Talked a little bit before we started with Thomas. He said an odd thing, which was something like, "hey, if you double up just one time you're right back in there." Which struck me as an odd comment, since I was second in chips. Apparently a lot of the sites were recording some really inaccurate end of day totals.
Wasn't sure if I'd be nervous playing today, but I wasn't at all. In the slightest. In fact, about 20 minutes in, after playing a couple small pots, I actively made the realization, "weird, I'm not even a little bit nervous." Truth be told, I was probably more nervous yesterday playing pots.
I think I wasn't nervous because I was too busy having fun. It's not that often, these days, that I'm truly having a lot of fun playing poker. But this was a lot of fun. I wish it had lasted longer. I obviously wasn't willing to do anything to ensure that it would last longer, of course. :) So yeah, I highly recommend to anyone that they final table a WSOP event. I'd recommend winning too, but I can't give a first-hand account of what that's like. I suspect it's even more fun.
If I feel bad, I can only imagine how Matt Heintschel feels. The first all-in showdown of the day involved Anthony raising from the button and Matt moving all-in from the SB. Anthony called and showed Ad8s and Matt showed Ac8c. Matt claps his hands and exclaims, "yeah, I'm freerolling!" I utter, "well...kinda...but not really..."
Flop diamond-diamond-diamond. Turn diamond. River diamond. Do not tempt the poker gods.
A selection of other memorable preflop all-ins involving Anthony Reategui. These all involve at least two large preflop raises.
Anthony limps in the SB, Quinn Do raises, Anthony moves in, Quinn calls. Anthony's Tc2c beats Quinn's AJ.
Anthony knocks out the 11th place guy with A9 vs AJ.
Anthony raises from three off the button, the SB moves in, Anthony calls getting a fairly good price. 74s good.
Anthony raises to 36k utg. Tri Ma from the button moves all-in for 180k. Anthony calls with Ac9h. Tri shows AsQc. Board comes out. We all study it. There are no nines on board, no 8765, T876, JT87 or QJT8 combination, not enough clubs and not enough hearts. It finally dawns on us that Anthony has actually lost an all-in showdown.
I don't, of course, believe in any player ever being destined to win a tournament, but if ever there was such a case, it was Anthony Reategui and this tournament.
Except he just lost, according to CardPlayer. Oops.
Bit of a minor controversy before we got started. Max Pescatori was late, and paged a number of times. Max made it clear the night before that he was staying home to watch the World Cup final (Max is a very patriotic Italian and was wearing an Italian flag as a bandana all yesterday and today). The TD told us Max had called and told hiim he was stuck in traffic, but we all knew what was going on (the penalty kicks ended around 1:45 PM or so, the final table was scheduled for 2 PM, and it was 2:10 by this point. We know there was no traffic. A couple people started grumbling and felt we should blind him off. The TD said no way, no how. Daniel Negreanu overheard the announcement that we were going to wait for him and offered his voice from the rail, saying it was ridiculous, a travesty, etc. Max showed up a few minutes later.
The cameras in the ESPN final table are such that it must take some mildly intricate chip stack placement for them to get a clean view of the hole cards.
About 7 hands in, Greg Raymer was nice enough to pay a visit to me at the final table and wish me luck. I thought this might actually be a benefit to me; I thought that if any of the players were perhaps intimidated by him maybe some of that would rub off on me. But next hand was the first of the two AT hands, so I guess that didn't work.
One of the players (I won't mention who in case he wouldn't appreciate it being mentioned) said to me after the bust-out that he thought I was the best player at the table, which was nice. (Hint: It wasn't Matusow.)
Some of Justin's cheering section shook my hand as I left, congratulating me on a great call with my AQ. I thought that that was rather interesting. It wasn't like I looked at Justin and thought "this guy is so on a re-steal." It was more like, "I have AQ in a 4-handed game and I'm getting 3:2. Okay."
I'm pre-registered for the $1000 NL tomorrow. I don't really want to play it. But I wouldn't mind final tabling it.