It's Saturday morning in Las Vegas. The harsh Nevada sun is blazing and a roach the size of a small poodle scurried underneath my front door. I woke up early to tape a radio interview with the Lord Admiral Card Club. Man, was I tired. Sean even told me how bad I sounded. It was another late night here at the Rio. The final table for the Limit Shootout lasted until 4:20am. The media folks still left covering the event went a little stir crazy around 3am. For the last hour and a half we were just plain silly. I'm fortunate I work along side people with tremendous senses of humor. Thank God that the two final players cut a deal, otherwise I think I might still be covering that final table.
Thanks for everyone's concern about my depressing morning yesterday. I lost my shit. A lot of it had to do with my girl Katie Holmes converting to Scientology and getting engaged to Tom "TC Cheese" Cruise. Losing my mind happens from time to time. I'm a stranger in a strange land. I've never lived in a desert climate before. The gambling demons are haunting me at every turn.
Good news is that I usually snap out of any sad funk in a day or so. A long talk with Otis really cheered me up. Sometimes I question all this hard work that I'm pouring out and feel that it's going to get me nowhere. Every few hours or so I look up and say, "What the fuck am I doing here?"
This is not easy work. I know most of you couldn't handle two days here. But that's why I get paid the big bucks to blog live from the World Series of Poker.
When I see Texas Dolly sitting a few tables away, I quickly remind myself that I need to appreciate this moment for what it is. I'm at the World Fuckin' Series of Poker. This is the chance of a lifetime, so I better start enjoying myself before it's over and I'm back to low-limit grinding with the masses of idiots, donkeys, and fish on Party Poker or Poker Stars.
Today I get to cover only two events. Very nice. Here they are:
1. Event #16 $1,500 NL Shootout Day 2 = Green fontThere are 373 players in the $2,500 Limit event competing for a prize pool of $857,900. The No Limit Shooutout starts today with 13 players, down from 780 who began yesterday. The prize pool for the shootout has a prize pool of $1,076,400. We shout begin the final table around dinner time.
2. Event #17 $2,500 Limit Hold'em Day 1
Alas, I couldn't sleep and was craving wi-fi access so I hopped in a cab which arrived only five minutes late, and headed to the Rio.
****** Live Blogging Updates ******
3:01pm... Limit Hold'em update: There are 308 players left. Daniel Negreanu is the chip leader. Annie, Duke and Marcel have been knocked out. As soon as I arrived at press row, I was greeted by Max Pescatori. He might be one of my favorite professional players that mainstream media has no clue about. That will change after he wins his first bracelet this year. Anyway, Max was bummed out that he was already eliminated from the Limit event. I thanked him for calling Charlie and we spoke for a few minutes about that.
Thanks to Felicia by the way. She got Barry Greenstein, John Juanda, and Max to call Charlie at home. Seriosuly, these are amazing people and they did not do it for publicity. They did it because they cared. When I bumped into Marcel Luske in the hallway, I asked about how he played today. He was knocked out already and he didn't want to talk about poker. He quickly asked about Charlie. Here's a guy that Marcel never met before and he's in the hallway of the WSOP discussing Charlie's situation with intense concern on his face like he was one of his family members. If there's one thing I've taken away from covering the WSOP so far, is that despite being sharks, a lot of these guys have big hearts full of compassion.
Amyway, at the table to my left here at media row, Howard Lederer is sporting a red Full Tilt cap and a hockey jersey. He's sitting in seat 8 with his back to me. By the way, when are the guys at Full Tilt (Hank and Franklin) going to hook me up with a FT hoops jersey with "Dr. Pauly" on the back? Daniel Negreanu has been moved to Lederer's table. He took seat 1 and has not stopedp talking since he arrived. He's currently getting a massage while he yaps.
3:20pm... NL Shootout Day 2 update: We started with 13 players and our first player has been knocked out. Anthony Reategui eliminated Alan Goehring in 13th place. Goehring had a set of Kings but they did not hold up to Reategui's flush. Geohring won $9,690 for 13th place. We are down to 12 if you those of you who are mathematically challenged. Anthony Reategui is the chipleader.
4:20pm... NL Shootout Day 2 update: Bret Jungblut was knocked out by Allen Goldstein in 12th place. He had his stack crippled the previous hand when his AK ran into Chris McCormack's AA. Jungblut won $11,840 for 12th place.
5:00pm... Limit Hold'em update: We're down to 220 players. Chris "Jesus" Ferguson is the current chipleader.
