|Limiti||100,000 / 200,000|
Jim Bucci raised from the small blind, and Alex Luneau three-bet. Bucci called, and a flop hit the felt. Bucci and Luneau got the last of Luneau's chips in the middle.
"You got me in bad shape," Bucci correctly observed.
The turn, however, changed everything: , giving Bucci two pair and a flush draw. The river gave Bucci the nuts, and Luneau was done in fifth.
Alex Luneau raised pre-flop and was called by Kal Raichura out of the big blind. The flop came and Raichura led out for a bet and was called by Luneau. The turn was the and Raichura bet and Luneau raised an additional 5,000 more putting himself all in. Raichura made the call and the hands were turned over:
Raichura for a pair of fives
Luneau for a pair of tens
Raichura had outs to eliminate Luneau but the river was the and Luneau lived to survive another day.
Three players saw the flop for three bets, and Alex Luneau bet. Calen McNeil raised, Jim Bucci three-bet, Alex Luneau called, McNeil made it four bets, and Bucci capped all in. Luneau called, as did McNeil. On the turn, Luneau check-called, leaving 5,000 behind, which he put it in on the river.
McNeil's boat was good for half of the pot, while Luneau and Bucci both had in their hands to split the low.
Down to just two big blinds, Steve Chanthabousy called for the rest of his stack after posting the big blind when Calen McNeil put in a raise from the button. Their hands:
The flop came to move Chanthabouasy squarely into the lead with top two pair. The turn was the giving McNeil bottom pair, a gutshot straight draw, and a low draw. The river was the cruelest for Chanthabouasy as it was the to give McNeil trips. "Sorry man," said McNeil as Chanthabouasy gathered his things.
Calen "Big Wheel" McNeil is enjoying his time at his second World Series of Poker final table. The first being the final table last year in this same event, which by now you probably know he won. When you watch McNeil at the table, you can tell he is having the time of his life. We caught up with McNeil as the players were headed to break.
PokerNews: How does it feel to be back at the final table?
McNeil: Feels great. Omaha hi-low is one of my favorite games and I play it well. It feels great.
It looks like you have been having fun out there.
I always have fun. I enjoy playing and I enjoy the World Series. Making a final table is every poker player’s dream and for me to be back with a chance to win another bracelet in the same event is magic. Pure magic.
Tell me about the year since the win.
It just affirmed that what I was doing was right. I’m a business man. I own restaurants, but there was a three- or four-year period where I played pretty much full time and then stopped to concentrate on business again. I still played but creating that balance between work and poker really helped. It gave me a better quality of life and more success.
How was the road to the final table for you?
My style of play really fluctuates. My chip stack is all over the map. It goes up and down. I play pretty aggressive. I make some loose calls and some thin value bets. It works out for me but it’s very, very high variance.
Every time I got low, I managed to change gears and build it back. I don’t feel like I ran great but when I needed to run good, I did. I hit a one-outer for my tournament life yesterday and that was a key hand. Then I was back into the tournament and because it was a big enough pot, I was able to get back into the game. I didn’t really look back from there. I just sort of cruised the rest of the way.
What’s game plan for the rest of the evening?
I’m chip leader right now, I’ve got a decent stack but the blinds are getting up there. I have been here before so I am comfortable. I am not going to get into too many big pots. I am basically going to play ABC and see what happens.
I have really good memories of playing heads up against Can Kim Hua. I remember playing real short Omaha 8 or better, so I am prepared to just grind it out.
How do you like your chances?
I like my chances a lot. I have the same feeling as I had last year. I said a month before I played it that I knew I was going to win that event. Throughout the whole tournament last year I felt I was going to win. I got a text from a friend who I played O8 with in Toronto and he said he had a gut feeling I was gong to win on the day I bought my ticket. And I have been just trying to relive what I did last year and try to keep positive.
The fact of the matter is I’m healthy. Life’s good and this is a game. No matter what happens, win or lose, I am going to be fine with it. I will shake my opponent’s hand and move on. But part of me wants to go back-to-back really bad. I have a competitive nature and I am going to go for it.
Players are on a one-hour break.
After doubling up against Steve Chanthabouasy, Greg Raymer would get the last of his chips in against Alex Luneau on a flop. Their hands were as follows:
The turn was the and a high card that was not a diamond would give Raymer the entire pot. The river, however, was the giving Luneau the nut low and the nut flush and the 2004 WSOP Main Event Champion would be eliminated. Raymer signed a fossil and handed it over to Luneau as a bust out gift before leaving the table.