It's 9:50am and I arrived at the media room at the Rio to get ready for one of the biggest moments in poker history. Someone is going to win $12 million and become the next poker superstar. That person's life is going to change as every degenerate gambler on the planet is going to group that person together with like likes of Moneymaker, Raymer, Hachem, Brunson, Chan, Hellmuth, Jesus, and Ungar.
Quick Links and Stats:There is one big named pro left... Allen Cunningham. Flipchip picked him to win befre the WSOP began and I told him, "You're fuckin' crazy. No way is a pro going to win this year."
Flipchip's 2006 WSOP Photos
My Sponsor: Paradise Poker
Remaining Players: 9
Chipleader: Jamie "Ari" Gold $26.5M
Avg. Stack: $9.7M
Number of Entries: 8,773
Total Prize Money: $82,512,162
Harrah's Cut: $5,217,838
1 - $12,000,000
2 - $6,102,499
3 - $4,123,310
4 - $3,628,513
5 - $3,216,182
6 - $2,803,851
7 - $2,391,520
8 - $1,979,189
9 - $1,566,858
Final Table Starting Chip Counts:
1 Jamie Gold (Malibu, CA) 26.5M
2 Allen Cunningham (Las Vegas, NV)17.7M
3 Erik Friberg (Stockholm, Sweden) 11.82M
4 Richard Lee (San Antonio, TX) 9.725M
5 Paul Wasicka (Westiminster, CO) 7.97M
6 Doug Kim (Hartsdale, NY) 6.77M
7 Rhett Butler (Rockville, MD) 4.815M
8 Michael Binger (Atherton, CA) 3.14M
9 Dan Nassif (St. Louis, MO) 2.84M
Flipchip shrugged his shoulders and smiled, "We'll find out soon enough."
That soon enough is now. After 46 days of non-stop poker we've arrived at the single most over-hyped moment in poker. ESPN is even televising this on PPV without hole cams. Sure someone is going to win $12 million tonight, but that's just another story inside of a full book I'm gonna write someday about the 2006 WSOP.
It's been a wild ride the past six weeks with players getting robbed in the parking lot, media reps getting screwed by the man, dealers quitting and walking out on the spot, players bitchin and moaning about the juice, models and strippers running rampant in the hallways, Harrah's selling out the WSOP to the soul-suckers in corporate America, crashing a Mexican Wedding, Otis eating Keno crayons, monkeys trying to get into the WSOP, Bill Chen winning two bracelets, a 21 year-old kid Jeff Madsen coming out of nowhere to win 2 as well, Phil Hellmuth geting his 10th (after three tries), Andy Bloch and Chip Reese playing that marathon heads-up battle for the $50K HORSE bracelet, Joe Hachem getting kicked in the junk on three of the worst beats I've ever seen, scantily clad waitresses at the Tilted Kilt, Michalski and I comparing bald spots, Foiled Coup and I checking out all the hot chicks in the hospitality suites, finding the Tao of Poker's Blonde of the Day and Pothead of the Day, my buddies Stormy, Tuscaloosa Johnny and Ryan cashing in the main event, the online poker sites bidding ridiculous sums of money to get their shirts and hats on final table players, Liz Liu Tuesdays, Irish players threatening to boycott CardPlayer and ESPN, European pros wicked pissed at the lack of respect and coverage, sweating Greg Raymer for 4.5 straight hours, "I love Wicked Chops Poker!", checking out Jen Leo and John Caldwell's mansion, groping Amy Calistri in the hallways, playing "Clown or Cowboy?" with Otis, watching Andy Black play cash games at 3am, Texas Dolly surrounded by a bevy of Doyle's Room girls, getting stopped in the hallway by fans asking me, "Where's the hooker bar?", Wil Wheaton's wife pointing out hookers to me at the Hooker Bar, losing a $100 prop bet with Change100 because I couldn't eat a plate of veggies, meeting Jeff Pulver, drinking screwdrivers with Otis at 2:30pm, eating cheeseburgers with CJ, driving to work every morning with CC, hearing Mad's amazing story that she found out regarding the two brothers who found their long lost father through PokerStars, talking books with Storms, Jen from Blobde Poker taking a nap underneath one of the tables in the media room, plugging Jay Greenspan's new book, getting stories and gossip from Tim Lavalli, calming down Spaceman after he wanted to drop kick one of his co-workers, passing out at a Pai Gow table, and pissing on the hood of a Honda (thanks for reminding me April). And lastly, I'm still waiting for Snoopy to get me a chocolate milkshake!
