WSOB IV: Episode 12 (Semifinal 2)

Discussion in 'World Series of Blackjack' started by KenSmith, Aug 20, 2007.

  1. KenSmith

    KenSmith Administrator Staff Member

    Tonight's episode n GSN will decide which two players join Rick F and Kristine in the finals.
  2. Bi-Kemba

    Bi-Kemba Member

    I'm Watching Right Now

    Alice is rolling right now baby. I have been rooting for her since she started in the first round. Man, she is doing very well. Commercial break and this is one of the most exciting and edge-of-your seats matches I have ever witnessed. I mean, the crowd is behind her as well. The first few hands that she had wasn't her fault at all because the chanced that a dealer gets three to four blackjacks in a row is very slim. However, I don't know exactly. I can recall the last two outings at two casinos I went to in which the dealer hit blackjack on three consecutive hands. I will never forget it.

    We can all analize this match, but if Alice was to go on and lose, then shame on here. Otherwise, like Alice stated in her ten to twenty second interview spot: Woo-hoooooo......You go girl.....
  3. fgk42

    fgk42 New Member

    I didn't see the episode yet - anyone know who the winner and runner up are to advance to the finals? :confused:
  4. arlalik

    arlalik Member

    Alice got first and Marlin got second, while Jarek had no chances before the last hand.
  5. tgun

    tgun Member


    fgk42....Alice won! Congrats to her.

    This match was loaded with bad play. Bad surrenders, bad bets, bad splits, etc.

    A player split 7's, putting the lead in jeopardy, vs dealer 10 and ended up being the only winner on that hand. The player in 2nd on last hand did not even try to win.

    You didn't miss much. Just emphasizes the importance of luck vs skill.

  6. arlalik

    arlalik Member

    And on the last hand Marlin SR and has 170k. Alice has 170k unbet and I think 20k bet. Instead of SR also and locking 1st, she decided to hit her 9 - and they could tie if she lose. Well - she didn't lose.
  7. Bi-Kemba

    Bi-Kemba Member

    Alice Had The Seven Splits

    If you watch the episode, Alice had the 7 splits and it payed off. She hit 20 on one of the splits with a double down on a ten. The second double on the second half of the split was on a seven and four. She came up with a 21. Her lead was on the line and I thought she would pull through anyway. I figuered from the beginning that I would count the cards and she didn't fair well the first few hands. I saw that many low cards were coming out the first hand at that. The real big cards that was coming out was when the dealer turned over many Aces acquiring blackjacks. Therefore, if all these low cards were going to the players in the first half of the semifinal and many of those big cards went to the dealer, then my prediction came true. I said to myself, "It's just a matter of time when Alisson was going to strike gold." Not because I was rooting for her. It was because she just played really conservative and she obviously was watching her opponents chip count at the table. Even the last hand by her was played marvelousely. No matter how any of feel the play is this is the point: ALICE IS IN THE FINAL AND SHE IS $50,000.00 RICHER EVEN IF SHE DOESN'T WIN THE $500,000 GRAND PRIZE.

    By the way. I know that all caps is shouting. Just to get my point accross.
  8. tgun

    tgun Member

    Let me quote you Bi-Kemba, "No matter how any of feel the play is this is the point: ALICE IS IN THE FINAL AND SHE IS $50,000.00 RICHER EVEN IF SHE DOESN'T WIN THE $500,000 GRAND PRIZE."

    Feeling has nothing do with mathemetics. I don't have any feelings about the play. The fact is the game was loaded with mathemetically bad decisions. As I stated before, "congrats to Alice". And if she wins the big one I'll be happy for her and say wtg Alice.

    Everyone makes bad decisions at some point, hopefully we can learn by disscussing them. Discussing lucky play is of no benefit in the long run.

    Did anyone notice Jarek's play with his 12 vs Marlin's 17? I'm not sure about the details but maybe he should have not hit his 12. I remember he busted.
    Seems like something we were discussing in the a strategy thread.

  9. RKuczek

    RKuczek Member


    thought there was some poor play and betting decisions throughout the match -

    Jarek was easily the best player - as he would be at any table he played at - yet he definitely made some mistakes - as tgun pointed out - he should have correlated his results with Marlin's 17 by standing on the 12 -

    just shows that even the best players can and will make mistakes -

    also - that someone can make mistakes - and be saved by lucky cards - as with Alice splitting her 7s against the dealer's 10 -

    this was not nearly as strong a game as the first semi-final
  10. toolman1

    toolman1 Active Member

    I was totally disappointed with this episode especially considering it was a semi-final. I saw next to zero strong strategy plays - but then there wasn't any need for any extraordinary strategy. For the most part, everyone played a solid game but, on the other hand, everyone make their share of mistakes. Luck overwhelmingly ruled the table so I can't congratulate either of the two that advanced for a job well done. But that's the way this game goes, sometime one wins on skill and other times it's just luck.

