8:16pm–Doug Kim: Postscript

Team Blog’s Craig Cunningham has been covering Doug Kim since Day 1 of the WSOP. He offer this post-script of Kim’s stellar WSOP performance

Doug Kim desparately wanted to play in the World Series Main Event, spening over $3,000 in a variety of qualifiers on PokerStars for the chance to play in Las Vegas. He finally made it on the last day of qualifying, and he was off to join 8,772 others for a chance at the final table. He hadn’t played in small tournaments at a local casino or in earlier World Series events. This was the first live tournament he’d played in, and he rode a meandering journey through each day to get here. Along the way his friend Jason Strasser was left behind, and Doug was forced to march on alone. His family flew to Las Vegas yesterday, supportive yet concerned that their recently graduated son would turn away from the career path he had chosen He starts work in September, and for most young men it would be easy to take $2.39M and live large for awhile.

Doug Kim isn’t most young men. He’s kept all of this in perspective as he moved to the Final Table on Tuesday. “For me, poker is an interesting game that I’ve tried to become good at. It hasn’t been my life, but I enjoy playing and learning about the game.” He came into today in good shape with $6.77M in chips, but he quickly ran into a buzzsaw. “I was re-raised three times in the first few hands, and I really had to focus and readjust. It was tough with Jamie Gold on my left, so I knew I had to battle. I could have played to move up in pay levels, but I didn’t get to the final table that way. I played to win, and I feel I played my best today.”

Doug Kim will report to work in a few weeks with an updated resume. Under the Achievements section at the bottom it will read: “Enjoy video games and poker, recently finishing 7th in the 2006 World Series of Poker Main Event.”

6:31pm–Doug Kim eliminated

On a 443 flop, Doug Kim got his chips in with pocket nines versus Paul Wasicka’s pocket queens. The turn and river were no help. Kim is out in seventh for $2,391,520.

6:24pm–Updated chip counts

Jamie Gold $35,500,000
Richard Lee $21,280,000
Allen Cunningham $13,000,000
Paul Wasicka $9,100,000
Doug Kim $5,600,000
Rhett Butler $3,800,000
Michael Binger $2,700,000

6:16pm–Kim loses one

Paul Wasicka raised to $700k, then Doug Kim reraised to $2.1M. Wasicka quickly moved all-in for another $4.8M or so, and Doug immediately went into the tank. Not a good sign that he started pondering, and it meant he was mucking which he did. A big chunk out of Doug’s stack, but he’s still sitting with $5.6M.

6:15pm–Exit interview with Erik Friberg

Team Blog’s Howard Swains caught up with Erik Friberg following his eighth place elimination:

It is not immediately easy to find sympathy for a man who has just won $1.9 million, but the hundreds at the Rio who just witnessed Erik Friberg’s elimination from the final table of the main event will know that it is indeed possible.

The 23-year-old PokerStars qualifier from Sweden ran his jacks into Jamie Gold’s pocket queens and just gave the kind of press conference that proves once and for all that money is not necessarily the only thing that makes the world go round.

Erik Friberg

“I’m disappointed I didn’t go all the way,” he explained, the anguish plainly etched on to his face. “I had a good time in this tournament. I woke up feeling great this morning but I played poorly today and am really disappointed. The World Series is like Christmas for poker players – and now it’s over.”

The end of Christmas. It is not an analogy many had thought of, but it fits perfectly for the termination of something that promises so much, invariably delivers, but is then over so quickly leaving only faded memories and a year-long countdown until the fun begins once more.

That said, Friberg was probably being unduly harsh on himself in his post-game analysis. The hand that turned out to be last was an example of his thoughtful, cultured play that, this time, did not give the desired result.

“I picked up pocket jacks in early position and just wondered how I could best get my chips in,” he said. Erik limped and Gold, the bullying chip-leader, surprised no one with his raise. “I came over the top,” said Erik. “But he had queens.”

That, of course, is poker and Erik, who intends to re-invest his winnings in the entirely plausible search for even greater success, realises this as well as most. A huge cash game player, both live and online, he will return to the tables even stronger for his World Series experience. Outlasting more than eight and a half thousand players is something that very few can boast.

