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Barny Boatman
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Gold rings with onion rings.

World Series of Poker, Las Vegas
Report by Barny on Thursday, 20 May 2004 at 10:12 pm

Now that the team are out here doing the live coverage I guess you don’t need to hear the news from me. As I write this Ram is grooming himself for his second consecutive day in front of the cameras having made it to the final three players in the longest running final in WSOP history. He is second in chips behind our good friend John ‘Large’ Kabbaj. Since John made the final, we have been at pains to point out that he is the ‘unofficial fifth Mobster’ but the truth is that he is the first and only John Kabbaj a great tournament player who is back to his brilliant best. Shame there aren’t two bracelets on offer.
For me this event, the $3,000 No-limit holdem is a bit special. It was the first ever WSOP tournament I played, four years ago and I busted out 16th. I then went on to come 16th in the main event. I'm not sure how I feel about this omen because this time I went out thirty-fourth for my third minor payout of this Series (an incredible sixty-three were in the money in this huge field). Would I settle right now for thirty-fourth in the Big One? No way! You might think from my results this month that I’ve been playing to survive, but the truth is these minor placings mean little or nothing. If you ask me how I did in a tournament I don’t say ‘I played for ten hours’ or ‘I was four places off the money’, I say ‘I got up to 100,000 chips’. Because that’s how you win tournaments, not by sitting in a chair for two days, but by getting all the chips in the room. (Or in the case of the World Series: all the chips in the room, the room down stairs and probably a couple more rooms over the road.) Jesse May wrote an excellent article about how these huge fields have changed the nature of the game, and this to me is the crux of it. You do enough to get you to a final of a normal sized event…and then it’s as if another tournament begins. You’ve gotta keep your foot on the gas a lot longer these days.
So, it was another painful day for me, as for the umpteenth time this month I found myself in the late stages with a big stack and high hopes only for fate to intervene. And once again it was good old Ram who kept his eyes on the prize and battled on to an amazing third final table of the Series.
With Ram in the last twenty-five and the rest of us in the pot-limit Omaha, yesterday was shaping up well. For a five grand rebuy comp the Omaha field was huge at around 150 and with fourty left not only were we all still there with chips, but Ram had made it through with a big stack and the holdem final was kicking off. Joe and I were taken out of the game though, and it was Ross who got himself into a great position with around $100,000 in front of him. I could see he was enjoying himself as I darted between the two events. What a firm!
Ross found himself one of those tournament winning opportunities where he got his chips in a three way pot with Daniel Negraneau and Chris Moneymaker. His hand missed and he had to walk away. Never mind his finishing position or the hours he put in, he had chips, and on another day he could have won it. He was gutted.
Meanwhile Ram and John were playing out of their skins. Ram went down to lowest stack at one point but battled back. And now that bracelet beckons…No-one deserves it more than Ram and there’s more at stake than mere fame and fortune. Ram promised his girlfriend that if he won a bracelet they would get married the same day. So it could be all down the drive-in tonight for a Big Mac and Ties!

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