Tuesday, July 18, 2006

World Series of Bad Beats, Grubby's Last Supper, and Liz Lieu Tuesdays

We're at the halfway point of the 2006 WSOP and complaining about the lackluster official live coverage at Card Player or moaning about the slew of fuck ups from Harrah's is utterly futile. It's like bitching about a bad beat. Players, fans, dealers, media reps... we all got sucked out on and there's nothing any of us can do about it. I should start charging people $1 to hear their WSOP gripes. I could have bought into the main event by now.

The WSOP is like that crazy girl (or psychotic guy) you should have broken up with several months ago, but you're lonely, desperate, and horny... so you keep seeing her because the sex is outstanding and you lack the self-esteem to walk away. Alas, you have to put up with a ton of baggage and daily malfeasances because that's what happens when you get caught in an abusive relationship. As long as the individual players are addicted to the rush of gambling and have pipe dreams of winning the "big one" and crave the bright lights of the cameras... whoever is running the show can get away with almost anything.

Over the first 25 events, the total prize pool has been over $50 million. If Harrah's takes at least 5% in juice, that means they earned at least $2.5 million and that figure is more close to $3 million. For some events they've taken as much as 8% or 9%. For that much profit including the revenue generated by all the official sponsors (Milwaukee's Beast, Copag, ESPN, Party Poker, CP, Bluff)... you figured that the wealth would be shared with dealers, floor staff, and even among the players. They haven't been asking for much... aside from better communication, more consistent rulings on the floor, and new cards for every tournament.

How much heat would MLB get if they used old balls during the playoffs?

Yesterday was a clusterfuck which I experienced first hand as a player in event #26. When I bought in on Sunday afternoon, the event was PLO without rebuys. Before I went to bed, the event had been changed to PLO with rebuys. When I arrived at the Rio around 11am on Monday, I was told that the event was PLO without rebuys and there would be a new event at 4pm that would be PLO with rebuys. Signs were posted in the Rio, but none of the players knew if that would be a bracelet event or a "second chance" tournament.

When one member of the media attempted to attain clarification of the change in format for event #26, the staff attempted to lie and say that they never changed the event and instead added a 4pm event with rebuys. Yes, at the last second a new bracelet was added.

"They're also having a Crazy Pineapple bracelet event starting at Midnight," Tim Lavalli joked.

In consecutive days, management messed with the format of two tournaments. On Sunday, Harry Demetriou flew into a fit of rage and had to be escorted away by security guards. That's the equivalent of getting tossed from a baseball game before the first pitch is thrown because the umpires decided to make the game six innings instead of nine. Even Daniel Negreanu had a heated argument with TD Jack Effel after getting blinded off in a tournament that was going to be 10 or 11 handed when he signed up. Negreanu has vehemently spoken about the subpar live coverage and the Sunday fiasco on his video diary.

Clonie Gowen pointed out a problem with chips in the $2,500 short-handed event in her blog. European players are getting hassled over tax issues. Since the WSOP began, Gavin Smith got caught up in a bad floor decision with missing chips. Both Annie Duke and Andy Bloch made a stand over playing with old and marked cards. Then there's the dealers fiasco. I don't know how many dealers have actually quit, but I suspect their might be a mutiny on Wednesday when they get their next paycheck.

"They don't care about you," is the comment I'm hearing from the gloomy faces I pass in the halls everyday. This is coming from the media, the players, and the dealers.

For the remainder of this series, I have to accept what's going on and move forward even though everyday the situation seems to be getting worse. Despite all the drama behind the scenes, history is being made every day. No names are going to become big stars. Struggling pros are finally getting the recognition and respect they deserve and legends like Chip Reese are showing the entire poker world why they are considered the best at what they do. Those are the stories that I'm gonna try to focus on for the next two weeks.

Here's who won bracelets in the last week:
Event 15 $1,000 Ladies NL Hold'em: Mary Jones $236,094
Event 16 $10,000 PLO: Lee Watkinson $655,746
Event 17 $1,000 NL: Jon Friedberg $526,185
Event 18 $2,000 Pot-Limit Hold'em: Eric Kesselman $311,403
Event 19 $1,000 NL Seniors: Clare Miller $247,814
Event 20 $50,000 HORSE: Chip Reese $1,784,640
Event 21 $2,500 NL Shorthanded: Bill Chen $442,511
Event 22 $2,000 NL: Jeff Madsen $660,948
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Since today is Liz Lieu Tuesdays, here's one of my favorite pics of Liz. Thanks to Bill for pointing it out.

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Grubby is leaving Las Vegas today and headed to Chicago for his new job. I'm really sad since he's been one of my best friends in this crazy town. I'm gonna miss our trips to free buffets and strip clubs together.

We headed to Ellis Island for Grubby's Last Supper. In honor of the Poker Grub, we went to eat the $4.95 Sirloin special along utilizing a coupon for a 2 for 1 entree. We had to wait twenty minutes and I dropped $20 playing Mr. Cashman slots. In one of those ugly and sad reminders of the dark side of Las Vegas, a mother of four took her kids to dinner at Ellis Island (which is frequented by locals). While they waited for their table, the kids sat in chairs in front of the restaurant, while their mother dropped a few twenties into the nearest video slots machine. When we left, the kids were impatiently waiting by the front door as their mother threw another twenty into a video poker machine.

I'm sad that Grubby's leaving, but extremely happy that the depravity of Sin City that lurks behind every turn of the card or behind every row of slot machines whill no longer prey on his weaknesses. In the shadows underneath the blinding bright lights of the Strip, the nefarious disease of compulsive gambling vacuums every cent of money out of their victims pockets while sucking the bone marrow, blood, and soul out of anyone in its reach.

Sorry about that abrupt tangent, I went to "the dark place" this morning. I can't help it. I'm gonna miss a great friend who desperately needs to leave this city. Grubby left and I have a new roommate now. Change100 just moved into the apartment in Henderson, which means I can't leave the toilet seat up anymore.

Speaking of toilets...
Last 5 Members of the Media I Pissed Next To:
1. Scott Huff
2. Matt Law
3. Otis
4. Spaceman
5. John Caldwell
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Here are some random photos that I took over the past week:

Doyle's scooter

David Singer

Evil Otis


"You wanna go Pumpkinhead?"

Lou Krieger and Amy's Boobs

Foiled Coup's jailbait

For more photos stop by check out some of Flipchip's WSOP photos and sign up today and join the Poker Players Alliance.

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