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Your average opponent?! Jul 31, 2006 / 10:54 AM

They have the monkey at the WSOP, for real. I saw him today at the Bluff magazine booth doing a little "poker show". I doubt they have been able to put him into the main event because of legal reasons (you got to have official photo-id) but still the marketing effect is tremendous.

Chimp playing poker at the WSOP

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And again... Jul 31, 2006 / 09:35 AM

...somebody called me with the worst hand for all his chips and got there on the river. You could probably estimate this as I had'nt posted yet (I am always more motivated to post good news). Here is the long version of my WSOP 2006 main-event experience:

I had some hours of deep sleep after picking up Katja the night before at 4 PM when she was finsihed with her Day1A (she made it to Day2) and woke up at about 9 AM. Katja was still sleeping like dead, who wonders. So I went down and over to the Rio's to get some breakfast in the PokerStars room and pick up a new .net shirt as all .com is not permitted in the tournament. When I got back to the hotel at about 10:30 I answered some emails and stuff and relaxed for another 30 minutes before finally going over again and arriving just in time to get to my table. I had table 103, seat #5. I don't like the seats 4-7 as your view on many opponents is limited, I personally prefer seats 2/3 or 8/9 on a 10 handed table. Anyway, no major name on my table except Paul "X-22" Magriel, famous for his "quack quack" (see link). I actually played several times with him already so I had a little idea about his style. All other guys seemed young internet qualifiers.

Jan 50outs WSOP

Right in my first BB I found pocket KK. Paul raised and I made a re-raise, he called. Flop was good, J high and he check-folded to my bet. Right the next BB I found AQs, raised again and got the pot on an A high flop. One round later I checked my BB with 96s and found a 96x flop. No callers to my bet and I was off to a good start. The next hours went all unenventfull, I slowly builded my stack by playing super-solid poker and staying out of all problematic situations. I played like 2-3 hands per hours, lost no pot, was never all-in and only one showdown: I open-raised on the button with ATs and got called by the SB. Flop came 89J, I checked and he checked. Yes I checked here and would have given up to any bet, that was how tight I played. Anyway he checked after me and the turn came a Q giving me the straight. Now I made a small bet of 300 into a 500 pot and he raised to 1500. I simply called, expecting a split pot (and I did not had the nuts). I checked the 7 on the river and called his 1500 bet (no flush on board). He showed JJ for a set. I gladly took down the pot which boosted me to about 20,000 in chips after 4 hours of play (2 levels). Good! As said, this was my only showdown of the day so far. The next 2 hours were uneentfull also I went with 23,000 into the dinner break. Katja had no time to visit me, she had a business meeting at the Bellagio (she gets now official member of team PokerStars which I will cover separatly very soon here). I went over to the room, ate something very small and chilled half an hour on the bed before getting back to work. Level 4 had 100-200 blinds with 25 ante. Again, same style. Two players on my table got broke including X-22 and were replaced. One by the actual chip leader with about 70,000 in chips and one by an asian guy with about 12,000. Action got a little hotter but not for me. The asian player got a though beat by "the guy" when all-the money went in on a KT7 board with two clubs, showing KK for top set. "The guy" had QQ and was all-in but runner-runnered a flush! Asian player was crippled severly down to 2000 in chips but decided to wait for good hands so no more action from this player. The chip leader lost a very big three-way pot (about 45,000) when he had the second-nut flush against the nut-flush against a set (he and the other player played horrible that hand). Anyway, I had 27,000 at the end of the level. I had two AK's, two times KK, one time QQ and about 5 pocket pairs so far in the tournament so I was really not getting run over by the deck. I felt very confident about my game and my table image. I had no plans to "get fancy" that day as my only goal was to survive to day2 with a stack of 25,000 or more.

