Saturday, February 18, 2006

WPT LA Poker Classic - Day 3

I'm back at the Commerce Casino for the third day of action of the LA Poker Classic. Lucky for me there was no traffic this afternoon and I arrived on time. I had a late night after playing poker with some friends at the infamous West LA Murder's Row homegame. I took 3rd place in the tournament then got slaughtered in the PLH cash game.

There are 97 players remaining out of the original 693 who started the main event. The buzz today surrounds the progress of the six day event. Everyone is hoping that players can get knocked out as fast as possible in order to get a rare day off on Monday. This happened in the Poker Stars Caribbean Adventure Bahamas in January, when a five day tournament only needed four days to complete. That's what the media, crew, and the staff here are hoping for! Weirder things can happen especially in California, so I'm not going to worry about that until tomorrow night. The top 45 players make the money and action always slow down once we get close to the bubble.

Frenchman Fabrcie Soulier is the chipleader with $462K. There are plenty of pros and notable names left in the mix including: JC Tran, Alan Goehring, Mike Carson, Can Kim Hua, Danny Alaei, Jim Bechtel, Jim Miller, Amir Vahedi, Chris Bigler, David Chiu, Rodeen Talebi, Edward Moncada, Ben Roberts, Jeff Rine, Chip Jett, Jason Lester, Matt Matros, Paul Darden, Hasan Habib, Gentleman John Gale, David Plastik, Allen Cunningham, Chip Reese, Bill Gazes, Shawn Sheikhan, Juha Helppi, Blair Rodman, T.J. Cloutier, Gabriel Thaler, Phil Laak, James Woods, and Scotty Nguyen.

Here's who busted out on Day 2: David Benyamine, Bruce Buffer, L.A. Lakers owner Jerry Buss, Shannon Elizabeth, Men the Master, Ray Pardley Jr., Brandon Adams, Morgan Machina, David Singer, David "Quackpot" Jones, Gus Hansen, Tony Grand, Tim Phan, Olga Varkonyi, John Myung, Davood Mehrmand, Dan Schmiech, Boston Rob from Survivor, Jen Harman, An Tran, Daid Grey,Harley Hall, Eric Mizrachi, Loi Phan, Mike Wattel, Young Phan, Erik Seidel, Dutch Boyd, Barry Greenstien, Minh Ly, Chris "Armenian Express" Grigorian, Dewey Tomko, Mike Matusow, William Rockwell, Capt. Tom Franklin, Jim "Krazy Kanuck" Worth, Glyn Banks, Gabe Kaplan, Erick Lindgren, Chris Karagulleyan, Keith Sexton, Lyle Berman, Jean-Robert Bellande, Minneapolis Jim Meehan, Peter Costa, Scott Lazar, Philippe Rouas, Miami John Cernuto, Eli Elezra, Ralph Perry, Greg "FBT" Mueller, Melissa Hayden, Dustin Wolf, Antonio Esfandiari, and Max Pescatori are all out.

Today's early questions are:
1. Will we get down to less than 45 players?
2. Can James Woods survive another day as one of the shortstacks?
3. Will I win any money in Olympic prop bets?
4. Can Fabrice Soulier maintain his chiplead?
Stay tuned to find out the answers.

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

3:05pm... I won my first prop of the day during breakfast. I went to Nick's Coffee Shop on Pico with Change100 and we decided to do a prop bet for the tab. She was on her own turf, set the over/under, and even got to choose! And she failed miserably, picking 12:30pm for the time our food would arrive in the crowded joint. It came at 12:46 and she was way off. My four slices of French toast, bacon, eggs, hashbrowns, and iced tea were all for free.

3:15pm... When I arrived in media row today, James Woods, Mike Matusow, and TJ Cloutier were milling around. Then Spaceman and I got to talk hockey with Steve Rosenbloom. Talk about having a good start to the day. Rosenbloom covered Olympic hockey in Nagano in 1988.

