There’s no doubt where the action table was today. And, indeed, where it remains.
Railbirds have been sneaking under the barrier to get a better view of the table featuring Luca Pagano, William Thorson, Max Pescatori and Almira Skriptschenko all day, but now they have been banished it seemed a good time to fill them in on what they were missing. Here’s how a round played out in that exalted company.
For context: William Thorson has been at or close to the chip lead seemingly for the entire tournament so far. He is table captain and then some, with about 170,000 in chips. Both Luca Pagano and Max Pescatori built their stacks up to rival Thorson’s shortly before the dinner break, but each have slid back some and Pagano, in particular, suffered a wretched few orbits just after the break, losing 60,000 in one cooler of a hand to Matthias Bruder.
Pagano had A-J, Bruder had A-9 and after two nines came on the flop, Pagano ended up doubling up the German player when a jack came on the turn and the money raced into the middle.
So, at the start of this orbit, it was actually Bruder closest to Thorson, and the full line-up looking like this:
Seat one – Vlado Sevo – 64,000
Seat two – Luca Pagano – 80,000
Seat three – Almira Skriptschenko – 60,000
Seat four – Falko Bertheau – 50,000
Seat five – Matthias Bruder – 115,000
Seat six – William Thorson – 170,000
Seat seven – Max Pescatori – 42,000
Seat eight – Amir Sarughieh – 98,000
(Blinds were 1,200 – 2,400)
Hand one: From two off the button, Thorson makes it 6,000, his usual style of keeping the pot small while maintaining unhinged aggression. Amir Sarughieh was having none of it this time, though, and bumped it up 20,000 more. Thorson seemed interested, but ultimately folded, showing A-Jo and declaring: “I think you had a big hand that time.”
Hand two: Luca Pagano is on the button, and by the time the action reaches him only Matthias Bruder has entered the pot, with a suspicious limp from under-the-gun. Pagano raises 10,000 and, after the blinds fold, Bruder asks: “You want some of your money back?” referring to the big hand earlier. Pagano takes out his earphones and asks for the question to be repeated, before replying: “Just a little bit.” “Raise,” announces Bruder and slides in another stack of reds. Pagano goes into the tank for a long time, but eventually lets it go, inadvertantly showing Kd-Qd. “You were 60-40,” Bruder says. “I had ace-jack.” (Pagano later confessed that he didn’t necessarily believe this claim, and was worried about the far more dominant A-Q or A-K.)
Hand three: Amir Sarughieh makes it 8,200 to go from mid position and that’s good enough for the blinds and antes.
Hand four: William Thorson (big) and Matthias Bruder (small) get involved in a battle of the blinds, in an unraised pot. They check the board all the way to the river, with [QD]-[2C]-[2S]-[9S]-[4C] showing and Bruder’s 8-4 is massive. Thorson mucks.
Hand five: It’s folded to Bruder on the button and he makes it 5,700 to go. Thorson folds and Pescatori lets it go too. “Take it,” says the Pirate.
Hand six: Pescatori enters a pot: limping from the small blind after everyone else has folded. Sarughieh wants none of that and bumps it up to 20,000. That’s good enough.
Hand seven: William Thorson makes it 5,000 from the cut off and everyone folds.
Hand eight: Bruder continues getting busy, raising to 6,200, targeting Pagano’s big blind. Scenting that his nemesis again has his number, Pagano lets it go.
On balance, it was a pretty slow orbit for such a chaotic table, with Matthias Bruder taking the best of it. Pagano is still breathing, only not so easily as before, while Thorson continues to bide his time and size them all up.
Update: Moments after that orbit, Pagano ended up losing a pot to Almira Skriptschenko after her A-Q, under-the-gun was good against his lesser offering in the big blind.
Then Max Pescatori was knocked out by Amir Sarughieh in something of an outdraw. Sarughieh had [AH]-[5D], which was well behind Pescatori’s [AC]-[AS]. But the entire flop was hearts and the fifth came on the river to give the flush to the German.