Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Dominik Nitsche and Dave D'Alesandro Battle it out for NLHE Victory and $335,000

After the $1,000 WSOP Event 21 NLHE event dinner break, Zachary Gruneberg went all in with A-J and a perilously short stack of 490,000. He was called by Dominik Nitsche, who had nearly 2 million chips behind and paired his K-Q on the flop. Gruneberg failed to hit his ace and then there were three. 

Zachary Gruneberg shakes the hand of Nitsche, who felted him in fourth. D'Alesandro looks a bit smug, despite a valiant attempt at sympathy.  

Bounahra kept up the aggression, shoving his last 500,000 with Q-2 two hands later and came up against the immovable force of Nitsche’s A-K. Putting on his backpack preemptively, Bounahra awaited his fate. A festive mood erupted, with Nitsche leveling the rail that he held Q-2 and Bounahra A-K. When a Q peeled on the turn, Antonio Esfandiari encouraged Bounahra to “take that backpack off.” With Bounahra nearly tripling up, Esfandiari gave further goofy encouragement “Holy triple up! Can you Belize it?” Throughout all this high flung action, Dave D'Alesandro remained steady and immobile, with his stack of nearly 3 million. 

Esfandiari to Bounahra: “take that backpack off.”

With three players left, play entered a two-way leveling war, punctuated by regular all-ins by short stack Bounahra. Bob’s rail had by this time branched off into new choruses every time he won a pot, including “Do you Belize In Magic” and “Do You Belize in Life After Love.” Meanwhile, Dominik Nitsche and Dave D'Alesandro started playing some real poker. An unraised 3-4-6 flop with two hearts resulted in Dave betting 120,000, Nitsche re-raised to 320,000, D'Alesandro four-bet to 540,000 and Nitsche moved all in––which brought about an insta-fold. Nobody move, nobody get hurt. 

The hand that busted Bob Bounahra shifted fortunes for all three players. Nitsche started the action by raising to 160,000, Bob shoved his remaining chips, and D'Alesandro shoved all-in behind him. After surprisingly little thought, Nitsche called both all-ins. He could afford to do so with his tens––he had both covered, barely. While he dominated Bounahra’s sevens, Nitsche was well behind D'Alesandro’s queens. The board blanked out for Bounahra & Nitsche, and D'Alesandro scooped a huge pot––making him dominating chip leader as they moved to heads up. 

                                   Bounahra all-in three-way and resigned to going out in third.

An emerging story of the summer is definitely Dominik Nitsche, a German threat who took first place in the 126-runner WSOP National Championship just before the 2014 Las Vegas WSOP began. His $352,800 victory made him the first non-American to win the prestigious $10,000 event, whose participants must achieve top WSOP results over a two year period for tournament eligibility. His convincing victory came against Matthew Ashton––the reigning Poker Players Champion––and two-time WSOP winner Athanasios Polychronopoulos.

                       Dave D'Alesandro heads up against Dominik Nitsche, a crafty, emerging star.

After 20 minutes of cautious play, Dominik Nitsche shoved his remaining 15 big blinds with 10-9 suited and was called by Dave D'Alesandro, who held A-J. The flop and turn were safe for D'Alesandro, but the river brought a 10, saving Nitsche and doubling him up to a much healthier stack. Unfortunately, he ran into D'Alesandro’s flopped boat with 9-7 on a 9-7-7 flop shortly thereafter and lost a significant stack. Like a yo-yo, he survived his next all in with A-2 against 10-9 unsuited and doubled up to 1.6 million––still short stacked but by no means out. The next all-in was also won by Nitsche, with a set of queens vs. two pair. This time he chipped up to 1.5 million, delaying the ticking time bomb just enough to give himself a shot at the win.

                                    Nitsche dodging & dodging bullets. 10 on the river, ok!

                                                                    Trip queens good!

                                                                      A-6 good!

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