And yes, there's more. But that's for another time.
Thanks to everyone who linked up the Tao of Poker's coverage over the past six weeks. I appreciate the pimpage and support, especially your kind emails and comments and text messages and phone calls of encouragement.
11:11am... I'm here to pimp a few things, like For Peyton. There's new stuff up for auction.
Antonio Esfandiari Photo11:30am... The final table starts at 2pm and spectators are already lining up to get in to watch. The media room is filled with people I don't know and have never seen before. They decided to show up on the last day and eat all the free food in the media room.
Michael Gracz Photo
Erick Lindgren Photo
T.J. Cloutier Photo
Carlos Mortensen Photo
Daniel Negreanu Photo
David Williams Photo
Layne Flack Jersey and Photo
Kenna James Cowboy Hat
Card Player Package
Hellmuth DVD Package
11:35am... I decided to leave just the last two previous posts up on the Tao of Poker in order for the page to load faster for some of you. If you want to read more WSOP coverage, click on my August 2006, July 2006, and June 2006 archives.
11:40am... Take a peek at something from my buddy, a former lawyer turned NYC comedian Charles Star. He introduced me to the Blue Parrot homegame a few years ago. He has a video clip of his comic routine on his MySpace page. Take a peek at his cornrows photos.
12:01pm... WSOP Final Table Bios: Let's meet the final table players!
Seat 1: Richard Lee (San Antonio, TX) $11.82M12:50pm... I wasted 15 minutes of my life watching Jeffrey Pollak's press conference when he talked about how great of a job he did this year. When asked about all the gripes about Harrah's and the WSOP he said, "We can't please all of the people, all of the time." We should have interviewed the stack of $12 million. That's why we're here... for the cash. Not to see some suit talk about the WSOP.
Lee is 55 years old. He has the hottest railbirds out of all the final table players. His wife and his daughters are all beautiful and I expect them to get a lot of camera time. He's originally from Hawaii and this is his second WSOP. He has never cashed before aside from the 2006 main event. His best career finish was 12th at the 2005 Grand Slam of Poker in LA. He's been retired for eight years and his wife was sick of him moping around the house, so he took up poker. His hobby landed him at the final table. His deceased father taught him how to play when he was a young kid. He admitted, "My father would be smiling on me right now."
Seat 2: Erik Friberg (Stockholm, Sweden) $9.605M
Friberg is a 23 year old online pro and part of the Scandi invasion. His home country of Sweden is the most successful country in the percentage of players who made the money in the Main Event. Friberg is the 2005 Swedish Poker Challenge Champion. His nickname is "Lilar" which roughly translated in Swedish is "gambler." Emma, one of the writers from Sweden, said that he's writing a poker blog on Expressen, a nightly Swedish newspaper. "The citizens of Sweden are hoping for a victory," she said.
Seat 3: Paul Wasicka (Westminster, CO) $7.97M
The former bartender and restaurant manager was born in Dallas, TX and now resides in Colorado. He's been playing for two years and took 14th place in a NL event earlier this year.
Seat 4: Dan Nassif (St. Louis, MO) $2.6M
Nassif is an ad exec from St. Louis who took his summer vacation to play in the WSOP. He had to ask his boss at the Riverfront Times for a few extra days off. He banned his friends and family from sweating him at the WSOP unless he made the final table. I guess they'll be there today.
