Sometimes I think my life is right off a page out of Hunter S. Thompson's Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas... minus the psychedelics. Let me tell you, I could use a hit of liquid sunshine right now. It makes dealing with inbred nitwits at the Redneck Riviera, annoying railbirds clogging up the aisles, and my obnoxious fellow media types a lot easier.
My buddy Al Cant Hang went home today after flying out here for a few days to sweat me in the Media/Celebrity event. Last night he and Grubby were hitting on hookers at the bar where Otis and I regularly drink at dinner break.
I will not be staying late tonight. I got invited to Doyle Brunson's party and will be heading out at Midnight. Hopefully, I'll snag some good photos like the ones from the Full Tilt bash from a few nights ago.
By the way, I am not getting paid to give you live updates on my blog. I repeat... I am not getting paid to blog live from the Rio. I'm blogging for free. I'm here to cover the WSOP for Fox Sports, Poker Player Newspaper, and Lasvegasvegas.com. Those articles take priority. I'm not your chip count guy. So please don't ask. I'll give random updates when I can, but I cannot run over to the other side of the room to check on your best friend.
Here's the disclaimer that Otis had to put up on his Poker Stars Blog:
Many online players have become accustomed to clicking on the tournament lobby and finding immediate chip-count updates. However, until all chips are outfitted with radio transmitters, it's a little difficult (read: impossible) to have up-to-the-second chip counts for hundreds of players in a live tournament. Brad will strive to bring you updated chip counts as often and accurately as possible.I must add.... thousands of players. It's insane to think that people at home are serious when they want me to find a chip count in a sea of thousands of poker players. Seriously, It takes five minutes to walk from one side of the room to the other. Even the folks at Poker Wire don't show up until 4pm (5 hours after start time). I'm part of a two man operation here and I don't have a team of people like Card Player or Poker Wire who are spread out over the floor. When I wander around the floor, it takes me 15-20 minutes to make a half of a loop! And then I run back to take notes and blog. I'm exhausted and after three hours of sleep and working here everyday for five weeks without any days off. Yeah, I lost my sense of humor.
But... I want to thank everyone who emailed me and left positive comments here. That kind of stuff really inspires me. I appreciate it! I've been getting random people stopping me in the halls telling me how much they dig my blog or the Redneck Riviera updates. Thanks again.
I'm watching ESPN's crew set up the feature table. Phil Gordon wandered by and asked me a few questions about yesterday's action. We agreed on an interview for a later date. He's in the corner now doing his podcast.
Otis is here and we are the first two people to arrive in media row. I have to go write up the media event and I'll be back in an hour to give your a few live logging updates.
****** Live Blogging Update ******
11:12am... Featured Table update: Sammy Farha and Oliver Hudson (Kate's brother) are the biggest names here at the TV table. He knocked a guy on on the first hand! The flop was A-A-10 and Sammy had A-10. Oliver had pocket tens. Ouch.
11:15am... Bouncin Round the Room: I spotted Evelyn Ng out of the corner of my eye. Tobey Maguire is here and the media has a code name for him: Spiderman. Original huh? Oliver Hudosn walked over to Tobey to tell him what happened after he busted out. There are 1116 players who are here from Poker Stars, which is 20% of the field. Every where you look there's a guy where sunglasses and a Poker Stars hat. Insane, eh? I also bumped into Chops from Wicked Chops Poker. He stopped by to say hello.
11:50am... Featured Table update: Daniel Negreanu arrived late. He thought he was early. His agent told me Daniel though action began at Noon today. Anyway, Daniel and Sammy are jawing already. Should be for good TV.
11:58am... Bouncin Round the Room: Tobey Maguire snapped at a photographer for taking his picture. Chops told me that Tobey felt pictures shouldn't be taken until the final table.
12:30pm... Bouncin Round the Room: On my way to the bathroom, I was almost run over by John Bonetti in his electric wheelchair. I spotted a lot of skanky girls who were hired by certain crappy online poker sites to wear tight t-shirts and show off their implants. I wonder if these marketing guys walked into strip clubs and asked, "Would you like to work the expo booth at the WSOP or wander around and get groped by horny poker players?"
