Aug 29, 2017
Photo: TJ Shepherd holds up his last ante chip before he calls all in.
With 47 players remaining, the next player to be eliminated will earn the one-billionth dollar in the 16-year history of the World Poker Tour, an honor in itself, plus a prize package that includes entry into next year’s WPT Legends of Poker, along with accommodations at the Bicycle Hotel & Casino. With that context …
Marcos Exterkotter raises from the cutoff to 23,000, Allan Le reraises from the button to 65,000, and T.J. Shepherd has just 1,000 behind in the big blind. Needless to say, Shepherd moves all in for a total of 11,000.
Exterkotter reraises to more than 300,000 with a stack of 25K chips, and Le folds.
Shepherd turns over , and he’s up against Exterkotter’s . Wanting to lose this hand and make history, Shepherd says, “Come on, jack! Come on, queen! One time!”
But the flop comes , and Shepherd shouts, “Oh no!” It’s an unwanted monster flop for Shepherd, who now has a pair of sixes and a heart flush draw.
The turn card is the , the river card is the , and Shepherd wins the pot with a pair of sixes to more than triple his chip stack.
TJ Shepherd – 46,000 (5 bb)
Marcos Exterkotter – 445,000 (45 bb)
Photo: If at first you don’t succeed, move all in on the next hand and try again.
The next hand, Allan Le raises from the cutoff to 24,000, Shepherd moves all in from the small blind for 45,000, and Le calls with . Shepherd turns over a better hand than he’d like to see — .
Shepherd gets the desired result this time as the board comes — Le flops a set to win the pot, and history will record him as the man who busted the player who earned the one-billionth dollar in WPT history.
And that man is TJ Shepherd, who is playing his first ever WPT event after earning his entry via a satellite. Shepherd had a memorable moment earlier this tournament when he was playing at a table with Mike Sexton, saying, “When I was reading your book, I never imagined I’d be playing against you!” Then Shepherd eliminated Sexton.
Now Shepherd has a memory that is also a key moment in World Poker Tour history, one that will be highlighted on the television show unlike any other 47th-place finish.
The tournament was stopped for about 10 minutes to commemorate the occasion, with WPT President Adam Pliska thanking the Bicycle Casino and the players, and presenting Shepherd with his prize.
Oh, and here are the chip counts after the hand:
Allan Le – 380,000 (38 bb)
TJ Shepherd – Eliminated in 47th Place ($10,405 + Prize Package)