Posts Tagged ‘Fights’

David Larson Buys In, Fights from Short Stack to Win WPT Rolling Thunder

 David Larson Buys In, Fights from Short Stack to Win WPT Rolling Thunder

After failing several times to satellite into the tournament and instead buying in directly, David Larson fought from the short stack to win his first major poker tournament title in taking the World Poker Tour’s Rolling Thunder in California last night.

Not only did Larson come off the short stack, it was a “life support” short stack. With only 700,000 in chips, Larson couldn’t even double up and pass fifth place D. J. Alexander with 1.425 million chips. They both were in dire straits when looking up at Rayo Kniep (2.435 million), Ian Steinman (2.48 million) and Joe McKeehen (2.755 million) ahead of them on the leaderboard. Ruling the roost as the cards went in the air was Ping Liu (3.33 million), who seemingly had been at the top of the leaderboard since the start of the tournament.

McKeehen, the former World Champion, was an active participant from the start of the final table’s play. After making a bit of a misstep on Hand 2 in doubling up Larson (Larson’s pocket Queens defeating McKeehen’s A-J), McKeehen rebuilt his stack by brutally running over the rest of the table. Down to 2.3 million after the double to Larson, McKeehen would rebuild his stack within five hands to seize the chip lead from Liu and continue to power his way through his opponents.

After that double through McKeehen, Larson was able to sit back for a bit but, when his moment came around, he would take advantage of it. On Hand 43, a short-stacked Alexander pushed his chips in from under the gun and only Larson looked him up. Larson had the pre-flop lead, his pocket tens over Alexander’s K♠ 9♠, and he kept that lead over the run of the A-8-3-7-Q board. Once at the end of his rope, Larson was now up to 2.1 million as Alexander headed to the rail in sixth place.

It took some time to get to Alexander’s elimination and it would take another lengthy span of time to get to the next elimination. Over the next 60-plus hands, McKeehen would lengthen his lead to the point he held over 50% of the chips in play. It also left the other four players scrambling to see who would challenge the former World Series of Poker Championship Event winner.

The first challenger emerged on Hand 104. After another McKeehen raise, Kniep called out of his small blind and Steinman called off the big blind to see a J-10-5 flop. Strangely, all three players checked the flop and, after another ten came on the turn, Kniep checked his option. Steinman put out a big bet on that turn card and got rid of McKeehen, but Kniep fired over his bet with an all-in move for 1.1 million. Steinman didn’t waste any time calling, turning up 10-8 for the turned trips. Kniep saw that his slow play didn’t pay in this case, turning up his pocket Kings, and he needed one of the two remaining Kings to save his skin. The paint on the river was a Jack, however, ending the tournament for Kniep in fifth place.

The elimination of Kniep seemed to open up the action. Only a few hands after Kniep’s departure, On Hand 109, Steinman would take down Liu, his A-Q dominating Liu’s Q-10, to end Liu’s tournament in fourth place and send Steinman into the chip lead. Larson, meanwhile, doubled up through McKeehen (Larson’s Big Slick picking off a McKeehen steal attempt with Q-7 off suit) once and, in another mano y mano fight between the two, ended the WSOP champ’s tournament when McKeehen made another strong but ill-advised move in push with Q-9 on a J 5♠ 4 flop. Larson looked him up with A 7 and, after a King turn and a four river, scooped up the remainder of McKeehen’s chips to go to heads up play against Steinman.

Down almost 2:1 against Steinman, Larson’s comeback was stunning to those in attendance in the Thunder Valley poker room, but he wasn’t quite done yet. Within six hands of heads up play, Larson had reversed the standings, moving out to a slight lead (7.5 million to 5.6 million) over Steinman and he would never look back. Although it would take another 20 hands, Larson would complete the unlikely “worst to first” comeback with a stunner of a final hand.

On Hand 171, Larson raised the betting and Steinman three-bet the action to over a million chips, which Larson called. An A-J-6 rainbow flop saw Larson fire again, but this time Steinman only called the bet. A second ace on the turn slowed both men down with a check, but a Queen river saw Larson check-raise all in Steinman’s 500K bet. Steinman called off his final million chips and was dismayed at the result; Larson had flopped two pair with his A-6 and turned a boat as Steinman’s slow played pocket Kings got crushed. As the final chips were pushed to Larson, he shook Steinman’s hand and reveled in his victory in the WPT Rolling Thunder.

