One of these poker players will win 8.7 million

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One of these poker players will win 8.7 million

From Comcast SportsNet
LAS VEGAS (AP) -- The final nine players in the World Series of Poker main event, as determined July 19 after an eighth session of no-limit Texas Hold em at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. The finalists emerged from a field of 6,865 players and were competing Nov. 6-8 for the tournament's top prize of 8.72 million. Ninth place won 782,115, paid to all finalists in July; higher finishers win at least 1,010,015 and will be paid the difference from ninth-place money after they finish their run. Players are in order of their seating arrangement at the final table with their chip counts, with those eliminated at the bottom. ------ 1. Pius Heinz (107,800,000) AGE: 22 HOMETOWN: Cologne, Germany OCCUPATION: student, poker player PRIOR SERIES ACCOMPLISHMENTS: one cash in 2011 for 83,286 ------ 2. Ben Lamb (55,400,000) AGE: 26 HOMETOWN: Las Vegas OCCUPATION: poker professional PRIOR SERIES ACCOMPLISHMENTS: leads 2011 Player of the Year race; one bracelet, 12 cashes for 2.16 million ------ 3. Martin Staszko (42,700,000) AGE: 35 HOMETOWN: Trinec, Czech Republic OCCUPATION: poker professional PRIOR SERIES ACCOMPLISHMENTS: four cashes for 22,875 ------ ELIMINATIONS: 4th Matt Giannetti (3,012,700) AGE: 26 HOMETOWN: Las Vegas OCCUPATION: poker player PRIOR SERIES ACCOMPLISHMENTS: eight cashes for 205,541 THE BUST: Eliminated by Lamb after Lamb had taken most of his stack with a flush. Moved in with an ace-three and Lamb called with pocket kings. Lamb caught two kings on the flop to crush Giannetti's hopes with four of a kind. ------ 5th: Phil Collins (2,269,599) AGE: 26 HOMETOWN: Las Vegas OCCUPATION: poker player PRIOR SERIES ACCOMPLISHMENTS: eight cashes, 48,769 THE BUST: Eliminated by Heinz with ace-seven of diamonds. Heinz held pocket nines, and Collins failed to overtake him. ------ 6th: Eoghan O'Dea (1,720,831) AGE: 26 HOMETOWN: Dublin, Ireland OCCUPATION: student, poker player PRIOR SERIES ACCOMPLISHMENTS: five cashes for 37,516 THE BUST: Shoved his last 2.6 million in chips -- less than three big blinds -- with a queen-six and found a caller in Staszko with pocket eights. O'Dea didn't improve. ------ 7th: Badih Bounahra (1,314,097) AGE: 49 HOMETOWN: Belize City, Belize OCCUPATION: grocery wholesaler PRIOR SERIES ACCOMPLISHMENTS: one cash in 2008 for 7,582 THE BUST: Eliminated with ace-five to Staszko's ace-nine. Neither player hit the community cards. ------ 8th: Anton Makiievskyi (1,010,015) AGE: 21 HOMETOWN: Dnipropetrous'k, Ukraine OCCUPATION: poker player PRIOR SERIES ACCOMPLISHMENTS: none THE BUST: Eliminated by Heinz with two-pair versus Heinz' full house. Makiievskyi moved in with about a 50 percent chance to win and pulled ahead on the flop, but Heinz caught a third nine to match the pair in his hand to win. ------ 9th: Sam Holden (782,115) AGE: 22 HOMETOWN: Canterbury, United Kingdom OCCUPATION: poker professional PRIOR SERIES ACCOMPLISHMENTS: none THE BUST: Moved all-in before the flop with an ace-jack and was called by Lamb's ace-king. Lamb hit a flush on the turn.

Buchholz may have earned a spot in the postseason rotation, and with the 2017 Red Sox

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Buchholz may have earned a spot in the postseason rotation, and with the 2017 Red Sox

NEW YORK -- Clay Buchhlz's start Wednesday night didn't result in a win for him, or even, as it turned out, for his team. But that didn't detract from the brilliant effort he turned in -- six shutout innings, one hit allowed -- on the night that the Red Sox almost unwittingly clinched the division title.

”It was good to go out (and pitch well) in this place," said Buchholz Thursday, "because I haven't ever pitched well here. So it was gratifying to throw well against a club that, historically, I haven't thrown well against."

It's widely assumed that Buchholz will be the team's fourth starter in the post-season and as the playoffs approach, Buchholz is throwing the ball better than he has all season.

"Physically, I feel good," said Buchholz. "It's been an up-and-down year for me individually. You have to learn from the time when you're not doing your job, and sometimes, you have to take a step back. Moving to the bullpen wasn't exactly what I had mapped out in my head for me to do this year, but overall, it helped me out to take a deep breath and work on stuff."

MORE BUCHHOLZ: McAdam: Buchholz now limiting, rather than fueling, big innings

It was surprising that Buchholz was lifted after just 89 pitches, but John Farrell has appeared to be reluctant to have Buchholz go much beyond that since his return to the rotation in August.

"At that moment, obviously I wanted to go back out (for more)," said Buchholz. "But the way our bullpen's thrown (of late), I'd much rather give whoever comes in a clean inning rather than giving up a couple of hits in the seventh and have someone come in the game with runners on and making their job harder.

"As far as the pitch count goes, that's why John's the manager -- he has the reins on whether I go back out or not go back out, or how many pitches I'm going to throw. But I feel good. I could have gone out and thrown as many pitches as they wanted me to."

