Thursday, July 13, 2006

WSOP $50K HORSE Day 1 Update, Mexican Wedding Crashers, and How I Won Grubby's Car

It had been a good few days for me on the gambling front. And I'm not talking about donking off a buy-in at the PLO tables on Party Poker when my baby boat ran into a bigger boat. With all the bloggers in town this past weekend, I expected to piss away chips at the tables with Hammer and SMTL bluffs. Instead I saved a few bucks and drank heavily instead. I found myself giving my money away at the blackjack and Pai Gow tables. The only place I won was at the craps tables, where I doubled up in ten minutes and left.

partypokerad.gifI had been betting France heavily in the World Cup coming into the final match against Italy. I saw how awful the Italians played against the Americans, yet they shutdown every other team they played. The logical choice was to bet the Italians. And on the same day as Max Pescatori won his first WSOP bracelet in $2,500 NL, the Italians came through in the clutch for me in the form of penalty kicks.

I overheard that members of the French poker media moaning about the loss in the media room. The Brits like Jen from Blonde Poker were loving every second of their misery. All of England rooted for the Italians I was told. Makes sense to me.

Two days after Italy won, I caught a break when I hit a parlay in the All Star Game. I took the American League and the UNDER which was set at 10.5. Thanks to Joaquin's buddy Michael Young's two-out triple in the top of the ninth, the American League jumped ahead 3-2. Yankees closer Mo Rivera took the mound in the bottom of the ninth to seal the victory. Turning two bills into two dimes in two weeks make me feel like Balco Barry.... I can hit anything thrown at me for a homerun. Of course, I got slaughtered in the earlier rounds of the World Cup and my ass was brutally kicked during March Madness. I'm still stuck for the year sports betting.

On Wednesday I discovered that I won the mother of all prop bets with Grubby. I bet him that Pirates of the Caribbean II would gross more in its opening weekend than Spiderman. The results were in. Pirates 132m, Spiderman 114m.

The prize? Grubby's car.

I'm now the owner of a 1991 baby blue Geo Metro. It's got 120K miles and the AC is shotty. It has a tape deck and comes with jumper cables, a free gift courtesy of one of the Station Casinos. I'll be picking up "mad skirts" with Grubby's pimpmobile after I turn in my convertible for the Geo Metro.

On Wednesday, I ate dinner with Otis, Wil, and Michalski at the Tilted Kilt, a Scottish Pub at the Rio. We drank pints and gambled on commercials that were on the numerous plasma TVs. We'd bet on what commercial would appear after the break. I picked food. Otis had soft drinks and Wil had cars. I had no idea what Michalski was picking. I left dinner up from wagering on whether or not the first thing you see in a commercial is a human, animal, machine, or an establishing shot.

Normally I like the waitresses at the Tilted Kilt since they were very short kilts and tight white shirts. They almost look like Catholic high school girls which is a devastating turn on. Our waitress had a pot belly the size of mine and was a let down. Her boobs were the size of globes but that couldn't make up for the exposed stretch marks on the sides of her waist.

Those pre-teen dance girls have ended their annual dance competition. It was always surreal to see eight and ten year olds dressed up like 17 year olds in very skimpy outfits and make up caked on their faces like a paint on a Van Gogh canvas. I said it last year... "with all these degenerate gamblers lurking in the hallways with the dance competition going on simultaneously, its and Amber Alert waiting to happen."

The dancers have been replaced by conventioneers. The RV convention is in town and I thought about taking a nap in one of the floor samples. I also spotted a Mariachi band standing around in the hallway. Whenever I see Mariachi band I think one thing.... "Mexican wedding." I crashed the Ochoa/Galvez wedding on Tuesday when I snuck in a side door. I ate some dessert and posed for pictures with several inebriated members of the grooms' family. Michalski and I will be starring in a new indie film called, "Las Vegas Wedding and Bar Mitzvah Crashers."

