report.

The line-up for tonight was fascinatingly diverse. It stretched from Daniel "The Kid" Negreanu to 78-year-old veteran player Paul McKinney. Also there were a lawyer, a gynecologist, pros from England and Switzerland, the son of top tournament player Tom Jacobs, the enigmatic, three-bracelet-holder poker pro and high-stakes sports handicapper Mickey Appleman, and Brian "Shaggy" Plona. Who? Well, "Shaggy" (the description would be far more apt for Appleman, whose trademark is a mass of uncombed blond hair) is a young New York air traffic controller who was sporting earrings, ear- and brow-piercing studs, and tattoos covering both forearms, one of the designs featuring huge drawings of the king and jack of spades. He was making his first stab at a WSOP event.

The final table started with Michael Carson, a backgammon pro who later turned to poker, with a slight chip lead ahead of Ian Dobson, the British pro.


1 Ian Dobson $69,100 I
2 Paul McKinney $23,900
3 Mickey Appleman $47,300
4 Daniel Negreanu $29,200
5 Brian Plona $31,400
6 Dr. Mark Burtman $50,800
7 Ken Jacobs $37,700
8 Daniel Studer $58,600
9 Roger Easterday $6,800
10 Michael Carson $73,900

Blinds started at $800-$1,600, with 41:41 left at that level. There were $313,875 in chips in play. Carson was the chip leader with Dobson close behind. One player was gone on the first hand. Daniel Studer, the Swiss pro, raised to $4,500 from the small blind with A-2 and Roger Easterday moved in for the rest of his $6,800 with A-K. A board of Q-9-4-3 gave Studer a straight draw, but instead a deuce on the river gave him a winning pair. Easterday, the attorney, cashed out for $4,780 in 10th place.

Tournament player Ken Jacobs lost a lot of chips on hand 12 because he chose to slow-play pocket aces. When Negreanu raised to $4,000 with pocket 7s, Jacobs flat-called. A flop of 10-9-7 gave Daniel a set. He bet 6k, Ken came over the top with a 20k raise, Negreanu moved in and doubled up to about $60,000.


The seniors event was simultaneously in its first day. At this point someone over at that end of the tournament room announced that there were two minutes before break time was over. "Nap time," he corrected himself. "Of course, some of you will take longer than others to get to their tables," he added. Very funny. Why is that guy stealing my gags?

On hand 18, Jacobs got back the chips he lost when he held aces. He was all in for $11,700 against Dr. Mark Burtman and Dobson, and tripled up when his pocket jacks held up.

On hand 26 the blinds went to $1,000-$2,000. The approximate standings were:

Carson $82,000
Dobson $53,000
Negreanu $50,000
Dr. Burtman $44,000
Plona $45,000
Studer $40,000
Jacobs $40,000
Appleman $38,000
McKinney $35,000


Just then the colorful Puggy Pearson stopped by to be interviewed for the Binion's Webcast and he made a jesting remark about the "donkeys" at the table. Overhearing the remark, Dobson replied that people call him an ass, not a donkey.

Action continued with players carefully avoiding confrontation. Finally, Jacobs went all in again on hand 41. He raised, Studer came over the top and Jacobs moved in for $33,000. His A-K beat Studer's A-J easily when a king flopped, and he bounded back to about $78,000. He, Dobson and Carson were now all closely bunched with between 75k and 80k each.


A hammered-down Daniel Studer left the arena on the 46th deal. He was in the $2,000 big blind with K-2 when Dobson make it 6k to go holding A-9. Studer added his last few chips and bowed out when the board came 8-6-4-A-8, collecting $6,420 for ninth. "Well, that solves the Daniel problem," tournament co-director and announcer Matt Savage remarked, now that the only Daniel left to describe was Negreanu.

Incidentally, as he performed as a Webcast commentator, media director Nolan Dalla kept pronounced the remaining Daniel's surname as "Neg-ree-anu." I corrected him, saying it was pronounced "Negranu," the only way I have ever heard it. Dalla indignantly informed me that he had once been stationed in Hungary, knew the language, and that he was correct. When I asked Daniel, he shrugged, as if either way was OK. I then told Daniel I'd make a bet with Nolan and split the winnings with him if he'd back me up, and he agreed.

Much to Nolan's surprise, I announced on the Webcast that we had a $50 bet on how the name was pronounced. When asked, Daniel said I was correct, and Nolan, being a good sport, said he'd pay me $25. (Which he hasn't done yet.) Oh, forget it, Nolan; it was a setup.

Two hands after Studer's departure, there was a huge shift in chips. Carson raised pre-flop with two kings and Jacobs called from the button with two 10s. On a flop of 9-9-3, Carson bet the pot, Jacobs made it 36k to go and Carson moved him in for about 30k more. No 10 came and Jacobs was paid $7,960 for eighth place while Carson moved into a big lead with about $156,000.