Having endured an up-and-down season, Buchholz has a renewed appreciation for the upcoming post-season.

"There was a bumpy road for a while," Buchholz said. "There were moments a little tougher than others, but this is our job and regardless of what position you put yourself in, you still have to go out and do your job. But knowing where we are now, I think this team's built right to go deep in the playoffs."

SOME STILL AREN'T BUCHHOLZ BELIEVERS: Bertrand: Even with good start, I can't trust Clay Buchholz

Buchholz doesn't have a guaranteed contract for next year, but the expectation is the Red Sox will pick up his option worth $13.5 million.

"I understand the business side of it," he said. "That's part of the game. But if I'm healthy and throwing the ball well, I feel like I'm going to have a job somewhere. This is the only place I've ever been and I'd love for it to be here.

"That's to be decided, I guess. I'm sure we'll talk about it after all this is over and done with. But I'm going to try to have as much fun while I'm here and I hope I'm back here next year."

Horford, Johnson wasting no time in developing chemistry

Horford, Johnson wasting no time in developing chemistry

WALTHAM, Mass. – When the news came out that Al Horford was going to be a Boston Celtic, Amir Johnson couldn’t wait to meet his new teammate.

He didn’t have to.

Johnson soon found himself on plane headed to Atlanta to not only work out with Horford, but also try and work out some of the kinks that tend to come up among new teammates in those early days of training camp.

“I took it upon myself when I saw Al was part of the team, I automatically wanted to go down to Atlanta and work,” said Johnson who added that he brought his daughter along for the trip and they went to dinner with Horford’s family during the visit. “I thought it was great just to get that chemistry going. I just wanted to get to known him, make him feel comfortable.”

It’s still early in training camp, but Johnson and Horford seem to be meshing quite well on the floor. 

“The chemistry’s definitely coming along,” Johnson said. “I know when Al wants to roll or pop, and just working my way around it. Al’s more of a popper and eventually he’ll roll. It’s up to me to read whether I stay up or work the baseline.”

Johnson has been in the NBA long enough to know that often the keys to success are subtle nuances that may be overlooked by fans and spectators, but players know are essential to them being successful.

Being able to not only understand a player’s game but figure out how to play well with them, are critical to teammates being successful.

Last season, Johnson was Boston’s primary rim-protecting big man which is a role the 29-year-old Johnson has been cast in the last few years he was in Toronto. Horford brings a similar set of defensive skills to the table which gives Boston a true 1-2 defensive punch along the frontline.

“It’s big time,” Johnson said. “We communicate to each other. It’s all about communication out there; just knowing he can hold it down and he trusts me to hold it down. It’s key.”

GREEN INJURY UPDATE

Gerald Green is expected to get a few more days to rest his hip flexor injury which he said on Thursday was feeling better.

The injury should keep the 6-6 wing from participating in the team’s Green-White scrimmage on Friday, but it isn’t considered serious.

Still, Green is eager to get back and return to full contact work which is why he is getting a steady diet of treatments during the day and returning in the evening for more treatments from the Celtics’ medical staff.

“It’s almost like a precautionary thing; make sure it doesn’t get worst,” Green said.

The injury occurred earlier this week but Green could not pinpoint exactly what he did to suffer the injury.

“I don’t think I stretched properly,” Green said. “I’m not 25 no more. Just try to come out there and go at full speed. Those are things I’ve got to learn now I’m in my 30s.”
Indeed, one of the many benefits of being older now is that Green sees the big picture of things better now, which is why he isn’t trying to rush back to the floor too quickly.

As a veteran, it’s a long season,” Green said. “You’re not trying to do too much to make it worst. Training camp is important, but being healthy at the beginning of the season is even more important.”

RUN, YOUNGSTERS, RUN

Near the end of Thursday’s practice, the Celtics had a full court game of 3-on-3 involving some of the team’s rookies and end-of-the-bench training camp invitees like Jalen Jones of Texas A&M. The 6-7 undrafted rookie had a dunk over Jordan Mickey, a 3-pointer and another strong, uncontested flush at the rim in a matter of minutes. He’s likely to wind up with Boston’s Developmental League team, the Maine Red Claws.

With Thursday morning’s session being the team’s fifth practice this season, head coach Brad Stevens thought it was a good idea to get some of the team’s younger players on the court.

“It was good to play some 3-on-3,” said Stevens who added that it was good for their conditioning since a lot of the running at this point involves trying to get the starters and the likely rotation players as acclimated and familiar with one another as possible. “We try to do that occasionally even through the season just to get everybody up and down.”

TURNOVERS? WHAT TURNOVERS?

Five practices in the books and there’s only one thing that really has stood out to the eyes of Isaiah Thomas.

It’s turnovers.

Apparently the Celtics haven’t committed too many thus far.

“We haven’t turned the ball over as much as teams usually do the first couple of days,” Thomas said. “We’re trying to learn the system, trying to get everybody familiar with what we do. But we’ve been playing well together. Guys are playing hard. Guys have gotten better, worked on their game.”

Ball-handling will be one of the areas to watch during the preseason as the Celtics look to find a replacement for Evan Turner (Portland) who has been one of the team’s best ball-handlers the past couple of seasons.

The Celtics were middle-of-the-pack last season with 13.5 turnovers per game which ranked 14th in the NBA.

Low turnovers often serve as a common trait among playoff teams. Just last season, eight of the top-nine teams in fewest turnovers committed, were in the playoffs.