Tuesday, November 15, 2005

WPT Foxwoods: World Poker Finals Day 3

Well, I'm back for another day of live blogging at the World Poker Finals. It's day 3 at Foxwoods for the World Poker Finals and I should be here all day and late into the night. I skipped Sunday and slacked off most of last night, so today will be a much more concentrated effort on my part.

Last night was one of those interesting nights. At a place like Foxwoods, you are contained to the actual casino, which is the largest in the world. There's zero off-campus activites and Foxwoods is located in the middle of nowhere in Western Connecticut. You have to find your own fun. I crashed the Absolute Poker party in the Presidential Suite. The layout wasn't too impressive and had thirty-five times more beer guts than boobies.

I wandered down to the poker room after Brandon Schaefer called me. He and his buddies were playing drunken-donkey low-limit poker after Carl busted out of the tournament yesterday. He got crippled when his A-A were cracked by rags. I blew $190 in about 90 minutes but it was some of the best fun I had at the poker tables in a very long time. Plus I got to play with three pros... Brandon and his buddies Carl Olsen and Justin.

If you don't know, Brandon and Carl went 1 and 2 at the EPT Deauville in France last year. And yes, they were drinking up a storm like Tara Ried on a weekend bender and playing like maniacs and hooligans at a $2-4 limit table. Since we don't get coverage of the EPT in America, the majority of this country has no idea who Brandon and Carl are. Ironically, they are rock stars in Europe and Canada (where the EPT is aired) but at Foxwoods, no one knew who they really were, especially the other players at the table.
Seat 6: Brandon
Seat 7: Carl
Seat 8: Justin
Seat 10: Pauly
Here's what happend pre-flop every time... bet, raise, re-raise, and then a re-raise to cap it. The other players couldn't figure out what was going on. One guy in Seat 3 accussed Carl & Justin of colluding.

"It is shitty what you are doing!" the confused guy said.

Brandon snapped back, "Yeah we're colluding at a $2-4 table. Look, we're trying to give our money away."

The table hijinks ended up getting an old guy in Seat 4 on mega-tilt. An old lady in Seat 5 got up and left. And me? I got killed.

I found the Hammer. Brandon was the big blind and Carl raised. Justin did the standard re-raise. I capped it with the Hammer and tossed out four yellow $2 chips. The flop was Q-J-2. I caught a piece! Betting was capped on the flop and the turn. On the river a 2 fell. I figured the Hammer and trips were good. Justin turned over the Hilton Sisters for a full house. Ouch. Time for a rebuy.

I lost another monster pot with 5c-6c. I flopped an open ended straight flush draw and was heads up with a guy who had A-7 and flopped trips. Since we were heads up on the turn and with unlimited reraises, I wanted to go all-in. He agreed and I missed all of my draws!! It was time for me to go and finish of my recap of Day 1B for the Poker Prof's Las Vegas and Poker Blog.

Here are the curent details of the tournament at the start of Day 3:
Entrants: 783
Remaining Players: 240
Chipleader: Lyle Berman
Prize Pool: $7.855 million
First Place: $2.167 million
Money Winners: Top 120
Current Level: Level 8 blinds $400/800 with $100 antes
Average Stack: $32,625
***** Live Blogging Updates *****

11:41am... I got up early and watched cartoons with Senor's kid before I headed back to work. I ate breakfast at Crackel Barrel this morning. It's about halfway between Providence and Foxwoods on I-95. My friend Molly used to work at one in Texas and I used to give her shit all the time about working in a cracker factory with Milhouse's dad. Anyway, it's southern style country cookin' and the breakfast rocked. I got my standard Fremch Toast with extra crispy bacon. I love bacon that's so crisp that you hear a cracking sound when you bite into it, yet melts in your mouth immediately. The hashbrowns were near perfect. Plus they serve sweetened ice tea. I was in heaven for 35 minutes. I think the waitress was hitting on me. She had a nice smile, but her hairy upper lip and the fact that she was bigger than David "Big Popi" Ortiz was a complete turn off. She must have been pumped I left a $3 tip on a $7 meal.