Speaking of pree-teens.... have you seen the girls that are working the Ultimate Bet hospitality suite? Where did they get these high school girls? At the mall? They barely look 16. When I brought this up to a fellow member of the media, he/she said with a wry grin, "Scotty Nguyen likes them young."

* * * * *

The tournament of tournaments began on Wednesday at the WSOP. The $50K HORSE event was considered by some poker purists to be the unofficial world championship where for two days the world's best players would engage in rotating levels of different games while finishing off the final table on Day 3 in a NL Hold'em format. Without a doubt, the winner of the $50 HORSE event will be known as poker's best all around player.

With 50K in chips in play per person, this was the "big stack" tournament at this year's WSOP. 143 players entered. Word on the street was about 150-160 players would show up. I have no idea how many players won satellites to get in.

When play was completed on Day 1, only 14 players were eliminated, which means it's going to be an extremely long Day 2. Action will not end until we have 9 players left standing.

Blogger Dave Wong (aka Donkey Hunter) is still in the hunt. Check out his mini-update of the Horse event.

When action began on Wednesday, there were some tough tables where each table had multiple bracelet winners. Would you like to be seated at any of these tables? Here's an example:
Table 133: Phil Hellmuth, Jen Harman, Kristy Gazes, Steve Z, Victor Ramdin
Table 137: Greg Raymer, John Juanda, Phil Ivey, Cyndy Violette
Table 138: Layne Flack, Gabe Kaplan, Johnny Chan, Dewey Tomko, Robert Williamson, Mike Caro, Chad Brown
Table 139: Daniel Negreanu, Allen Kessler, Carlos Mortensen, TJ Cloutier, David Benyamine
Table 140: Todd Brunson, Erick Lindgren, Rodeen Talebi
Table 141: David Sklansky, Mickey Appleman, Brian Haveson, Bill Edler
Table 142: David Oppenheim, John D'Agostino, Howard Lederer, David Levi
Table 143: Jim Bechtel, Brett Jungblut, Nick Schulman, The Grinder, Ram Vaswani, Bob Feduniak
Table 144: James Van Alstyne, Chip Jett, Minh Ly, David Williams, Josh Arieh
Table 145: Jeff Lisandro. David Chiu, Huck Seed, Tuan Le, My Main Man Freddy Deeb
Table 148: Tony G, Patrik Antonius, Maureen Feduniak, Sam Farha
Table 149: Annie Duke, Erik Seidel,Thor Hansen, Devil Fish Ulliott, Gavin Smith
Table 150: Doyle Brunson, Scott Fischman, John Hennigan, Joe Awada, Paul Phillips
Table 151: Max Pescatori, Bill Chen, David Grey, Andy Bloch, Barry Greenstein, Chris Ferguson
Table 152: Mike Matusow, Mike Sextonm Jan Sorensen, Frank Kassela, Ralph Perry, Marcel Luske
Table 153: Ted Forrest, David Singer, Blair Rodman, Mike Wattel, Miami John Cernuto, Tim Phan, Joe Cassidy
Table 154: Rob Hollink, Dutch "Tool" Boyd, Toto Leonidas, Tony Bloom
Table 155: Shawn Sheikhan, Capt. Tom Franklin, Farzad Bonyadi, Allen Cunningham, Gus Hansen, Scotty Nguyen
Table 156: Dave Wong, Mark Gregorich, Ted Lawson, Chau Giang, Greg Mascio, Aaron Katz, Chip Reese
Elimianted on Day 1 were: Tim Phan, Farzad Bonyadi, Tad Jurgens, Bill Chen, Bob Feduniak, Tony G, Evan Sofer, Steve Diano, Hassan Habib, Scott Fischman, Tim Jackson, Layne Flack, and Arturo Diaz. The first player busted was Arturo Diaz.