Jan 50outs WSOP

Level 5 was going ok. Katja came about then to looked after me. A little later the setup for the disaster begun: "The guy" was playing a medium-tight game but hitting some hands. He open-raised the 300 big blind about 90 minutes into level 5 to 1000. I reraised to 3000 with pocket kings. He called. FLop came K93 unsuited. He checked, I checked. On the A turn he made a bet of 2500 and I raised to 10,000. He thought about it, gave me "the look" (like: be carefull my friend, I am dangerous but I let you go on this one) and folded. I did not show anything. Only 6-7 minutes later the very same situation arose, I found KK in the hole and he open-raised to 900, I made it 3000 to go and he called after some consideration. After nearly 10 hours of play I was absolutly sure he had no aces (had him see holding those three times). The pot had about 7000 and he had 18000 left, I had 28000 left. Flop came QT5 with two spades. I had to speak and thought about the situation. He could have a good draw like spades, KJ, AQ, JJ or a set inmy worst scenario. I looked at him and saw him calculating something so I was pretty sure he had no set. Must be a draw. I decided to play this one straight and destroy his odds by going all-in right away. So, he had to call 18000 to win 25000 chips. This is not a correct price to draw, especially given you are in the main event of the WSOP, deep into the day and have about a little more than average chips. Anyway, he quickly decided to call and showed AT of spades for the nut flush draw and one overcard. I had the K of spades so he had 8 spade out and 3 aces for 11 direct outs. PokerStove tells me ha had an 44% chance of winning this pot. And winning this pot he did when a spade came on the river.

I was left with 10,000 in chips and before the cards got shuffled the tournament team came over and broke the table! Damn! I got to a new table with my remaining chips (in bad mood). In the hand directly before the break to level 6 I played bad for the first time of the day, still steaming: I had JTs on the button and called a 900 raise (now a substantial part of my stack). The BB went all-in for 2000 and the initial raiser just called as did I. It got checked down and the BB won the hand to triple up and I went into the break feeling bad about my fate and my last play. Katja, DevilFish and Tammy helped my a little to get over it and re-motivated me. Dave actually asked a lot about the hand so I could steam off a little by talking about it. Back to level 6!

I did not played any hand for 10 minutes (200/400 blinds with 50 ante cuts quick into a 7500 stack) when I found 44 inthe cutoff and open-raised to 1200. The SB re-raised to 5000 and I folded. He showed QQ. Ok. I called one more raise of 1200 with AJs but totally missed the flop and did not call the 4000 flop bet. Then, with about 4500 left I found AQo in the SB and all folded. I went all-in versus the BB who called. He had AKo and the board blanked out as did I. Shock. Pain.

I was out. In the course of just a few minutes I blewed a 33,000 stack to nothing. We went over the the Plams, moaning. Katja felt with me, she had wittnessed all those hands first hand. I went into a bad sleep very soon, totally exhausted.

Today it took me some hours to recover, I had not even any fun in updating the blogs so I did not. We went into the Desert Shops to do some lunch and shopping but I did not bought anything (which did not stopped Katja, lol). Then we went to the Rio's as Katja had a media briefing. I played some battleship-poker at the pokerstars booth in the meantime which was fun and I won my match and a $50 iTunes card.

Jan 50outs WSOP battleship poker

I am positive tomorrow I will be OK again (but still out of the main event). Pictures thanks to B@ndit from PokerAcademy.de

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Katja's WSOP main event, Day1A Jul 29, 2006 / 06:15 AM

Katja is playing her Day1A today. She got some sleep after that horrible travel yesterday and felt fresh. We took the PokerStars transportation bus this morning which brought us over to the Rio's. The place was like crazy, FULL of people. I heard from a reliable source that already over 8500 players are registered - the fact that they took 200 alternates for the day confirmed that and would mean a 8800 cap. Unbelievable. Anyway, I accompanied her to the assigned table but had to leave as all spectators got thrown out of the amazon ballroom. The first update I got from her after level 1 (two hour levels) when she called me. She had 14000 in chips (10000 start chips), quite good. I was in a lunch meeting with a executive director from PokerStars at that time, further specifying my duties as the new german PokerStars blogger.

After that meeting I went back to the room when Katja texted me a message that she had 24000 in chips now, more than doubled up! Great news! When it was time for the dinner break I went over to the Rio's, picked her up and we took dinner with Wilie Tan, John Duthie and one other european guy. Katja still had 21000 chips left and was in good shape.

I am back in the room now and wait for updates from Katja, she has played three levels so far and has three more to go. Regular reader Wolverine Fan was so kind to point out that Dr. Pauly from Tao of poker has posted a picture of Katja in his last post.