Seat 5: Allen Cunningham (Las Vegas, NV) $17.77M
The 29 year-old Cunningham is the most successful player at the final table. This is his 15th WSOP final table. He's won 4 bracelets: Stud (2001), Deuce-to-Seven Lowball (2002), and NL (2005 and 2006). He's part of the original "young guns of poker" including Phil Ivey, Daniel Negreanu, Layne Flack, and John Juanda. Cunningham is one of the nicest guys you will ever meet in a game full of liars and assholes. He's Flipchip's pick to win it all. I'm rooting for AC today.
Seat 6: Michael Binger (Atherton, CA) $3.14M
The 29 year old is a part-time pro who wants to be a theoretical physicist. He recently earned a PhD from Stanford. This is his second WSOP. He took 6th at the $1,500 NL event and won over $100K a few weeks ago.
Seat 7: Doug Kim (Hartsdale, NY) $6.77M
Doug Kim is a 22 year old recent Duke grad who will be working in the financial district in NYC. He's roomies and friends with Jason Strasser, who's one of the up and coming online pros. Even his best friend said, "I never thought he'd make it this far. What a trip." This is Doug's first ever cash in any live tournament. He's a Yankees fan too.
Seat 8: Jamie Gold (Malibu, CA) $25.6M
The Hollyweird agent to the stars (James Gandolfini and Felicity Huffman) is Johnny Chan's agent too. He's a TV producer and this is his 15th cash in a major tournament. He's been the chipleader the last three days and is trying to win this for his ailing father who has Lou Gehrig's Disease.
James "Ari" Gold
Photo courtesy of Flipchip
Seat 9: Rhett Butler (Rockville, MS) $4.815
Besides the weird name, Butler is a 44-year old insurance agent from Maryland. He's married with three kids and his friends bought him into the WSOP. He's been paying poker for more than two decades and this is his first live tournament.
1:00pm... Michael Craig said that there's $2.41M in extra chips on the final table. Where did they come from? Some are dead stacks like Minh Nguyen's snafu. Some are color ups. And some are chips stolen from other tournaments and introduced into the main event.
1:20pm... Bouncin Round the Media Room: Michael Craig is sitting with us in media row. Two dudes from Aerosmith are in the media room practicing the National Anthem. Too bad it's not Joe Perry or Steven Tyler. It's the other two guys in the band. I asked them if they were going to segue into an accapella Sweet Emotion. They looked at me like I was talking in Sputnik.
1:50pm... Bouncin Round the Media Room: Johnny Chan wandered into the media room. He said, "Hey Captain!" to Michael Craig.
2:01pm... Jack Effel announced all the players. Paul Wasicka had some of the loudest railbirds. There are Swedish fans rooting on Erik Friberg waving Sweden's flag. The bleachers are packed with fans, family members, and spectators. The media is stuck in the back as photogrpahers were snapping away photos. I must say I got goose bumps when they introduced the final players. For the first time at the WSOP this year, the room is filled with energy and electricty. It still doesn't compare to The Horseshoe last year, but the Amazon room is alive.
2:12pm... Cards are in the air. Joe Hachem said, "Shuffle up and deal." We're on Level 32. Blinds are $80K/$160K with $20K antes. There's 1:40 left in this level.
2:29pm... Recent Elimination: On the fifth hand of the final table, Jamie Gold opened with a raise/ Nassif popped him for a re-raise of 700K and Gold flat called. Dan Nassif moved all in on the flop with A-K on a board of 2-3-5. Gold quickly called with 2-2 after he flopped a set. Nassif caught an ace on the turn, and had outs for a Wheel chop but didn't get help on the river. Nassif is out in 9th place. Nassif won $1,566,858. Nassif should have pushed all in preflop because Gold would have folded his 2-2... so Gold said. Jamie Gold busts another player.
2:40pm... Doug Kim moved all in on the river on a board of 7-J-2-5-Q. And Gold folded.
