We have overheard a boisterous Gavin Smith throughout much of this Day 1, as he had regaled the Brasilia Room's Silver section with vivid play-by-play announcing of the NBA Finals, and offered fashion advice to his fellow pros. He even took to Twitter recently to post the following photograph of a mustachioed Justin Smith, issuing a challenge to fellow facial hair fan Eric Baldwin.
Hey @basebaldy this is @Justinyoung07 showing you real INTIMIDATION!!!! http://t.co/J8SZCBBIxmFollow @olegsmith
Last we heard, Smith was telling his tablemates the secret to his prolonged success in the often cutthroat world of professional poker, where flashes in the pan come and go seemingly with every tournament series.
"I was never the best player," said Smith, in a tone that suggested a wise elder patiently delivering a lecture. "But I always got the air time."
Despite the other player's protestations that Smith, who has won a gold WSOP bracelet and captured a WPT title in his illustrious career, was indeed one of the best players in the world at one point, the seasoned vet stayed true to his claim. While he did so, Smith also scooped a small pot with an opening raise to 1,150, padding his already above average stack.
As Smith has proven time and again, no matter how the cards happen to come, its simply best to put on a good show.
A hand that recently went down illustrated the high caliber of play reserved for the WSOP's big buy-in events, with defending Main Event champion Greg Merson, Borgata WPT Poker Open champ Olivier Busquet, and Nick Schulman, the winner of WPT and WSOP events, all playing a pot together.
The action started when a player opened to 900 from under the gun, and the entire six-handed table called for a family pot filled with pros. On the flop, Merson led out for 2,325, and next to act Schulman popped it to 6,400.
This folded the preflop raiser and another player, but Busquet decided on a reraise to 15,000. Merson immediately shipped his last 13,500 or so into the middle, and Schulman then went deep into the tank. After a minute of pondering his options, Schulman elected to fold and save his last 30,000, leaving Busquet and Merson to battle it out.
Both players had flopped a good piece, with Merson's top two pair giving him a slim advantage over Busquet's pair and a flush draw.
The on the turn left Merson out in front, but when the fell on the river he grabbed his stack and handed it across the table, offering a "good game everyone" to the table as he departed. Busquet now has more than double the average stack, and is cruising along as the day nears its conclusion.
After a raise from the player in the cutoff seat, Kyle Julius three-bet to 1,900 on the button. Action then folded to Jack Schanbacher in the big blind, but before he could act, the original raiser in the cutoff seat had four-bet to 3,500.
The floor was summoned to the table, and it was ruled that Schanbacher could act on his hand accordingly, either to fold, call or raise. If he altered the action by raising, the player in the cutoff seat could take his four-bet back and act in turn. If Schanbacher just called, the reraise from the cutoff seat would stand. Schanbacher decided to just call the 1,900 from Julius, making the four-bet from the cutoff seat stand.
Julius was back up, and he called the four-bet. Schanbacher then moved all in for 13,400. The cutoff seat re-shoved, and Julius folded.
Schanbacher tabled the and was up against the for the cutoff seat. The flop, turn and river ran out , and Schanbacher doubled up.
On the paired board, Eddie Ochana bet 1,750. His opponent, Marvin Rettenmaier, made the call to see the land on the river. Ochana bet 2,650, and Rettenmaier raised to 8,325. After some tanking, Ochana called, but mucked after seeing the that Rettenmaier turned over for a flush.