Top Pros Make Their Move in the WSOP - Tuesday 12th of July 2005

As the field of players was whittled to a few final tables in the World Series of Poker, some of the games top pros asserted themselves after days of playing patient, smart poker.

Two of the biggest names, Phil Ivey and Mike "The Mouth" Matusow, held the top two spots on the leaderboard after the fifth round finished Wednesday night.

The tournament opened with 5,619 players, but only 27 were left after five rounds.

Tim Phan lost his grip on first place after Matusow ripped several players, including making a brave bet with a bottom pair against Farzad Bonyadi. After the flop and turn, Matusow moved all-in. Bonyadi then folded, and Matusow revealed a pair of 2s, one of which he caught on the flop.

Advertisement

After the bold move, Matusow screamed: "Kneel."

Bonyadi, who started Wednesday in third place, busted out along with John Juanda.

Matusow later ran his total to $5.1 million, giving him a tenuous hold on first place. Not far behind was Ivey, with $4.6 million after quietly dominating a table.

Defending champion Greg Raymer, who fell out of the top 30 after leading early Tuesday, charged back into contention, taking the fifth spot.

On one dramatic hand, he doubled through Tiffany Williamson, the lone woman left in the event.

Raymer pushed all-in before the flop and Williamson called unwisely in what was the most intense moment of the night. Raymer, facing elimination, showed pocket kings and Williamson turned over ace-jack. The flop, turn and river didnt help Williamson, and she lost more than $1 million to the unflappable Raymer.

Raymer increased his chip total to $3.8 million in his bid to reach the final table Friday at Binions Gambling Hall & Hotel.

"Tuesday was crazy and lot of things didnt go my way," Raymer said after play ended. "Wednesday, things went my way."

The emerging story after six days of grueling play was the dominance of the pros and their ability to build large stacks and outlast thousands of other gamblers.

"If they play true to form, they will continue to try to avoid confrontations with other big stacks and look for opportunities to attack smaller stacks," said John Vorhaus, author of the "Killer Poker" book series and an analyst with ultimatebet.com.

Most of the topflight pros have played wisely, not taking foolish risks or going on tilt after a nasty beat or loss of a big stack.

Ivey, for instance, has taken his lumps throughout this no-limit Texas Hold em main event that boasts a first prize of $7.5 million. But the card shark known as the Tiger Woods of poker has never let on that his status in the World Series might be in jeopardy.

Ivey never seems to provide other opponents with a tell, or sign that his hand is weak or strong. His face always carries a quizzical look thats occasionally distorted by a yawn.

He whispers and isnt known for trash talking like the gregarious and occasionally obnoxious Matusow, who found himself on his first day of play in the penalty, or sitting out hands, after uttering a few expletives.

Williamson had been in seventh place with nearly $2 million when the round began, hoping to become the first woman to win the prestigious event. She had about $1.1 million and held the 19th spot.

Other news from around the same time

Nevada May casino winnings rise 12.5 percent - Tuesday 12th of July 2005

Las Vegas casinos, including the new Wynn Las Vegas resort, won $1.02 billion from gamblers in May, ....


Gambling industry probe urged - Tuesday 12th of July 2005

A new Law Commission of Canada report calls for a federal inquiry into the nations $13-billion gambl....


Packer wins UK casino contract - Tuesday 12th of July 2005

Media magnate Kerry Packer has won the right to operate a proposed casino complex in Wales, after lo....


Missouri casino workers happier than most - Tuesday 12th of July 2005

Missouri casino workers apparently are happier in their jobs than the general population, according ....


Osu gambled RM63.1m at Ritz - Tuesday 12th of July 2005

Kota Kinabalu: The seriousness of former Chief Minister Datuk Seri Haji Osu Sukams gambling addictio....


Poker tourney pits robot vs. robot - Tuesday 12th of July 2005

Can the best poker robot beat a professional poker player?That question will be answered during the ....


World Series of Poker enters third round with 279 players left - Tuesday 12th of July 2005

The day of finishing in the money arrived at the World Series of Poker.With the field slashed, almos....


CASINO INDUSTRY ANNOUNCES 2005 GAMING HALL OF FAME INDUCTEES - Monday 23rd of January 2006

A second-generation industry executive and developer, a groundbreaking hospitality and distribution ....


Sutanto orders crackdown on gambling dens - Tuesday 12th of July 2005

Newly installed National Police Chief Gen. Sutanto has given a one-week deadline for regional police....


Popular Parkinsons drug linked to gambling - Tuesday 12th of July 2005

Joe Neglia was a retired government intelligence worker with Parkinson’s disease when he suddenly ....