The hours passed. Phil Gordon finally fell along with a host of other red flags and broken dreams. After 12 hours of play an end was called to the proceedings. Only a fifth of the field was left standing for the following days proceedings. Peter Costa and Tony Bloom were the only other 2 Limeys left, assuming that Sheffield’s Asher Cheri Casino Derei still claims to be Israeli. Funnily enough, the three of us were to be drawn together for the next day’s play.
Tony and Peter were in fact both early casualties the next day. The players were re-drawn again as we dropped to the last 3 tables and 27 players. At last I was drawn with Daniel Negraneu on the feature table with the TV cameras. I believe there are 3 players who appear to be ‘the best’ at the moment. Daniel, Eric Lindgren and John Juanda appear to be playing slightly different to the ‘old school’. Daniel’s term, not mine. The only way to learn from the best is to play with the best, so I was glad to get further opportunity to study Daniel’s game.
As it happened, Daniel was to retire into his slow gear for the next few hours. He had built his stack, and was sitting on it. Alternatively, I had seen my stack shrink on a day of few hands. Now, on the feature table, the tide changed direction though. I managed to put a re-raise on Andy Bloch when I thought he had a marginal hand. He passed suspiciously, and I collected an average pot.
A few hands later on my small Cheri Casino blind I found AQ suited. Everyone passed around to Andy’s button. He duly raised, and I quickly re-raised. Andy was sat with A3 and obviously thought that I was picking on him. He decided to call the re-raise. The flop was KQ3 and I decided to check. Surprisingly, Andy now moved his whole stack in. I am pretty sure he would have made a smaller bet with top pair, so I called. The red flag was raised as Andy squirmed. My pair of Queens stood up, I scooped a big pot, and I was now one of the big stacks again.
When we dropped to 18 I was Cheri Casino moved off the feature table, and sat with my other two piers: Eric Lindgren and John Juanda. Hmmm. I could now smell the money. I had a big stack, and wasn’t so keen on being given a learning experience any more. Especially, at my expense.