Just went over an picked Katja up - she has survived Day1A! Her chip count is 24500 which is just below average. Great accomplishment! Considering the short and bad sleep she had and the long hours (from 12 noon until 4 AM, 12 hours playtime, six two-hour levels) played this is really a great success in itself. I dont know any specifics other than the had to lay down KK once on a 24000 pot and doubled up again with KK. She said she almost played no other hands.

Now Katja has three days off to recover and prepare herself for Day2A !!!

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Travel hell Jul 28, 2006 / 02:51 PM

See what can happen to you if you try to be smart and keep your money together:

Last monday morning, 4 AM, just busted out of the 350 seats guaranteed at pokerstars. I finally look at Condor airline (subsidary of Thomas Cook Travel and driven by Lufthansa) for two seats to Las Vegas, one-way, as we have our backflights already. Oh fine, two seats left for a flight on Tuesday. But are those the cheapest available? And if we go on tuesday already, don't we have to cover two hotel night on our own? PokerStars only covers hotel from the 27th onwards... let's surf around a little if there not flight on Thursday, maybe even cheaper! Bad idea....

After looking around for two hours an finding nothing right I went back to Condor to buy those tickets but they were sold. Sold out! Outch. I spend the whole Monday now looking for some other reasonable offer and finally found something using Continental ariline. But there is a catch: the flight starts from Cologne, not Hamburg going to Newark and then to Las Vegas. I talked with Katja about it but that same connection via Hamburg was four times as expensive so we decided to take a train to Cologne which was an even easier decision as the train ticket was included in the airfare. Now, the flight was supposed to leave Cologne at 10:35 local time and the time needed to get to Cologne is a little over four hours but no early enough train available. Ok we said, then we got there the day before and stay one night at an airport hotel.

So, at Wednesday 15:30 our hell trip started. We had ordered a cab to pick us up at home and get us to the main station. The time left was about 25 minutes for a 7 minute trip so plenty of time you would figure? Not with that cab driver. This was the most slow driver I have ever seen. Even after we insisted that we need to catch our train (we have been driving 12 minutes at that point already) nothing really changed. We got to the main station with 2 minutes left until the scheduled departure, with luggage and some way to go and some stairs to climb. We made it in the last second, already exhausted (it was Hamburg's hottest day in recent history with about 38°C). Next surprise: no seats available. After walking the train up and down for 30 minutes we finally managed to get two separate seats. Ok, now going southward to Cologne. In middle-germany was a heavy thunderstorm and the train started to get later and later. We finally arrived 30 minutes late (a 5 hour travel by now) catched the ongoing S-Bahn running (with luggage) and finally arrived at Cologne/Bonn airport at about 21:30. The hotel was supposed to be very very close to the airport but nobody could tell us the way to we took a cab. Now you must know that cab drivers at this airport are waiting about 4 hours before they get passengers, there are more than 300 cabs waiting all the time (why they do this is unknown to me). So when we told the driver our destination she almost got an heart attack as it would be only a two minutes ride. That (female) driver managed to be so unkindly and rude in those two minutes that we did not even gave any tip and just paid the 4 EUR fare (3.20 is the basic fee lol). At the hotel we discovered that the air in cologne at 22:00 was very hot still and our room had no air condition. So we went into a Biergarten and had a very nice late dinner before going into a bad sleep.