2:45pm... I miss BJ Nemeth's hand to hand coverage of the final table that he did last year. No one has done it better since then.
3:05pm... Updated Chipcount: Gold is back over $30M.
Jamie Gold $31.6M3:10pm... Richard Lee took a pot off Jamie Gold with Q-J. Lee flopped trips and the turn and river were both aces to give Lee a boat. Both players checked the turn and Lee called Gold's 600K bet on the river. Gold mucked his cards. The pot was well over $2.5M.
Allen Cunningham $16.8M
Richard Lee $10M
Erik Friberg $9M
Doug Kim $6.6M
Paul Wasicka $6.5M
Rhett Butler $4.4M
Michael Binger $3M
3:20pm... Read this funny piece called Mayor of the Tilted Kilt that Michael Craig put up on his blog.
3:25pm... On the 22nd hand of the final table, on a board of 8-9-9-5-A, Allen Cunningham took a huge hit when he got outkicked by Jamie Gold. Cunningham had 9-7, while Gold had 10-9. That was the largest pot of the tournament worth almost 12M, not 8M as CardPlayer reported. Cunningham slipped to 3rd in chips with 12M. Richard Lee is now second with 16M.
3:40pm... Doug Kim is wearing an away grey NY Yankees jersey. The number on the back? 42. That's Mariano Rivera's number, the Yankees closer who's nickname is The Hammer of God.
3:55pm... Jamie Gold took a pot off of Erik Friberg when he turned a Broadway straight with Kd-8d. On the river, Friberg check-called a 1.8M bet from Gold. In disgust, Friberg mucked his cards. Gold took about 2M off of Friberg on that hand.
4:00pm... Updated Chipcount:
1 Jamie Gold 35M4:10pm... Players are on a 20 minute break.
2 Richard Lee 15.9M
3 Allen Cunningham 13M
4 Doug Kim 7.3M
5 Erik Friberg 5.9M
6 Paul Wasicka 5.1M
7 Rhett Butler 4.9M
8 Michael Binger 3.5M
4:20pm... Smoke break.
4:35pm... We're on Level 33. Blinds are $100K/$200K with 30K antes.
4:45pm... Jamie Gold lost a $6M plus pot to Richard Lee's Ac-Jx. Lee turned a pair of Jacks and missed a nut flush draw. But his pair held up.
4:50pm... I apologize for the delay in updates. This was the cause:Blogger is temporarily unavailable due to planned maintenance. This maintenance will last 45 minutes from 4 pm to 4:45 pm (PDT). Comments have been restored.
5:10pm... In the last twenty minutes of action, Gold picked up a pot from Friberg. Cunningham won a pot worth $4M plus off of Richard Lee. Cunningham is back into second place in the chipcount.
5:15pm... Bouncin Round the Media Room: There's one douchebag sitting near by us in the media room. I think calling him a douche bag is an insult to all douche bags. Anyway, he's annoying and I was already on serious work tilt due to technical difficulties so his crap is hard to tolerate. Wil and I walked outside to cool off in the scorching Nevada sun. As we walked back inside through a service entrances, we were stopped by some of the biggest security gaurds I've seen. They were carrying several silver breif cases with Milwaukee's Beast logos on it with several Harrah's suits following behind them. I assumed they were a part of the faux money presentation and were getting ready to bring it inside. "You can't be here!" they barked. "Why not? It's not really $12 million." I said as I shrugged my shoulders and cut past them. They use fake TV money or throw a $100 bill around a stack of $1 bills.
5:20pm... Recent Elimination: Erik Friberg is out on the 57th hand of the final table. Both players were all in preflop. Jamie Gold had Q-Q and Erik Friberg flipped over J-J. The flop was 2-3-7 rainbow and Friberg was still behind. The turn was a 10 and Friberg was down to two outs and needed a Jack to fall in order to stay alive. The river was a Queen, as Gold won with a useless set. He's up to 40M. Friberg busted out in 8th. The young Swede won $1,979,189. "I'm pretty disappointed," Friberg said. "I'll probably gamble away my winnings," he admitted.
