Live Blogging The WSOPE Final Table

Oct. 20, 2011

14:02 Welcome to the final table of the WSOPE Main Event.  So much to talk about at the conclusion of a wonderful week in Cannes, and I’ll get to that at some point, along with plenty of other topics.  Love to hear from you as well, please type any comments or questions down below in the comments section and I’ll try and get to them throughout the day.  But suffice it to say that it’s a beautiful day here in Cannes, France, I had foie gras for breakfast, and if yesterday’s play was anything to go by we are in for a barncracker of a final table and a worthy winner of the WSOPE Main Event.  And please bear in mind that this is no ordinary tournament.  This is the WSOPE Main Event.  This is one of the biggies.  This is a poker major.  As last year’s winner James Bord said, “This is not a title you worry about defending.  This is a once in a lifetime club.”

The obvious companion to this blog is the live stream of the final, at .  I highly recommend you making your way over there now, and then you will be multitabling this right.  Now let’s get down to the business at hand.

We will be talking more about all these players as the day goes on, but a quick line on each of the eight left in the running for the 1.4 million euro first prize.

Seat 1:  Max Silver – One of the best young players on the UK scene today, mostly known up to this point as a loose member of Team Quidditch, that group of poker friends who rallied around and were part of Harry Potter lookalike and poker demon David Vamplew’s domination of John Juanda in winning the EPT London and then fame and fortune beyond.  Silver has had no shortage of results himself.  He terrorized the UKIPT along with Nick Abou Risk and a few others.  Won the UKIPT Dublin, final tabled UKIPT Edinburgh, and then quit his job and made the jump to full time poker player. 

I ducked out for a phone call with this half written and came back to see Max giving his exit interview.  I suggest you do what I’m about to do, which is to head over to Poker News and find out what happened…

Funny Max made the FT of an earlier event here in Cannes, the shootout event which had an absolutely ridiculously tough final table and he came fifth.  I saw him a couple of times after and he was just generally tilted in the way people always get after making a WSOP final table and then not winning it.  He was so tilted, in fact, that during Day 1 of the Main Event he got involved in a 7-bet shove fest with A-7 and managed to outdraw A-Q.  Joseph Cheong has forever, btw, changed the way people view the A-7, but even he would tell you that this is not a level 1 kind of play, kind of like drop kicking a cream puff. 

Last night Max was a massive chip leader, but he’s a man with high variance play.  He’s three barrelling both ends of his range almost all the time if that means a thing to you, but if it doesn’t I can tell you that Chris Moorman was in total check call mode when it came to Max, just waiting to find out if he had flopped a set or was going ape crazy with the queen high.  Both happening while I watched.  Silver has only just turned 21, he’s a dynamic thinking Brit who thinks and sleeps and talks poker 24 hours a day, and I do believe you’ll be seeing him around in the near future. 

Silver eliminated in eighth place in a massive hand that can be summed up as follows -  Cooler, so standard, can’t win a race, FML, Moorman Moorman luckbox.

14:53  According to Poker News, fifteen hands have been played so far in the tournament.  And it’s the funny thing about tournament poker big final tables.  It takes ages to play hands, what with the cameras, the audience, the table and the pressure, but at the same time it doesn’t feel like there’s no play.  What it feels like is that you can’t make a mistake.  What it feels like is that you have to take advantage of every opportunity.  What it feels like is that you need to go out there and grab it.

Let’s go around the rest of the table quickly, in the hope that I can finish this section before one of them gets knocked out. You already know most of their bios from Poker News, and if you don’t, then go there please  There’s no reason for us to repeat ourselves.