3:25pm... Action will be starting soon. We will be playing six levels or until 45 players remain, which is "the money." Here are the chipcounts:
End of Day 2 Chipcounts:
1 Fabrice Soulier $ 462,000
2 JC Tran $ 426,300
3 Luis Sanchez $ 383,000
4 Alan Goehring $ 368,200
5 Mike Carson $ 343,800
6 Can Kim Hua $ 329,200
7 Danny Alaei $ 317,300
8 Jim Bechtel $ 310,000
9 Stephen Giufre $ 301,200
10 Jim Miller $ 298,000
11 Amir Vahedi $ 297,600
12 Chris Bigler $ 290,800
13 Jose Tavares $ 277,500
14 David Chiu $ 265,800
15 Rodeen Talebi $ 264,400
16 Edward Moncada $ 255,000
17 Ayaz Mahmood $ 234,900
18 Orlando Maldonado $ 217,300
19 Ben Roberts $ 210,200
20 Per Ummer $ 209,700
21 Lin Ho $ 202,600
22 Luis Velador $ 200,000
23 Jeff Rine $ 197,000
24 Daniel Fuhs $ 194,100
25 Brian McCann $ 184,900
26 Chip Jett $ 180,400
27 Jason Lester $ 175,500
28 Julian Hart $ 174,200
29 Matt Matros $ 169,800
30 Paul Darden $ 157,500
31 Ugur Marangoz $ 151,700
32 Kelly Kim $ 150,200
33 Hasan Habib $ 147,400
34 Chuck Doumitt $ 147,000
35 Michael McClain $ 145,300
36 John Gale $ 143,700
37 David Plastik $ 143,500
38 John Villanueva $ 142,500
39 Emil Patel $ 141,400
40 Allen Cunningham $ 140,000
41 Raed Abukartomy $ 138,100
42 Chip Reese $ 134,400
43 Yao "Mike" Shi $ 133,200
44 Jon Luu $ 133,100
45 Daniel Quach $ 132,500
46 Bill Gazes $ 131,500
47 Bruce Parker $ 124,300
48 Shawn Sheikhan $ 124,000
49 Danny Noam $ 124,000
50 Todd Bui $ 123,800
51 Jon Kelley $ 120,200
52 Michael Woo $ 115,200
53 Juha Helppi $ 115,100
54 Blair Rodman $ 113,900
55 Daniel Ahmad $ 112,500
56 Mark Gregorich $ 107,000
57 Francois Safieddine $ 106,800
58 Sean Ly $ 105,700
59 Scott Epstein $ 104,600
60 Tom Macey $ 104,400
61 Steven Chao $ 95,000
62 T.J. Cloutier $ 89,800
63 Roy Winston $ 88,500
64 Pat Kelly $ 87,800
65 David Daneshgar $ 84,800
66 Kevan Carey $ 84,600
67 Gabriel Thaler $ 80,000
68 Sean McCabe $ 79,700
69 Mikael Thuritz $ 77,500
70 Eric "Rizen" Lynch $ 75,500
71 Larry Tull $ 75,300
72 Mark Weldmann $ 72,800
73 Genefredo Legaspi $ 72,100
74 David Domstein $ 72,000
75 Alex Azadpeyma $ 70,700
76 Amir Monsefi $ 70,500
77 Brad Berman $ 69,600
78 Tor Gammelgard $ 69,200
79 Neil Chriss $ 64,300
80 Joe Tushnet $ 62,700
81 Lee Salem $ 58,000
82 Phil Laak $ 58,000
83 James Woods $ 56,200
84 Billy Duarte $ 55,500
85 Adam Spiegelberg $ 53,600
86 Amanda Baker $ 53,600
87 Dong Bai Xu $ 51,200
88 Steven Simmons $ 48,200
89 Don O'Dea $ 42,400
90 Brian Walters $ 41,100
91 Travis Green $ 35,500
92 Sean Quinn $ 34,800
93 Scotty Nguyen $ 30,700
94 Jeffrey Freedman $ 29,100
95 Josh Millet $ 24,700
96 Anahit Galajian $ 21,700
97 Jimmy Manavi $ 20,200
3:36pm... Cards are in the air. We're on Level 13.

3:45pm... I heard that Doyle Brunson and Gus Hansen are playing downstairs. Can anyone loan me $250K to sit in that game?

3:55pm... Some early action: John Gale doubled up Sean McCabe when his A-J lost to A-10, while Phil Laak doubled up Josh Millet.

4:15pm... Recent Eliminations: Chip Reese, Emil Patel, Mark Gregorich, Luis Sanchez, Jose Padilla, and Shawn Sheikhan was busted by quad 3s.

4:20pm... Today's smoke break is brought to you by the letter W...

4:30pm... Recent Eliminations: Chip Jett is out when his 8-8 lost to Q-Q. So is Larry Tull, Guy Calvert, Mikael Thuritz, Amir Monsefi, Lin Ho, and Eric Lynch. Eric Lynch has a poker blog called Rizen Poker. Take a peek.

