Ardit Kurshimi, full of East Coast swagger, sits on a short stack of 350,000. He has gotten into Twitter flame wars with Italian supporters of Mustapha Kanit, who were crestfallen to see their hero depart. The offending Tweets turn out to be from an Italian fan. The first reads “Mustapha, he’s one of the best Italian players in the world.” The second, rather more cryptically, reads “In short stack, exit from the tournament, prepare.” Kurshimi has taken this to mean “I’ll be waiting for you outside of the tournament," which his rail cautions him is “a very loose interpretation.” Kurshimi half-agrees, while reserving judgement–– “it’s a very polarizing statement.” He vows to wear the jersey of Italy's World Cup opponent in the next tourney he plays, while noting "I'm a big Italy fan actually, we're neighbors, Albania." His mind onto more serious matters, Kurshimi notes that "no matter what happens, in fourth I catch up with child support payments." He does find a way to survive as a dog pre flop, A-9 vs. Yoon’s J-J. He hits an "ace on the turn, as predicted."
Bergman counts his chips while short-stack Kurshimi jaws the rail.
Kurshimi “it’s a very polarizing statement.”
Arieh also doubles up through Yoon, getting his pocket queens in good against pocket eights. With Yoon down to 3 million and Arieh up to nearly 2.5 million, there is a fairly tight race for tournament lead. A few hands later, Arieh has Kurshimi dominated A-Q vs. A-10, with the flop coming out 9-8-Q and another Q peeling on the turn. Primed to vault into first place, Arieh is devastated to see a jack came out, giving Kurshimi a straight. His rail erupting, Kurshimi is stone silent––amazing how short stack antics give way to an “in the hunt” mentality when the cards fall your way.
Yoon against Arieh, Puerto Rico's number one
With Arieh in the lead heads up, 4.7 million to 3.5 million, Yoon methodically takes his opponent apart, chipping up to a nearly even stack. He is propelled into a convincing lead when he calls down Arieh’s bet on a Q-6-Q board with 6-4 suited. Back-dooring his way into a baby flush, he bets out 275,000 on the river and Arieh calls and mucks. The tournament ends when Yoon calls Arieh’s opening bet of 100,000 with 8-2 suited diamonds. The flop comes 6-7-9 all diamonds and Yoon check-raises Arieh’s 75,000 continuation bet to 240,000. Holding an A-2, with the nut diamond draw, Arie is going nowhere. When an ace peels on the river Arieh pushes all in and is called down by Yoon, whose flush holds up, securing him a $633,341 victory. Standard shove and call, given the stacks and player dynamics heads up.
Comparing this victory with last year’s Little One for One Drop win, Yoon notes that the field, although much smaller, was far more difficult. With a $5,000 buy-in, most of the players are professionals adept at reading complex situations. Having observed Yoon for several hours, I can say that he plays a style of poker that is not necessarily the most exciting to watch, but deadly effective in picking apart less patient players.
Meanwhile, a number of respected players are still in the hunt in the Seven Card Stud Hi-Low Split-8 or Better, including chip leader George Danzer, Ted Forrest, and the inimitable Norm Chad.
George "fear the mohawk" Danzer
The inimitable Norm Chad