11:45am... I arrived downstairs at the Sunset Ballroom and an unshaven Minneapolis Jim Meehan was sitting in press row. He slowly took turns dragging on his cigarette and sipping a Heineken while he scanned the list of remaining players and chip counts. He was scribbling on a piece of scrap paper. He drew a circle and started writing down the names of players at his table. By then I had my laptop fired up and logged into Poker Wire, which had all the seating assignments. I showed Jim that and he was happy that I'd save him a few minutes of research. He had Chip Jett, David Benyamine, and Thomas Fuller at his table. Fuller ended Day 1B as one of the chipleaders.

"Listen kid," he said in his raspy voice with a tinge of a Minnesota accent, "Eight and a half minutes is the over/under for me today. I got $8,600 in chips and I'm definitely gonna play a hand in the first orbit. It's not like yesterday when I had $600 in fuckin' chips left. I'm anticipating an early exit."

That's why Minneapolis Jim Meehan is one of the most colorful characters in poker today. He's tells you the raw deal with no bullshit and is highly entertaining in the process.

11:56am... There are some intersting tables that I will try to follow today:
Table 2: Young Phan, Mark Seif, and Richardo Festejo
Table 6: Amir Vahedi, John D'Agostino, Donna Blevins, and Julian Gardner
Table 7: Marsha Waggoner, Minh Nguyen, Paul McKinney, and Ted Forrest
Table 10: Dan Heimiller and Jean Gaspard
Table 11: John Myung and Bill Gazes
Table 12: Bradley Berman, Hasan Habib, Dennis Elder, and Peter Campo
Table 13: Cliff 'Johnny Bax' Josephy, Steven Zoine, and Tab Duchateau
Table 18: Chip Jett, David Benyamine, and Minneapolis Jim Meehan
Table 20: Timothy Sweeney, Steve Zolotow, Lyle Berman, and Kathy Liebert

Here are the Top 5 in chips:
1 Lyle Berman $153,300
2 Loi Van Phan $122,500
3 Mark Seif $107,600
4 Thomas Fuller $103,200
5 Benjamin Kim $95,400

Check the post below to see the start of Day 3 chip counts.
12:00pm... Cards are in the air! We are on Level 8 with $400/800 blinds with $100 antes.

12:30pm... Recent Eliminations: John D'Agastino was busted when his A-J lost to 4-4. Minneapolis Jim Meehan was also just busted.

1:05pm... Recent Eliminations Ted Forrest, Craig Hartman, Abe Mosseri, and Johnny Bax. Ted Forrest had Q-J and lost a coin flip to 10-10.

1:23pm... Bouncin Round the Room: I wandered over to the buffet in the mini-buffet at back of the Sunset Ballroom. They have yellow bananas today. I ate a few pastries and chatted with Paul McKinney's daughter. She told me the story about how he came from behind with just $75 in chips in the 1997 WSOP main event and still made the final table. He's won one pot today and has about $30K. I also spotted the Absolute Poker girls. Theya re decked out in ultra-tight black wife beater t-shirts and red mini-skirts that are up jacked up so high you can see which girls have bad wax jobs.

1:40pm... Players are back from a break. We are on Level 9. Blinds are $600/$1,200 with a $300 ante.

1:50pm... Recent Eliminations: David Benyamine, Ricardo Festejo, and Dan Heimiller.

2:01pm... Kathy Liebert just doubled up against Ronnie Bardah when she cracked A-K with A-Q. She flopped a Queen. Kathy now has about $80K.

2:15pm... Kathy Liebert 2, Ronnie Bardah 0. With A-Q Kathy busted Bardah's A-J.

2:50pm... Here's an updated chip count:
1 Loi Phan $190,000
2 Jeff Paquette $170,000
3 Lyle Berman $168,000
4 Hasan Habib $152,000
5 Kathy Liebert $152,000
2:55pm... Sorry for the lack of updates. I was doing all my football picks for the week and updating all of my fantasy pools.

3:10pm... Recent Eliminations: Local Jeff Calkins was busted when his J-J ran into Q-Q. David Levi was knocked out when he ran into A-A. Tim Sweeney was also knocked out. So was Jean Gaspard when his 10-10 lost a race to A-K. There are 15 tables left and less than 150 players still in.