Next morning we went on time to the airport just to be fouind into a long line of Continental airlines passengers. Nobody got checked-in! After 30 minutes we got informed about some "technical problems". After just another hour (all the time standing in line) I went to the back of the counter and tried to get some informations from a continetal employee. She told me that they have a "computer problem" (Keyboard locked) and have not done a manual boarding since 10 years and dont think they can because that "Homeland security" deapartment wants to get all passenger passport details electronicly while the flights are still in the air. After another hour (!) someone decided that they will do a manual checkin and they started processing, very slowly. Of course, you can't get booked to your final destination nor can your luggage. When we finally got onboard we had a four hour delay already. Then, something wrong with the car pushing back the plane, one more hour on the ground before the plane finally started. Our scheduled onward flight to Las Vegas was supposed to leave 4 hours after arrival but you need about an hour to pass immigrtion and get you luggage back. The flight itself was ok but long (~8 hours). After arriving in Newark we got very quick through the passport control (15 minutes only) but waited 90 minutes in the backage claim because our luggage wa snot coming. Not just ours, no luggage at all from that flight! Something wrong due to the manuall checkin process. Finally we got our bag and rushed over to the Continetal transfer desk. Sadly, as much as we rushed (we've been the the very first from our flight there ;) the line in front of us was looooooooong because a plane from London was also 2 hours late. It took us 2.5 hours (!) to get to the counter just to be informed that there are no more seats on the single flight left going out that day to Las Vegas. If we like to take a hotel in NY for the night or try to go on stand-by. We took the stand-by option and went directly to the gates. Through security. Almost. Both Katja and I got picked up for "additional screening" which means you get searched very very closly and all your belongings are checked item-by-item. When we got out of this we proceeded to the counter which was almost empty already, the flight had finished boarding already. No seats available they told us. We hung there for some minutes, depressed, tired, exhausted when they suddenly called my name! There was a seat. We quickly talked if Katja or I shall take it but Katja said I should go because she would not be able to get the room anyway (all booked under my name). We almost said good-bye already when they called a seat for her also, great! We walked into the plane and took our seats, far from each other. I was just a minute in my seat when I heard the flight captain announce that due to a heavy storm somehwere all departures from Newark have been cancelled and that they don't know yet if later on they will resume departures or only tomorrow. Oh well.

Directly to my right sat a young guy who was talking swedish to some friend stepping by from time to time. Young skandinavian guy on the way to Vegas? Must be poker player! I started talking to him and sure enough they are all players. His name was Jonas Berg, chief-editor from "First Poker" swedish poker magazine. We had an hour long very interesting talk before I fall asleep. When I woke up the flight was leaving. I asked him about the time I sleept and he said "about 4 hours". Oh wow and a 5 hours flight still ahead.

Finally at 2:30 AM we arrived in Vegas and now everything went smooth. Our bag was the first one out, to taxi line, no waiting line at the reception at the Palms, our reservation was there and we've been able to get up to the room. Once there I decided to step over to the Rio's and pick up our receipts for the main event, avoiding all waiting lines again. It was very quite over there (no wonder at 4 AM). I got the papers, watched Phil Hellmuth and Johnny Chan playing heads-up chines poker for five minutes before going back to the room. We ordered something to eat which was tasty and Katja went sleeping, she needs to play in a few hours!

This was by far the worst travel to Las Vegas I ever had. A real bad expierence. Continatal airline totally fucked up. Not only because they had problems or delays but their way of managing it was so bad, both in Germany and Newark that I doubt I will fly with them ever again - until our scheduled return flight home, which of course is with Contintal :( (that is, until we get far in the main event >:]). Good night for today.

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Dinner with winner Jul 23, 2006 / 05:55 PM

Make no mistake: the winner is the one in the middle

Yesterday we went to dinner with Sebastian "miamivice", a young hot shot and a good friend of us. Since Sebastian and I are always betting and money is no fun for us anymore (well, almost ;) we bet on dinners! We differentiate between "simple dinners" and "good dinners". Our actual count is 5:3 in my favour or I should say in our favor as I take as many of my family members with me when it's on him >:). Yesterday all I could manage was Katja and my mother for a "simple dinner".

I got very lucky this week when I woke up at 4 AM (still on jetlag from Vegas) and witnessed Sebastian storming thru a 1200+ player 40,000 guaranteed on Partypoker. Heads-up he was 1:2 underdog in chips but made a good deal and won >$11,000 there. As I was sweating and motivating him I was able to squezze one more "good dinner" out of him! Well done buddy and thank you! That dinner might be the most delayed poker releated bad beat to you the world has seen so far :D

In our play there is nothing much to report, both Katja and I busted out of the €210 MTT in Casino Schenefeld yesterday (costing me a "simple dinnner" as Sebastian won the last longer sidebet by 5 minutes, damn!) but we had work to do so we went home without playing any cashgame.

Talking about work: you might take a look at www.pokerstarsblog.de. PokerStars, never short on quick and good decisions choosed me as their german poker writter and blogger. I will report about this a whole lot more in the near future :)

Wednesday we go back to Vegas, finally. I regret getting back home already, reading about all the money won and lost over there makes one feel left alone. I play my "day 1" on saturday, Katja play on friday already. Let's just hope we make it to day two this year!