Seat 2:  Chip Leader – Elio Fox – This American started the day as a big chip leader.  I talked with him a few times on breaks and he’s a super nice guy who’s from New York.  And he’s not one of those guys who says he’s from New York when he’s really from South Jersey, Weehawken, or Rochester. I’m one of those guys.  A poser.  No, Elio is from the real New York, New York City, or at least he says he is.  If he’s a poser, he’’s going all the way.  Anyway, even though he is a chip leader, from what I saw yesterday he’s not in the aggression league with the likes of Cody, Moorman, and Blaine.  For a long time he was at the table of death yesterday with those three plus Antonius and Silver on his left and he was getting eaten alive.  To be fair, The Poker Gods themselves would have gotten eaten alive from that seat, but basically, with fourteen left he got moved tables and that was easily the best draw he’s gotten all tournament.  Dermot Blaine said to me, yeah, I was next to have the big blind I thought I was going to get the move.  Ouch.  But Elio moved tables picked up some hands, cracked aces, and bingo bango ended up with 4 million in chips.  Obv he can play the game. I just don’t think he’s gonna run these guys over or cold four bet light.  He’ll sit around until it gets five handed and then try some mustard.

Seat 3: Dermot Blain -  Nice to see Dermot Blain doing well.  People have been talking about him for a couple of years.  First I heard about him was when he won some big tournament out in Macau and there was a story about him being tapped out and having to perform a small miracle to even get in the tournament and then he went and won it.  The next I heard about him was from former WSOP main Event Final Tablist Scott Gray who told me that Dermot was playing in the cash games in Dublin and was at once one of the best young prospects on the Irish scene as well as a super nice guy.  The third time I heard about Dermot Blain was from James Akenhead, who told me about a drunken night in Vegas when a whole bunch of guys were completely sloshed and some prop bet arose about throwing passports against the wall and Dermot made a massive miscalculation in the degree of difficulty regarding the art of passport throwing and got done for a sum way beyond what any man expects to lose on a drunken night of debauchery and proposition passport throwing.  I would in fact venture to say that up to this point it’s the largest amount ever lost in the noble art of passport throwing, and there are probably some Eastern European customs agents who would gladly devote the next several years of their lives to passport throwing full time just on the off chance that Dermot Blain might visit their country in the future.


There’s been a fifteen minute break.  Just outside the studio is a hallway where a lot of media tables are set up.  There’s also some big screen monitors set up with the live stream from playing on a fifteen minute delay.  You have to pass by the monitors on the way back into the room.  I was behind Shawn Buchanan, who was behind Jake Cody, as we filed down the hallway after the break.  The monitor was showing the table from fifteen minutes before.  Jake stopped, glanced at himself on the monitor for a second, and turned back to Shawn.  “This is weird.”

We are back in action seven handed, but I wasn’t yet done with Dermot Blain.  I haven’t seen him play much, but I have a feeling he’s very similar to November Niner Eoghan O’Dea, despite the fact that they look nothing alike.  What I mean by that is that he manages to convince people he’s sitting there playing tight when the truth is anything but.  The greatest practicioner of this style in the whole history of poker is Erik Seidel.  If you could put a value on the top button of Erik Seidel’s shirt, it would probably be in the neighbourhood of ten million dollars.  Yes.  Ten million bucks.  For Seidel’s top button.  Because that’s how much tighter he looks for the last twenty years that it’s been buttoned up.  Anyway.  Blain has managed to cruise through this tournament showing his cards a minimum of times and making sure his stack rarely dipped below average.  I feel like he’s going to be in the final four shake-up.

Seat 4:  Jake Cody – I could talk a lot about Jake Cody.  I could fill a few pages about him right now because I’ve been fortunate enough to watch him play poker more than a bit, and because I also think he is one of the five most exciting people in poker right now, full stop.  It’s one of those things in poker that after you’ve been around awhile you are always sceptical of guys who have a string of quick results, because there are so many flashes in the pan.  That’s the game.  Here they come, the next big thing, and there they go.  And it’s hard to describe which is which and a lot of it has to do with image, and whether or not the poker media and world is ready for the biggest story of the last few years.  But I don’t mind saying it.  Jake Cody is no flash in the pan.  He’s an animal of poker.  He’s a true life, full blooded nut job.