12:45pm... Perry Friedman took a hit early. But he bounced right back when he caught quads with A-9. He flopped trips and rivered quads.
1:10pm... Bouncin Round the Room: It's break time. Here are some notable players that I spotted at the tables: Chris Moneymaker, Miami John, David Sklansky, Eli Elezra, Johnny World Hennigan, Hasan Habib, Action Dan Harrington, Cecilia Mortensen, David Williams, Amir Vahedi, Melissa Hayden, Million Dollar Allen Cunningham, Juha Helppi, Mimi Rogers, Tobey Maguire, Cyndy Violette, Rafe Furst, Chip Reese, Perry Friedman, Young Phan, Joe Awada, Men The Master (no Coronas yet), Kathy Liebert, and Paul Phillips.
1:15pm... Back by popular demand!
Last 5 Pros I took a piss next to:Yeah, I pissed next to two World Champions.
1. Juha Helppi
2. Amir Vahedi
3. Johnny World Hennigan
4. Chris Moneymaker
5. Carlos Mortensen
1:20pm... Having serious connection problems here. Arggggh!
1:30pm... Phil Hellmuth arrived in a limo with an ESPN crew outisde taping his royal and late arrival in true Hellmuthian fashion. One of the first events, Phil had two body guards with him.
1:40pm... Bouncin Round the Room: I went into the hallway to try to hit on the hot Swedish girls who are selling poker chips. No such luck today. I wandered over to Jennifer from Blonde Poker who has sent up camp in the hallway since the media room is filled with people I never met before and I've been heere for five weeks. Anyway, she gives me the skinny on some British players. Keith "The Camel" Hawkins has 10K and had an up and down day. Joe Beevers has $9.8K. I also got a Chris Moneymaker chip count... he has $8.5K.
2:10pm... Featured Table update: Daniel Negreanu knocked a guy out when his A-Q held up against Q-J. One of his railbirds include my new friend Shannon Elizabeth.
2:15pm... Recent Eliminations: Tobey Maguire has left the building. He pushed all in on a flop with three clubs. He flopped a set with K-K. He was all in against A-A and Young Phan caught a four flush on the river. Kathy Liebert and John Bonetti have both left the building as well.
2:34pm... Sabine, who is Daniel's wife from Sweden asked me to check in on her husband. He had $14,300 in chips the last time I checked.
2:54pm... Bouncin Round the Room: Sammy Farha might have the brightest shirt in the room. It's orange or actually a shade of tangerine crossed with cantaloupe. It's fruity for sure. About ten minutes before scheduled breaks, Johnny Grooms announces to all spectators hat they need to leave the room and go outside so the aisles are clear during breaks. Some of them do it while others simply stand there. Oh well. There is a daily fire alarm that goes off once a day. The first few times I heard it, I paid attention. Now, once it goes off, I ignore the siren. If there's a real fire... we're fucked. By the way Steve Rosenbloom for the Chicago Trubune is hilarious. If media reps got ten minute penalties for dropping the F-bomb, Rosenbloom would never set foot ont he floor.
3:30pm... It' s time for some of Flipchip's photos!
"All you can eat, baby!"
Phil Gordon's pensive pose
Cyndy's purty smile...
Todd has an ace! (click to enlarge)
My new crush Carmel and Cecilia Mortensen
4:20pm... Bouncin Round the Room: I wandered over to the Expo area for a quick meeting with the Poker Prof. I also chatted with Mickey from Poker Magazine, which is one of the many publications I do freelance work for. I drooled over some of the girls from BoDog who wear short skirts and tight shirts. Hot damn. I needed a break away from this room. I had been here for almost seven hours aside from a few piss breaks. For fuck's sake, Otis is whistling the theme from Raiders of the Lost Ark and I made him stop.