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Home, but no change Jul 16, 2006 / 02:48 AM

Seuche We arrived home in one piece. Travel time was like 16 hours and no problems on the trip, no luggage lost, missed connection or damaged plane this time. Poor Katja - Friday 14th of July was her birthday and we spend that like 80% in some plane or sitting in some airport. After going to sleep Friday early we both woke up at 3 AM and stood up. At 6 AM our local 'Stadtpark' saw Katja, Paula and me jogging in the morning sun, which has been unheard of so far. We drove thru the city afterwards, catching up with some things, shopping etc. until 2 PM. We made a dinner date with miamivice and went sleeping then. Only because our phone was ringing like non-stop (Katja missed birthday, family, friends etc.) we woke up almost in time, at 6:30. Miami was still at home, expecting us to oversleep (good read man!). We canceled dinner for the day and agreed to meet later in local casino for a €200 NLHE tourney and some NL cash game.

First things went well for both of us, I flopped a set two times and got ahold of a lot of chips and Katja was able to bust aces two times - first she had QQ and raised herself and got lucky to catch a Q and then AA raised her BB but she had to call only a few chips more and made a flush. Then within a few minutes it all changed back to our now usual pestilence. While I called an all-in bet in the BB with the worst hand (A9s vs. ATo) and lost as I should Katja reached the final table and when only 7 players were left (5 ITM) she picked up aces in middle position and raised all-in for about 5500 (one limper for the 1200 BB). One short stack called all-in and the limper having about 7000 chips in front of him also called without any hestitation. Showdown: Katja AA, short stack 54o and limper KQs. Flop is K high with rags, turn is save also but river is another K and the limper takes out two players :(

Katja, still tired and out of her regular sleeping rythm got very angry and asked me to leave home. I was sitting in the NL cash game but who am I to discuss with Katja in that mood? I had not played a hand so far and just before my blind was up I limped with KJs, miami called as did one more player. Flop came J high with three diamonds. I made a pot-sized bet (20 only) and only miami called. I had him on overcards with a diamond like Ax. Turn was offsuit rag so I made a good sized bet but he raised me! I was felt pot-commited as I had only 50 or so left so I called. He showed the Qd4d and I was drawing dead. Nice hand!

We left home were I played some online poker, mostly satellites to the $370 "150 WSOP seats guaranteed" tomorrow on Pokerstars. In about 10 tournaments I lost in all kinds of brutal ways, alone 6 times I flopped two pair or sets, made strong bets but got called by good (and bad) draws which all got there. Add one or two bad beats and you see why I was not even close to making it to the cut in those tourneys. I stopp now before blowing some serious money.

I opened today a new online photo album where we will upload many many WSOP 2006 pictures from the last weeks over the next days.

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Going home Jul 13, 2006 / 08:57 PM

Katja Thater 50outs Las Vegas Poker WSOP 2006

We're leaving today, heading home. We will take care of some private and business matters back there and then come back for the main event, where we are both in already, Katja by endorsement of Pokerstars and I by qualifying in a satellite on Pokerstars.

Yesterday we went over to the Rio's one more time to watch the H.O.R.S.E. event a few minutes personally and backbite about who is able to buyin and why (you know the "How can that sucker guy get together 50k but not us?!" kind of friendy chat :). It was interesting, they had about 150 players and if I would have had the money I would have jumped right in (yelling to Katja "go find some books about Razz, whats this all about?" like I did two years ago in the $5000 buyin omaha high-low WSOP event, lol, I got far there, throwing out Layne Flack and Allan Cuningham, "hihihihihihi"). Anyway, the players got on their first break while we watched and we had some nice chats with several players (some of them I know for >10 years, they are playing and I am railbirding, $!%§% grmpf).

Afterwards we went shopping, spending Katja's winnings in the $2000 PLHE event :) and had nice lunch and dinner. The night ended with some big swings at the black jack tables and a big arguement between Katja and me when I sticked on a losing table because "I had a plan" LOL. Well, what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, true one more time.

So, we fly in a few hours. Thank you for reading here, I enjoyed updating you all daily. Over the next week I will return to my usual routine of posting once or twice a week until we get back here. Then I we will continue to make photos and reports daily - and get into the money of this damn main event!!

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Owing the mob Jul 13, 2006 / 04:52 AM

Katja Thater standing on chair while playing poker at the WSOP in Las Vegas

We are in big trouble now. Owing money to the mob! Fortunatly, it's only the Hendon Mob's Barney Boatmann and the amount is only $130, 5% of Katja's payout for reaching the money in the WSOP $2000 PLHE event. Yes, Katja made the money again, although only barly.