Meanwhile, Chris Moorman has had enough of Brian Roberts.  I’ve never met Brian Roberts nor seen him play before today, but he’s been sitting on Moorman’s left since the day started and apparently he’s been a bit of a pain in the Moorman’s side.  On the last break I walked outside with 2010 WSOPE Champion James Bord, who had been watching the goings on for about an hour, and the first thing he said out loud was, “Moorman has had enough of that Brian Roberts.”  Bord laughed.  “If this was a 1k comp,” he said, “Moorman’s chips would have been in about six times already, but he obviously wants this because I saw him pass three times in a row.  And Moorman doesn’t pass three times in a row.”  Fairly prophetic stuff.  You got to understand something about Moorman who finds very little argument in the area of he’s the best technical tournament player in the UK and quite possibly the world.  You’ve got to understand that if you mess with Moorman, there’s gonna be a fight.  And he doesn’t care if he’s ahead, behind, or flying in with buck teeth and pigtails.  There is going to be a fight.  He’s going to call you. 

It sucks when you try and dog your man, though, and you run into pocket aces, which is what Moorman just did.  He called it off with the k-9 offsuit, and it’s one of those things that if you know what’s going on then Moorman knows before he makes an opening raise with the k-9 offsuit then he’s going to either have to shove it in or call it off if it’s required, you could say that this is not a truly advisable way to go about your business, but if you are going to tell Moorman that, for your own sake please don’t do it today, because that’s just not cool.  Moorman just lost half his stack with the k-9 offsuit against the pocket aces, doubled up a piercing pain in his side in Brian Roberts the woodpecker on his left, and managed to offer up a sheepish grin.  FML.

15:58 You could say Moorman is on tilt.  You could also mention that Chris Moorman is one of the most successful tournament players in the history of the Internet, and what for other people is raging chaos is for him a Sunday walk with the paper pond boats.  You could also say that in the three or so hands since Chris Moorman called off half his stack with the k-9 offsuit against Brian Roberts aces, he’s raised at least two pots, one of which he folded to another Brian Roberts three bet and now sits with his head down after three barrelling the streets from the cutoff against Dermot Blain in the big blind on a four to a straight and a three diamond board and now sits in stewy silence with a half million dollar river bet while Dermot Blain tries and figures out how he can fold anything to a man who may very well be on blown out tilt.  So he does call, and Moorman has the 10-2 of diamonds for both the straight and the flush, and Moorman now has his full stack back and rakes in the pot and you have to understand that what to some people is chaos is to others only waking up, brushing their teeth, getting dressed, and five bet cold shoving with a jack and a six.  That’s Chris Moorman.


Wasn’t I talking about Jake Cody?  I just wanted to make this point. I watched an interview the other day with Patrik Antonius (You can find the link to it in this sites Poker Ticker Archives, great interview btw since when did Patrik start eating friendly pills in place of eating machine parts and drinking motor oil?)  Antonius is talking about Michael Mizrachi, The Grinder, who he obviously has some kind of backing deal with.  And Antonius says something along the lines of, and I’m paraphrasing here, “a lot of people don’t think The Grinder plays that well.  You know, I don’t really think the Grinder plays that well. But I’ll tell you one thing about The Grinder.  When he gets close, he wins.  It’s as simple as that. He’s a closer.  And I like that.”  I know what he means. Now Jake Cody is nothing like the Grinder in one sense, because not only do I think that technically he is an unbelievable player, but I think that everybody generally agrees that technically he’s an unbelievable player.  But Jake Cody is a closer. Unparalleled, the man is closer on the felt.  And that’s why instead of having a WPT final table, a WSOP cash, and an EPT final table, that’s why at the age of 22 he has win, win, win.  Because that’s what some people do.  You can’t always win. But some people go for it more than others.  And some people go for it more than anybody else.