4:30pm... Featured Table update: Aprrox. 1878 started. We're down to 153 tables at least that's what the big screen says. So that means there are 1500+ players remaining. Daniel Negreanu was busted but we couldn't see the hand. The camera crew is in the way and we are unable to go up to tables when ESPN is filming them. Also, the TV screen that we watched did not show the hands and focused on Daniel's face instead. BJ from Cardplayer tried to find out what happened, but Daniel walked away before we had a shot to get the hand history.
4:45pm... Johnny World 1, Hilton Sisters 0. Johhny World Hennigan is sitting at the table right next to press row. He's listening to his iPod and he cracked the Hilton Sisters when he flopped a set with 5-5.
5:20pm... Featured Table update: Sammy Farha was rotated out and there's a group of new players at this final table including Phill hellmuth. He has $12,625 in chips. This should be interesting.
This one is for Maigrey
5:35pm... BJ told me that there's an incident involving David Levi. During the break someone took one of his $5,000 chips... so he claims. The security crew is "reviewing the tape." After furthur review, there was no foul play. Levi's made a mistake.
5:45pm... Recent Eliminations: Erin Ness has been out for a while. I forgot to blog it. I saw her walking around in the hallway. Erick Lindgren is out also.
5:50pm... Bouncin Round the Room: I'm convinced that several of these online poker sites hired stripers and porn stars to pimp thier sites at the Expo. Sex sells. I'm going to take 30-45 minutes to work on an article for Fox Sports. Be back in a bit with some more pics from Flipchip.
6:30pm... Featured Table update: Phil Hellmuth walked up to media row and asked, "Does anyone have any silverware?" He wants to eat some sort of humus or something. Otis is investigating. He thinks it's a meat pie or something.
6:35pm... Melissa Hayden, who is out, suggested to media row that Chip Reese might be the chip leader with $60K. I know that Sammy Farha has about $60K as well.
6:41pm... There's a hot chick railbirding near the feature table. I uttered, "She strikes me as a thong type of girl."
Otis replied, "Are you kidding me? She's not wearing any underwear."
6:45pm... Recent Eliminations: Evelyn Ng and Men the Master have been sent home.
6:59pm... Recent Eliminations: Max Pescatori was just busted by Greg Mueller.
7:02pm... All players are on a dinner break. Play will resume at 8:15pm local time. I'll be doing my interview with Lord Admiral Radio and finishing up my Fox Sports article over the next hour or so.
8:23pm... Bouncin Round the Room: I bumped into a blogger... Double As! He's in town to sweat his buddy and play in the $1500 NL event on Monday. We've been reading each other's blogs for 1.5 years. Great to finally meet him.
8:45pm... Recent Eliminations: Perry Friedman, Barny Boatman, Eli Elerza, and Dewet Tomko are all out.
9:04pm... Bouncin Round the Room: In a far corner some guy was shouting, "Come on baby! Come on baby! Come on baby!" and then it was followed up by "Yes!" The room exploded with laughter. As I got to my seat, I mentioned to Nolan Dalla, "Sounds like that guy was getting one helluva massage." Yeah, it sounded like some dude shot a load. Happy endings are flowing freely at the Rio.
9:24pm... How about some more of Flipchip's photos?
Sammy's tangerine shirt
Crowded hallways during the breaks
What's on David Williams' iPod?
9:27pm... Recent Eliminations: Senthil Kumar, David Williams, and Johnny World Hennigan have been busted.
9:51pm... Bouncin Round the Room: I bumped into another fan of my poker blog! Eric from Jacksonville is playing tomorrow at Table 130, Seat 4.
10:41pm... Recent Eliminations: Phil Gordon has been busted. His JJ ran into KK. Cyndy Violette, Hasan Habib, Mimi Rogers, and David Levi are all out.
11:52pm... Bouncin Round Doyle's Party: I ran over to Doyle's Party down the hall. They give you two drink tickets, but Mrs. Flipchip gave me two of hers, so I slammed four beers in about 50 minutes. The Poker Prof gave me one extra ticket so I have one more cocktail coming to me. The party ends at 2am and I hope to head back in a little bit. The food was good. I filled up on cheese tortellini and some melon. They had some garlic bread too. There's a VIP section off to the side, but I wasn't cool enough to get in. I hung out with the usual cast of characters in the normal section. Up fron they had two scantly clad chicks in white bikinis dancing up on two big blocks. In the most incorrigable prop bet so far conducted by the members of the media. Some lonley guy wandered near the dance floor. Jen Leo said she would dance wth the guy for $50. We all forked over $10 each and off Jen went! For one song too... the Beastie Boys Brass Monkey.