4:35pm... James Woods doubled up and Alan Goehring won a huge pot when he turned a flush against David Chiu and cracked his aces.

4:38pm... Recent Eliminations: The Unabomber has left the building. Phil Laak's K-K was busted by Matt Matros' A-3. Matros flopped a three and turned trips to send Laak to the rail.

4:45pm... Chris Bigler is now the chipleader with 480K and WSOP bracelet winner Ed Moncada is not far behind. Fabrice Souiler slipped to third.

5:20pm... 76 players remain. Everyone is back from a break and the $100 chips have been colored up. We're on Level 14. Blinds are $1.5K/$3K and $500 antes.
Top 10 Chipcounts:
1 Edward Moncada $575K
2 Kevan Carey $550K
3 Chris Bigler $545K
4 Daniel Alaei $483K
5 Fabrice Soulier $375K
6 Brian McCann $350K
7 Alan Goehring $344K
8 Amir Vahedi $336K
9 Jim Bechtel $330K
5:38pm... Recent Eliminations: Joe Tushnet, Travis Green, Tor Gammelgard, Sean Quinn, Don O'Dea, Pat Kelly, and Amanda Baker are all out.

5:55pm... Scotty Nguyen cracked a set with a straight flush. Alan Goehring is back on top as the chipeader after he doubled up. Jim Betchel slowplayed top pair, top kicker and let Goehring catch trips.

6:00pm... Steve Rosenbloom quote of the day: "Don't stare too long (at players) BJ, otherwise you'd have to make a reservation at Brokeback Mountain."

6:12pm... Recent Eliminations: Blair Rodman is out. As is John Villanueva and Jose Tavares. 66 players remaining.

6:15pm... James Woods Update: With 7-7 Jimmy Boy doubled up. He's still hanging on and trying to squeak into the money.
Top 5 All Time James Woods Flicks:
1. Salvador
2. Diggstown
3. Casino
4. Any Given Sunday
5. True Believer
6:25pm... Prop Bet of the Day: BJ set the O/U for the money bubbled (45 players) at 30 mins after the dinner break. I took the under.

6:30pm... Recent Eliminations: Hasan Habib's 8-7 lost to TJ Cloutier's 9-9. Steven Chao and Scott Epstein are also out. We're down to 63 players.

6:50pm... Recent Eliminations: 58 players left. Sean Ly had his K-K cracked by Kevan Carey's 9-8s when Carey caught a flush. Lee Salem was knocked out by Gentleman John Gale. Michael Rocco is also out.

6:55pm... Players are on a short break.

7:05pm... We're on Level 15 with $2K/4K blinds and a $500 ante. Kevan Carey is the chipleader with 935K.

7:15pm... Recent Eliminations: Chuck Doumitt's K-K was snapped off by Edward Moncada's A-J when Moncada flopped trips Jacks. Mike Shi was busted in a three way pot where Julian Hart tripled up and was issued a ten minute penalty for dropping an F-Bomb.

7:27pm... Boucin Round the Room: Commerce is known for their hotdogs. I finally gave in and ate one. Not too shabby. The far corner of the ballroom is being used for cash games. I considered playing a little Mexican Poker during the dinner break.

7:31pm.... Recent Eliminations: The Truth has left the buiding. Paul Darden was crippled when his A-5 lost to 9-9, then he was busted soon after by Genefredo Legaspi. Josh Millet not only got his aces cracked, he also was bounced from the tournament when Chris Bigler rivered a set. We're down to 54 players. 9 more until the money!

7:50pm... Recent Elimination: Adam Spiegelberg is out. 52 players left.

7:55pm... Recent Eliminations: 50 left after Mark Weldman busted two players with J-9 aka "The Jaxia." Ben Roberts and Sean McCabe were the ones sent to the rail. Billy Duarte is also out.

8:00pm... Players are currently on a 45 minute dinner break. See you at 8:45pm.
Top 10 Chipleaders:
1 Kevan Casey $965K
2 J.C. Tran $713.5K
3 Fabrice Soulier $695.5K
4 Chris Bigler $610K
5 Daniel Alaei $500K
6 Alan Goehring $495K
7 Juha Helppi $460K
8 Julian Hart $425K
9 Jeff Rine $421.5K
10 Michael Woo $415K

Notable Chipcounts:
15 Edward Moncada $325.5K
17 Rodeen Talebi $290K
18 David Chiu $290K
19 James Woods $270K
22 Jim Miller $228K
24 Allen Cunningham $220K
25 Scotty Nguyen $203K
26 John Gale $200K
28 Jason Lester $180K
30 Amir Vahedi $180K
31 Mike Carson $170K
32 Jim Bechtel $170K
34 Brad Berman $148K
40 Bill Gazes $125K
45 T.J. Cloutier $110K
46 David Plastik $100K
47 Matt Matros $90K
8:45pm... Players are back. There is 33 minutes left in this level. Scott from Card Player is making fun of bloggers... "All you do is blog your feelings."