Pocket aces suddenly started showing up with far greater frequency than normal. The first time came on hand 49 when Dr. Burtman bet into a board of K-A-9-J. After Negreanu folded, the doctor showed he had flopped a set of bullets. To this point, the taciturn Appleman had been quiet in action as well as in speech. Getting low-chipped, he finally raised all in for 29k after Dobson had bet 14k into a flop of A-8-6. Appleman had A-K to Dobson's A-9 and doubled up with two rags came.

Two hands later, Dobson went out on a painful beat. He was all in and seemingly in great shape when he flopped a set of 7s. But the 8-7-3 flop contained two hearts. Carson had called with Qh Jh, and hit his flush when an Ah hit the turn. Seventh place paid $9,960, and Carson had now increased his lead to about $200,000. After a few more hands, with Carson continuing to pick up chips, the count stood at approximately:

Carson $230,000
Appleman 80,000
Ddr. Burtman 46,000
Negreanu 28,000
Plona 25,000
McKinney 20,000

Negreanu then dipped lower on chips when he opened for 6k and folded when Prong raised the pot. A few hands later Plona opened for 4k with pocket 7s and Negreanu called with A-6. When the board showed As Js 2s 3, Negreanu bet 6k and Prong moved him in. A 4s hit the river. Both player held a fifth spade, but Prong's was a 7 while Daniel's was only a 6, and he ended up 6th, which paid $13,940.


As play continued, Plona turned increasingly aggressive and willing to mix it up and his chip count increased. Appleman, on the other hand, continued to avoid confrontation. On the 78th deal, Carson had opened for 7k and Appleman raised 15k. The flop was 7-5-2. Mickey, first to act, checked and Carson bet $30,000. After long deliberation, Appleman folded. The count now stood at:

Carson $225,000
Plona 88,000
Dr. Burtman 48,500
Appleman 38,000
McKinney 28,000


Blinds now went to $1,500-$3,000. Appleman, meanwhile, kept folding when facing big raises. He mucked when McKinney check-raised 16k and then showed him pocket aces. Then again when he opened for 6k and "Shaggy" bet the pot. Appleman at this point had dipped down perilously low to $20,000. A long dry spell of very little action now began.
Over a stretch of about five dozen deals, only eight even got as far as the flop.

Finally, on hand 145, something happened. Plona opened for 9k, Dr. Burtman made it 18k to go and Plona bet the pot, putting Burtman in for about 30k. The air traffic controller had Ks Qs while the gynecologist had A-8 offsuit. The flop came J-10-7 with two spades. The turn was an offsuit deuce, but an 8son the river completed Plona's flush. Dr. Mark cashed out in fifth place for $17,920 while Plona climbed to more than 100k.

Still periously low on chips, Appleman had a close call on the next hand. He was all in with A-7 against Carson's pocket 7s. No ace came to save him, but instead, two bigger pair, kings and jacks, were dealt out and Mickey's ace-high was a winner, doubling him up. With blinds increased to $2,000-$4,000, the count was:

Carson $237,000
Plona 108,000
Appleman 54,000
McKinney 30,000

A few hands later, Appleman finally found a hand he could go with all the way: pocket aces. He raised to 12k, Carson re-raised 24k more and Appleman moved all in. An ace on the turn gave Appleman a set of aces, and he had suddenly doubled up to about 96k.
McKinney then doubled up against Carson with pocket kings, and as everyone took bites out of his once overpowering stacks, the count after 158 hands read:

Carson $145,000
Plong 128,000
Appleman 80,000
McKinney 75,000


The biggest and most important hand yet played out came on the 167th deal. After Carson raised on the button to 12k, Appleman raised the pot 26k more and Carson came over the top to put Mickey all in. Appleman again had a primo hand: K-K, against Carson's Ad 8d. After the board came 7-4-2-10-5, Carson had suddenly plunged from the penthouse to the poorhouse, with only about 35k left while Appleman, trading places with him, had nearly 200k. A few hands later, Carson recovered a bit, again holding those ubiquitous pocket aces to beat Plona's A-K.

Amazingly, pocket aces again showed up twice in the next three hands, with first Plona and then Carson winning small pots with them.

Carson, however, could not recover very much after handing over most of his chips to Appleman with that very questionable hand of A-8 suited. Hand 181 was his last. He opened for 8k with Ac 5c. Plona called with Q-7. A flop of Q-3-2 gave Plona top pair. A turn-card 10 was a second club, giving Carson the flush draw. He bet 24k, Plona raised the pot and Carson went all in. When the river brought a Kh, the field was cut to three, Carson cashed in for $37,820 and the lead was now up for grabs:

Appleman $195,000
Plona 186,000
McKinney 55,000


"It's an even game now, I'm ready to play," McKinney declared.

Defying all odds, pocket aces showed up again four hands later, this time in Plona's corner. All he could get out of Appleman was 10k, but it was enough to put him in the lead.