6:00pm... Bouncin Round the Room update: I bumped into HDouble who came up for the weekeend. Felicia and Glenn said they would be back later tonight. Otis is wandering around doing his own thing. It's like a damn bloggers convention. Today the crowds swelled. It's the weekend which means gawking tourists. They are kind of annoying. I know they are excited about seeing their favorite pros, but these folks are at work for fuck's sake. Have a little respect and don't demand that they give autographs and pictures while they're in the heat of battle.
6:05pm... Limit Hold'em update: How about this "fun" table.... Huck Seed and Todd Brunson were moved to Daniel Negreanu and Howard Lederer's table. Within a few hands Brunson was knocked out. Andy Bloch, Jen Harman, and Josh Arieh have been busted. Jen Harman is so tiny that I tower over her.
6:10pm... NL Shootout Day 2 update: I hung out at the final two tables for about twenty minutes. I saw some intersting hands. Young Pham re-raised $20K on the button. When his opponent Allen Goldstein folded AQ, he almost fell out of his chair. At that point I put him on AA. Pham told the dealer to let him turn over any of the tow cards. It was an ace of clubs. Pham said he had the other black ace as well. Ted Lawson is sitting in seat one with his shoes off. He took a big pot off of Pham when his JJ held up against AK.
Jay Greenspan told about about a huge hand where Erick Lindgren caught a runner runner nut flush on the river and Anthony Reategui called a hug ebet on the river with bottom pair. Interesting, eh? Anthony Reategui is still the chipleader.
Chris McCormack was just knocked out in 11th place by Allen Goldstein. We're down to 10. Players are on a dinner break.
6:15pm... Random Thoughts: Just read an encouraging email from Wil, who gave me some great advice:
Remember to take care of you, or the Redneck Riviera will suck your soul right out of your body and feed it to a crack baby.Thanks for reading, buddy!
7:00pm... Limit Hold'em Day 1 update: Toto Leonidas is the chipleader. There are 119 player remaining and they are all going on a dinner break.
7:15pm... Dinner Break: On the advice of Wil, I took full advantage of my dinner break. I headed over to the Full Tilt hospitality suite. I chatted with John Juanda for a few minutes. The bartender recognized me from many other visits. I'm a big tipper and he remembered what I usually drink. I also noshed on some cheese and crackers. Without fail, in came Amy Calistri and she had a glass of wine. I headed off to the deli by the sports book for some curly fries. I'm addicted to them. On my way back to the convention area, I bumped into Otis. We ran into HDouble and Mrs. Double, who had dropped a few bucks on the slots.
7:30pm... NL Shootout Final Table Update: Here is who made the final table:
Seat 1: Erick Lindgren $80K7:50pm... NL Shootout Final Table Update: Keith Quilty was knocked out in 10th Place. Quilty raised all in and Kroh called. Quilty's A-6 was about a 3 to 2 favorite over Kroh's K-Q. Kroh caught a King on the river card and Keith Quilty was knocked out in 10th place. He won $16,145.
Seat 2:Kenny Robbins $116.2K
Seat 3: Keith Quilty $35,200
Seat 4: Dariush Imani $70K
Seat 5: Young Phan $79.5K
Seat 6: Allen Goldstein $410K
Seat 7: Ted Lawson (Plantation, FL) $35.4K
Seat 8: Paul Kroh $70K
Seat 9: Anthony Reategui $284.9K
Seat 10: Phil "Tiltboy" Gordon (El Paso, TX) $84.4K
7:55pm... NL Shootout Final Table Update: Ted Lawson moved all in with 66. Young Pham called him with 99 and was looking good until the river when a 6 spiked. He turned around to press row and said, "When is this going to stop happening to me?" Lawson doubled up.
8:25pm... NL Shootout Final Table Update: Tournamnet Director Johnny Grooms is awake now after the coktail waitress brought him a cup of coffee. Allen Goldstein, who is wearing Birkensstocks, is chugging a Corona, he official beer of Men the Master.
8:45pm...Limit Hold'em Day 1 update: Jesus, Phil Hellmuth, Daniel Negreanu, and John D'Agostino are all out. 99 players remaining.
8:51pm... Bouncin Round the Room: Josh Arieh, Phil Hellmuth and Daniel Negreanu are sitting down in front of me to sweat Erick Lindgren. Johnny Grooms is busting on the conversation between Negreanu and Hellmuth, "Those two are discussing who's the greatest player in the world."
