LAS VEGAS -- The Brasilia Room today is the home to Doyle Brunson. The 10-time bracelet winner started off the day strong and peaked around 130,000, but he finished Level 7 on a down note after taking a tough beat in a 180,000-chip pot. After a flop of A-9-5, Brunson's opponent bet and Doyle called. The turn brought another 9. Brunson checked, his opponent bet, Brunson raised and his opponent moved all-in. Brunson instantly called and showed 5-5. His opponent got up from his chair, began to collect himself and showed A-K. His opponent said "Nice hand," and as Brunson was essentially reaching for the chips in the center of the table, another nine hit the river, giving opponent a better full house.
The table erupted and Brunson's opponent simply said, "Sorry." Brunson counted out the chips, sent them to his opponent and just continued on. On the very next hand, Brunson got some chips back while holding 9-high as his opponents two pair was counterfeit on the river. He went back to work. His opponent did not.
Throughout the next few hands, his opponent's face got tomato-like red. I spoke to him afterward when he seemed genuinely embarrassed and said that he was just happy he had made it to the second break of the day. The point of poker is to take all of your opponent's chips, but in this situation, it felt that he realized what he had done to one of the all-time greats in the game and what taking Doyle's chips really means. He will forever have a story to tell about his Day 2 table at the 2012 WSOP.
During that hand there was just one moment I'll never forget. After Brunson raised the turn, there was a look on his opponent's face of sheer surprise. He was shocked that Brunson had raised him and a huge smirk found its way across his face. The more shocking part of all of it is that he ended up moving all-in after a few moments, perhaps after he had convinced himself that two pair was good in that spot. I'm not a tells expert, but as Joe Navarro always said, the first reaction is the most genuine. In that one moment, everybody watching that hand just had to know that his opponent was in really bad shape.
Small blinds: Fun table: Johnny Chan, Andy Frankenberger, Lee Watkinson, Shannon Shorr and Randy Lew. The green chips have been colored up over the last break. David Baker and Andy Hwang have been eliminated from the WSOP's National Championship. Huy Nguyen leads with four players to go. Jason Alexander has essentially his starting stack after four hours. Perry Friedman is in the Brasilia Room and, as always, his parents are here watching. They filled me in that after the main event this year, Perry will be getting married in Thailand and going to law school. Antonio Esfandiari is continuing to chip up and is over 160,000. The Pavilion will be empty soon enough with tables breaking into Amazon and Brasilia. Joe Cada, Jamie Gold, Jerry Yang and Tom McEvoy are in the field today. Jeff Madsen, David Sands, Noah Schwartz and William Reynolds have all been eliminated.