WSOP Hand of the Day: Mike Johnson vs. Yury Gulyy

World Series of Poker RSS / / 10 July 2011 / Leave a Comment

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WSOP Tourney Director Jack Effel kicks off Day 1c (Photo credit: PokerNews /

WSOP Tourney Director Jack Effel kicks off Day 1c (Photo credit: PokerNews /

Day 1c of the 2011 World Series of Poker Main Event saw a big turnout of 2,181 players, more than doubling the sub-1,000 player fields on each of the first two Day Ones. And word is there will be more than that coming out for the final Day 1d today, meaning the total ME field will certainly exceed 6,000, with some thinking it might even near 7,000 before all is said and done. Among all the interesting hands played yesterday, I've chosen one of the very last to occur -- and involving one of the biggest pots of the day -- between Mike Johnson and Yury Gulyy as Saturday's WSOP Hand of the Day.

It was the very end of Level 5, the last level of the night. As is traditionally done, the tourney clock was stopped with 10 minutes remaining, a card was drawn, and dealers were instructed to deal three more hands at each table. This method of ending play is designed to prevent players from playing slowly at night's end so as to avoid paying the blinds one last time (three is the minimum number of hands they play; seven the maximum).

It's always a strange, loud, hectic time at the end of a day at the WSOP, especially when it comes to the end of a Main Event Day One. Some players are celebrating, ordering drinks and toasting each other having made it through. Some tables get through the required hands more quickly than others and players start bagging their chips. Meanwhile, hands are still being played, as was the case at the table where Johnson and Gulyy were seated.

I happened to be passing through their section gathering end-of-day chip counts when I heard the commotion at the pair's table and went over to investigate. As it turned out, Johnson -- whom I know from his co-hosting the excellent Two Plus Two Pokercast -- was involved in the hand. (In fact, I was a guest on the show just before the series began.) I arrived once the river card had been dealt and the 110,000-chip pot was being counted up and awarded, but Johnson was able to give me full details of what had happened so I could report the hand on PokerNews.

The blinds were 200/400 (ante 50), and Johnson had approximately 95,000 or so to start the hand, while Gulyy had about 55,000. (Average at the time was about 45,000.) Before the flop, Gulyy had raised, Johnson reraised, Gulyy four-bet, and Johnson called. The flop came all babies -- 6h-3s-5c -- and Gulyy bet 8,000, likely a bet of around half the pot. Johnson raised small to 17,000, and Gulyy apparently acted as though he wished to reraise again (perhaps all in), though set out calling chips first, meaning he was only able to call the raise.

In any event, once the 10c landed on the turn, Gulyy got the rest of his 30,000 or so in the middle, and Johnson quickly called, creating a total pot of about 110,000. Gulyy had Qh-Qs, and was in bad shape against Johnson's Kc-Ks. Then came the river -- the Qc! -- giving the Russian player his two-outer and the huge pot.

Johnson was beside himself, that river card having denied him a great opportunity to end the night as one of the Day 1c chip leaders. Instead he found himself with a little over 39,000. And quite the story to tell on the next episode of the Pokercast!

Check in again today over at PokerNews' live reporting to see what other big hands develop, as well as what that final tally of entrants for this year's Main Event turns out to be.

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