1. David Larson, $ 295,128
2. Ian Steinman, $ 201,428
3. Joe McKeehen, $ 131,081
4. Ping Liu, $ 97,510
5. Rayo Kniep, $ 69,650
6. D. J. Alexander, $ 56,417

The WPT crew will now get a bit of a break before charging out for their end of season run. The WPT will be on hiatus until April, when the WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown in Hollywood, FL, and the WPT Amsterdam in the Netherlands take to the stage. Then comes May and the flurry of action in Las Vegas for the WPT, including two new events at the Bellagio and ARIA, that will close the Season XVI schedule.

The post David Larson Buys In, Fights from Short Stack to Win WPT Rolling Thunder appeared first on Poker News Daily.

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Vanessa Rousso Fights to Final Three of “Big Brother,” Has Chance at Final Two

 Vanessa Rousso Fights to Final Three of “Big Brother,” Has Chance at Final Two

n what has been a tumultuous two days, poker professional Vanessa Rousso has put herself in position to be under consideration for the $ 500,000 first prize on the CBS reality show Big Brother. After fighting her way into the final three, Rousso now has the potential to make the final two. Come next week, Rousso may be one of the people who is considered by a Jury vote for the victory in the competition.

After winning the Head of Household on last Thursday’s episode, Rousso knew that there were plenty of issues that she still faced. Situated between two partnerships – the “showmance” between Austin and Liz and the “bromance” between Steve and John – Rousso had to tread lightly in making decisions as the HoH. After interviewing all the contestants, Rousso would decide to put up John and Steve for elimination.

The Power of Veto competition would prove to be pivotal, however. John, who was the target of Rousso for elimination, emerged as the victor of the PoV competition and used that power to remove himself from the elimination seat. Now faced with putting up one of the members of her “Sixth Sense” alliance, Rousso decided that Austin would allow her the best chance to look like she was putting up a strong opponent but in reality target Steve for elimination. Thus, Austin went on the block as the Big Brother household headed to a special elimination on Tuesday night.

Sometime between the Sunday episode and the Tuesday elimination, Rousso would switch her allegiance from Austin to Steve, breaking up the “showmance” that had probably lasted longer than many thought it would. Rousso’s logic was that Austin presented more of a challenge in competitions (especially the more physical ones) and that, if Rousso went to the final three with both Austin and Liz, she would be the “odd man out” (and a final three of her, Liz and either Steve or John was much more preferable). Thus, after John used his vote on Steve and Liz used hers on Austin, Rousso broke the tie by stunningly sending Austin out of the house.

Now down to four – Steve, John, Liz and herself – Rousso was in a tough position. Barred from competing for the next HoH (and earning an automatic spot in the final three), Rousso had to watch as Steve took over from her and nominated John and Rousso for elimination. Only one other person would be guaranteed a seat in the final three – the winner of the PoV – and Rousso, needing to pull herself off the block, won the PoV and guaranteed her slot in the final three. With John and now Liz on the elimination table, Rousso decided to split the “bromance” this time by knocking off John, setting up an intriguing three person battle for the coming week.

With three people remaining, Rousso now had to punch the ticket for the final two. In what turned out to be a marathon of a physical challenge – hanging on a rope swing, being dunked in some red goo that didn’t look particularly enjoyable and slammed repeatedly into a foam rubber wall – Rousso first watched as Steve fell to his demise and then was able to convince Liz to fall from her swing willingly. Some of the more vocal fans have insinuated that Rousso might have offered Liz something for her giving up (a trip to the final two, perhaps?), but it is unknown if this was the case.

It is a difficult choice for who would be the better opponent for Rousso in the final two. Although she has been partners of some sort with Liz since pretty much the start of the show, Rousso knows that if she were to take Liz to the final two with her, Liz would have two votes automatically from Austin and her twin, Julia. With six other members in the Jury (Becky, Jackie, James, John, Meg and Shelli round out that field), Liz would only have to garner three more votes to take the $ 500,000 prize from Rousso. The situation doesn’t get any easier with Steve, however, as he has probably three solid votes with James, Meg and John (and “solid votes” indicates voting on friendship and previous alliance rather than who played the best game) and would only need two more (Austin and Julia with a payback?) to turn against Rousso to take the bounty.

Over the next week, it will be revealed who will be the one to head to the final two with Rousso. There will be a broadcast on Sunday night (8PM Eastern Time), but it probably won’t be until the 90-minute season finale on Wednesday night that we actually learn who will join Rousso in the final two. Then it is up to a vote of the Jury to determine whether Rousso will be rewarded with $ 500,000 for playing an outstanding game or whether alliances and friendships will be the final determinant.

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