The event this time was a $2,500 entry, no-limit, Hold 'em tournament. Al, first to speak, was dealt A4 44. He raised and Baxter called. Out flopped a red ace and two spades. Alvarez kept calm and checked. Baxter bet; Al just called. Next card off was a 4. Now Alvarez, aces-up, was virtually certain he was best, but wanted to trap his man. He checked, Baxter bet out, and Al again flat called. The last card was another spade.
Alvarez: A4 44
A1 104 64 42 74
Baxter: ? ?
Now Al bet small, as if to try to steal the pot. Baxter raised, obviously putting his man on aces-up. And Al, sitting on a cinch, went all in. To his surprise, Baxter called him. Al showed his ace flush. His opponent threw his cards in and quit the table. Later, he said he also had a flush, presumably a high one.
This was good, risk-free play by Alvarez. He could well have raised on fourth street, but did not want to face a re-raise if by some outside chance his opponent had concealed trips.
The World Championship this year was won, as usual, by a pro player, Dan Harrington, 49, of Downey, California. He came through a record field of 273 to win the $1m first prize (plus a golden bracelet). His winning hand was two pairs, queens and eights. The best British finisher was Londoner Mike Cook, who came a highly creditable 11th. A feature this year was that a woman reached the final table. Barbara Enright won pounds 114,000 for fifth place. She had the mortification of going all in on 8s wired, only to see a miserable 6-3 improve to two pairs. Bad beat, babe.