Sweden, Europe and PokerStars are proud.

6:01pm–More pictures from the 2006 WSOP Final Table

Doug Kim, the remaining PokerStars qualifier

5:59pm–Updated chip counts

Jamie Gold $37,000,000
Richard Lee $20,000,000
Allen Cunningham $11,200,000
Doug Kim $7,300,000
Paul Wasicka $6,600,000
Rhett Butler $4,200,000
Michael Binger $3,200,000

5:28pm–Binger puts a hurt on Allen Cunningham

We almost lost Micahel Binger. He got AT all-in against Allen Cuningham on a QJx flop. Cunningham held AQ. A sick king on the turn gave Binge rthe straight. No ten on the turn handed a six million chip pot to Binger.

5:28pm–On cookies crumbling and Friberg’s elimination

When playing against a monster stack and hyper-aggressive, Johnny Chan-coached player like Jamie Gold, sometimes you just have to hope the cookie crumbles your way. Today, it didn’t for Erik Friberg. His limp-reraise with jacks seemed to be the best move against Gold. This time, though, Gold held an actual hand. Friberg is, in his words, “Disappointed. I felt I played badly today.” After winning nearly $2 million, Friberg turned on a little Stu Ungar. What will he do with the money? “Gamble it,” he said.

5:20pm–Erik Friberg eliminated in eighth

Friberg limps in for 200K. Jame Gold makes it a million to go. Friberg moves all in with jacks. Gold calls instantly with queens. Flop come 273. The turn is a ten. On the river, Friverg needs a jack. Instead it comes a queen and Friberg is eliminated in eigth place.

5:17pm–Kim takes on Cunningham

5337 rainbow board, Doug bet out 1.5 million and pushed Allen Cunningham, the pre-flop raiser in the hand, out of the pot. Kim picked up a couple million on that hand.

5:06pm–Photos from the WSOP final table

The WSOP final table

Erik Friberg

Dan Nassif, just before busting in 9th place for $1.5 million

4:59pm–Doug Kim’s rail

Team Blog’s Craig Cunningham is on the rail with Doug Kim’s family:

Big sister Janet Kim and the rest of the family are here in force, all in support of Doug. “He tried last year to get in but didn’t, and some of his friends got in. Since school has been out, he’s been trying to qualify. We were in Europe traveling, and if we ever stopped and there was no wireless, he would pout alot. Basically, he ruined our trip!” Janet has been in Paris studying fashion design, and his older sister is looking for a job.

“Doug has always been the sibling with money, and he’s supposed to back my clothing line if he ever got money.” If Doug can pull this off, Janet might have a new employer.

4:56pm–Publish issues resolved

Following somoe publishing software issues, we’re back. You didn’t miss a great deal. Players actually took a 20-minute break during the downtime. I think they were thinking of me.

3:42pm–Updated chip counts

Following Allen Cunningham’s loss of a major pot to Jamie Gold, the chip counts have changed in a pretty big way.

Jamie Gold $34,500,000
Richard Lee $16,000,000
Allen Cunningham $12,000,000
Doug Kim $7,350,000
Erik Friberg $6,000,000
Paul Wasicka $5,200,000
Rhett Butler $5,000,000
Michael Binger $3,700,000

3:29pm–Dan Nassif’s final moments

Team Blog’s Mad Harper checked in with Dan Nassif after he finished in 9th place:

Just half an hour after taking his seat on the final table of the WSOP 2006, PokerStars qualifier Dan “danxxx1” Nassif was knocked out by chip leader Jamie Gold. The 33-year-old advertising sales executive from St Louis, Missouri was the shortest stack at the table with just $2.6 million (a tenth of Jamie’s stack) – so his all-in raise with AK after seeing a flop of 235 was understandable. But Gold had flopped a set of deuces. Dan said: “I should really have pushed all in before the flop but I didn’t want to risk my whole stack for a win of just $400,000. In hindsight, that was an error.”

I have been watching Dan play – and chatting with him in the breaks – for five days now and I have been deeply impressed by both his rock-solid poker skills as well as charming and down-to-earth character. It’s no surprise to me that, despite winning over $1.5 million, he has no plans to give up his day job at the Riverfront Times. He said: “They have been so great and supportive, letting me take off two weeks to come here and play. They are great people. The Riverfront Times isn’t just a job for me, it’s like family. So no, I’m not leaving. It would be a lack of character on my part to walk away.”