3:14pm... Bouncin Round the Room: I've been hanging out in the hallways hearing bits of conversations with players who were just busted. Like I said, some know I am in the media (and the big ass red WPT badge makes it pretty obvious) and come up to me and spill their guts about their bad beat stories. If I had $2 for every bad beat story a tournament player and blogger told me since the WSOP, I'd be a trillionare. Anyway, Scott from Card Player told me a great bathroom bad beat story, which he wanted me to post on my blog. He was taking a leak and an old game came over to piss and told him his bad beat story. The guy got so into his story that he did not realize that he was pissing on the floor. I think the old man pissed on Scott's feet, but he's a little too embarassed to tell me.

3:15pm... Players on a break. 144 players remain. When play resumes, we'll be at Level 10. Blinds are $800/$1600 with $200 antes. The chipleader is Lenny Cortellino with over $235K.

3:30pm... Paul McKinney doubled up with A-J against A-K. He flopped a Jack and turned trips.

4:01pm... Random Day 3 Picture Dump:

Bill Gazes stares down an opponent

Paul McKinney schools the young whipper-snappers

Lyle Berman: Round 1 Chipleader and WPT founder

The railbirds behind Erik Seidel

Day 3 of the World Poker Finals in the Sunset Ballroom

It's a race!

Donna Blevins from Poker Player Newspaper

We're close to the bubble!

One tough table: Kathy Liebert, John Myung, Mark Seif, and Bill Gazes

The action never stops

4:10pm... Recent Eliminations: Bernard Lee and Steve Brecher have both been busted.

4:15pm... 125 players left. We're approaching the bubble!!

4:20pm... Time for a smoke break.

4:36pm... Jaxia wondered which women were left. There are 5: Kathy Liebert, Marsha Waggoner, Amanda Baker (who qualified online at Full Tilt), Donna Blevins, and Joanne "J.J." Liu. I'm pulling for Kathy to make another final table.

4:39pm... Here is the Top 5 chipleaders:
1 Lenny Cortellino $235K
2 Lyle Berman $208K
3 Jeff Paquette $172K
4 Mike Pascullo $154K
5 Marco Savoni $153K
4:40pm... Recent Eliminations: Steve Z is out. John Myung was knocked out by Kathy Liebert. He was shortstacked and moved all in with A-8. Kathy called with 10-9 and flopped a 10 to send Myung to the rail.

4:57pm... We're officially on the bubble with 121 left. Mark Seif cracked Aces with pocket Jacks. He rivered a straight against Matthew Szymaszek. Kathy Liebert turned to me and said, "Wow!"

5:27pm... Players are back from a break and still on the bubble. 121 players left. We're on a new level. Blinds are $1K/$2K with $300 antes.

5:28pm... Erik Seidel doubled up with 2-2 against A-K. He flopped a set of 2s.

5:30pm... We're on a dinner break. Action will resume at 6:30pm. I got a $10 food comp thanks to the poker room guys!

6:36pm... Bouncin Round the Room: On dinner break, BJ & Scott and I headed to the Absolute Poker suite. I had a liquid dinner and noshed on mozzarella sticks and the infamous Foxwoods chicken fingers. They had Buffalo wing sauce and I dipped both the sticks and the fingers in it. There were more Absoulte Poker girls helping people get drinks and doing idle chit chat. Here's an excerpt of a conversation with one of the better looking gals who had a Southern accent.
Pauly: Lemme ask you a question, Sweetie. Are you from North Carolina?
Absolute Poker Girl: Georgia.
Pauly: I went to school in Atlanta. I played hockey there. BJ grew up near there.
BJ: What part are you from?
Absolute Poker Girl: Macon.
BJ: Cool. I'm from Duluth.
Absolute Poker Girl: Oh, great. I go up to Atlanta all the time for work.
As soon as she walked away, BJ turned to me and said, "She's a stripper." If you don't know Atlanta has a slew of strip clubs. And this girl definitely had advanced stripper pole tricks highlighted on her resume.

