Today at the Rio, all eyes are on Event #24: $5,000 Six-Handed No-Limit Hold’em, a $5,000 event that brought out a healthy 541 runners and which is down to the final 17. As reported in PokerNews, Canadian chip leader Matt Jarvis, who sits well ahead of the pack at 1.37 million chips, gained his lead in an all-in cooler, the last hand of the night. With Jarvis holding A-K and Italian Andrea Dato holding A-Q, both players shipped their stacks when two aces appeared on the flop. The king kicker held and another dream of WSOP glory was snuffed.
A respected British Columbian pro, Jarvis reached poker’s biggest stage in 2010 as a member of the November Nine. This was the event in which table boss Matt Affleck was famously felted by Jonathan Duhamel in 15th, in a well-remembered 42 million chip pot. Affleck––who had established a loose table image by relentlessly pushing around stacks of all sizes, finally woke up with the premium hand of pocket rockets. With a flop of 10-9-7 and a turn Q, all of the two players’ chips found their way into the middle. Duhamel’s jacks needed to improve to a straight or trips to take the pot and a commanding chip lead. Naturally, an 8 peeled off and the rest is history, with a visibly crushed Affleck taking the long walk out of the Rio.
Matt Jarvis, who came into the 2010 November Nine sixth in chips, faced a memorable array of opponents that included Michael "The Grinder" Mizrachii, Soi Nguyen, Joseph Cheong, Filippo Candio, and tournament winner Jonathan Duhamel. Needing to double up, Jarvis busted relatively quickly in 8th, finding himself in a flip situation that was “bound to happen eventually” because of how short the table was. This dramatic hand began as a classic race between Jarvis‘ pocket nines and Mizrachii’s A-Q. With the Grinder well ahead on a flop of Q-Q-8, Jarvis turned his miracle trip nines, needing to fade only an A or the last remaining Q in the deck. Unfortunately, an ace peeled on the river, giving Mizrachii the higher boat. Jarvis, clearly shaken after the monumental cooler commented afterwards “I played it right, he played it right, it is what it is.” Jarvis came back the next year and took home the WSOP bracelet in the same six-handed event he currently holds chip lead in.
Today’s event promises to be an action packed one, with notables such as 2012 WSOP main event winner Greg Merson, Pratyush Buddiga, and Andrew Lichtenberger still in the hunt. Also alive is Kory Kilpatrick, who won his first bracelet on Monday in Event #20: $3,000 No-Limit Hold’em Shootout, and Mustapha Kanit, who the same day final tabled NLHE Event #19 won by retired Marine sergeant Ted Gillis.