Here are the Top 10 End of Day 1 chipcounts. Young guns Joe Cassiday and Patrik Antonius are at the topof the heap. Since I do not trust the stuck-up $10/hour interns doing the "official" live updates, these are unconfirmed and are probably be wrong. Alas, this is what I have:
Top 10 in Chips:
1 Joe Cassidy 168,700
2 Patrik Antonius136,200
3 Capt. Tom Franklin 125,000
4 Allen Cunningham 122,400
5 Matthew Glantz 119,300
6 Andy Bloch 113,200
7 Minh Ly 110,900
8 My Main Man Freddy Deeb 110,600
9 Chad Brown 110,100
10 Ram Vaswani 107,400

Notable Chipcounts:
11 Victor Ramdin 106,900
22 Ted Forrest 86,600
23 Mike Matusow 86,200
25 Chip Reese 84,100
27 Annie Duke 81,800
30 Jennifer Harman 79,800
34 GANK 72,900
37 John Juanda 70,500
38 Todd Brunson 70,000
42 David Williams 65,800
43 Phil Ivey 65,000
44 Max Pescatori 64,800
45 Jesus 64,100
48 Gavin Smith 62,100
49 Erick Lindgren 62,00
50 Erik Seidel 61,500
52 T.J. Cloutier 60,200
55 Gabe Kaplan 58,700
56 Mike Sexton 57,500
57 Phil Hellmuth 57,100
60 Doyle Brunson 54,000
61 Greg Raymer 53,300
66 Carlos Mortensen 51,000
78 Johnny Chan 42,900
87 Howard Lederer 37,500
94 Aaron Katz 34,000
95 Gus Hansen 32,500
96 Mike Caro 30,700
98 David Sklansky 30,200
101 Chau Giang 29,400
103 Sam Farha 27,700
110 Daniel Negreanu 25,100
112 Barry Greenstein 23,600
113 Paul Phillips 23,200
123 David Wong 13,200
Action resumes at Noon today at the Rio. Since I cannot do "live updates" I will post hourly updates on Day 2 of this event. I'm rooting for Carlos Mortensen. I picked him to win this before the 2006 WSOP began. He's already made two final tables. Let's hope he can make me look smart. Stay tuned.

* * * * *

You should be reading Poker Stars Blog featuring Otis and Wil Wheaton. Yes, Wil has been posting some of his best poker related material on the Poker Stars Blog since he penned Lying in Odessa. Take a peek.

* * * * *

$50K HORSE Updates

4:00pm... Recent Eliminations: David "Donkey Hunter" Wong is out. So is Johnny D'Ags when his A-10 lost to A-3. Gavin Smith and his K-J outflopped Miami John Cernuto's A-J who busted out.Also gone are: Jeff Freidman, Avi Freeman, 2005 WSOP bracelet winner Rafi Amit, Rob Hollnik, Tony Bloom, Eli Elezra, Sam Farha, Aaron Katz, Johnny Cham, David Grey, and Chau Giang.

4:20pm... Smoke break.

4:45pm... Back by popular demand!
Last 5 Pros I Pissed Next To:
1. David Singer
2. John D'Agostino
3. Huck Seed
4. Eskimo
5. Gus Hansen
5:00pm... Recent Eliminations: Nam Le, Cyndy Violette, Huck Seed and Daniel Negreanu are all out. Patrik Antonius jumped into the chip lead with 230K. Joe Cassidy is second with 188K. 103 players remain.

7:30pm... One of the perks of being Grubby's roommate is getting to partake in the free comps and fancy treatment at various Diamond Lounges in Las Vegas. They have one at the Rio and Grubby is a member. They have a private elevator roped off in a high limit slots area. Once they wave you by, you go up to the hidden Diamon Lounge where they serve free food and drinks. I ate a ham & cheese wrap, potato salad, pepper jack cheese with crackers, and several buffalo chicken wings. I'm on a diet and skipped dessert.

