From the start, it was evident that the players were all going to play the event very tight. Several hands went by with raises unchallenged, even when the shorter stacks made their stands. The blinds increased to 50/100, and we nearly had our first casualty of the evening. On Hand 23, Do made a raise to 300 and Alan Smurfit called. The flop came down Qh-10h-5x and both checked. The turn came with a six and after Casino Extra Smurfit checked, Do fired a 500 chip bet into the pot. Alan decided it was time to gamble and raised all in. Binh quickly called and, after Smurfit turned up a nut flush draw with the river to come, he had to feel good about his set of sixes that he had hit on the turn. The river card turned the draw into a made nut flush for Alan as it was the four of hearts. Binh disgustedly turned away from the table before coming back to count out what he owed Smurfit. When he was done, Do was left with only about 500 chips.
“Honestly, I did not even think of him on a set,” Smurfit, with his clipped British accent, commented to me later. “I thought he was trying to make a play and did not expect him to call me. I definitely got lucky!”
Do slowly began his comeback, going all in twice. He picked up the blinds the first time and, after being called by David Stroj, had his A-J outdraw Stroj’s pocket nines. He climbed back up into the fight as Stroj was crippled to 200 chips.
David Stroj was soon to go after that. On Hand 35, found an A-5 he felt was good, until Derek Bukowski called him and flipped up pocket sixes. When the board provided no help, Stroj went home in tenth place.
Just before the first break on Hand 46, Tony Cousineau raised from the button and Binh Do called from the small blind. Do checked a flop of 2-Qd-7d to Cousineau, who fired 250 that Do called. A four of diamonds came on the turn and Casino Extra Binh opened up with 400, which Tony responded to by going all in. Do went into the tank for some time, eventually prompting Cousineau to call for the clock on him. With a reluctant flip, Do showed the table the Ace of diamonds and folded. Tony turned up a seven to the table. “I wanted to push him off the draw,” Tony remarked. Binh, though, had him covered, as I found out at the break. “I had top pair, top kicker and the nut flush draw (Ad-Qh),” Do said to me. “He (Cousineau) is a good player, and I put him on pocket kings,” he shrugged as he returned to the table after the break.