Wednesday, September 15, 2010

The Bad-But-Not-So-Bad Luck of Paul Spitzberg

Event 13: $170 + $30 No-Limit Hold'em (2 Re-Entry)

The field is down to 170 players, and we expect to get the official numbers on entrants and prizepool soon. The blinds are currently 1,200-2,400 with a 300 ante in Level 13. The average chip stack is about 55,000.

Paul Spitzberg (left) and Mike "Little Man" Sica

There has been some more turnover at the featured table. We lost Allyn Marshall (seat 1), Joe Mosca (seat 2), and Rob Newman (seat 8). Here's a look at the new lineup, with the most recent chip counts:

Seat 1. Joe Cramer - 11,100
Seat 2. Tommy K - 56,000
Seat 3. Mike Moran - 95,000
Seat 4. Paul Spitzberg - 67,000
Seat 5. Mike "Little Man" Sica - 59,000
Seat 6. Sidney Wells - 35,000
Seat 7. Dan "Mole" Marion - 63,000
Seat 8. Luke Smith - 128,000
Seat 9. Jacquelyn Scott - Eliminated
Seat 10. Chris Mochol - 47,000

As you can see above, Jacquelyn Scott was eliminated. She moved all in from middle position for about 43,000, and Mike Moran moved all in from the cutoff with a nearly identical stack. Everyone else folded, and Jacquelyn showed 77, only to be dominated by Mike's AA. The board came 10933J, and the pocket aces held up. The stacks were counted down, and Mike had Jacquelyn covered by about 1,000, so she was eliminated. And Mike doubled up to a comfortable 95,000.

Shortly before that, Paul Spitzberg ran into what seemed like bad luck at the time, but probably didn't change anything in the scheme of things. When the cards were being dealt, the dealer accidentally flashed a 10 that was headed Spitzberg's way, so it became the burn card and he was dealt a 7 instead. Then Spitzberg's next card was another 10, and what would have been pocket 10s became 10-7 instead.

Spitzberg played the hand from the small blind anyway, against Tommy K in the cutoff. The flop came 1072, and Spitzberg flopped top two pair instead of a set -- still a very strong hand. They got it all in, and Tommy K turned over J9 for a gutshot straight draw. Spitzberg was a 3.5-to-1 favorite, but the cards had other plans.

The turn was the A, the river was the K, and Tommy K won the hand with a spade flush to double up. The pot that would have taken Spitzberg well over the 100,000-chip mark instead knocked him down to about 67,000.

As Spitzberg pointed out, the same thing would have happened even if he had the pocket tens and flopped a set, so in the end, the minor misdeal inflicted no harm. It's a weird situation for Spitzberg, because he's ran into some strange bad luck -- he lost to a royal flush earlier -- but he still has an above-average stack, so there isn't much room to complain.

A few other notable chip stacks from the field:

Gary "Lindell" King - 74,000
Andre Boyer - 105,000

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