Updated Chipcount:5:35pm... Michael Binger doubled through Allen Cuningham. Binger raised UTG with A-10s and Allen Cunningham called with A-Qs. The flop was Q-J-8 and all the money went in the pot when Binger moved all in with a gutshot. Cunningham quickly called and was ahead with TPTK, but Binger caught a Broadway straight on the turn when a King fell. The river didn't help Cunningham. That had put Richard Lee back into second in chips. Cunningham slipped to third with 13M as Binger jumped up to 6M.
1 Jamie Gold 37M
2 Richard Lee 20.1M
3 Allen Cunningham 14.4M
4 Doug Kim 7.8M
5 Rhett Butler 4.5M
6 Paul Wasicka 3.5M
7 Michael Binger 3M
5:38pm.... Paul Wasicka moved all in from the button and Mike Binger pushed all in. Binger had A-9o vs. Wasicka's A-J. Binger must have thought Wasicka was on a button steal. The flop was A-A-8. The turn was a 5 and the river was a 10. Wasicka doubled up and Binger was crippled. Binger is back in the basement as the short stack while Wasicka jumped up to 5th in chips.
6:00pm... CC told me that two-time bracelet winner Jeff Madsen got in trouble for using a media badge. He used a badge from Poker Royalty to get inside the ropes and got busted.
6:03pm... Paul Wasicka won a big pot and jumped up to 4th in chips. Kim raised $2.1M and Wasicka pushed all in. Kim got caught with his pants down and mucked.
Updated chipcount:6:16pm... Talk about a shitty break. Mike Binger and his short stack moved all in with K-K and was called by Jamie Gold who had K-K. They chopped the pot.
1 Jamie Gold $35.5M
2 Richard Lee $21.28M
3 Allen Cunningham $13M
4 Paul Wasicka $9.1M
5 Doug Kim $5.6M
6 Rhett Butler $3.8M
7 Michael Binger $2.7M
6:23pm... Jamie Gold mucked A-10 preflop to a raise from Allen Cunningham that was flat called by Doug Kim. Gold's hand was accidently flashed to the players. The flop was K-Q-J.
6:30pm... Recent Elimination: Doug Kim busted out when his 9-9 ran into Paul Wasicka's Q-Q. On a flop of 4-3-4, Wasicka bet $1M and Kim pushed all in. Wasicka called with his Hiltons, which held up. Doug Kim won $2,391,520 for 7th place. Paul Wasicka is on fire. He's 3rd in chips with $14 million. Jamie Gold still leads with $35M. "I tried to play my best making reads and adjusting to the blind structure. I didn't have a set game plan," Kim said in his exit interview. "I play 3-6 on Poker Stars. That's where I got most of my experience."
6:45pm... Flipchip is live photo blogging! Stop by and check out his stuff.
Check out Flip Chip's final table photos
6:55pm... Players are on a 20 minute break.
Updated Chipcounts:7:15pm... During the break, 10 WSOP champions were on the final table stage including Joe Hachem, Greg Raymer, Jesus Ferguson, Tom McEvoy, Berry Johnston, Scotty Nguyen, Johnny Chan, Doyle Brunson, Phil Hellmuth, and Brad Daugherty.
1 Jamie Gold $37.4M
2 Richard Lee $17.03M
3 Allen Cunningham $15.23M
4 Paul Wasicka $14,87M
5 Rhett Butler $3.365M
6Michael Binger $2.28M
7:25pm... We're on Level 34. Blinds are $120K/$240K with $40K antes.
7:33pm... Michael Binger doubled through Allen Cunningham. Binger had A-6 against Cunningham's 2-2. Binger flopped two pair. Gold is still the chipleader with almost 40M.
7:45pm... I'm looking for a sublet for a couple of months in NYC. Does anyone have any leads? If so, shoot me an email.