11:59pm... Recent Eliminations: Alex Brenes, Allen Cunningham, and Greg Mueller
12:30am... Featured Table update: More Hellmuthian hijinks! Phil made a huge laydown. He had A-K and flop trips on a flop of A-A-4. His opponent had a full house with A-4 and Phil shouted out to his wife, "Honey, I should have gone broke on that hand!" Then he stood up and pointed at the guy with the full house, "I bethca didn't know. I can dodge bullets, baby!"
1:05am... Featured Table update: The implosion of Phil Hellmuth continues. Phil Hellmuth is officially on tilt. He was sucked out on when they were both all in. He had A-K and some guy with K-J rivered a Jack on him. Hellmuth was steaming in true Hellmuthian fashion. He got up and went over to his wife in the stands. He kept saying, "These guys don't even know how to spell the game they are playing. P-O-K-E-R. Unbelieveable. And Hold'em has six letters including an abbreviation." He sat down for a hand then went back over to his wife, where he still complained about the hand. She did her best to try to calm him down. BJ and I both agree that this hand will be aired on ESPN.
1:25am... Phil Hellmuth Tilt Watch: Hellmuth is walking off his tilt. He's been circling media row and walking out into the rest of the poker room. He wandered over to BJ and myself and asked us what we were writing about him. I got scared and wouldn't show him my blog. He looked at what BJ was writing on Card Player. "Make sure you say how he shoved $17K in with K-J!" he suggested before he wandered off with all the ESPN cameras following him.
1:30am... Recent Eliminations: Miami John and Juha Helppi. There are less than 700 players remaining.
1:44am... Carmel Petresco (my new crush) is up there in chips. She just busted someone. Sammy Farha is on a run. We think he's the chip leader with over $120K. When we told Phil hellmuth how many chips Sammy had, he said "That's the wake up call I need!"
1:50am... Featured Table update: I got some information from Tom Murphy, my source on the Irish players. Paddy O'Connor is in seat 1. He's a dentist from Sligo, Irlenad. He took 38th in last year's event and had been short stacked all day with about $5K in chips. He's a fighter and had heart all day. He had his Hilton Sisters cracked by A-J. The Irish refer Q-Q as the "Longford Men." A lot of hicks live there according to my sources. Paddy is one of the best players in Ireland. In Seat 3 is Pat Poels. He won a barcelet earlier this year in Omaha Hi/Lo. That "quack-quack" gu, Paul Maigrel is in seat 6.
1:56am... Recent Eliminations: Annie Duke and Phil hellmuth are both out. Hellmuth's A-Q ran into Paul Maigrel's 7-7. He muttered to BJ, "That's the worst hour of poker I have ever seen in my life!"
2:30am... Play is over for day 1B. Check back at 9:45am my time for exact chip counts. Before anyone asks.... No, I do not know who played today. I do not know who will be playing tomorrow either. For now, here's what I got:
Top 5 Chip Leaders on Day 1B:See ya for Day 1C
Haakon Waerstad $159K
Sammy Farha $130K
Jeff Dziedzic $130K
Carmel Petresca $116K
David Chino Rheen $115K
Notable Chip Counts on Day 1B:
Young Phan $48K
Amir Vahedi $44K
Pat Poels $44K
Dutch Boyd $40K
Paul McKinney $38.3K
Joe Beevers $34.4K
Paul Wolfe $31K
Chip Reese $26.7K
Cecilia Mortensen $25.3K
Dan Harrington $25K
The Grinder $24K
Paul Phillips $15K
Rafe Furst $15K
Mimi Tran $14K
Chris Moneymaker $9K
Notable Eliminations on Day 1B:
Men the Master
Johnny World Hennigan