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FRANK’S KEY HAND AT THE 2000 POKER EM

Only the WSOP can beat the spectacle and status associated with the Poker EM. It would make anybody proud to win the prestigious three-day-long poker EM. It was too bad, that F’s Seven-Card Stud record from 1986-1998 was appalling. Though Frank has somewhat enhanced breakthrough in Seven-Card Stud tournaments ever since August 1998.

He had dedicated that August of 1998 to enhancing his poker. He played every single day in the Legends of Poker Tournaments and did his best to examine his game. Since then he managed to reach the final tables in Stud at events such as the 1998 Legends of Poker, the U.S. Poker Open Championship Stud (4,000 buy-in) in late 1998, as also the Carnival of Poker Stud in January 1999.

But then he ended up in the ninth position at the Poker EM in Vienna in October 1998; he also made it quite far in both the WSOP Seven-Card Stud in 1999. He made it to the ninth position or higher for five consecutive Stud events ever since August 1998. However, all those events shared a common theme: Frank blew it down the stretch. He was so excited he had a breakthrough in Seven-Card Stud Tournaments after twelve long years!

Only after so many years he learned to play tournament Stud on another plane. After that he played for several hours at every Stud event on that plane, and actually made it to the final table, just so he could go bust, he realized it late in all those events. Every time Frank recalls the visions of all the times he got busted at the final tables, he hurt.

He hurts the most when he recalls a specific Stud event where he played in the 5,000 buy-in Seven-Card Stud event, at the 1999 World Series of Poker. He toiled through the day and was leading in the chip count, but he didn’t play well later that night and practically threw away all his chips until he finally ended up in the nineteenth position.

But it is best left forgotten, as it hurts even when writing about that dreadful WSOP performance, At the Poker EM in 1999, Frank swore, unlike the previous year, he’d be more careful if he were in a position to win. Though it was all right if he wasn’t fortunate enough down the stretch. However, he certainly did not wish to let go of an opportunity to win another Seven-Card Stud title!

He advanced to the finals on the second qualifying round in 1999, just as he had in 1998. Frank managed to lead in the chip count very soon after the 72 players that qualified began the final championship event, and he even sustained the chip lead until he got to the final two tables. When he got here, the only thought that ran in his mind was that he shouldn’t end up in the ninth position again.

Just like the previous time, the final eight players would win loads of money as well as play live in audio and video on the Internet at www.pokerem. Com. He psyched himself into focus on the facts while not making any dumb moves at this point. He felt great respite when he advanced to the final table, despite the fact that he was in the fourth position with regards to the chip count. As yet, not once did Frank move all-in at this particular event, so there was no way he could go bust.

Out of the first five hands dealt at the final poker table, Frank had low cards in the hands, despite the fact that he allowed his chips to decrease from $33,0000 to $23,000 due to ‘low-carding’, he didn’t allow himself to be irritated by it. In Stud, when a player is a ‘low-card’, he makes a bet to get the ball rolling. This could be very costly in the latter part of the event.

(There’s something that bothers Frank about Stud when players are dealt the low-card frequently they get upset with the dealer, all the more so when they’ve been winning while a particular dealer had been dealing. A player shouldn’t cry while playing Stud, at least not until he has lost some kitties!)

Frank realized that getting angry because he’d lost roughly $10,000 holding the low card would only play on his emotions, and he’d lose his concentration. He felt the wise thing to do was to focus on the game as best as possible, while letting the cards be. Frank didn’t want to lose due to bad playing, throw away a chance of winning the title, although if he lost the title due to bad luck, then so be it!

Frank had no idea what the prize money that the first position winner would get, even when the players got a ten-minute break and four players remained. One player went bust in the very first hand post break; following which, three players remained. It was at this time when this particular hand occurred between Christoph Haller and Frank. While the limits were at $10,000-$20,000, the antes were $2,000 per head, and the low card fetched $4,000.

Frank had a four and two in the hole and the face up card was a four making him the low card. Christoph had and Ace and Jack in the hole and his face up card was a King, so he raised $6,000, the third player had a nine and he quit. Frank wavered a bit when he was scrutinizing Christoph. Frank pondered whether his pair of fours was the best hand presently. Currently Frank couldn’t assess Christoph, so he matched the raise.

The next card Frank was dealt was a ten, while Christoph was dealt a six. Christoph went first and bet $10,000. All of a sudden, it occurred to Frank that his pair of fours was the best hand. He wasn’t quite certain of the cause of his realization, he figured it was the manner in which Christoph bet his hand or the look on his face. In the past, frank won several no-limit hold’em titles because of his sharp aptitude of scrutinizing his opponents.

There is no doubt that good assessment is lethal in no-limit Hold’em. Frank matched the bet and raised another $10,000 to go. Christoph matched the raise. Frank became even more certain his pair of fours was the best hand, when Christoph only matched Frank’s $10,000 raise. The next card that was dealt to him was a ten, so the board now showed a four, a pair of tens with a tour and two in the hole, which meant he now had two pairs.

Christoph was dealt a Jack, and his board showed a King, a six and a Jack, and he had an Ace and a Jack in the hole, this meant he had a pair of Jacks. Frank bet $20,000 and Christoph matched the bet. Frank wasn’t too pleased about it. Frank thought he’d won the kitty when he saw the pair of tens and bet $20,000. Frank was certain Christoph either had a pair of Jacks or maybe a pair of Kings.

He was aware that Christoph might even have an open-ended straight draw (ten, Jack, Queen and King), that is to say, he’d have a Queen and a ten in the hole. Next, Frank was dealt a nine, for a board showing a four, a pair of tens and a nine plus a four and a two in the hole, whereas Christoph was dealt an eight, for a board showing a King, six, Jack and an eight with the Ace and a Jack in the hole.

Frank bet Christoph’s last $20,000, which prompted Christoph to call the bet. At this time, Frank was almost all-in, as he had less than $10,000 remaining, whereas Christoph was all-in. The players are asked to disclose all their cards when a player is all-in in the poker EM, following which the last card is dealt face up. It was obvious to Frank that his hand was the best when he saw Christoph’s hole cards, all that he required at this time was a status quo.

‘Here comes the skill card’ is play poker slang for the last card. Frank didn’t’ get a full house (tens or fours), which would have shut him out, as luck would have it, Christoph also missed. Therefore frank won the kitty and eliminated Christoph. Wow! Frank as good as lost his concentration due to all the yelling. Frank was feeling like the excitement was getting the better of him but he took control by telling himself that it wasn’t over. He’d let the others celebrate, He had to be calm and end this game.

He won $30,000 from his sole opponent in the very next hand. The crowds began yelling again, his two sweet sounding sisters (Kelly and Sally) were also cheering amongst the crowds, so was his brother-in-law (Bobby); they were obviously having a great time consuming the free alcohol that night plenty of it. His family yelled out ‘Yeah brother! Yeah brother! Yeah brother! Yeah brother!’

Once more he had to control his excitement so he could focus on winning the title. He won a $100,000 kitty in the next hand as well as the Poker EM. At last he allowed himself to get excited! Frank went from four players to victory in just four hands. Boom, end of story! It was over in a flash. Frank was experiencing disbelief, while embracing his family and posing for tons of photographs, following which he consumed champagne out of his new trophy!

When he was given a silver platter holding 1.8 million Australian Schillings (roughly $110,000), he finally learned what the first position player was awarded. It brought him great joy to have his family celebrating with him at the end. He felt fortunate for having won the poker EM. It pleased him that he’d won at Seven-Card Stud at last!



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