Seat 5: Shawn Buchanan – Not only do I know very little about Shawn Buchanan, but I watched him all day yesterday and I’m staring at him straight on so far all day today, and I would be drawing dead to pick him out of a police lineup.  He takes it to the extreme.  Black sweatshirt with the hood pulled up.  Grey baseball cap with the brim over the eyes.  Mirrored sunglasses.  And a moustache and beard.  I have no idea what this man looks like.  He does have a bit of a reputation, however.  He’s a bit of a story because if he wins then he can still win the WSOP POY and he’s cashed here in Cannes up the wazoo and he’s calm, focused, and intense at the table.  He had a seat yesterday that dictated shutting down a bit and shut down a bit he did.  There was one pot he played that I thought crazy, however, and I can’t really get my head right round it.  He raised UTG and Moorman reraised from the button, and Jake Cody made the cold 4-bet from the big blind.  And Buchanan sat in his seat for quite a while and he had the kind of stack where he really could of five bet and folded to Cody’s shove, and he could have just folded if he wanted to do that as well, and instead he decided to call the 4-bet and then proceed to try and check it down before folding the river.  I’m not going into it any more than that.  You can have a look on .  He didn’t show his hand but everybody I talked to said they were positive he had two jacks.  And I’m just thinking if everybody in the whole room knows what you’ve got, you’re going to have trouble making a whole lot of money with that hand.

I know I’ve been living over in Europe for too long, because I’m starting to confuse Canadians and Americans.  And I know that’s not cool.  But Shawn Buchanan is either from the Ozark Mountains or downtown Vancouver.  Maybe when he takes off his hat, he’s got a map of Alaska tattooed to his bald head.

Seat 6:  The man we’ll never see again – I think his name is Moritz, like the mountain.  He’s got by far the most colourful dress sense out of anyone at the final table, which is your clue that he might actually be so ridiculous as to have a life outside of poker.  Obviously, if he could play even a little bit, then his hair would be uncombed, his shirt would be wrinkled and his hands would not have recently been washed.  So I have no idea what the European’s name in the six seat is, but I’m calling him Moritz, he’s prepared to fold his way into third place, he’s got a family and a job and some very nice clothes, and I doubt we’ll be seeing him ever again.  I’m not saying I’m right about this.  I’m just saying I’ll let you know if I hear anything different.

Seat 7:  Chris Moorman – Moorman is good enough to be known simply by his last name.  He’s way better than that, actually.  I think I first heard about him around the time the rest of you did, which was as a word on an internet page, Moorman1.  Not just a screen name, no Moorman1 was a ranking.  When the websites that matter to the people whose eyes never close started putting together internet raking lists of who the guys were who were indisputably the best players, the biggest winners, and the ones who everyone suspected were way to prolific to be anything approaching human, Moorman was the man.  Moorman was either numbers one or two or numbers one and two at everything related to playing tournament poker on the internet, and he was from the UK, and he didn’t show his face very often.  At some point over the last few years he did start to show his face very often and then Chris Moorman became a guy that everyone liked to make fun of.  There goes the kid who is the best tournament player on the internet, but live he’s a complete fish because he can never win.  It became even funnier to most people when Moorman’s father managed to win a tournament in the UK for like 50k because then Moorman was the best online tournament player in the world and the second best live player in his family, and by a large margin.  And everybody had a good laugh, everybody except probably for Chris Moorman.  And as it turned out it was probably just some weird variance the whole time because over the last year Moorman has been on a super sick run and except for a few cards here or there he might have binked two or three bracelets at the WSOP and it’s not like you can’t say he’s not comfortable with the decisions.  You can be absolutely 100% sure that in every situation at this final table, Chris Moorman has the most technical experience when it comes to playing the hands. 

OJ says:

Buchanan is very highly regarded, and has a reputation for doing particularly well against tough fields. Big buddies with Greg FBT Mueller and the 2+2 pokercast guys. He's probably the most experienced player at a very experienced final table.

I completely buy this.  Checked out his record on The Hendon Mob database, and the number of WSOP cashes he has the last few years is full on ridiculous.  Andrew Robl told me his specialty is 8-game, and beyond that his specialty is probably also tournament strategy.  But he doesn’t have many wins under his belt and I’m guessing this would be massive for him.


midnitekowby says:

you gotta be joking about seat 6 aka Moritz Kranich 09' EPT Main Event Deauville win for €851,400 $10,000 Championship at the WPT Bellagio Cup VI win in 2010 for $875,150. Kranich has $2.1 million in live tournament earnings.