    Controversy on this thread seems to be focusing on Alice's splitting her 7s. So I just finished watching my recording of the show and there were actually 2 times that Alice split 7s. Here are the facts:

    1st time splitting 7s:
    It was hand 15
    Alice was on the button
    Bankrolls, bets, and cards:
    Alice $100,000 bets $15,000 Cards=7,7
    George $112,000 bets $30,000 Cards=2,7
    Jarek $88,500 bets $2,500 Cards=A,5
    Marlin $72,000 bets $36,000 Cards=J,7
    Dealer: up card is 5​
    End result - dealer busted and everyone won their bets.​
    Now here is where I think a major blunder occurred:
    Alice played first and with splitting and doubling down, she had $60,000 on the line. That's OK - she played solid Basic Strategy. Now George does not double his 9. Why? I don't get it.

    2nd time splitting 7s:
    It was hand 23
    Alice was on the button
    Bankrolls, bets, and cards:
    Alice $170,000 bets $20,000 Cards=7,7 (result: splits and net push)
    Jarek $121,000 bets $17,000 Cards=7,3 (result: bust)
    Marlin $136,000 bets $17,000 Cards=10,2 (result: surrenders)
    Dealer: up card is 10 (result: 17)​
    Now here is where I think a major blunder occurred:
    Even if Jarek doubles and wins while Alice loses a single bet, Jarek would only be $5,000 ahead of Alice and on the next hand Jarek bets 1st so Alice has a chance to bet larger than Jarek on hand 24 to regain the lead. Add to that the fact that Marlin would probably not win with his 12 against a Q. So it was very bad to risk $40,000 on a high risk split with only 2 hands remaining after this one.

    Hope the final table is better.
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2007
  11. norm21

    norm21 New Member

    Luck does rule on that hand, Toolman

    I agree with all on the 2nd 7-7 split hand, above; but there was more interesting things to see. Jarek makes a good solid play in this hand with his $17K bet and choosing not to double. He is hoping to swing the other two with their stiff hands, and keep his risk low for the final two hands. I confess I did not understand this play at first until I realized that he was concentrating on second place, not first. The top two do advance and the payoff for 1st is small compared to the $500K in the finals.

    On the next hand; however, I disagree with the play that Jarek made and he also did not like it because he said that he should have Surrendered. Without careful analysis on my part, I would like to ask Jarek why he made that particular bet, if it was not for the idea that he could surrender out and have enough bankroll left for the last hand. He did bet $37K and had $67K left. He got a 13 vs. a dealer 4, and waved it off. I think Marlin had a Blackjack and Alice a pat 20. At this point I see his situation as "desparate". Why not go for the double and invoke the Power Chip? If you see this Jarek, give us an answer!
  12. Jarek M

    Jarek M New Member

    Hey gang.

    Definitely it was fun playing there but even more so it was a lot of stress. There were more than a handful of rounds where my opponents had mid to big bets and the dealer could wipe them out or at least seriously injure – it didn’t happen, except for unlucky Mr. Swanson in the very beginning of the tournament.

    A few unconventional plays on my part? Sure.

    On hand about 22 Marlin overbets his lead, but by less than the minimum bet and I matched it. (M bets 18K out of 154K brl, I bet 18K out of 139K brl) At that point, taking into consideration power chip, players’ skill level, and betting position I wanted to take advantage of full swing or my push to his loss only, against benefits of win/win with my bigger bet but risking negative swing which would leave Marlin with more than 50% of my bankroll (105K to 172K). Playing for enhanced chance to swing requires to hit to at least 17 when your opponent has 17 when dealer shows 9. This is why I had hit my twelve.
    Side note, as you could see I usually made my bets one or two thousand bigger than absolutely necessary just in case I could have miscounted the chips (the scores were not announced to players).

    Going into the next-to-last hand Alice had 170K, me 104K, Marlin 127K.
    I made a bet that was one and half the difference in our bankrolls (this has a rarely occurring benefit of my double covering tree-bet if Marlin bet less than his lead) this was also as much as I could bet preserving the chance to have minimally more than half of what the opponent would have if he pushed and I lost. That practically meant that I couldn’t lose while my opponent won.
    So I waited for good cards- watching the dealer giving me a hard 14 and blackjack to Marlin. All the hopes went down the drain, but then I tried to regain my composure, and back to the numbers I went.