Negreanu is chugging a Heinekin and telling Hellmuth about his heads up match against Barry Greenstein at the Wynn, specifially how Greenstein kept raising him on a certain hand. Hellmuth talked about going to Montreal for a UB event and skipping an event to attend his son's graduation. Hellmuth is considering blowing off the PLO event tomorrow to watch golf. Negreanu quickly added, "It's without any rebuys."
If they found out I was blogging their conversation, they'd probably kick my ass. Ah, who am I kidding. I can take both of them! Hellmuth is telling a story about drinking $2,000 bottle of rum with Phil Ivey and losing $84K playing Chinese Poker. He also ragging on Phil Ivey's poor golf skills. When Hellmuth's wife called, he bailed. As soon as the waitress came by, Negreanu ordered another beer. And he's back to talking about playing heads up with Barry Greenstein. When the waitress came back, Negreanu tipped her $20 for 4 beers.
9:20pm... Limit Hold'em update: Howard Lederer, Mike Gracz, Ram Vaswani, Barry Greenstein have both been knocked out. 75 players are left.
9:50pm... Bouncin' Round the Room: The final table went on a 15 minute break. I wandered over to the 20/40 tables and found HDouble. He was down a little and now he's even, just in case you wanted a chip count on HDouble. Across from him I noticed an interesting cash game: TOES. It's a rotation game with Triple Draw Duece to Seven Lowball, Omaha 8 or Better, and Seven-card Stud. Seat 1 = Mickey Applebaum. Seat 2 = Greg Raymer. Seat 6 = John Murphy. Seat 7 = Dr. Mark Burtman. Raymer was skeptical about playing but sat down anyway.
10:00pm... NL Shootout Final Table update: EDog was put to sleep. Erick Lindgren was eliminated when his A7 ran into Anthony Reategui's QTs. Reatgui flopped a Queen and Erick's hand did not improve.
10:50pm... NL Shootout Final Table update: After what seemed to be a final table that could possible last until 4am again, inside of three hands two players were busted. Allen Goldstein was kncoked out in eighth place and won $25,835 when he reraised all in with 99 against Anthony Reategui's Hilton Sisters. It was an interesting move. Earlier Goldstein cracked AA with a set of 7s.
On the second hand, Phil Gordon moved all in with K4s. He was called by Dariush Imani who had Phil dominated with KT. The flop and turn didn't help Gordon. The expression on his face didn't change throughout the hand. He deadpanned, "There's still a four in the deck." On the river, a four spiked and Phil knocked out Imani in 7th place. He won $32,290.
11:00pm... NL Shootout Final Table update: The action is insane and fast. Anthony Reategui knocked out Kenny Robbins and Ted Lawson on the same hand. Reategui had 99. Kenny Robbins had KK and Ted Lawson had JJ. On the turn, Reategui caught a 9 to make his set. The river didn't help the other guys and Reategui knocked them both out and added to his massive chipstack. On his way out Kenny Robbins turned to me and muttered, "Reategui is the worst player I have ever seen." He's definitely got lucky. Inside of 15 minutes, several players were busted. Ted Lawson came in 6th place and won $43,055. Kenny Robbins won $53,820 for 5th place. This is like an online tournament.
11:05pm... NL Shootout Final Table update: Anthony Reategui has a horseshoe wedged up his ass. He knocked out Young Pham when his KQ was better than Pham's A9. He hit a four flush on the river. Young Pham finished in fourth place and won $64,585. Reategui has almost a $1M chiplead.
Phil Gordon walked over to me and said, "I've never been so card dead ever at a final table. I haven't seen any pocket pairs." Poor Phil.
11:18pm... Limit Hold'em Day 1 update: Carlos Mortensen eliminated John Juanda.
11:35pm... Phil Gordon was eliminated in 3rd place. He really wanted to win a bracelet this year. You could see the frustration on his face when he went card dead and couldn't make any moves. He won $75,350 and made his second final table at this year's WSOP.
2005 WSOP NL Shootout Champion: Anthony Reategui
12:05am... We have a winner. Anthony Reategui knocked out Paul Kroh in second place. Paul won $146,380 for his efforts. Reategui won $269,100 for first place and won his first WSOP bracelet. Congrats to Anthony!
1:25am... Limit Hold'em update: We made the money and we're down to 29 players.
1:30am... I live an amazing life, right? Not right now. Otis is playing 10/20 and HDouble is playing 20/40. What am I doing? Writing a recap of today's final table on a Saturday night in Las Vegas. This is the part of the job that sucks.