 Two things I love.  One is to find out that there are people out there actually reading, and the second is to get called out when I show my bleeding ignorance.  And when it comes to Moritz Kranich, obviously I’ve been out to lunch.

He’s only won a WPT and an EPT in the last two years both healthy paydays.  LOL.  Shows what I know.  I apologize unreservedly to Moritz, his friends, family, and girlfriend.  I’m not changing my stance on his top, though.  It is colourful.  And if he wants people to think he’s a poker player, he shouldn’t wash so often.

 So, how about this final table?  We’ve come to expect WSOPE final tables to be tough, as historically they’ve been the toughest fields of the year.  In fact, the only thing this final table is missing is the old school superstar who all the old school players in front of the microphone can say is one of the best in the world but really everybody else is praying the old school player gets to the final table just so we can all bet against him.  But one thing that I’m really starting to notice regular, I don’t know about you, is that the changing of the guard is now pretty much complete. Now that Black Friday has been and gone and you can’t buy bracelets and pretty much everybody has got to be putting up their own money to play, the old school superstars at the final table are the loch ness monsters of the poker world.  It’s only other people who can remember seeing them. 


Are you wondering what’s actually happening at the table?  What’s actually happening is that these seven have settled down and decided to play poker.  They’re playing the shit out of these cards.  This is high class, seven handed, knocking heads and matching wits and no soft spot poker for the WSOP Europe championship.  You could say there’s no atmosphere, you could say there’s no banter, but what you can’t be doing is criticizing the quality of play going on down there for the 1.4 million dollar first prize.  The men are playing poker. 


It’s a good time to talk about my main point whenever I sit in a place like this and watch poker.  And I’m one of the people who enjoys doing it more than most, and I can sit in a place like this when the WSOPE is on the line and just do it all day long.  But that doesn’t change the basic fact, which is that poker needs to be changed into a spectator sport, because it’s not one now.  And it’s so easy to do.

Here’s the deal.  At the main event of the WSOP this year, they were showing hole cards on the live stream around the world and on TV on a thirty minute delay.  And almost everybody who was playing on the feature table was getting texts from friends and family on the breaks about what had happened so they could file it away.  But it was only hands that made it to a flop and it was only sometimes.

At the final table of the November Nine, it’s just been announced that hole cards will be shown for every hand, flop or not, if the player voluntarily enters the pot, on a fifteen minute delay, that will also make its way back to the players during the broadcast.

Can you see the road we’re going down?  Can you see what’s at the end of the tunnel, because it’s been as obvious to me as the nose on your face for quite some time now.  Please, please, connect the dots.

Imagine the final table of the WSOPE being played right now with a big screen monitor behind the table. And imagine that immediately following the conclusion of every hand, all the hands are revealed on the screen to both players and audience alike.  Perfect information after every hand.  Now every player will know exactly what his opponent had, showdown or not.  Every bluff revealed.  And each player will have to react to every hand both to his opponents and the audience.  Now we’ve got banter, now we’ve got history, now we’ve got levelling.  And then we'll have a spectator sport. 

Seat 8:  Brian Wilson – Actually, it’s Brian Roberts.  But I can’t be the only wondering what Brian Wilson is doing right now.  One day they’ll hold nominations for the worst all around poker player to ever win a WSOP bracelet, and I imagine that once Brian Wilson’s name is brought to the floor we can pretty much close the voting and all go have a laugh and a beer. This was a man who was convinced that the 4-7 was possibly in fact one of the four best hands in Hold’em and was not scared to back that judgment with his chips.  This was a man who decided that a meaningful life goal was trying to look more like Dave Colclough.  This was a man who I’m sure I once called one of the great raw talents ever to come out of Southern Florida.  This is a man who might agree that it’s gotten harder to win at poker these days.  This is not Brian Roberts.


