Posted: Wednesday July 13, 2005 4:48PM; Updated: Wednesday July 13, 2005 4:48PM
Joe Stillman, the offensive lineman-sized New Yorker who each day sports a new jersey (on Tuesday it was Shaquille O'Neal's Heat top), is alive and well. Last night he took out Shane Bartholomew (who gave Adam Friedman the tough beat on Day 3) shortly after 10 p.m. Bartholomew went all in with a pair of jacks and Stillman called with K-9 suited.
The flop: 6-8-9.
The turn: 8
So, Jacks and 8s for Shane, 8s and 9s for Joe.
The river: K.
"YEAH! YEAH!" shouted Stillman, as his boys from the Island of Staten cheered beyond the rail. "How many times have I gotten lucky on a bad hand."
Bartholomew, who will return to England some $107,950 wealthier, was consoled by his best friend, fellow Londoner Nick Percaud. "Let's go and get f'ed up," said Percaud. Bartholomew and Stillman, by the way, spent the post-dinner session at Phan's table. No table with Phan -- among the top three in chips at the end of the evening -- ever is a grim table. At one point Stillman, who had a running cross-table conversation with Phan all night, called for a bottle of water from a waiter. "Water!" beckoned Stillman. "Agua."
"You just learn that today?" asked Phan. "You picked that up quick."
Then Phan twisted the dagger. "Water, please," he requested to the same waiter. Then, turning to Stillman: "They speak English here."
A few minutes later Stillman called against a $200,000 all in with an A-K of spades. His opponent turned over 6s. The flop, turn and river were rags, taking a huge bite out of Stillman's stack. The Phan Effect (Phan's Phriendliness makes others at his table Phan Phriendly) kept Stillman from letting himself get too beat up about it.
"I woulda played it," Phan consoled Stillman.
"Point is, I don't care," Stillman said, twisting his face into a smile.
"There's re-buys in this tournament, right?"
A moment later Raymer, seated one table over, stood up to check on Phan's chip stack. "You leading right now?" asked Raymer.
"I'm not the leader," said Phan (though he was). "How about you?" "If I double up," said Raymer, "I'll be the leader."
"Good luck," replied Phan. "I hope you don't."
WSOP details you may or may not care about (I'll assume you do): The only people allowed inside the rails besides the players, dealers, WSOP officials and the ESPN crew (who themselves may outnumber the players by now) are the waiters/waitresses and the masseurs/masseuses.
A few of us print media types have considered disguising ourselves as masseurs just so that we may bring you better coverage of this event. Some of the players have masseuses work on them for hours at a time.
Late last night, for example, on Table 121, there was an exciting all-in call (Q-J versus K-5 suited). One of the players at the table had been getting a foot massage for most of the evening from the same masseuse, who was kneeling on the floor. The hand was decided when the K-5 caught a King on the river, by which time a small crowd had gathered at the table.
As the crowd dispersed, a funny Texan at the table looked at the masseuse, who also had been distracted by the hand: "Sookie, what are you doing watching?!?" he said in mock horror. "Get back to the massage."
Also, when a player gets knocked out, a WSOP official writes his number on a simple yellow Post-It note and directs him to the cashier. Considering that from here on out eliminated players will be collecting six-figure checks, it's sort of cute to see that their claim number is nothing more than a number jotted down on a blank Post-It note. I'm waiting to see which railbird (or reporter) catches on to this rudimentary receipt process and attempts to steal a pot of their own.
Friedman, profiled in yesterday's blog, also is alive and well in the tourney. He played all of Tuesday seated directly to the right of Mike "The Mouth" Matusow, and both men have robust chip stacks heading into Wednesday's action.
Beginning Wednesday, Day 5:
Blinds will start at $7,000 to $14,000. There are 58 players remaining. The average chip count is $969,000.