8:15pm... Instead of going to the Hooker Bar, I met Wil and Double As at the Tilted Kilt Pub. I watched them eat chicken wings as I knocked back SoCo. Paul Phillips joined us after he busted out of the Horse event. He's been playing Chinese Poker for $1K a point. Johnny Chan, Barry Greenstien's girlfriend and Phil Hellmuth were all playing Chinese Poker recently. Anyway, Phillips told me a great story about folding A-Qs to an UTG raise from Finnish boy-toy Patrik Antonious. Tuan Le three bet from the button. The flop was all rags but the turn was a Jack. The way Antonius had been betting tipped Phillips off that he had a set of Jacks. On the river Tuan Le three bet again. Antonius tought he had a junk hand and hit a gutshot straight with 6-8o or something like that. Tuan Le flipped over Ac-10c. He thought he had a flush but the turn was the Jack of spades... not the Jack of clubs like he thought. Tuan Le misread his hand and lost close to 25K on that pot.

9:00pm... Recent Eliminations: Paul Phillips, John Juanda, Ali Eslami, Shawn Sheikhan, Daniel Shak, Ray Dehkharghani, The Grinder, Phil Hellmuth, David Rheem, Gus Hansen, and Mike Caro. 66 players left with patrik Antonius the chipleader with over 300K.

11:00pm... Recent Eliminations: Matt Glantz, Mike Matusow, Chris Ferguson, Tony Cousineau, Ram Vaswani, Abe Mosseri, Mike Sexton, James Van Alstyne, Mark Gregorich, Allen Kessler, Nick Schulman, Mickey Appleman, David Benyamine, and Jen Harman. Ted Forrest jumped into the chiplead with Texas Dolly in 4th place.

12:00am... Recent Eliminations: Annie Duke, Chrs Smith, and Chris Reslock are out. David Singer and Gavin Smith are 1 and 2 in chips.
Updated chipcount:
1 David Singer 400K
2 Gavin Smith 375K
3 Ted Forrest 37K
4 Patrick Antonius 322K
5 John Hanson 250K
5 Joe Cassidy 250K
5 Doyle Brunson 250K
5 Minh Ly 250K
9 Cong Do 240K
10 Allen Cunningham 233K
11 TJ Cloutier 230K
12 Chip Reese 225K
12 Phil Ivey 225K
12 Jim Bechtel 225K
15 Howard Lederer 205K
16 Rafael Perry 200K
17 Thor Hansen 190K
18 Roger McDow 180K
19 Matt Hawrilenko 176K
20 Robert Williamson 175K
20 Blair Rodman 175K
22 David Levi 160K
22 Roy Thung 160K
24 Annand Ramdin 155K
25 Erik Seidel 143K
26 Illya Trincher 135K
27 Josh Arieh 125K
28 Dewey Tomko 121K
29 Andy Bloch 115K
30 Capt. Tom Franklin 97K
31 Tom Hufnagle 90K
32 Kassem Deeb 85K
33 Tom Weideman 80K
34 Erick Lindgren 70K
35 Chad Brown 64K
36 Greg Mascio 57K
37 Barry Greenstein 55K
38 Rep Porter 50K
39 Sherkhan Farnood 48K
40 Tuan Le 40K
41 Frank Kassela 34K
12:30am... Recent Eliminations: Frank Kassella and Chad Brown. 38 left and David Singer is the chipleader.

1:20am... Smoke break. It's 4:20 on the East Coast.

1:40am... Recent Eliminations: Howard Lederer, Victor Ramdin, and Erick Lindgren are all out. 34 players remain and I'm still at the Rio! Patrik Antonius is still in the lead with over 600K. Doyle Brunson is in last place and the short stack with 25K. He's got cameras and mics on him ready to record his bust out hand.

1:45am... Congrats to Clare Miller! She won event #19 $1K NL Seniors event. She took home $247,814 for first place and a bracelet. In last year's Seniors event, Paul McKinney became the oldest player to ever win a bracelet.

1:55am... Recent Eliminations: Josh Arieh, John Hanson, and Tom Weideman.

