Thursday, June 16, 2005

Event #15 Limit Shootout -- Event #14 $1K Stud Hi/Lo Day 2-- Event #13 $5K NL Final Table

The left handed cop had horrible handwriting. He scribbled down in his notebook a couple of things that I told him about the early morning shouting sessions and slap fights from the trouble-makers next door. Earlier this morning I was not woken up by my screaming neighbors. Instead there was a Las Vegas Metro police officer knocking loudly on my front door. He wanted the skinny on my neighbors.

"Does this have anything to do with the shooting yesterday?" I asked.

He ignored my question. I heard rumors that someone was shot in an adjacent building unit. Supposedly it was a drug deal gone bad and a trigger-happy speed freak shot up the place. His getaway vehicle was a bicycle that he stole from one of the hundreds of mullet-clad redneck kids who populated the complex. At least that what's the old lady in the wheelchair told me. Agnes lived at the end of the hall and spit sunflower seeds out her window. She had one glass eye and was the Redneck Riviera's version of the National Inquirer. She had been pumping me for information about myself. I told her nothing. Less is more. Especially in Las Vegas.

In my walk over to grab a Gatorade and a donut at the am/pm, I spotted Agnes in her usual spot. I told her about my morning wake up call from the police. That when she spilled the beans. The guy next door to me beat the shit out of one of his girlfriend's kids. This all went down while I was covering the Pot-Limit Hold'em final table yesterday afternoon. When the girlfriend confronted him, he wigged out and broke her jaw. He quickly took off by stealing her car. He hasn't been seen since. On my way back to my room I noticed that two maids and the assistant manager were cleaning out the room. They were hauling out garbage in several huge trash bags and wiping down the walls.

Moving on...

Flip Chip won a satellite yesterday. He took a break from shooting the best damn 2005 WSOP Photos available to play a single table tournament. Good job. I'm too damn busy to play any today. Maybe over the weekend. I need to get my NL skills sharp before I play in my first WSOP event next Wednesday.

Jen Leo from pPlayer is back in town and we finally met for the first time. She wrote a nice bit about me called Monopauly.

Here are the tournaments that I will be covering today:
1. Event #13 $5,000 No Limit Hold'em Final Table = Green font
2. Event #14 $1,000 Stud Hi/Lo Day 2= Red font
3. Event #15 $1,500 Limit Hold'em Shootout
Today's $5K NL final table started with 466 players and had a prize pool of $2,190,200. The Stud/Hi Lo event started with 595 and we're down to 33 players. That prize pool is $541,450.

****** Live Blogging Update ******

2:30pm... Limit Shootout update: People have been asking me about the Shootout. Here's the deal. There are 450 players on 45 tables. You advance after you knock out the other 9 at the table. When that happens you play at a table with other winners. You get the drift. There are alot of big names in this event. They will be having 9 tables with 5 players at each table for Round 2.

3:00pm... $5K NL Final Table update: Here is the final table line up and chip counts:
Seat 1: Dustin Woolf (Los Angeles, CA) $233K... His nickname is "Neverwin."
Seat 2: Todd Brunson (Las Vegas, NV) $16K... Todd is a professional poker player and the son of Texas Dolly.
Seat 3: Jason "Doc" Berilgen (Houston, TX) $159K... Doc is an oncologist who's trying to make a name for himself.
Seat 4: Gavin Smith (Las Vegas, NV) $142K... Originally from Ontario, Canada, this is Gavin's second final table this year.
Seat 5: Neal Wang (Los Angeles, CA) $630.5K... He's self-employed and is the chipleader.
Seat 6: TJ Cloutier (Richardson, TX) $281.5K... TJ has 46 cashes at WSOP with 5 gold bracelets.
Seat 7: John Hennigan (Philadelphia, PA) $$363.5K... Johnny World won a bracelet last year.
Seat 8: Hieu Tony Ma (South El Monte) $61K... Born in Vietnam, he's nicknamed "TTT" and won one WSOP bracelet.
Seat 9: John Bonetti (Houston, TX) $248K... Originally from Brooklyn, NY, John is retired. He has 3 gold bracelets.
Seat 10: Steven Zoine (Merrick, NY) $194.5K... Steven is contractor and married with two kids.
In the writer's pool, I got TJ Cloutier. Jay "Big Shot" Greenspan has Johnny World. Heather from Poker Wire took Gavin and BJ from Cardplayer has Dustin "Neverwin" Woolf, even after I mentioned to him his nickname. Yeah, I'm rooting for TJ today. I think a lot of his backers are pulling for him too. The pic to the right was taken in the trenches at media row. You caught a glimpse of what I see everyday.

