Everyone who witnessed the first portion of the $1,000 Flip & Go No-Limit Hold’em event #20 at the 2021 World Series of Poker (WSOP) was treated to intriguing poker action. So wild was the entertainment of this game that poker professionals such as Daniel Negreanu and David Williams were, for the most part, battling with frustration. If you missed this portion of the GGPoker special event, here is a recap of some of the action.
To understand the pressure of this game, it is important to be familiar with the concept. For starters, the action starts right from the point of registration because every player must pay $1,000 as entry. The Flip & Go game as hosted on the GGPoker poker site is one of a kind and that makes it unique in all fronts.
The game starts with eight players seated around a poker table but instead of the usual chips handed out in such games, each is dealt with three cards with the faces down. The first move is made by the dealer who turns the flop over. In a clockwise order, players look down on the cards placed in front of them and muck a single card.
Each of the players is required to turn their hands over before the dealer makes the next move of flipping the turn over and river. The goal is to have all five community cards dealt at the table; the player holding the best poker hand qualifies for the next round while the rest of the pack is eliminated and are free to leave the NJ gambling venue.
From the description, it might appear that there is no strategy needed; that is purely a game based on a player’s luck. Well, that is what the surface looks like until you speak to Chance Kornuth, a two time WSOP bracelet winner, and they reveal that the secret to winning is having the right skill to choose which card to fold.
The game structure of Flip & Go
The game kicked off at exactly 10 a.m. PT at the Rio’s Brasilia room; this would be the venue of the first of the two opening sessions. Winning the initial hand meant that a player could now qualify for the next round which was the money round. The losers at this level were allowed to rebuy and try again before 3 p.m.; they also had the alternative to wait for the 4 p.m. session.
GGPoker ambassador, Negreanu, is one of the players who made it to the next round but he had to attempt nine times to be successful. His was rather straightforward if you consider that Williams, the 2004 WSOP Main Event runner-up, made 19 tries before going through. The relief after such many frustrating tries could no longer be contained and Williams thrilled fans when he shouted, “it’s about f*****g time.”
The Flip & Go game had attracted all calibers of players but the mood of play clearly did not automatically honor the legends. Some of the online poker pros who showed up and advanced albeit after multiple attempts include Paul Volpe, Jeff Gross, Josh Arieh, and Shaun Deeb. The minimum cash out of this game is just $2,000 so most of these players need to survive quite long to recover their investment.
Winning the first place means pocketing a sum of $180,665 on top of the gold bracelet and championship title. The competition is no doubt stiff because each of the 1,232 buy-ins is hopeful of carrying the day.
For them that made it past the first round of the championship, the next huddle would start at around 7 p.m. This is the tournament’s main event and is expected to move along rather quickly. Each of the competitors sitting in the second round of play is supposed to have 160,000 chips in their hand; the starting point requires 1,000/2,000 blinds with a 2,000 big blind ante.
The general mood of players in the Flip & Go
At the start of very session, it was mandatory that each of the players settled at their seat. This was followed by dealing of the cards; a single dealer was responsible for dealing one hand after the other. This systematic dealing gave the players, media representatives and spectators an opportunity to move around the table as they watched and cheered as per the movement of the cards.
Chad Holloway of PokerNews got an opportunity to capture the events of the poker table and especially at around 10 a.m. Courtney Binnie, who is the girlfriend of a renowned poker vlogger who is also a GGPoker ambassador, won one of the hands.
In most of the instances where there was a win, it required a double pair or better for a player to bag the flip hand. There were some exceptional cases however where a marginal hand in a magical twist of fate held up play against a lineup of seven opponents. A win was realized during the afternoon session which took place at 4 p.m.
One of the players on the table flopped a double deal of sevens cards accompanied by an ace kicker. He managed to hold on despite the heat on the table; in some instances literally dodging every move of the deck to come out on top as the winner of the round and hence qualify for the next stage.
There were a lot of high fives as well as cheers from players who had won but there were also those who were rendered motionless by their wins. Among the winners were big poker legends such as Negreanu but recreational and low stake participants also made it to the wins. Some of the first time wins include Jim Reid, who is the host of “Forums Edition” podcast.
Reid is a native of Ontario, Canada and this being his first WSOP tour, took up the Flip & Go event as his first ever WSOP bet. When the flip-and-go section of the game rests, the remaining players will be switched to the standard no-limit hold’em tournament.