Seven hands later there was a flop of 8-7-A and two diamonds. Paul, with 7d 6d, moved all in. Appleman, who had A-Q, quickly called and hit a third ace on the river. McKinney, missing his flush, cashed out for $37,820 in third place as Appleman reclaimed the fickle lead.


It was now a heads-up match between two Easterners, Plona from New York, Appleman from New Jersey. The focused, dead-serious Appleman had $227,000. The considerably more outgoing Plona, who was being cheered on by a noisy group of friends in the stands, had $201,000. The lead went back and forth a couple of times. Then Plona picked up a few pots with raises, and, as blinds went to $3,000-$6,000, again had the lead, $255,000-$174,000.

Appleman later said that as the heads-up match continued, Plona was giving him fits. "I was trying to figure out what to do; I never really knew where he was at." He said he had to take a break to figure out some sort of counter-strategy to deal with Plona's aggressiveness.

A few hands later, Appleman again edged into the lead when Plona bet 30k into a flop of K-7-4, then folded when Appleman popped it for another 60k. But a beat later, Plona took back the lead when Appleman folded a 90k pot.. And then the two were just about even after Mickey moved in on a board of 9-10-J-Q and Shaggy abandoned a 118k pot.


The backbreaker came on the 239th deal when Plona again had the lead. The flop was 9h 8h Jx. Plona, holding A-9, bet the pot, $72,000, with his paired 9 and ace kicker. Mickey had a terrific hand: Qh Jh, giving him not only top pair but a straight flush draw. An offsuit queen and 7 came. Appleman won with top two, took a $320,000 pot and now held a 3-1 lead.

The match-up lasted another 14 deals, with nothing much happening until the final hand when Appleman, with A-K, raised 13k and Plona moved in with Ks 7s. The board came J-10-4-2-8, and Appleman, who's been playing in the WSOP since about 1997, and won his first bracelet in 1980 for stud hi-lo, now had his fourth bracelet. The others were for deuce to seven no-limit in1993 and limit hold'em in '96. This was also his 32nd cash-in.
And he now joins the elite WSOP millionaires club

Speaking of his final opponent, he said to "Watch out for this Shaggy -- he's going to be someone to watch here. He played terrific."

Asked whether the money or bracelet were more important to him, he said "the historical significance and the gold bracelet is what it's all about." The money comes and goes, he added. But winning a World Series of Poker event and earning a place in poker history is special.


Now, how about that demon? Well, as Appleman eloquently tells it, in the 2000 championship event, he was the chip leader with about $770,000 when it was 10-handed. He was dealt pocket 9s. But, he explained, he suffers from a glaucoma condition, and the cigarette smoke so affected his vision that he didn't see his cards correctly and played them improperly. "If I'd played the hand right, I'd probably have had a million dollars." That memory, he said, had been preying on his mind and demonizing him. Now, with this win, he feels he's had his "negative energy" released.

"Seize the moment," Appleman said, quoting a line from one of his favorite movies, "Chariots of Fire." "All players who do well have the energy to seize the moment."

Andy Glazer also remembers the 2000 tournament. He recalls that, with 46 players left, playing hand for hand before they redrew down to five tables, Appleman was in the big blind, all in with 7-3 offsuit, but managed to catch a 7 to survive. It took another 45 minutes for the 46th player to be knocked out, and in that period, there were major chip swings, with Kathy Liebert's huge chip count being reversed and Jim McManus making a great comeback. The lesson, he explains, is to never give up, just as in tonight's event, Appleman, down to $20,000, went on to win it.

Final Official Results

1. Mickey Appleman Ft. Lee, NJ $147,280
2. Brian "Shaggy" Plona Miller Place, NY $75,620
3. Paul McKinney Princeton, W. VA $37,820
4. Michael Carson Santa Monica, CA $23,880
5. Mark Burtman Paducah, KY $17,920
6. Daniel Negreanu Las Vegas, NV $13,940
7. Ian Dobson Aldridge, England $9,960
8. Ken Jacobs Littleton, CO $7,960
9. Daniel Studer Switzerland $6,420
10.Roger Easterday Las Vegas, NV $4,780

11th and 12th, $4,780: Bruno Jais, Jaime Ateneloff
13th-15th, $3,980: Steve Metzer, New York, NY; Joe Brandenburg, Portland, OR; Don Barton, Pahrump, NV.
16th-18th, $3,180: Nicholas Dileo, Melrose, MA; Nash Risk, Riverside, CA; Lee Markholt, Tacoma, WA
19th-27, $2,380: Scott O'Bryan, Kokomo, IN; Chris Tsiprailidis, Liverpool, NY; David Dodgien, Park City, UT; Bernie Rygol, Munich, Germany; Robert Atkinson, Brighton, England; Mark Cunningham, Las Vegas, NV; Chris Kiernan, San Jose, CA; An Tran, Las Vegas, NV; Tony Cousineau, Daytona Beach, CA.


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