3:34pm... $5K NL Final Table update: Todd Brunson moved all in with a shortstack and A-10. Dustin Woolf called with 77. Brunson flopped a ten and doubled up.

3:45pm... $5K NL Final Table update: Todd Brunson moved all in again, this time with pocket aces. Neal Wang called with AQ. The flop looked harmless: 10-2-3. When a 5 hit the turn, it started to look bad. If a four spiked, then both players would chop. And yeah, a four fell and both players chopped the pot.

3:54pm... Stud Hi/Lo Day 2 update: 29 players remain after Pescal Perrault, Daniel Espiritu, Todd Bourgault, and Ta Hoang were knocked out.

3:55pm... $5K NL Final Table update: Gavin Smith and Johnny World were all in preflop. Gavin had the Hilton Sisters and Johnny showed JJ. Gavin caught a Queen on the turn but that gave Johnny a gutshot straight draw. He didn't catch it and Gavin doubled up.

4:00pm... Limit Shootout update: David Williams, Marcel Luske, Mike Matusow, and The Grinder are all out.

4:12pm... $5K NL Final Table update: Mike Matusow walked over to the rail and shouted, "Todd, you might be my idol."

4:35pm... Stud Hi/Lo Day 2 update: 26 players remain. Asle Gjesteland, Vipul Kothari, and Earl Odom have been busted.

4:45pm... $5K NL Final Table update: Gavin Smith's AQ ran into Johnny World's Big Slick. Gavin took a big hit. A few of us on media row began debating whether or not Todd Brunson had a mullet. Jay did some research and we categorized his haircut as the "ultimullet." God bless wi-fi access.

4:53pm... Random Thoughts on Cash Games: Jay Greenspan spotted Eskimo Clark playing in a Pot-Limit Omaha game with some dudes with deep pockets. There was at least $10K on that table. The lady on the loud speaker is calling names for $400/$800 Triple Draw. Damn, talk about one tough game.

5:00pm $5K NL Final Table update: Gavin Smith 10-7 was eliminated by TJ Cloutier's 10-8s, when TJ flopped an 8. Gavin finsihes in 10th place and won $24,090 for his efforts. Heather is now out of the pool. She picked Gavin.

5:05pm... $5K NL Final Table update: Doc Berilgen's pocket Kings doubled up against Todd Bruson's Big Slick. Doc now has about $230K.

5:09pm... $5K NL Final Table update: John Bonetti's 44 doubled up Todd Brunson's 99.

5:13pm... $5K NL Final Table update: TJ Cloutier flopped a set and eliminated Tony Ma in 9th place. Tony collected $43,805 for his efforts. I need to clone myself so I can cover three tournaments at once. Or I have to ask to be paid in crystal meth.

5:14pm... Limit Hold'em Shootout update: Ted Forrest and John Juanda have been eliminated.

5:16pm... $5K NL Final Table update: TJ Cloutier reraised all in with pocket Tens. Steven Zoine called with pocket Kings and he ended up doubling up against TJ. On the very next hand Todd Brunson was eliminated in 8th place. He takes home $65,705.

5:30pm... Stud Hi/Lo Day 2 Update: We're down to 19 players. Michael Lemkin, Melissa Hayden, Bonnie Rossi, Jess Price, Joshua Kerrigan, Bo Toft, and Howard Hu have all been knocked out.

