Sometimes late at night the loneliness sinks in deep and buries itself underneath your skin. In the distance I see the skyline of New York City, but it's not New York. It's just the fuckin' casino off in the distance and sometimes I look up and see the collective fakeness of this place and it makes even more homesick. Depression looms especially when you let your guard down allow yourself to be swept away by the collective grief.
Las Vegas has a desperate side. It's the sad part of this bitter city that very few people live to tell you about. There are losers every where you look. Everywhere. In line at the buffet. Your cab driver. The old lady at the slot machine. The retarded frat boy wearing sunglasses at a micro limit poker table. And especially the hookers who work the bars at various sports books all over the city. These are the some of the lowest forms of life you will ever come across. It's like everyone's a crackhead but no one smokes crack. Instead of crack, you insert your vice of choice. Sports betting. Slot machines. Blackjack. Roulette. Craps. Poker. Every aspect of Las Vegas was built on loser's money. The bright lights on the Strip? Paid from your Grandma's losses at the slots. The gaudy facades of the megalithic hotels and casinos? Paid by your uncle's dice throws.
If you fly in one day and fly out three days later, you overlook the depravity. Folks like to say they love Vegas. Those are the same people who never ventured off the Strip. They never spent enough time to catch a real glimpse of this city. They don't get to see the look on the faces that a lot of the locals have after been haunted by gambling ghosts and demons for years. That hot waitress at the bar in the Bellagio, the one who kept flirting with you? She's not so hot after you realize she has two kids and goes down on Eurotrash businessmen twice a day to support her $200 a day cocaine habit. How about your favorite poker player, someone who might even aspire to be? He's not that cool after you realize he loses just as frequently as you do, except his loses are in the hundreds of thousands, not a couple of hundred and that the next tournament he wins was not motivated for his love of the game, rather he was motivated by the need to pay off his investors in a timely fashion and avoid getting his legs broken by Russian thugs named Boris and Ivan.
I am tortured by the distant buzzing of jackpot machines in my dreams. Here at the Redneck Riviera, I hear the rednecks down the hall arguing about something peculiar. I brush off a bevy of unkempt skater kids who knock on my front door and ask me to sell them "rock." I can smell the urine soaked pants of a whino who passed out in my stairwell. I can sense my sanity leaving town on the next non-stop flight to JFK airport. Some nights I wonder if I will be able to survive another month of living here.
Today is another one of the wild and wacky days here at the Rio. It's a Saturday and a holiday weekend at that and all the railbirds come out to gawk, take pictures, and pestering their favorite pros for autpgraphs in the middle of hands! The behavior of the tourists borderline on rude. Some of them don't know better. The rest of them have no clue. Yeah, the crowds swell on the weekends and although the hotness factor of the female railbirds have increased substantially which makes me happy, it takes several minutes to get from one side of the room to the other with so many damn tourists clogging up the aisles.
Plus, I have four tournaments to cover. Most organizations have three or four people covering one tournament each. Not here. I'll be providng updates on four tournamnets along with wandering around the room and sipping on a few cocktails.
Here are the tournaments I will be covering today:
1. Event #32 $5K Omaha 8 Final Table = Blue fontThe Omaha 8 event is down to a final table. 224 players started and the prize pool is $1,052,800. The $3K NL event has 1010 players and the prize pool is $2,787,600. In the Seniors event, there are 825 players with a prize pool of $750,750.
2. Event #33 $3K NL Day 2
3. Event #34 Seniors NL = Red font
4. Event #35 $10K Pot Limit Omaha Event = Green font
****** Live Blogging Updates ******
2:30pm... $10K PLO update: The table right next to media row has Doyle Brunson, Isabelle Mercier, and Mel Judah. At Tony G's table, there is Erick Lindgren, Daniel Negreanu, and Men the Master.
2:35pm... $3K NL Day 2 update: 51 players made the cut on day 1. Here's who is left over: Alex Uskov (chip leader), Kenneth Blanton, Jerry Young, John Duthie, Anders Henriksson, Eugene Todd, Richard Freire, Mohammed Hamid, Robert Betts, Rygol Bernd, Stan Jablonski, Denis Kharitonov, Billy Baxter, Franklin Caldwell, Ben Murray, Jon Turner, Dennis Perry, Steven Jacobs, Morten Jensen, Rene Angelil, Keith Love, Lasse Ubostad, Steve Wong, Dewey Tomko, Roland Israelashvili, Hutson Richarde, Berry Johnston, Matt "The Fiddler" Glantz, Michael Carroll, Gerson Mosbacher, Cher Vang, Steve Zolotow, Mark Edwards, Guillermo Gonzalez, Alphons J Jaeggi, Bradley King, Kia Mohajer, Trincher Vadin, Andre Boyer, Luis Jaikel, Mike Laing, Glenn Latona, Greg Amoils, Adam Naglich, Bob Jarmon, Jon Backman, Richard Ashby, Jeff Pursell, Greg Wynn, Jeppe Mikkelson, and Kody "Jan" Stein.
3:30pm... Omaha 8 Final Table update: The players have been seated and cards are in the air. Here are final table seat assignments and chip counts:
1 Russel "The Muscle" Salzer (New York, NY) $223K3:45pm... Omaha 8 Final Table update: We have our first bust out. Daniel Shak was busted by Haim Kakoun. Daniel Shak moved all in with a nut low draw and the board had no qualifying low. Alas, Daniel Shal was eliminated by in ninth place, earning $21,055.