7:55pm... Allen Cunningham shifted gears. He's been raising almost every pot picking up the blinds. He didn't play too many hands in the first level today.
7:58pm... We passed the 100 hand mark. Jamie Gold showed a monster bluff with 2-3o with four face cards on the board.
Updated Chipcount:8:10pm... On a board of 8-8-Q-3-2, Allen Cunningham made a great call with just A-9 against Jamie Gold. He said "I don't have a very good hand." Then Cunningham quickly called with just Ace high.
1. Jamie Gold $41M
2. Richard Lee $17.54M
3. Allen Cunningham $13.4M
4. Paul Wasicka $10.5M
5. Rhett Butler $4.3M
6. Michael Binger $3.64M
8:22pm... Michael Binger moved all in with his shortstack of $2.85M with A-Qs. Allen Cunningham called with Q-J. The flop was all clubs, which gave Binger a flush draw, but he was still ahead. The turn and river were blanks and Binger doubled up. He now has over $7M. Cunningham has $13.7M and is in 3rd place behind Richard Lee's $18M and Jamie Gold's $37.5M.
8:51pm... Recent Elimination: On Hand 122, Richard Lee is out in 6th place in one of the largest pots of the entire tournament. Jamie Gold limped at the cutoff and Richard Lee raised from the small blind to $1.2M. Gold re-raised to $4M and Lee pushed all in over the top with J-J. Gold quickly called with Q-Q. The flop was K-3-K. The turn was a 6 and the rover was a 10. Gold's Hiltons held up. Lee won $2,803,851 for 6th place. Gold now has over $52M in chips. Lee played stellar poker the past few days and it's sad that he went on on a cooler hand like J-J vs. Q-Q. He should have folded his Jacks after the limp/re-raise from Gold. Lee gave Gold more ammo. That's the second time that Gold won with Hiltons against Jacks. He busted Erik Friberg with the same hand. After the hand, Gold dropped his pants, bent over and pulled the horseshoe out of his ass once again and showed it to the crowd. "I'm disappointed, but I play to win," Lee admitted after he busted out. "That's how I play."
9:00pm... Players are on a dinner break until 10:30pm. I'm going for food and/or a smoke break with Change100.
Chipcount courtesy of Poker Wire:10:35pm... There are 28 minutes left in the current level with 120K/240K blinds and 40K antes.
1 Jamie Gold 51.26M
2 Paul Wasicka 14.56M
3 Allen Cunningham 13.68M
4 Michael Binger 7.44M
5 Rhett Butler 3.235M
10:53pm... Rhett Butler moved all in against Paul Wasicka. Butler had A-10 vs. Wasicka's 8-8. Butler doubled up when a 10 flopped. He waited until he had a hand and finally made a move. He won a coinflip and is still alive with over $6M in chips. Allen Cunningham is second in chips with $13.68M. Wasicka slipped to third with $11.2M.
11:00pm... Stephen Noh told me that a bunch of pros were playing high stakes Chinese Poker in the stands. Included in the menagerie of degenrates were Mike Matusow, John Juanda, and Phil Hellmuth.
11:20pm... Paul Wasicka doubled through Jamie Gold. On a flop of K-Q-x, Wasicka moved all in with K-10 and Jamie Gold called with A-K. The turn was a 10 and asicka took the lead. The river didn't help Gold and Wasicka doubled up to over $18M. "Now if we believe in fate, luck has finally turned its back on Jamie Gold," Michael Craig said to Change100 and myself after the hand.
11:30pm... I snapped this photo of the first place prize. I love that Johnny Chan is on his cell in the background.
What $12 million looks like
11:35pm... We're on Level 35. Blinds are 150K/300K with $50K antes.
Updated Chipcount:11:45pm... On a board of A-8-2-6-2, Jamie Gold moved all in on the river against Allen Cunningham and took down a $9M pot.