    The first instinct told me to double down using power chip. But I knew the number almost exactly as the day before I talked about similar case and I calculated that double 15 vs. dealer 3 was just above 41%, so this should be a couple percent higher (actually it is exactly 44% chance to win and 7% push). But then I calculated that my double would bring me to 178K and Marlin would still have 180K, and I would be without power chip going into the last hand.
    And then I looked at that snapper again, damn, and my measly fourteen, and I wondered if things would be different if I tried harder to be a better person, maybe I should had waited for that person I’d heard far away in the hall while ready to go down in the hotel elevator, instead of pressing button to close the door.
    But never give up, don’t surrender... –actually I started to calculate surrender option. I would have 85,500 and Marlin would have 180K, so even if I doubled up he would have to bet more than 10K and lose, nah, that wouldn’t work, event if I got a blackjack. Speaking of which...
    That snapper started almost talking to me: Here I am and nothing you can do to me! I closed my eyes for a moment hoping that it was just a bad dream, but nope. Just the opposite, it was obnoxiously real, live and on camera, so I bitterly smiled and back to calculations I went.
    Do I stay or do I double? Is that double really only in low forties? Let’s see, I don’t bust almost 80% of the time, that gives me more than thirty percent total chances, yeah, that low forties number must be right. And then I need to swing the guy, having position, but no power chip, and he has it. So my total chances were somewhere about twenty percent. Anything should be better than double and surrender, and the time is up.
    Decision time: Stay.

    Yes, I made a mistake. Staying and relying on the dealer bust and then gaining on Marlin is a few percent worse than doubling.
    Maybe next time, one more experience richer, a few silver hair more on my head, I will play better.

    Oh, and after seeing the dealer drawing a Ten to her original two cards I knew that my double (at least the first card) would bust me so my only live options at that moment was to surrender, hoping for opponents’ mistake, though quite possible –thus my comment: I made a mistake, I should have surrender.
    But nope, neither double, nor staying, nor surrender would work. Simply it wasnt in the cards for me to succeed that night.

    Congratulations to Alice and Marlin.

    Jarek M.
  13. JC720M@AOL.COM

    JC720M@AOL.COM New Member

    Still Good To See You There

    We Both Learn A Lot
  14. norm21

    norm21 New Member

    Way to go!

    You gave it a heck of a run, Jarek!
  15. Freeloader

    Freeloader New Member

    Again, I would just like to point out that the difference between first and second was much smaller than the difference between second and third. Why try to win when it's pretty much a two-advance round?

    Also, I know this is why you don't watch re-runs...but when I watched the rerun the other day on GSN, they aired the promo commercial for the final about half-way through. So, now I get to watch the end of this show knowing that both Alice and Marlin will 'win'. Go me. :/
  16. tgun

    tgun Member


    Hey freeloader let me know when the reruns are on. I'd love to watch them. I just never know the day or the time.
    As far as my statement: I don't remember the numbers but maybe Marlin could have made a higher bet but still not give up 2nd. I thought maybe he could have taken the low or something that made the commentator critcize Marlin's last bet. Post last hand details if you know them.
    Difference between first and second I thought was $20,000. That would cause me to try for first if I didn't risk giving 2nd away.
    Sorry if my statement was incorrect.

  17. Freeloader

    Freeloader New Member

    Yes, the difference between first and second was $20,000. However, the difference between second and third is a one-in-five shot at $500,000 in the championship game, since both first and second place advance to the finals.

    (And the rerun I saw was...Wednesday night I think? 10-11pm-ish? I remember looking for the Grand Slam rerun and seeing that instead.)
  18. toolman1

    toolman1 Active Member

    Last hand details

    I wanted to settle this last hand question in my own mind so I went back to my recording of the show. Oh, by the way, it seems like I'm the only person in the whole world that recorded this show :D , but that's another story. So here are the facts on the last hand:

    Marlin is on the button - Players are listed in playing order
    Marlin BR=180,000, bet 20,000, cards 2-J, action: surrenders
    Alice BR=190,000, bet 20,000, cards 5-4, action: Hit, got an ACE for a total of 20
    Jarek BR = 67,000, bet 50,000, cards 5-9, action: DD (additional 17,000), gets a 5 for a total of 19
    Dealer up card is 10, a Jack in the hole gives her a total of 20

    My observation:
    It seems to me that Marlin may not have had accurate chip counts in his head. Even if Jarek wins a DD, his total would only be 134,000. So the correct play for Marlin was a max DD because even if he loses, he would have 140,000 - enough to beat Jarek. So Marlin had a near free DD. But by surrendering, his only chance for first was if Alice lost which would give them a tie for first. Of course, Alice's correct play was also to surrender (which was previously mentioned), since Marlin surrendered, to lock up first place.

    In hindsight, it didn't matter because Marlin would have ended up with a 13 for his DD - not enough to beat the dealer natural 20.
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2007
  19. mrbill

    mrbill New Member

    I tried to record it, but my cable company moved GSN to digital on the 22nd. Unfortunately whoever provides the guide to both my TIVO and MOXI got it wrong and it was switched prior to the airing on the 20th. I didn't go to watch it till Friday the 24th, so I missed any repeat also.

    So, I am glad there has been discussion on it so I could piece together what went on.

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