That’s pretty much the tournament.  Chip leader Elio opened the pot up in the hijack and Jake Cody 3-bet the hand and when it got back around to Elio he thought for a second and then 4-bet Cody up to about 600k.  And Cody started looking hard and looking at his chips and you knew what was about to happen.  And what was about to happen was that Jake wasn’t in a situation, two seats from the chip leaders left with a healthy second stack himself and the chip leader not exactly getting out of line at any stage so far, Jake was pretty damn unlikely I think to be 3-betting the chip leader in position without a hand that he wasn't willing to go all the way with.  I don't think.  I mean I think I don't think.  But anyway, Jake took about two minutes during which he never said nothing and then slid his chips all in and stated it in a low voice and Elio snap called Jake with the two tens for over 2.4 million more.  And history may not criticize that call, because right now Elio is sitting on about half the chips in the tournament with only six players left, and if he had lost that pot he still would have had about a million in chips left and been in sixth position and not been out of the WSOPE.  And he might in his mind say that Jake could have had A-K, A-Q, and A-5 suited, but I think he might be wrong.  Anyway, Cody’s out doing his exit interview, Elie is in prime position to be the next main event champion and I’m taking a short break.  I’ll be back after the dinner break for the big push.  Cheers…

P.S.  And we will get to Brian Roberts.  He's not going anywhere!

  • |
  • Comments (11)

What Others Are Saying

11 Comments about Live Blogging The WSOPE Final Table

OJ says:

20th of October 2011

Buchanan is very highly regarded, and has a reputation for doing particularly well against tough fields. Big buddies with Greg FBT Mueller and the 2+2 pokercast guys. He's probably the most experienced player at a very experienced final table.

The Pokerfarm says:

20th of October 2011

Everyone here at The Pokerfarm head quarters are routing for Cody, quadruple crown.............. :)

OJ says:

20th of October 2011

Kranich has an EPT and WPT title.

midnitekowby says:

20th of October 2011

you gotta be joking about seat 6 aka Moritz Kranich 09' EPT Main Event Deauville win for €851,400 $10,000 Championship at the WPT Bellagio Cup VI win in 2010 for $875,150. Kranich has $2.1 million in live tournament earnings.

midnitekowby says:

20th of October 2011

also, best of luck to Dermot Blain, take home Irelands 1st Wsop Braclet of the year


20th of October 2011


OJ says:

20th of October 2011

Also, plaque chips are awesome.

tankgirl says:

20th of October 2011

When did andrew robl become the go to guy for opinions? I guess I've questioned him since he began playing and had a pr person from the start. I know he's a player now, but this isn't show biz (and I know I'm wrong there too).

OJ says:

20th of October 2011

The changing of the guard is complete. One thing that is a positive of Black Friday purely from a fan's perspective is that the top American talent has had to relocate, and many of them are now going to appear on the European Tour more regularly, and there will be more impressive final table line ups as a result. The caché of the WPT has slipped slightly but I think that they're finally catching on to the fact that they need to have a WPT in France, England and elsewhere for it truly to be a World tour. Having several in Vegas, LA and Atlantic City weakened the attractiveness of the brand, but having it all over the world makes it so much more exotic and exciting.

The Pokerfarm says:

20th of October 2011

great reporting, brutal beat for Jake. Wel played. Good game. Another time no doubt.

TK says:

20th of October 2011

Great writing. I usually just look for the results but you always make poker interesting and cost me (ie: my employer) valuable work time.

Have Your Say

Tell us what you think...

(will not be posted)

Player Profile



Country of Origin:

Lifetime Winnings:$3,948
Career Titles: 0 2011 POY Rank: 0

100% bonus up to £1250

$5 Bonus released for every 350 WH points earned

Pokerfarm Sponsorship

Up to 50% value back with our sponsorship scheme.See Promotions page for details

$400 New Player freerolls

Recieve 4 tournament tokens for thier weekly $1000 new depositor freerolls.

Exclusive Promo

Pokerfarm Podcast

Pokerfarm Podcast

Catch up with the latest Pokerfarm Podcast.

Live From Cannes. Dinner With The Develfish