Bright lights. Puerile city. I'm numb to it all by now. The buzzing slot machines. The cocktail waitresses jacked up on valium. The disgruntled dealers chainsmoking outside. I pass all of them on my way to work and don't even blink.
There are 45 players left in the WSOP championship. That's all I care about at this point. If you gave any of the remaining players a knife, they'd happily slit the throats of their tablemates. I would for $12 million. I'd do it for a lot less. Heck, Otis ate two Lupis-ridden Keno crayons for $400. I'm sure I could find someone at the Rio who would kill one of your co-workers for roughly the same price.
As Michalski succinctly said, "I know a Vietnamese guy who will take care of your problems for $1,500. They are more expensive that the Russians. But they do a much cleaner job."
People forget that underneath the flashing lights of fabricated Las Vegas, the underbelly of society operates in the shadows. The cops out here are trigger happy. They shoot first and ask questions later. Gangbangers running crystal meth roam freely in North Las Vegas and shoot each other every hour on the hour. The skinny crack whores blantanly stroll along Tropicana Ave. near the location of the Redneck Riviera. There are hundreds of immigrants for hire that will install a sprinkler system in your yard or brutally murder anyone on your shitlist.
And on top of all that depravity, the WSOP has exploded into a money making machine. The players are not seeing any of it. The prize pool was generated by themselves, minus a small fee of $5.2 million that Harrah's takes... for what I have no clue. All I know is that there's Milwaukee's Best and Party Poker and Corum Watches banners all over the place, which reminds me that poker is big business, and a bunch of suits are sitting on huge piles of money, while the dealers with two kids working 12-16 hours a day are getting stiffed. Everyday the cycle continues.
The hallways at the Rio are filled with sunburnt tourists snapping photos of leggy models hired by online poker sites. I wonder what BoDog's model budget is? They are blurring the lines of prostitution and flirting with the underage sex business. Ultimate Bet got in trouble because they hired 16 year old models to work their hospitality suite. Even degenerates like myself and Foiled Coup had to question their ethics on that one. This city is filled with tweakers and pedophiles, and most of them bought into the WSOP.
UB hired 16 year olds to wear skimpy clothing and yes, they are the same company that threw millions of dollars at Phil Hellmuth to be their pitch man, so it shouldn't be a surprise that they'd hire teenage prostitutes to pimp their shit.
The double digit IQ models roam the hallways using their sexuality (and hard as rock nipples due to the frigid AC int he Rio) so you will go home and whack off to their tight asses or oversized breasts, before you sign up for an account at the online site of the day and piss away your paycheck overvaluing TPTK against a chain-smoking donkey from Fresno who chased a gutshot to the river.
Sex sells. And sex and gambling is a lethal combination. I should know. I'm addicted to both.
The whoring goes on in the hallways while the poker goes on inside the Amazon ballroom. That's been overlooked. Some pros like Humberto Brenes or Allen Cunningham and random newbies are playing the best poker of their lives. But you won't hear about it. That's where you see the results of checkbook journalism. Sure the suits want you to come and cover the WSOP, but not too close so that you actually report what's going on. The Europeans players are wicked pissed. They are being ignored by the official media. The middle tiered pros are overlooked. And Asian poker players are ignored unless you happen to have tits.
We do our best under the circumstances. Check out PokerStars Blog. Otis put together a superteam of writers, journalists, and reporters for their blog. And we're kicking ass without the same access as exclusive media outlets. And we're 1/10 of the size of them.
Corporate America corrupted poker. The WSOP has been tainted like the slutty girl on your freshman hall dorm with a severe case of the clap. But we're horny losers with self-esteem issues and fuck her anyway. The thrill, the rush, and the high far outweighs the long term consequences.
Someday all of this insanity is going to end. But for now, I'm caught up in the maelstrom of the WSOP for a few more days.
Day 6 is schedule to last until 27 players remain. But Harrah's has a habit of changing things on the fly, without telling the players anything until the last minute.
Quick Links and Stats:Humberto Brenes and Allen Cunningham are the biggest pros still left and are near the bottom of the chipcount list. Flipchip picked Cunningham to go all the way before the main event began. His pick still has chips, but he needs to make a run if he wants to make it to Day 7. Online pro, Eric "Rizen" Lynch is 19th in chips. While a fuckin' Hollyweird agent (who represents Tony Soprano) is sitting with the chiplead for the second day in a row. Will one of the Scandis like Thorson or Friberg catch him? Or can Rizen make a run? Or will Humberto, the Costa Rican shark go on a feeding frenzy? Or will the mild-mannered Cunningham show the world why he's the most underrated player in poker?