9:08pm... Recent Elimination: Jason Lester was busted by Juha Helppi. There are 49 left and I'm worried that I have only 7 minutes to win my prop bet against BJ. 4 more bust outs must happen by 9:15 otherwise, I lose.

9:14pm... Recent Elimination: Matt Matros is out in 49th place when his Q-10 ran into the Hilton Sisters.

9:16pm... BJ 1, Pauly 0. I lost my prop bet with BJ. Booooooooooo. He offered to let me keep it if I walk up to one of the many attractive railbirds/porn stars and ask them what their stage names are.

9:18pm... 48 left. Players are on a break. The TDs are coloring up the $500 chips.

9:25pm... Welcome to Level 16. Blinds are $3K/6K with $1K antes. 2 from the money. We're hoping to break the money bubble by the middle of this level. We'll be playing three more levels tonight. James Woods is 15th in chips with $330K.
Top 5 Chipcount:
1 Kevan Casey $965K
2 J.C. Tran $800K
3 Juha Helppi $690K
4 Alan Goehring $655K
5 Fabrice Soulier $550K
9:50pm... James Woods whipped the entire ballroom up into a frenzy. With the Hilton Sisters, he doubled up through Fabrice Soulier's Q-J and asked the dealer for "no bad beats." When his hand held up, Woods yelled, "Yes, that's poker!" The railbirds and everyone on the other side of the ballroom playing in cash games all stood up and cheered. Woods ended up standing up on a chair and screaming, "I'm gonna win this thing."

9:53pm... Recent Elimination: Todd Bui's 9-9 lost to A-J and he took 48th place. Ayaz Mahmood took 47th after he was sent to the rail by Orlando Maldonado. We're down to 46 players. Action is hand for hand as we are officially on the money bubble. I know that Otis is excited. He loves the bubble.

9:59pm... Recent Elimination: Fabrcie Soulier, who entered today as the chipleader, was just eliminated in 46th place. He is the "Bubble Boy" or as they say in France... garcon de bulle.

10:00pm... We're in the money and every player almost doubled up their investment. Here's the payout list:
1st: $2,391,550
2nd: $1,162,560
3rd: $571,315
4th: $338,803
5th: $265,728
6th: $199,296
7th: $166,080
8th: $132,864
9th: $99,648
10th-12th: $73,075
13th-15th: $59,789
16th-18th: $46,505
19th-27th: $38,849
28th-36th: $26,573
37th-45th: $19,930
10:06pm... James Woods has plenty of fans including Change 100. "If James Woods makes the final table, I'll grab his junk and blow lines with him. I know how much he loves blondes."

10:10pm... Recent Elimination: And that's all she wrote, baby! Scotty Nguyen is out when his A-K lost to John Luu's 9-9. He won $19,930.

10:30pm... Recent Eliminations: Brad Berman and Ugur Marangos are both out. They won $19,930 each. 42 left.

10:33pm... Prop Bet Update: I got another prop bet with BJ. We have until Midnight to settle this bet. I said there will be 34 players and under remaining and BJ has 35 or more left. Say tuned for this outcome.

10:45pm... Alan Goehring sucked out JC Tran on the river and cracked his A-A in the process with Q-J. Goehring rivered a straight. He took down a $670K pot.

10:53pm... Recent Elimination: Orlando "Don't call me Candy" Maldonado is out in 42nd place when his A-Q lost to K-10. He won $19,930.

11:00pm... Level 16 is over. Players are on a ten minute break. 41 left.

11:10pm... We're back from break. Level 17. Blinds are $4K/$8K with a $1K ante. James Woods has $395K ater he ran into K-K with A-J and lost a pot.
Top 10 Chipcounts:
1 Alan Goehring $1.04M
2 Kevan Casey $983K
3 Michael McClain $875K
4 Daniel Quach $710K
5 Jon Luu $687K
6 Juha Helppi $673K
7 Michael Woo $530K
8 Jon Kelley $506K
9 Brian McCann $475K
10 Mike Carson $425K
11:15pm... Recent Elimination: TJ Cloutier is out in 41st place when his pocket cowboys went Brokeback on him. JC Tran turned a set with 8-8. TJ's backers were hoping for a much better showing. Luckily, there are no craps tables at Commerce so TJ's $19,930 winnings are safe... for now. Although, there is always Mexican Poker downstairs.

