Call me a
poker junkie. I love watching poker, so when I heard
about the Poker Superstars Invitational, I figured it
was natural to cover this very long series.
Unfortunately, I missed the first 3 episodes, so I
will hope I can pick this up on the reruns. This is
the first 1 of all of the players (out of 6) - and
this is the 4th round. The players are...
Doyle Brunson - The man, the myth, the legend.
Todd Brunson - The son of the man, the myth the
Scotty Nguyen - One of the most popular
Vietnamese Players and World Series Of Poker winner.
Ted Forrest - You've seen him in the World
Poker Tour a few times.
Mike Caro - Very aggressive and he likes to
chat it up.
Chau Giang - Never heard of him, but I guess
Here's the format -
24 pros, who each put up $40,000, play 6 times in 4
qualifying matches. The top 16 people with the most
amount of points move on to the next round. The points
are distributed as follows - 1st - 10, 2nd - 7, 3rd -
5, 4th - 3, 5th - 1, 6th - 0. In the round of 16, the
top 2 each advance, and the same holds true in the
quarterfinals. Both the semifinals and the finals are
heads-up play, and the winner receives $400,000.
We start this off with Forrest having a K
He raises his hand and everyone else folds. On the
next hand, Nguyen has a A ? 10 ?
and raises to Doyle, who folds with an A
. Todd has a 10 ? 10 ?and
calls. The Flop is 3 ? 3 ?and 5 ?
. Todd raises and Scotty calls. The turn is a 7 ? and
that doesn't help Nguyen. Todd throws up another
50,000 for a bet and Nguyen folds.
Caro, who is very entertaining, raises the blind with
a J ?8 ? . Todd, with a K
? 8 ?
, calls. The flop is 6 ?4 ? 2
?, and that helps no one. Todd bets and Caro folds,
giving Todd his second straight pot. With that, Todd
takes the early lead.
Hand 4 - Nguyen tells Caro that he will give him chips
if he plays. With a Q ?and J
?, Caro does go all in.
Nguyen has a A ? and 6 ?, and he can go after Caro if
he wants. Nguyen...chickens out and folds, and indeed,
Caro gets Nguyens chips. What a nice guy Scotty is.
Hand 5 - Caro goes all in again - this time with a 8
?and 8 ?. Nguyen folds
(again), but T. Brunson not only calls, he raises -
and he should, with a Q ?Q ?.
Caro needs an 8. The flop is a A ?
A ?9 ? , so that's no good. Neither is a 4 ? on the
turn and a 10 ?on the river, so Caro leaves in 6th
with no points. Nguyen smiles as Caro leaves.
Spotlight on Todd Brunson, who sees chips more as
units than as money. He says that the secret is to not
look at it as money - and it's just a game. Very wise
words from Todd, though nothing on him having to play
daddy. Speaking of which, Daddy Doyle has a K
? and a 4 ?, and with them
all folding, he picks up some blinds.
Todd is still in the lead by many, and Giang, who only
had 80,000 (the next lowest is 250,000), has to make a
move rather quickly. Giang does so with a Q ? 8 ? ,
and Forrest calls with a A ? 7 ? . Todd, with a 7
? 6 ? , calls. We see the
flop - 7 ?, 9 ? , K
? . Todd and Ted both have
7's, but Ted has the better kicked and he bets. Todd
gets out, which leaves Ted and Giang, who needs 8's.
He gets instead 4's (4 ?4 ?)
as Ted eliminates Giang.
Fast forward a few hands and it's now Nguyen who is
low on chips. He goes in on a K ?6 ? , but Todd has an
8 ? 8 ? and he calls. We get
a flop of 6 ?4
Neither of them have diamonds, so that is not a
factor. Also not a factor - Nguyen's K or 6, as the 10
? on the turn and the 7 ?as
Nguyen leaves in 4th place.
What's the strategy between the Brunsons? Apparently,
if one of them bets, the other one will drop out. Can
Ted use that to his advantage? Maybe, with a K
?J s, as he calls to a Q
? 4 ?
. Todd, with a Q ? 4 ?calls
and we see a flop - 5 ?2 ? 8 ?.
We all check to see a 9 ?on
the turn and a 3 ? on the river, where Doyle bets
100,000. Todd bails out. and although Ted has the best
hand, he also folds, and Daddy wins the pot.
We have a spotlight on Todd and Doyle. The strategy is
to not bang up on each other at the beginning, but
when it's down to 3, anything goes. It's Forrest
though who starts with a J ?10 ?and Doyle, with an A
? 7 ?
, raises. Todd bows out and Ted folds, as dad picks up
another quick pot. despite that, he's still the short
stack with 216,000 and Ted is the leader with 821,000
(Todd, with 400,000 in change, is in third).
Chip leader with a big slick A ?K ?, bets 80,000. Todd
goes all in with a A ?10
? - and then he realizes his
folly once he sees Forrest's hand. Or is it a folly?
The Flop is...10 ?9 ? 6 ? .
The flop is a 2 ?and the river is a 7
?, which means that Todd
doubles up and is the new chip leader, while Ted now
drops to second.
We spotlight Ted, who is called the chameleon. He
talks about his switching gears when he plays, but one
more bad hand from him and he will be extinct.
Speaking of which, Ted goes all in with a K
?6 ? . Both Brunsons go all
out and Ted wins the pot. He wins 2 more straight
blinds, which is better than nothing, but Todd is
still over a million, with both Ted and Doyle having
less than a quarter of what he has.
Doyle and / or Ted have to make a move. Doyle does
that with a A ? 8 ?, while
Ted calls with a A ?2 ?.
Doyle has the edge, as long as no deuces show up. The
flop is... 7 ? 5 ?2
? . There's that deuce, and
Doyle needs a 2. Turn... Q ? . River... 7
?. That knocks out Doyle, but
he still finishes in third place - good for 5 points.
It's heads-up between Todd Brunson and Ted Forrest.
Forrest has a A ?9 ?and goes
all in. Ted has a 7 ? 6
? and folds. Ted picks up the
blinds, up Todd is still up by 200,000.
Next hand - Forrest has a Q ?4 ?, Brunson has a 8
?9 ? . The flop is a 8 ?10 ?A
? . Brunson leads the hand,
but Forrest is on a flush draw and goes all in.
Brunson calls and wants to avoid a club. The turn
is... 3 ?. The river is... 9
?!!! Forrest doubles up and now it's Brunson in the
whole in a big way - Forrest has 1,218,000, while
Brunson only has 282,000.
Can Brunson come back? Not with an A ? J ? from
Forrest, who goes all-in. Todd hits a 9 ?8
? and calls. Wha? The flop is
2 ? , 10 ? , and 8 ? , and that gives Forrest the nut
flush. Nothing else is going to help after the 7
? on the turn and Forrest
wins the elimination match and $10,000. Brunson wanted
to be in third or better, and he got it, so he's happy
on his conservative style. Forrest says that being
aggressive later helps him out.
So as we finish the first round of play, here are the
10 points - Freddy Deeb, Ted Forrest, Kathy Liebert,
7 points - Todd Brunson, Johnny Chan, David Grey,
5 points - Doyle Brunson, Mike Sexton, Dewey Tomko,
3 points - Antonio Esfandari, Barry Greenstein, John
Myung, Scotty Nguyen
1 point - Chau Giang, Bobby Hoff, Chris Moneymaker,
0 points - Mike Caro, Eli Elezra, Carlos Mortenson,
Next week - We get the first game in round 2. Join us
in 7 days to see who gets to add more points to their