Nor has Dan has any plans to become a poker professional. In fact, he doesn’t even want to play cards for a while and described playing in the World Series as “brutal”. He said: “The experience has been incredible, very exciting – but I don’t know how these guys do it, playing day in, day out, playing from noon to 3am, it’s an absolute grind.”

Dan’s parents John and Noreen, twin brother Peter, sister Amy and step-brothers Matt and Tom all flew in from St Louis yesterday to watch him play and are thrilled he did so well. His father said: “No, I’m not disappointed. He has played so well. I’m really proud.”

Finally, if any of Dan’s friends are reading this back home n St Louis, please note Dan publicly pledged earlier to reimburse any of you who paid for Pay-per-Vew to watch him play today!

3:14pm–Updated chip counts

Jamie Gold $31,600,000
Allen Cunningham $16,800,000
Richard Lee $10,000,000
Erik Friberg $9,000,000
Doug Kim $6,600,000
Paul Wasicka $6,500,000
Rhett Butler $4,400,000
Michael Binger $3,000,000

3:04pm–More on Doug Kim

If you’re looking to know some more about Doug Kim, check out Team Blog’s Craig Cunningham’s pre-game profile on Doug Kim.

2:47pm–Doug Kim in action

Blinds are currently at 80K/160K/20K. After picking up some chips in a pot with Jamie Gold, on a board of J72-5-Q, Doug Kim jammed the rest of his stack into the pot. Gold thought for a while before mucking his hand. On a subsequent hand, Doug raise pre-flopped form the button, then called a re-raise from Richard Lee. After the flop came ace-high, Doug folded to Lee’s all-in bet.

2:27pm–Dan Nassif eliminated

Dan Nassif has just been eliminated, his AK falling to Jamie Gold’s pocket deuces that flopped a set. Dan is eliminated in ninth place for $1,566,858.

The final table of the 2006 World Series of Poker Main event is about to begin. PokerStars is proud to have three online qualifiers seated among this year’s best of the best.

Seat 1 – Richard Lee – $11,820,000
Seat 2 – Erik Friberg – $9,605,000 ($160 Double Shootout)
Seat 3 – Paul Wasicka – $7,970,000
Seat 4 – Dan Nassif – $2,600,000 ($160 Double Shootout)
Seat 5 – Allen Cunningham – $17,770,000
Seat 6 – Michael Binger – $3,140,000
Seat 7 – Doug Kim – $6,770,000 ($650 satellite)
Seat 8 – Jamie Gold – $26,650,000
Seat 9 – Rhett Butler – $4,815,000

Dan “danxxx1” Nassif

Dan “danxxx1” Nassif, the 33-year-old advertising sales exec from St Louis, Missouri, had to call his bosses at the Riverfront Times last weekend and ask for a few more days’ vacation. Given that he’s now worth more than $1.5 million, his next call to the office will probably be to hand in his resignation. He banned his friends and family from coming to the WSOP unless he made the final table but now, after two weeks of hard grinding, he has made it through.

Doug “technologic” Kim

Doug Kim from Westchester, New York, is a recent graduate of Duke and won his seat in the WSOP Main Event on one of the last satellites available on PokerStars. He started the last day of play 11th in chips at $3.6M in chips, then rode a roller coaster on Day 6. He moved down as low as $2.5M and as high as $7.8M on the final day before the final table. He had an extremely tough table draw down to two tables, with Jamie Gold and Allen Cunningham to his left. He took some hits along the way but finally took some pots from Gold, including a big pot with K-8o on a king high board. He ended at $6.77M, good for 6th chip position.

Erik “lirarerik” Friberg

Erik Friberg, our 23-year-old PokerStars qualifier from Stockholm, Sweden, has had the kind of tournament at the World Series that furiously aggressive poker champs tend to have. He began the last day of play second in chips with $5,905,000 and, as he approached the final table, ended up with $9,605,000. That places him 4th out of the last nine; in with a shot.


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