Event #30: $1,000 Seniors No-Limit Hold’em Championship

A Few Chip Counts From Around the Room

Ralph Crow 147,000
Hans Pfister 146,000
Eric Stemp 108,000
Jack Ward 93,000
Susie Isaacs 32,000
Sirous Jamshidi 26,000
Shirley Williams Busted

Player Flops His Set With Eights Face Up

• Level 14: 1,000-2,000, 300 ante

We just watched a player make a raise and then flip his cards face up after he thought his opponent had folded. With the player's {8-Diamonds}{8-Spades} sitting in plain sight, the opponent decided to call the raise and take a flop, no doubt planning to jam the pot if overcards arrived.

When the dealer spread a flop of {Q-Clubs}{8-Clubs}{7-Hearts} across the table, however, the opponent's plans were dashed and he quickly check-folded to the man holding an exposed set.

Many of the seniors here today are just happy to have made the money, and some player's focus fades we have been witnessing more and more instances of quirky poker occurrences taking place.


Phantom Stack Sinks Vickie Seley

• Level 13: 800-1,600, 200 ante

We heard the floor being called over to a nearby table and walked over to see what the commotion was all about. According to some players at the table, a highly unusual situation occurred which required floor staff to sort things out.

Apparently, an unknown player failed to retake his seat after the recent twenty-minute break and his short stack began to dwindle. Eventually, this player's stack was forced all-in by the big blind and Vickie Seley seized the opportunity to earn some free chips by reraising to isolate the pot. The action folded around and Seley expected to take the pot without a showdown.

Unfortunately for her, the dealer ruled that the hand must be played to completion irregardless of the fact that the big blind player was absent from the table. Seley tabled her {4-}{4-} and watched as the board rolled out with two pairs of over cards to counterfeit her small pair.

The missing big blind's hand was turned up and his {7-}{3-} was good enough to win the pot with seven-high. The pot was awarded to the empty seat and Seley was crippled by the unbelievable loss. The drama did not end there though, and Seley found herself all-in on the next hand, losing her remaining chips in the process.

Rather than bow out of the tournament, Seley stuck around long enough to hear a floorman make a ruling that left her confounded and confused. It turned out that in the previous hand, the empty seat should not have been awarded the pot after all, and the chips should have been shipped to Seley after she made her isolation reraise.

This turn of events would have likely prevented Seley from going all-in on her eventual last hand, and she was understandably a bit upset. She sat patiently in her chair with no chips in front of her, and the empty seat's chips stacked neatly nearby, as play resumed without her. Eventually the floor staff decided that the empty seat's stack was dead and the chips were removed from the tournament.

Seley was also ruled out of competition and despite making the right play at the right time, she hits the rail with the unlikeliest of bad beat stories to share with her friends: the hand when she lost it all against a player who wasn't even there.

Tags: Vickie Seley

Sellgren Frighting Back

Gregory Sellgren, one of the big stacks at the start of Day 2 with 70,400, slipped a bit at the start of the day. He is making a comeback, though.

The player under the gun opened to 4,500 and Sellgren called on the button. The flop rolled out {9-Hearts}{5-Hearts}{4-Spades} and Sellgren was faced with a bet of 10,000. After a few moments, Sellgren jammed for 32,000 and was able to force a fold from his opponent.

Gregory Sellgren 54,000 14,000

Tags: Gregory Sellgren

Harwood Hits 100K

After an early-position player limped in, Stephen Massa came along from middle position. Richard Harwood, in the cutoff, popped it to 6,600. The early-position player called went all in for 7,300, was called by both, and a {9-Clubs}{6-Diamonds}{3-Clubs} flop followed.

Massa checked in the dark and then called 12,000 from Harwood. The {2-Diamonds} hit the turn and Massa checked again, but was faced with a smaller bet this time of only 5,000. He called to see the {K-Clubs} river and checked for a third time. Harwood fired 25,000, finally getting Massa out of the pot.

Harwood tabled {A-Clubs}{9-Spades}, besting the all-in player's {7-Diamonds}{7-Spades} to win the pot.

Richard Harwood 110,000 79,100
Stephen Massa 65,000 -10,000

Tags: Richard HarwoodStephen Massa

Williams Doubles

Shirley Williams moved all in under the gun for 8,700 and was called by the player on the button.

Williams: {J-Clubs}{10-Clubs}
Button: {8-Spades}{8-Clubs}

The board ran out {Q-Clubs}{9-Spades}{7-Clubs}{10-Diamonds}{2-Spades}, giving Williams a pair of tens and keeping her afloat in the tournament.

Shirley Williams 21,600 12,900

Tags: Shirley Williams

Poker Mentor Tommy Vinas Takes One Down

We spotted Dmitri Nobles hovering close to the rail and sweating a player in our Seniors Championship field. When we asked Nobles, who is best known for his loud and lucky run to become chip leader at the 2006 Main Event, who he was here to support he quickly told us that his poker mentor is playing on Day 2.

Tommy Vinas taught Nobles the game and has helped guide him through his poker career, and today Nobles was here to return the support. Apparently Vinas' wisdom is worth listening to, as he as already made a deep run in this year's WSOP, finishing in 5th place in the $10,000 Pot-Limit Hold'em Championship.

While talking with Nobles along the rail, we both stood to watch as Vinas found himself involved in a hand. Another player pushed all-in for his last 5,700 chips and Vinas insta-called with {A-Clubs}{A-Diamonds}. The opponent was in bad shape with his {A-Spades}{J-Diamonds} and the board of {7-Clubs}{3-Clubs}{6-Spades}{4-Clubs}{2-Clubs} offered no help and Vinas won with the nut flush.

Standing along with Nobles during the hand we couldn't help but notice that the bond between teacher and student was as genuine as it gets. We will keep watching to see if Vinas can launch a repeat of his protege's infamous run through the 2006 big dance, as he tries to capture a gold WSOP bracelet.

Tommy Vinas 55,000 27,900

Tags: Dmitri NoblesTommy Vinas

2010 Seniors Event Final Table Update

Three players from last year's final table made it to Day 2 in 2011.

Preston Derden, last year's sixth place finisher, recently busted. However, Jack Ward (seventh place) and Eric Stemp (fourth place) are going strong in the early stages of Day 2.

Eric Stemp 71,000 53,100
Jack Ward 52,000 16,300
Preston Derden Busted