Posted: Tuesday July 12, 2005 4:57PM; Updated: Tuesday July 12, 2005 5:15PM
The last player to be knocked out before the money was Carl Ygborn, 25, of Sweden. He began the day with $74,900 in chips, about midway in the field on the money list, so his early exit betrayed some reckless play on his behalf. Ygborn had an A-10 suited (clubs) and the flop came 7-9-10. After two re-raises, he went all in before the turn with $53,000. His opponent had a J-8. Ygborn's high pair with an ace kicker was ousted by a straight. "I came to win," said Ygborn, "I didn't come just to finish in the money." Ygborn did neither, but as the last player eliminated before the money, he was granted a free buy-in to next year's main event.
"Minneapolis" Jim Meehan bowed at No. 195 last night and the railbirds certainly will miss him. Meehan is long, lean and comical. He dressed like an extra from Blazing Saddles and there was always a Heineken or three under his chair and either an unlit cigarette or a filter in his mouth. He lightened up any table at which he sat.
Yesterday, for example, he waved a match under the cigarette in his mouth and asked, "Mind if I smoke?" (Smoking results in immediate expulsion from the tourney.)
Later in the evening he sat out a hand just to take a drag in the hallway. Meehan saw me and asked, "How many hours you puttin' in a day? Sixteen? Eighteen?" (Imagine that, an athlete/player initiating a conversation with a reporter; now I've seen it all.)
"Oh," I answered, "I have it a lot easier than you do."
"I can leave any time I want," Meehan replied with a smile. "All I gotta do is bust out."
An hour later, he did.
Remember Joe Stillman, the Staten Island "behmoth" from Thursday's play? Stillman is still in, and then some. Each day he sports a new retro jersey (on Sunday it was a Doug Flutie jersey and yesterday a Zach Randolph Trail Blazers jersey) and amasses a larger chip stack. He looks like a good bet to at least make the final 100.
From the "Everybody Loves Raymer" file: Defending champ Raymer is looking more and more like a sure thing to make the final table. He has more than $1 million in chips and is either first or second overall right now.
I'm kicking myself for a pair of missed pun opportunities in earlier columns. I mean, as my reader(s), you should demand no less from me. OK, so these are a little silly, but here's what I wish that I'd have written at the time:
Concerning Sunday's column, in which I discussed how overcrowded the men's bathroom gets during the 20-minute breaks, I should have written: "There's nothing like watching 1,000 men heading urgently to one bathroom, giving an entirely new meaning to the term 'pot odds.'"
Concerning Monday's column, in which I described how tournament director Johnny Grooms stuck a bar of Degree deodorant in Barry Pritchard's hands and ordered him to apply it to his underarms: "Apparently Grooms is not only a high-ranking WSOP official," I should have written, "he's also a pit boss."