6:39pm... Chip Jett is the bubble boy. All he had left was $300 which was the antes. He had J-J and figured he would survive the first hand back. One guy called with Q-5 and flopped two pair! Jett finished in 121st place. The remaining 120 players will all win at least $11K. Here's a list of payouts:
WPT Foxwoods Payouts (Top 120):
1st $2,142,000
2nd $1,035,000
3rd $759,000
4th $483,000
5th $345,000
6th $276,000
7th $207,000
8th $172,800
9th $138,000
10th $117,300
11th $103,500
12th $96,600
13th $89,700
14th $82,800
15th $75,900
16th $69,000
17th $62,100
18th $55,200
19th $48,300
20th $41,300
21-25 $34,500
26-30 $27,600
31-35 $20,700
36-40 $17,200
41-50 $14,000
51-70 $12,000
71-120 $11,000
7:10pm... Recent Elimiantions: Whenever we get past the money buble, there's a flurry of bustouts. Also, right after the dinner break, players losen up and there are bustouts increase in frequency. With post-dinner break bubble, a bunch of players have been knocked out. Paul McKinney was just knocked out. Minh Nguyen min raised and McKinney moved all in with 10-10. Minh showed A-A and sent McKiney to the rail. Kathy Liebert was knocked out by Bill Gazes. Kathy had A-K. Bill had K-K. There was a short stack all in with A-Q and that killed oneof Kathy's outs. Her hand did not improve and she was knocked out. Bill Gazes has a stack that's over $280K. Anthony Nader, Mike Pascullo, Ryan Buckholtz, and Ken Myers have all been eliminated as well.

7:22pm... Hand of the Day: Without a doubt it goes to Ilya Liviz who defended his blind with The Hammer! Alex Jacob raised on the button with 2-4o. The flop was 7-2-3. On the turn an 8 fell. Liviz bet and Jacob moved all in over the top. Liviz quickly called. Both player sshowed their monsters... 7-2o vs. 4-2o. The river didn't help Jacob and Liviz doubled up winning a pot worht at least $160K. Behold the Hammer! And never underestimate the power behind defending your blinds.

7:30pm... Recent bustouts: Marsha Waggoner was eliminated when her A-Q lost to Eugene Ji's K-K. Arnold Spee and Mark Seif are also out. Seif was busted by Bill Gazes who now has a "shitload of chips" according to Scott from Card Player.

7:54pm... All in all, it's another brick in the wall. Hasan Habbib likes Pink Floyd. He was walking around singing inaudible words to a song. Hasan asked Scott from Card Player if he knew the song he was singing because Scott was wearing a Pink Floyd shirt. "I used to listen to them when I was a kid," Hasan confided. "Dark music."

8:00pm... Players are on a break. 83 players remain.

8:55pm... Recent elimiantions: Amir Vahedi, Farzad Bonyadi, Jack Disandro, and Amanda Baker.

9:00pm... Here's an updated chip count:
Top 5
1 Bill Gazes $550K
2 Loi Phan $360K
3 Eugene Ji $250K
4 Allen Cunningham $248K
5 Lenny Cortellino $245K
9:21pm... More Eliminations: Bill Edler, Jason Zausmer, and Spiro Mitrokostas are all out.

9:30pm... Here's an updated list of bust outs thanks to BJ and Aimee from the WPT!
The following players won $11K:
120 - Christopher Loveland
119 - Daniel Sommer
118 - Andrew Wallach
117 - Matt Smith
116 - Frank Cruess-Callaghan
115 - Anthony Nader
114 - Mike Pascullo
113 - Paul McKinney
112 - Mike Ramsey
111 - Eric Hutchens
110 - Ken Myers
109 - Joe Peruti
108 - Kathy Liebert
107 - Mark Awalt
106 - Massoud Nikjouian
105 - Ronald Kirk
104 - Frank Meaney
103 - Richard Cairo
102 - Ralph "Rep" Porter
101 - Ryan Buckholtz
100 - Anthony Camillery
99 - Kyle Bowker
98 - Mark Ader
97 - Roy Thung
96 - Walter Williams
95 - Marsha Waggoner
94 - Chris Karagulleyan
93 - Mark Seif
92 - Sam Haddad
91 - Arnold Spee
90 - Donna Blevins
89 - Jerry Young
88 - Andrew A.K. Kelsall
87 - Dean Hamrick
86 - Jeffrey Henry
85 - Howard Elfant
84 - Wayne Burgess
83 - Jerome Saunders
82 - Peter Campo
81 - Wililam Krackomberger
80 - Stafford Woodley Jr
79 - Amir Vahedi
78 - Temp Hutter
77 - John Disandro
76 - Steven Dilliard
75 - Farzad Bonyadi
74 - Robert Wittman
73 - Brian Batt
72 - Amanda Baker
71 - Williamd Edler