2:05am... Doyle Brunson made a run and won a $140K pot from Patrik Antonius in Razz. There are thirty players remaining as the tournament has reached its 12th hour of the day. We have a new chipleader... Chip Reese.
Top 5 chipcount:
1 Chip Reese 560K
1 Patrik Antonius 560K
3 David Singer 520K
4 David Levi 435K
5 Barry Greenstein 375K
2:45am... Recent Eliminations: My Main Man Freddy Deeb, Capt. Tom Franklin, and Rep Porter are gone. 27 players remain while David Singer & Chip Reese are the chipleaders.

Chip Reese
(Photo courtesy of Flipchip's 2006 WSOP Photos)

3:15am... Recent Eliminations: Tuan Le, Greg Mascio, and Thor Hansen. 23 players remain. Several members of the "Big Game" are still alive including chipleader Chip Reese, Doyle Brunson, Barry Greenstien, Phil Ivey, and Ted Forrest.

4:00am... Recent Eliminations: Erik Seidel is out and I can barely keep my eyes open. Roy Thung and Roger McDow were sent to the rail via a bad beat from Gavin Smith. His two pair with 9-8o beat out A-J and K-J. Gavin leaped into third palce in chips behind Jim Betchel and David Singer.

4:20am... Smoke break.

4:45am... Good morning East Coasters! Some of my friends are popping onto IM before they go to work or while they are at work. Right now, there are 18 players left. Jim Betchel is the chipleader as Gavin Smith jumped ahead to second place. Phil Ivey was on life support and won a few pots. He's 12/18 at this point.
Top 5 Chipcounts:
1 Jim Bechtel 890K
2 Gavin Smith 750K
3 David Singer 745K
4 Patrik Antonius 500K
5 Chip Reese 485K
5:20am... We're on Level 33 and playing Razz with 15K/30K blinds. Antes are 4K and bring in is 6K. Doesn't that make you want to shoot yourself? Allen Cunningham has been holding onto a short stack while Jim Betchel flirted with $1M in chip.

6:00am... Recent Elimination: Allen Cunningham came in 18th place.

7:30am... Recent Elimination: Sorry for the lack of updates. I fell asleep in my car. Bad idea. It was like sleeping in an oven. While I was passed out asweating my balls off, Matt Hawrilenko (17th) and Cuong Do (16th place) both busted out. Jim Betchel is the chipleader with 1.1M. 15 players remain. Been at the Rio for 19 hours. Someone shoot me. Is anyone still reading this?

8:00am.... Recent Elimination: Joe Cassidy and Ralph Perry are out.

8:45am... Recent Elimination: Barry Greenstien was busted by his buddy Chip Reese. Gavin Smith headed to the rail when he ran into Dewey Tomko's A-A. My friends in NYC are going to lunch now, while I'm still at work. Doyle jumped up to thirs with over 1M. Chip Reese is back in the chip lead with 1.5M.

9:20am... Recent Elimination: After 19 hours of play in the longest day of a poker tournament that I ever experienced, Robert Williamson busted out in 10th place. He's the TV bubble boy. The remaining layers look exhasuted. I dunnp how Texas Dolly held up. He's the man. I needed a nap. I wonder if he caught some ZZZZs at the table?
$50K HORSE Final Table Chipcounts (courtesy of Poker Wire):
1 Chip Reese 1.756M
2 Doyle Brunson 1.227M
3 Andy Bloch 934K
4 Phil Ivey 885K
5 Jim Bechtel 841K
6 David Singer 745K
7 Dewey Tomko 438K
8 TJ Cloutier 351K
9 Patrik Antonius 13K

Final Table Payouts:
1st $1,716,000
2nd $1,029,600
3rd $617,760
4th $549,120
5th $480,480
6th $411,840
7th $343,200
8th $274,560
9th $205,920
So Chip Reese is the chipleader with Patrik Antonius the short stack after he got crippled by Chip Reese. What a final table, eh? The players will return at 9pm to find out who's the best all around player at the 2006 WSOP. See you then. After almost 22 hours after I arrived at the Rio, I'm ready to go home.

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