Jamie Gold $44.075M
Paul Wasicka $18M
Allen Cunningham $12.8M
Michael Binger $6,9M
Rhett Butler $6.5M
11:50pm... Mike Binger and Jamie Gold chopped a pot with K-10.
11:55pm... Tells, tells, tells. The pros are picking them up. Hellmuth said that he knows about Jamie Gold's tell regarding how he handles his stack when he's got a hand or bluffing. Johnny Chan said he picked up on a tell against Allen Cunningham. According to Steve Rosenbloom at ESPN, Chan told Jamie Gold at dinner break, "I gave him a hint," Chan said. "Anytime Allen bets and puts his eyes down, he's got it. Pay attention to that."
12:03am... Allen Cunningham picked up more chips when he won a $6M pot by pushing all in during a three-way pot on a flop of 8-6-2.
12:10am... Flipchips posted more WSOP final table photos. Take a peek.
12:15am... Binger's making a move. Michael Binger moved all in K-K against Paul Wasicka's K-Q. Binger had Wasicka dominated, but the flop was Q-7-3. The turn was an ace and the river was a 2. Binger doubled up and has 17M to put him second in chips behind Jamie Gold's 47M. Wasicka slipped to 12.5M. Cunningham has under 10M and is in 4th place.
12:25am... Michael Craig just brought us Full Tilt M&Ms. The red ones make you play loose. The white ones make you horny.
12:30am... Paul Wasicka outkicked Jamie Gold with K-Js vs. Q-Js. He won a $4M pot.
12:35am... Rhett Butler just showed the Hammer.
12:43am... "This tournament will be lasting until Noon," said Mike Matusow. Phil Gordon set the line at 6am. Matusow said he'd bet Gordon.
12:45am... Recent Elimination: Rhett Butler moved all in and Allen Cunningham and Jamie Gold both called. Gold bet out on the flop of J-6-5 and Cunningham folded. Gold showed K-J and Butler had 4-4. Butler's hand did not improve and he took 5th place. Gold busted another player. Yikes. Butler won $3,216,182. "I was happy to get two callers," Rhett said. "I had to make a move and 4-4 was the best hand I saw in a while."
Updated Chipcount:12:55am... Bouncin Round the Room: I pissed next to Jamie Gold's entire entourage.
1 Jamie Gold 49.5M
2 Michael Binger 14.3M
3 Paul Wasicka 12.5M
4 Allen Cunningham 9.5M
1:11am... Allen Cunningham moved all in and took down a nice sized pot against Jamie Gold.
1:15am... Gold has 51M while Cunningham and Binger have 13M each and Wasicka has around 10M.
1:20am... Paul Wasicka just re-raised all in with K-Q and took down a pot with a bluff on a board of A-J-9-A.
1:27am... Disgruntled Supervisors: I got an email from someone claiming to be a "disgruntled Harrah's supervisor." They spilled the beans on the behind the scenes action. Here it is:
Dear Pauly,Thanks for the email. I wanted to give a perspective from one of the suits at the WSOP. Hope this helps.
Interesting to note as I read the various blogs about unhappy dealers that the floor staff or "suits" are never mentioned.
Things you may not know:
1) All the suits were paid an hourly wage varying from $25 to $37.50 depending on your level of responsibility.
2) We were NOT ALLOWED to accept personal tokes. Any tokes given to us had to be put in the DEALERS toke pool. Between myself and one other supervisor, we dropped over $12,000 (12K) in the dealer toke pool.
3) The suits are NOT part of the toke pool. Rio officials justified the exclusion from the toke pool by saying "there will be as much overtime as you want to work". Then after the series started mandated days off and less or no overtime depending on your level of responsibility.
4) I verified that the expected down rate (or 1/2 hour period) is currently around $33 per down or $66 per hour. Add the $5.25 wage and and they are up to $71.25 per hour for Main Event hours. The average down rate previous varied from $13 to $25 or $26 to $50 per hour.
