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Event #18 - No Limit Hold'em Results & Report

Legends of Poker

Event #18 - No Limit Hold'em
Bicycle Casino
7301 Eastern Avenue, Sth of Downtown@ 710/ Florence
Bell Gardens (Los Angeles), CA, 90201, US
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Bill Chen Math PhD Calculates a Win! By Max Shapiro William Chen William Chen, a young math PhD from Palo Alto, California, added...
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Profile: Bill Chen
Date: August 19, 2000 Time: 4:15 PM

Buy-In: $1,000 + $60
Prizepool: $104,000
Entries: 104
Game Type: No Limit Hold'em

Place Country Name Prize
1 USA Bill Chen $41,600
2 USA Barbara Enright $19,740
3 USA Doc Barry $9,860
4 USA Jay Moriarty $6,220
5 USA Erik Seidel $4,680
6 UK Mel Judah $3,640
7 USA Randy Holland $3,640
8 USA Makram Merhom $2,600
9 USA Kathy Liebert $1,820

Tournament Report

Math PhD Calculates a Win!
By Max Shapiro

William Chen
William Chen
William Chen, a young math PhD from Palo Alto, California, added up his numbers right to win the 18th event in Legends of Poker, no- limit hold'em. In town on a field trip with buddies from rgp, the Internet poker newsgroup, he decided to take a shot at no-limit, not his usual game. He won by playing a calculated game of measured raises rather than by repeated all-in moves, the style that normally defines this game.

His final opponent was Barbara Enright, making her sixth final table appearance. Enright, on a rush, came in second the night before, and has two prior wins plus fifth and sixth place finishes. With an 86-point lead, she seemingly has all but locked up the Chrysler PT Cruiser that goes to the points champ. She was red-hot at the final table, busting players with big draw-outs and running up a nice chip lead. The casino had also rolled in a birthday cake for her earlier, but she had to settle for second place as her gift.

Heads-up, Chen told Enright how thrilled he was to be playing against such a legendary player and she graciously suggested that he pay her $1,000 for the lesson.

Toto Leonidas was the last player out before the final table. The first time he moved all in for $5,200 without looking because the blind was next. He had 8-2, but won with two pair against Kathy Liebert's A-Q. The next time he tried it, with K-7, he got eliminated by Makram Merhom, who did better with his A-Q by flopping a lady.

It took nearly an hour for the first player to get knocked out. Erik Seidel and Mel Judah moved in a lot, often with the worst hands, but stayed alive. Enright took a bite out of Chen's chip lead when he raised about $12,000 with A-6 of diamonds and she moved in for about $16,000 more with A-K. Caught stealing, he felt he was committed and called.

Kathy Liebert later was in the big blind with J-9, with family physician Doc Barry the small. With a board of 4-J-K-K, he checked, slow-playing his kings full, then smooth called when she bet $5,000 on her jacks. He checked again on a river five. She again bet $5,000 and this time he moved in. Liebert called with her last chips and was gone.

On the next hand, Makram Merhom, a local pro, made it $9,000 to go with pocket queens. Chen moved him in for about $25,000 more with K-Q. A cowboy rode in on the turn and Merhom rode out the door. Not long after, Randy Holland moved in with A-7 for about $12,000 and Enright covered him. Covered him six feet under, that is. She had K-K and flopped a third king. "Last year an ace would hit," commented Enright, who's been enjoying a turnaround in good fortune after an ill- fated past year.

"L.A. Jay" Moriarty, TV writer and godfather of the Aces & Eights private tournament, then experienced a little good luck himself. He raised all in with pocket jacks and beat Doc Berry's pocket sevens, but Judah would have flopped trip eights if he hadn't folded. Soon after, in the big blind with 7-6, he called when Judah raised all in with Q-7 of diamonds. A six flopped, and he busted Mel. L.A. Jay also received the Tom McEvoy fashion award for dressing in purple and yellow Los Angeles Lakers logoed beach pants with matching cap and shower clogs.

Seidel was knocked out when Enright hit a sensational hand. He was all in with pocket queens. She had only A-2 of spades, but flopped aces full of deuces! A few hands later she risked being barred from Aces & Eights when she broke her good friend L.A. Jay. She raised with A-K and he moved in for $12,000 with pocket eights. An ace flopped to destroy him.

Three-handed, Enright had about $87,000, Chen $70,000 and Doc Barry $51,000. The doctor wouldn't agree to a chip-count deal, and paid for it in two hands. First he lost $20,000 when Chen's all-in raise forced him to fold. A hand later he was found guilty of malpracticing poker when he moved in with A-2 and Chen called with a winning A-Q.

The heads-up hands were pretty much all Chen's. On the final one, he raised $4,000 with Q-Q and Barbara moved in with Q-J. This time she got no miracle as the board came K-9-7-J-5 and the math whiz blew out the birthday girl's candles.

Biography - William Chen

William Chen, who got his math degree two years ago, writes software for a company that is developing a three-dimensional scanning system. Not making enough as a graduate student, he began supplementing his income by playing poker six years ago. He's only been playing tournaments for a couple of years but already has won a couple of $20,000 prize pool stud events at Casino San Pablo. He came to L.A. with rgp buddies to play stud, but got "lucky" in a couple of satellites and decided to take a shot at no-limit hold'em. He says stud is his favorite game but lowball his best.

Chen has had very helpful advice from friends like Tournament of Champions winner Spencer Sun. His math training, he says, has also been invaluable to him. "Each poker player has their own way of looking at the game and math gives me an advantage over the other players just as T.J.'s and Barbara's intuition gives them an advantage."

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