Only One Can Win a Shootout
Top players dominated the NLHE Shootout field on Thursday. Among the participants, I spotted Richard Horton, Carlos Mortenson, Tom McEvoy, Charlie Shoten, Kathy Liebert, Jim Meehan and Barbara Laux. Competition was tops and each table took quite a while to find it's winner.
Getting head's up, Charlie Shoten went all-in with a draw against Carlos Mortenson. Carlos had J6 and flopped a six. Charlie couldn't find his straight, and was eliminated.
By 6:15 pm, a head's up match began.
Top players Carlos Mortenson and Kathy Liebert found themselves fighting tooth and nail for this championship.
Cecilia, Carlos' wife and top player in her own right, was on hand to offer support to both players.
Only minutes into the final, Kathy was trailing about 4,000 behind Carlos. She was dealt pocket kings and raised. Carlos called her raised and was delighted with a 7xx board, giving him top pair with A7 suited. All of the chips got in, but Carlos was horrified to see Kathy's kings. He commented that from then on, he would have to play well, in order to come back from such a short stack. He only had 4,000 of the 54,000 chips in play.
Comeback is exactly what he did, playing sneakily and out thinking Kathy. He consistently put her to the test, forcing her to put chips into the pot with a losing hand.
Carlos is the type of player who looks into the eyes of his opponent, never at the flop. He talks a bit to himself as the hand is played out, and constantly has a mischievous grin on his face. He doesn't usually show his uncalled hands, keeping his opponents guessing at each and every turn.
Kathy, on the other hand, looks first at the flop, missing any read she might get on her opponent. She also shows her hole cards on many occasions, giving information which was not paid for.
This helped Carlos put himself in a position to win, getting almost back to even by 7:00 pm.
A big pot was played, which gave Carlos the lead between 7:00 and 8:00 pm. Carlos held 63 of clubs. Kathy had a queen and flopped top pair. Carlos flopped a flush draw. Over 8,000 in chips were bet on the river, when Carlos got his flush.
By 8:00 pm, Carlos firmly had the lead, and Kathy was showing the affects of playing with a player who has won the WSOP main event along with many other top tournaments. She was clearly a bit frustrated, although she was able to mix up her play and adjust after a time, encountering Carlos' reluctance to fold a hand.
Her adjustments were just a bit too late, and Carlos took the title at 8:30 pm. Kathy held 62o, Carlos had AT. Both an ace and a six flopped. Being so shortstacked, Kathy got all of her money into the pot, and got no help.
Both opponents played a very good game, displaying world class play time and again. Kathy was rewarded with $7190 and second place. Carlos won $16,780 and the first place title.