The following players won $12K:
70 - Spiro Mitrokostas
69 - Scott Wilson
68 - James Campbell
9:40pm... Players are on a 10 minute break. 64 remain. They are racing off $100 chips. When play resumes, we'll be at $1500/$3000 with $500 antes. Here's the most recent chip leaders:
Top 5
1 Bill Gazes $557K
2 Loi Phan $385K
3 Eugene Ji $310K
4 Steve Jacobs $300K
5 Allen Cunningham $277K
10:40pm... Bill Gazes lost the chip lead to Loi Phan who also topped the half million mark. Action has slowed down wth 52 players left. We won't stop tonight until we get down to 36 players.

11:01pm... Recent Eliminations: Joanne Liu (A-J lost to A-Q), Mike Menard (K-Q lost to K-10), Dan Yanofski (6-6 to Bill Gazes' 7-7), Willie Tan (A-10 lost to A-A), Barry Berger (A-Q lost to A-K), and Sean Scott. 48 players remain.

11:11pm... Young Phan was just busted on a brutal beat by Samir Shakhtoor. phan flopped a set with 2-2 on a board of J-8-2. There were two diamonds out there. Shakhtoor had 5d-6d. Samir Shakhtoor bet aroudn $12.5K and Young Phan doubled his bet with a raise. Samir Shaktoor moved all in for all of his chips, around $300K. Phan quickly called. Shaktoor caught his flush on the turn and he eliminated Phan. Shaktoor's stack is just under $500K.

"I guess I'll go home and fuck my dog," Phan said matter of factly as he walked off after that vicious beat. That is without a doubt, that's the quote of the tournament and gets my vote as Top 10 Poker Quotes of 2005.

11:19pm... Recent Eliminations: Hasan Habib's J-J ran into Steve Jacobs' pocket Kings. Minh Nguyen busted Steve Diamantes. Tom McCormick, Tom Coan, and Glyn 'Ratchet' Banks are also out.

11:20pm... Players are on a 10 minute break. 43 players remain. We will be on Level 14 with the blinds at $2K/$4K and a $500 ante. Here's an update of the most recent bustouts:
The following players won $12K:
67 - Jason Zausmer
66 - Mark Carlson
65 - Michael Mella
64 - Hyon Kim
63 - Erik Cajelais
62 - David Thompson
61 - John Sousa
60 - Carmen Menechella
59 - Thomas Fuller
58 - Joanne J.J. Liu
57 - Michael Menard
56 - John Lakatosh
55 - Mohammad Berenjinatuaj
54 - Daniel Yanofski
53 - David Scharf
52 - Barry Berger
51 - Willie Tann

The following players won $14K:
50 - Sean Michael Scott
49 - Young Phan
48 - Hasan Habib
47 - Stephen Diamantas
46 - Tom McCormick
45 - Glyn Banks
44 - Tom Coan
43 - Chris Barbeisch
42 - Marco Savoni
41 - Mike May
11:53pm... Here's an updated chip count:
1 Samir Shakhtoor $600K
2 Bill Gazes $600K
3 Loi Phan $480K
4 Alex Jacob $345K
5 Bryan Veach $340K
1:20am... Some more bustouts include Andy Black in 36th place when he moved all in with 3-3 and his short stack only to get busted by 10-10.
The following players won $17,200:
40 - Jason Decker
39 - Vinny Lambiase
38 - Matthew Sahagian
37 - Eugene Ji
36 - Andrew Black

The following players won $20,700:
35 - Jeff Paquette
34 - Steve Wong
33 - Ilya Livis
32 - Ed Pelham
2:01am... Play is complete for Day 3. Action will resume at Noon on Wednesday. 31 players remain and they will play down until 6 players tomorrow.

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