2 David Chiu (Rowland Heights, CA) $135K
3 Haim Kakoun (Paris, France) $135K
4 Hiroshi Shimamura (Tokyo, Japan) $113K
5 Stephen Ladowsky (Toronto, Canada) $109K
6 Daniel Shak (Bryn Mawr, PA) $95K
7 Bueno Patrick (Paris, France) $42K
8 Allen Cunningham (Marina Del Ray, CA)$76K
9 Daniel Horowitz (Silver Spring, MD) $196K
5:00pm... Omaha 8 Final Table update: Bueno Patrick was the next player eliminated. He moved all in preflop with Jd-8s-7d-4s. He was up against Stephen Ladowsky's Ah-Ad-Js-5s. The flop was Kh-Jh-9c and the turn card was the 6s and Bueno picked up an open ended straight draw, but it missed on the river card when the Ks spiked. Bueno Patrick was eliminated in 8th and won $31,585.
5:05pm... $3K NL Day 2 update: Action is down to 19 players. Barry Johnston finished in 23rd Place and collected another cash in the WSOP.
5:15pm... Seniors NL Update: You have to be at least 50 years old to play. Anyway, the field started with 825 players and some notable players included: Ted Lawson, T.J. Cloutier, Men The Master, Chris Bigler, James Woods, Maureen Feduniak, Susie Isaacs, Mike Sexton, John Gale, Al Krux, Minneapolis Jim Meehan, and Doyle Brunson (who was two tabling for a while). Men the Master and Chris Bigler are out.
5:25pm... Isabelle Mercier picture of the day... for BG, Mean Gene, et al. By the way, the picture to the above and the right is a few of us in media row. From left to right: Otis from Poker Stars, Dan from Pokerati (standing up), Pauly, BJ from Cardplayer, and Heather from Poker Wire.
5:30pm... $10K PLO update: Gus Hansen arrived late and could not locate his table. He was eliminated early. Daniel Negreanu and Sammy Farha are out.
6:15pm... Omaha 8 Final Table update: Allen Cunningham became the first "Million Dollar Man" at this year's WSOP. Unfortunately, he was just eliminated by Hiroshi Shimamura. Hiroshi raised and Allen Cunningham moved all in with Qh-5c-3d-2d. Shimamura flipped over As-Kd-10h-2s. The board was Ks-6s-3h-10d-8h. Hiroshi had two pair and Allen Cunningham was eliminated in 7th place. He won $42,110 and now has over $1 million in winnings this year. Russel Salzer is the chipleader.
6:40pm... $3K NL update: We're down to 13 players.
7:20pm... $10K PLO: Players are currently on a dinner break. At Tonu G's table, Mike Sexton, Men the Master, and Erick Lindgren are all pounding beers because Men the Master keeps buying them drinks everytime the waitress stops by. Scott Fischman, James Van Alstyne, and Robert Williamson III are all out.
7:30pm... $3K NL update: Action is down to 10. Steve Zolotow was busted in 13th.
7:45pm... Omaha 8 Final Table update: We have another bust out. Action is now down to five after Hiroshi Shimamura was knocked out by Haim Kakoun in 5th place. Hiroshi had Ac-9d-4s-2c, while Haim Kakoun flipped over Ah-Ad-9c-8c. Haim's hand held up. Hiroshi was eliminated and won $52,640 for his work. Players are on a dinner break and play will resume at 9:15. Time for me to hit the bar with Otis.
7:50pm... $3K NL update: We're down to 9 players. Bernd Rygol was eliminated in 10th Place. Play will resume tomorrow at 3pm. Here is who will return: 1 Matt "The Fiddler" Glantz, Michael Carroll, Kenneth Blanton, Andre Boyer, Robert Betts, Dennis Perry, Jerry Young, Morten Jensen, and John Duthie.
10:03pm... Omaha 8 Final Table update: Russel Salzer won the high and half of the low end to knock Stephen Ladowsky out in 5th place. Ladowsky won $63,170.
10:40pm... Omaha 8 Final Table update: Daniel Horowitz hung on for a while with a short stack. He was eventually eliminated by Haim Kakoun in 4th place. Daniel Horowitz won $84,225.
11:30pm... Seniors Event update: There are 54 players left. Here's who got knocked out... Minneapolis Jim Meehan, TJ Cloutier, and Al Ruck.
11:35pm... $10K PLO update: Hoyt Corins was recently elimianted. Max Pescatori won a huge pot and he has over $25K in chips. There are plenty of notable players still left including... Peter Costa, Simon "Aces" Trumper, Barry Greenstein, Erick Lindgren, Todd Brunson, Vinny Vinn, John Juanda, Carlos Mortensen, Lee Watkinson, Max Pescatori, Barny Boatman, Mike Sexton, Toto Leonidas, Tony Cousineau, Huckleberry Seed, David Williams, Doyle Brunson, Johnny Chan, Mike Wattel, Julian Gardner, Thor Hansen, Ted Forrest, Surrinder Sunar, "Syracuse" Chris Tsiprailidis, Isabelle Mercier, Tony G, Juha Helppi, Paul Maxfield, Davood Mehrmann, Jesus, Mel Judah, Erik Seidel, Bruno Fitoussi, Chau Giang, Ben Grundy, Andy Bloch, and Howard Lederer.
11:40pm... Omaha 8 Final Table update: Haim Kakoun was knocked out in 3rd place by Russel Salzer who flopped two pair. Haim Kakoun won $105,280. We reached heads up play. It's David Chui versus Russel "The Muscle" Salzer with Salzer having a decent chip advantage.
12:35pm... Omaha 8 Final table update: After less than an hour of play Chiu went on a rush and scooped a few pots. He eventually knocked out Russel Salzer in 2nd place when he flopped a nut flush. Russel Salzar won $191,610 for second place. David Chiu won $347,410 for first and collected his fourth bracelet.
2005 $5K Omaha Hi/Lo Champion: David Chiu