11:15pm... Recent Elimination: Julian Hart was busted in 40th place by Amir Vahedi. He won $19,930.

11:35pm... Recent Elimination: David Plastik lost a coinflip to Per Ummer. His 10-10 lost to A-K and Plastik finished in 39th place. He won $19,930.

11:44pm... I just spoke to John Gale and he told me he was card dead the entire day. When I said there were still 2.5 hours left, he joked, "I can't take another hour of this!"

11:52pm... Bill Gazes crippled Allen Cunningham, who has less than 60K in chips. Bill then took a pot off of Mike Carson.

11:53pm... Recent Elimination: Gabe Thaler was eliminated in 38th place when he ran into A-A. He won $19,930. Play is hand for hand until the next player is busted.

12:00am... BJ 2, Pauly 0. I lost my second prop bet of the day when only 37 players remain as of Midnight. We have one more going... the final number of players at the end of today! He has 28 and above, and I have 27 and below.

12:15am... Recent Elimination: Ed Moncada is out in 37th place when his A-7 lost to Mike Carson's Q-9. He won $19,930.
Today's Money Winners:
45. Scotty Nguyen $19,930
44. Brad Berman $19,930
43. Ugur Marangos $19,930
42. Orlando Maldanado $19,930
41. TJ Cloutier $19,930
40. Julian Hart $19,930
39. David Plastik $19,930
38. Gabe Thaler $19,930
37. Ed Moncada $19,930
12:30am.... Recent Eliminations: Allen Cunningham (36th) and Jim Bechtel (35th) are both out and won $26,573 each. Cunningham's A-9 lost to David Chiu's A-2 when Chiu flopped trip 2s.

12:40am... Heather from Poker Wire told me that Brian McCann is the chipleader with over 1M after he scooped a pot against Mike Carson. James Woods in 20th in chips with $315K.
Top 5 Chipcounts:
1 Brian McCann $1M
2 Alan Goehring $820K
3 David Chiu $800K
4 Juha Helppi $790K
12:45am... Yes, I've been drinking a lot of water and iced tea and pissing a ton.
Last 5 Pros I Took a Piss Next To:
1. TJ Cloutier
2. Juha Helppi
3. Humberto Brenes
4. Chip Jett
5. Blair Rodman
12:48am... Recent Eliminations: Mike Carson is out in 34th place after Chris Bigler busted him. Carson won $26,573. Can Kim Hua is out in 33rd. He flopped two pair with A-10, but his opponent flopped a set of Queens. Can Kim Hua won $26,573.

12:50am... 32 left. Players are on a break.

1:00am... Players are back. We're on Level 18, the final level of play for tonight. Blinds are $5K/10K with a $1K ante.

1:18am... Recent Eliminations: Danny Alaei (30th), Jim Miller (31st place), and Amir Vahedi (32nd place) are out. They all won $26,573. Vahedi's 9-9 did not win a race against Per Ummer's A-K.

1:25am... Recent Eliminations: Raed Abukartomy is out 29th place. He won $26,573. 28 players remain and we're hand for hand. James Woods is 18th in chips with $370K.
Top 5 Chipcounts:
1 Brian McCann $940K
2 Alan Goehring $860K
3 David Chiu $820K
4 Jon Kelley $810K
5 Per Ummer $800K
1:55am... Nothing to report. We've been laying hand for hand for a half hour. The railbirds are several people deep. I have 33 minutes left to win my prop bet. One player must bust in order for me to win.

2:05am... Recent Elimination: We're down to 3 tables and 27 players after Jeff Rine was eliminated in 28th place. He won $26,573.
Recent Money Winners:
36. Allen Cunningham $26,573
35. Jim Betchel $26,573
34. Mike Carson $26,573
33. Can Kim Hua $26,573
32. Amir Vahedi $26,573
31. Jim Miller $26,573
30. Danny Alaei $26,573
29. Raed Abukartomy $26,573
28. Jeff Rine $26,573
We're down to 27 players and action is over for today. Play will resume at 3:30pm on Sunday. See you then.

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