5:50pm... $5K NL Final Table update: Steven Zoine eliminated Dustin "Neverwin" Woolf in 7th place. Woolf won $87,610. BJ's pick was now knocked out, so it's down to me and Jay in the writer's pool.

6:00pm... Stud Hi/Lo update: Russell Salzer is our chipeader with 18 player left. Howard Hu, Robert Toft, and Full Tilter Rafe Furst have all been eliminated.

6:03pm... $5K NL Final Table update: TJ doubled up against Neal Wang. TJ had AQ and Neal Wang showed 99. TJ caught a Queen on the river to double up against Neal Wang. That was a huge hand for TJ and he almost moved into the chip lead.

6:24pm... $5K NL Final Table update: Players went on a 15 minute break and I grabbed a $7 "seasonal" fruit salad because Aunt Maudie was concerned that I was not eating enough fruits and vegetables.

Anyway, Nolan Dalla sat down in front of me and was laughing at John Bonetti. "It's like watching a car wreck," he said. Everytime Bonetti looks at his hole cards and sees shit, the expressions on his face are priceless. I can't wait to see what ESPN does with him. I suggested that they have a camera on him at all times. He curses under his breath is his misses a flop and all of this is not an act for the TV crew.

6:30pm... Stud Hi/Lo update: 16 players are left. Stephen Flicker and David Tahajian have been elimianted.

6:31pm... Limit Hold'em Shootout update: There are several heads up matches still going on. I know that Evelyn Ng is still playing. Here are some of the winners of their tables: Humberto Brenes, William Shaw, David Belfiore, Mack Lee, Steven Dunning, Jeff Shulman, David Luttbeg, Hoan Ly, Minneapolis Jim Meehan, Tom McEvoy, Patty Galagher, Mario Esquerra, Alexandra Vuong, Frank Kassela, Samrane Siharath, and James Davidson.

6:51pm... $5K NL Final Table update: John Hennigan doubled up John Bonetti when his pocket sixes lost to Bonetti's 10-6.

7:00pm... $5K NL Final Table update: TJ Cloutier moved all in with AA against John Hennigan's ATs. TJ's aces held up and Johnny World Hennigan finished in 6th place. He won $109,510 for his efforts. TJ is second in chips with $635K. Steven Zoine is the chipleader with $923K. Jay Greenspan picked Johnny World which means that my pick, TJ, won the writer's pool! Yep, that's another victory for me in random bets here in media row.

7:18pm... $5K NL Final Table update: John Bonetti knocked out Jason "Doc" Berilgen. Bonetti had KK and Doc pushed with 66. He picked up a flush draw on the turn but could not coonvert. Doc Berilgen won $131,410 for 5th place.

7:25pm... Stud Hi/Lo Day 2 update: Players are on a dinner break with 15 players remaining. Steve Hohn is the chipleader.

7:52pm... Random Update: Dinner break at the final table. I have officially hit "the wall." I am so tired right now. This tournament has slowed down a bit. The crowd at the final table is much more quiet than the last few. I think I need to have a few cocktails at dinner to make the rest of the night interesting.

9:10pm... Random Update: I finally took a full hour off and walked away from my laptop. Amy Calistri and I headed out to the casino and hit the bar. we chatted about some interesting and non-blogworthy things. I oggled at those scantly clad girls who dance on the mini-stage and watched a few minutes of the NBA Finals.

I grabbed some quality grub in the media room. Some one brought in steak, mashed potatoes, and Chilean sea bass. My dessert was Crispy M&Ms. I shot the shit with Shirley from Poker Babes in the hallway. She'll be playing in the NL shootout tomorrow. I also found Otis. Yes, Otis has arrived in Las Vegas. I heard that Isabelle Mercier was hitting on him. I can neither confirm, nor deny that rumor. The beer buzz is wearing off, but at least I'm not bored anymore.

9:20pm... Stud Hi/Lo Day 2 update: We're down to 10. Paul Darden and Huck Seed were both busted. I heard a funny story about Huck Seed hitting on a cocktail waitress and he didn't know his girlfriend was standing behind him.