We knew what we were getting into or so we thought. But I think it is important to get facts out if they are to be talked about. Of the 5 MILLION that Rio got from the Main Event 1.25% (as I understand) goes to the DEALERS and DEALERS only. Any side tokes will go 100% to the dealers.
It is rumored that a final table player has promised a large toke to the dealers and floor staff if he were to win. While I hope that he does in fact win and the dealers benefit, I also hope he is either assured in writing that a toke will be distributed to floor staff if he desires or leaves none at all for that part of the team.
I do not begrudge the dealers the money they have earned during the WSOP, for I have worked my way up through the box and into a position of responsibility, and knew what I was going into, for this was not my first WSOP. I only wanted facts to be facts if they were out there.
P.S. I would like to add that we were aware of weak links in the team, and although I was not in a position to make personnel changes, those of us that knew what we were doing tried to make the WSOP experience as pleasant as possible. Many improvements need to be made for next year, in many areas.
1:35am... Players are on a break. Jamie Gold is still the chipleader.
2:00am... We're on Level 35. Blinds are 200K/400K with $50K antes. Alan Cunningham needs to make a move and pick up chips this level. With 800K in the pot, these pots are not small. He's the shortstack.
Updated Chipcount:2:03am... Cunningham picked up a small pot.
1 Jamie Gold 47.5M
2 Paul Wasicka 19M
3 Michael Binger 15.4M
4 Allen Cunningham 7.6M
2:19am... Recent Elimination: As the final table hit the 12 hour mark, Allen Cunningham pushed all in with 10-10 on Hand # 208. Jamie Gold called with K-J. The flop was K-A-8 and Gold took the lead. The turn was a 7 and the river was a 3. Cunningham won $3,628,513 for 4th place. Gold busted yet another player. Three remain and the last named pro is out of the 2006 WSOP.
Updated chipcount:3:05am... Recent Elimination: Michael Binger busted out in 3rd place on Hand #229. Guess who busted him? Jamie Gold. Guess how? Suckout. Gold limped on the button and Binger raised 1.5M from his big blind. Gold flat called. Gold picked up an OESD on a flop of 10-6-5. Binger bets $3.5M and Gold moved all in. Binger called with A-10s. The turn was the 7which gave Gold his straight. Binger won $4,123,310 for third place. Gold is way ahead of Paul Wasicka in chips almost 7 to 1.
1 Jamie Gold 48.675M
2 Paul Wasicka 17M
3 Michael Binger 14.8M
Updated Chipcount:3:25am... Good morning East Coasters. We're playing heads up between Jamie Gold and Paul Wasicka. Gold busted like 2,372 overal players in the main event, and busted every single player since the final three tables began. OK, I'm exaggerating a tad. But Gold has been busting guys left and right ever since he took over the chiplead several days ago. He's got a massive advantage heads up against Paul Wasicka who flew under the radar for most of the day. Let's hope this goes quick.
1 Jamie Gold 75M
2 Paul Wasicka 11M
3:40am... Recent Elimination: Jamie Gold busted Paul Wasicka. We have a new WSOP Champion. Gold limped and Paul Wasicka checked his big blind option. On a flop of Qc-8h-5h, Wasicka bet 1.5 million and Gold moved all in. Wasicka called with 10-10. Gold showed Q-9 aka "Tha Gapped Toothed Hooker." The turn was an ace and a 4. Gold's Q-9 held up and he became the 2006 WSOP Champion winning $12 million. Paul Wasicka finished in second place and won $6,102,499.
"I couldn't have done this without the support of the people in my life," Gold said as he was nearly in tears. "I'm a very needy person. And they helped me out a lot over the last few days getting me water and massages and blueberries."
Gold called his father who has ALS. He was sleeping and Gold left a message.
"I hope he hears that I won. I wanted to make him proud," Gold continued.
Yes, a Hollyweird agent is the new world champion. That's it for now. Thanks to everyone for the support and checking in. Flipchip will have winner's photos and I'll have a recap soon. Congrats to Jamie Gold.