After going over to the Rio's at the dinner break yesterday at 6:30 PM I found Katja outside, sitting on the stairs, talking to some players, exhausted. She had only 2100 in chips left and was as card dead during levels 5+6 as I had feared. We went to the Pokerstars booth and took a sandwich. Andreas Krause joined us and soon it was all fun, laughing and giggling. Andy is as far as sleeping (for real!) on the tournament tables "until my blind comes", lol. He makes all his money in the omaha pot-limit side games at the Rio's. He also told us some private stories (actual vegas experiences) that made us almost fall out of ours chairs, laughing. After some more walking around it was action time again, level 7.

The pot-limit events have no ante here at the WSOP, so blinds were 200/400 in level 7, no ante. Katja had only 2100 chips left and 10 minutes into the level the moved all-in with a re-raise to a pot-sized opening raise in late position. Blinds folded, the initial raiser, also short stacked, hesitantly called the last 500. Katja turnd over KJ of spades (the best hand she had for hours) and the guy showed A4o. Flop brought a K and that was it, Katja doubled up!

During the next 90 minutes Katja made two more re-raises, both times uncalled (one time with JJ and one with A5s on the button). On the next break she had about 6000 in chips but was the short stack on her table with about 90 players left (54 in the money). Also Katja got moved three times through tables with all large stacks. We had agreed on a reach-the-money-than-play-hard strategy so Katja played like a rock. But her chips were way to less to survive unimprovt until the money so we did know she had to play and win one more hand.

That hand finally came when Katja open-raised to 2800 (on 400/800 blinds) holding ATs in middle-position but got reraised by the SB who had JJ. Katja called her last few hundreds, shoulders-shrugging (with >7000 already in the pot and only 1000 left a clear call I think). Flop was not great but giving Katja a straight draw on KQ9, turn blank, but the ace on the river saved her!

That pot was enough to reach the money about one hour later (no cards remotely playable during that time). Right after reaching the money Katja went all-in holding QTs vs. 88 and won the hand, getting to 8000 in chips. The very next hand she had AKo and went all-in once again after a raise and a re-raise, both players had small pairs, board had a K but one of the players (all-in himself) catched a set so Katja won only the sidepot, down to 5000 again. The very next hand Katja had pocket 33 in the SB, it got folded around, she raised, got re-raised by the BB and went all-in one more time. BB had AKo here. Flop and turn were good but this time the ace on the river killed Katja's tournament live. 53rd place, $2600, congratulation! This is Katja's second money finish in one week and considering the beats she got the result could have been way better but still, it's her first serious WSOP and that is awesome!

During a break we got introduced to Will Wheaton by Brad (pokerstars blog writer). Lol, we asked Will who? What are you doing? Apparantly Will is quite famous in the US as he is an former actor (Startrek "Next Generation") and a now famous writer. Later on we took a picture with irish Andrew Black, WSOP 2005 finalist. Katja was kidding with him during many events over the last weeks. Finally we catched our buddy Casey Kastle, congratulating Lee Watkinson, who just had won the $10000 pot-limit omaha event for $655,000 and a bracelet.

Katja Thater 50outs Las Vegas Poker WSOP

Our prelimiery WSOP is over now. We fly back to germany tomorrow and get back for the main event in about 10 days. Sorry for the late update but Typepad was down all day.


Dear friend Casey Kastle with Lee Watkinson, $10000 PLO winner, John Phan with Liz Liu during a break changing about all the purple chips in the tournament, Katja with David Levi and Davood Mehrmand (argueing, lol)

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Now thats a compliment Jul 12, 2006 / 12:56 AM

The_hendon_mob Now that is what I call a compliment: Barney Boatman from The Hendon Mob asked Katja to exchange 5% with her! In a pot-limit event, a betting variant know as the most difficult! Wow. Barney knows Katja from the 888 nations cup earlier this year (where she played incredible poker vs. Tony Blum and Thomas "Thunder" Keller as all Channel4 viewers already wittnessed).