9:29pm... $5K NL Final Table: Neal Wang was knocked out by Steven Zoine. Neal Wang had him dominated K9s to K5s, but Zoine caught a 5 on the river to send Wang home. Wang won $153,315. Steven Zoine now has over $1M in chips.

9:30pm... Limit Hold'em Shootout: We've finally reached Round 2. Damn. It's true that the first round lasted almost 8 hours. That's why they changed the format. Instead of five tables of 9 players, there will be nine tables with 5 players each to speed up the action. Limit tournaments are a pain in the ass to cover.

9:46pm... $5K NL Final Table update: Battle of the old men. TJ pushed all in with the Hilton Sisters. John Bonetti, dressed all in black, called with Big Slick. The flop: 2-2-4. The turn: J. Bonetti had six outs left. On the river, a ten of clubs spiked and TJ Cloutier's Hiltons held up. Bonetti was knocked out in 3rd place. He won $175,215. TJ is down by about $400K to Zoine.

When the cocktail waitress came over to the final table to drop off drinks, TJ tipped her $2. It looks like he's drinking a coke. I'm sure a few decades ago, TJ would be drinking Jack Daniels and coke. These days, it's plain old soda. Last night while sweating TJ, I spotted a couple of pills sitting on the rail of his table. One looked like a vitamin and the other some sort of medication.

10:16pm... $5K NL Final Table update: The flop was: 10-9-7 and TJ check-raised Zoine who called. The turn was a 6 and TJ bet out and Zoine raised. TJ moved all in and Zoine called. TJ flopped the nut straight, but Zoine still had outs if he could pair the board. The river was a blank and TJ won a monster pot worth almost $2 million. Flip Chip turned to me and said, "That's the tournament right there." TJ has a $1.8M to Zoine's $500K.

10:46pm... $5K NL Final Table update: Steve Zoine doubled up against TJ. Both players were all in preflop. TJ had KK and Zoine had AJ. TJ still lead after the flop, but an ace fell on the turn. Zoine caught one of his six outs to double up.

11:19pm... $5K NL Final update: TJ Cloutier just won his 6th bracelet. He reraised preflop about $250K and Zoine went over the top all in. TJ who was pot-committed called. TJ had A5 and Zoine had AK. The flop was: 6-8-9. The turn: J. TJ had seven outs... and a 7 spiked on the river for a straight. Steve Zonie won $352,620 for second place. He played amazing poker for three days and it took a suckout to prevent him fromw inning his first WSOP bracelet. TJ won $657,100.

2005 WSOP $5K NL Champion: T.J. Cloutier

"I sucked out on him in a big pot. I'm embarassed," TJ said to his wife on his cell phone a minute after he won.

11:30pm... Stud Hi/Lo Day 2 update: We're down to 8 players. The final table will resume Friday at 2pm. Here are the remaining players: Mike Wattel (chipleader), Jonathan Paul, Peter Phillips, Al Ruck, Steve Hohn, Men "The Master" Nguyen, Sheila Gralak, and Giacomo D'Agostino.

11:53pm... Limit Hold'em Shootout: Evelyn Ng has been knocked out. We're down to 36.

2:01am... Limit Hold'em Shootout: We're down to the final nine players. Humberto Brenes, Minneapolis Jim Meehan, Tom McEvoy, Young Phan, and Brett Jungblut have all been eliminated. Here are the players who made the final table: Alex Borteh, Samrane Siharath, Kathy Liebert, Quinn Do, William Shaw, Mark Seif, MJ Partin, Robert Mizrachi, and Aram Zerounian. All players will begin with the same amount of chips.

See ya tomorrow. There are three tournaments again. Two final tables (Stud and Limit Hold'em) and the first day of the NL Hold'em Shootout. That should be fun.

For a recap of today's final table, you can visit Poker Player Newspaper. For compelte results, visit the Poker Prof's 2005 WSOP Tournament Results page. Don't forget to check out some of Flip Chip's pictures at the 2005 World Series of Poker Photo Gallery. And for all your 2005 WSOP News, make sure you stop by

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