According to Katja they both have "many chips", whatever this means. In the cardplayers report Barney is listed 19th position with 280 players left. Katja is not listed there yet, they keep on ignoring her ;) In fact I am not surprised about the fact (but about the actual offer from a pot-limit specialist) as Katja is really good at pot-limit - our "home game" is mostly €500 buyin pot-limit so she is very used to the betting structures, the advantages and pitfalls in that game. For whatever its worth, I take it as huge compliment to Katja and her achievements over the last years.

4:00 PM: Now they finally list Katja with 5525 in chips on spot 26th of 252 left.

4:30 PM: Katja has 6,000 in chips, about the same as Barney she just told me. Players are now on break after level 4. With ~230 left 54 will be in the money.

5:05 PM: Barney gone

Tue Jul 11 16:57:00 PDT 2006
Boatman Eliminated
Barny Boatman ($4,800) raises $700 from under the gun. A player in middle position calls. Jose Torres ($8,000) reraises to $1,900 from the button. Boatman reraises all in for $2,250 more. The player in middle position folds and Torres calls. Boatman turns over AK. It's a race as Torres has JJ. The flop comes T76. The turn is the 5 and Boatman will need an Ace or King to survive. It doesn't come as the 5 falls on the river. Torres has $14,700 after winning the pot of more than $10,000.

6:00 PM: I have no news, according to cardplayer Katja has 4500 in chips which means she just plays/defends her blinds. This would fit into our short WSOP history here so far, getting cold decked during levels 4-8. I hope she hangs in and I see her during the dinner break.

6:30 PM: Katja called, it's dinner break now. The is in bad mood as totally card dead since over two hours, 82o, 73o, J2o etc etc all the time. She tried two moves against the blinds but got reraised both times and had to lay it down. She has 2200 in chips only now, about 25% of the average stack size. I go over now to the Rio's to support her (for what it's worth...).

I will add to this post as I get new informations so check back.

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Strong start Jul 11, 2006 / 09:00 PM

Katja Thater playing poker in Las Vegas at the WSOP

Yesterday Katja played the $1000 NLHE with 2890 other players. The amazon ballroom at the Rio's was a huge crazyness again. I stayed in the hotel. When my cell phone rung at 12:15 local time I already expected Katja to tell me that she is done already but she just informed me that she had trippled up already! First hand she had made some kind of flush and second hand she had AA with an AJx board vs. JJ... busting two players in the first two hands.

While that was a very good and strong start when she called me in the first break after two hours she was down to 1100 and that even only after a double-up she just had. What happened? I asked. She told me she had a "race situation" where she tried to get many many chips very early: she found AKs in the BB but the button had raised. The player had about 4500 chips himself and she said she was just trying to get those to have a really strong start into the tournament. She figured the guy on a middle-pair or a worse ace (like AQ, AJ) and re-raised him strongly. He thought for a little and then moved in, Katja called. He had JJ. The low board brought out a flush draw for Katja also with two spades (her AK in spades) but nothing, JJ were good and Katja down to 500 chips.

I totally liked the attitude she showed there. I mean, we are so used to nurse short stacks so it would be a whole new experience to play from a large stack. This is the winers spirit!

In the next break Katja was still in with 3100 chips, about average at that time. She had a table change to a bunch of "easter-bunnys" but that is only nice if you happen to catch some card. All she could do is steal some blinds during the next two hours and so when level 6 ended for the dinner break she still had 3000 in chips, now way below the average. I did not went over this time (I had some fun watching americas funniest home videos after three hours on the pool) to eat with her during that dinner break. 30 minutes after play resumed in level 7 she called me and told me that she just busted out (I didn't even ask what hand she had). Sad after such a strong start.

Today is the last tournament until the main event, the $2000 pot-limit holdem. Thursday we fly home for 10 days before returning for the main event.

Some messages:

@felicia: Thank you for your nice words. I liked the "skinnier" :) (it's also true). Sorry for not being talkative on our last meeting but that happened just 30 seconds after that beat so I was in no mood to talk to anybody about anything. Next time, I promise!

@Pauly: Nice to meet you buddy, it was my pleasure! Hope we can catch up again soon!

@Houston saft: Sorry if my english is not good enough... about the ladies event: damn sure I am frustrated and as this is our blog and we are independent I will rant here about what I want, for as long as I want and as dirty as I like. No harm intended... "hihihihihihi" :)

@all random dudes: keep calling!

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