Flipchip's 2006 WSOP Photos
Remaining Players: 45
Chipleader: Jamie "Ari" Gold $7.33M
Avg. Stack: $1.9M
Number of Entries: 8,773
Total Prize Money: $82,512,162
Harrah's Cut: $5,217,838
Top 10 Chipcounts:
1 Jamie Gold (Malibu, CA) 7.33M
2 Erik Friberg (Stockholm, Sweden) 5.905M
3 William Thorsson (Sweden) 3.545M
4 Rhett Butler (Rockville, MD) 3.21M
5 Kevin Aaronson (Mission Viejo, CA) 3.19M
6 Ricki Nielsen (Coppenhagen, Denmark) 3.17M
7 Siddharth Jain (LA, CA) 3.09M
8 Michael Binger (atherton, CA) 3.045M
9 Jeffrey Lisandro (Salerno, Italy) 2.995M
10 James Routos (Seattle, WA) 2.775M
11 Richard Lee 2.35M
12 David Einhorn 2.34M
13 Robert Betts 2.235M
14 Andrew Schreibman 2.2M
15 Dan Schmiech 2.155M
16 Paul Wasicka 2.055M
17 Lee Kort 2.005M
18 John Magill 1.955M
19 Eric "Rizen" Lynch 1.94M
20 Rob Roseman 1.845M
21 Mark Garner 1.81M
22 Mitch Schock 1.785M
23 Kevin O'Donnell 1.6M
23 Prahlad Friedman 1.6M
25 Mikael Thuritz 1.5M
26 Paul Raeburn 1.385M
27 Eric Molina 1.36M
28 Doug Kim 1.335M
29 Marc Friedmann 1.315M
30 WeiKai Chang 1.295M
31 Allen Cunningham 1.29M
32 Brian Hansen 1.23M
33 Rob Berryman 1.15M
34 Cuong Do 1.115M
35 Dustin Holmes 1.1M
36 Fred Goldberg 1.08M
37 Kyle Bowker 885K
38 Sirious Jamshidi 845K
39 John Lee 805K
40 Richard Wyrick 800K
41 Humberto Brenes 565K
42 Luke Chung 560K
43 Leif Force 510K
44 Dan Nassif 495K
45 Lowell Kim 350K
Stay tuned for updates.
11:05am... Thanks to everyone who has linked up the Tao of Poker over the last few weeks, directing readers to check out my half-baked WSOP coverage. Many many thanks to you cool folks. And special thanks to Maudie for making the cool banner that everyone put up ont heir blogs! Lastly, go check out my boys at Wicked Chops Poker. They make my day everyday.
11:10am... Bouncin Round the Media Room: The ESPN crew raided the food and drinks in the media room. One Swedish journalist shouted, "You can only be in here two at a time." He has a sense of humor. Those were the restrictions we had to endure over the last few days.
11:15am... Make sure you check out Flipchip's 2006 WSOP Photos. And Gavin Smith wants you to stop by For Peyton. There's new stuff up for auction.
11:30pm... The guys at Centrebet.com posted some odds. Here you go:
Jamie Gold 6/112:04pm... Cards are in the air.
Erik Friberg 8/1
Jeff Lisandro 10/1
Allen Cunningham 15/1
Parhlad Friedman 15/1
William Thorsson 15/1
12:08pm... Erik Friberg got a ten minute penalty for prematurely exposing his hand. He thought his opponent was all in, when in fact he just flat called Friberg's raise. Friberg flipped over J-J and played his hand up, the flop was A-A-J. And his opponent folded. The sad thing is that his opponent had and Ace and would have most liekly gone all in at some point. One of the floor guys gave Friberg a penalty. Allen Cunningham, who was at the table, thought that Friberg's penalty was uncalled for since it was an honest mistake. The floor guy disagreed. I think he wanted camera time. Friberg was a little irked and walked away talking to one of his Scandi buddies.
12:40pm... Recent Elimination: James Routos busts out in 45th place. His J-9 ran into A-7s.
12:50pm... Rob Berryman doubled up with Hilton against Ricki Nielson.
1:00pm... Recent Elimination: John Lee is out in 44th place. His A-8s ran into Andrew Schreibman's A-J.
1:15pm... Recent Elimination: Paul Raeburn took 43rd Place when Rizen busted him with trip 10s.
1:30pm... Recent Elimination: Brian Hansen headed to the rail when his 10s did not hold up against James "Ari" Gold's A-A.
1:50pm... Recent Elimination: Mikael Thuritz and his A-J finished in 41st when he got busted by Dan Nassif's A-K.
2:00pm... Recent Eliminations: Rob Betts, Marc Friedman, and WeiKai Chang. Gold's A-K bust Betts' A-J. Gold jumped over 13.5M and acted like a classes ass when he jumped around and danced for the cameras.
The following players get paid $247,399:2:05pm... 37 players are on a break. I apologize for the lack of updates. I had technical dificulties, plus my assignment today from Otis is to sweat a specific table with two PokerStars guys... Kyle Bowker (410K) and Michale Berryman (2.1M). That table also has William Thorson on it. I'm on the floor sweating those guys.
38 Rob Betts
39 Marc Friedman
40 WeiKai Chang
41 Mikael Thuritz
42 Brian Hansen
43 Paul Raeburn
44 John Lee
45 James Routos
2:10pm... Here are the payouts that might get hit today.
19-27th place: $494,7972:30pm... Recent Elimiantion: Kyle Bowker's 10-10 ran into Sirous Jamshidi's K-K. Bowker took 37th place. 36 players remain and there are 4 tables left.
28-36th place: $329,865
37-45th place: $247,399
2:40pm... Recent Elimiantion: Humberto Brenes is out in 36th place. Brenes made a move with 5-8s and a short stack and ran into Ricki Neilsen's K-K. 35 players left. Allen Cunningham is the biggest name pro left and he doubled up against Erik Friberg and has over $2M. Jamie "Ari" Gold is still on top with $13.2M.
3:00pm... Recent Elimiantion: The bustouts are coming quick. Ricki Nielsen was sent to the rail by Mike Binger in 35th place when he lost a race A-K to 6-6. Binger flopped a set too. Irishman John Magill's A-A held up to bust Andrew Schreibman in 34th place. 33 players remain. They are supposed to stop at 27, so we'll see.
3:15pm... Recent Elimiantion: Rob Berryman busted out in 33rd place.
3:30pm... Recent Elimiantion: Dan Schmeich finished in 32nd Place when his 10-10 ran into Fred Goldberg's K-K.
3:35pm... Rizen crippled after his A-A were craced by Erik Friberg's two pair.
3:45pm... Recent Elimiantion: Eric "Carebear" Molina is out in 31st place.
4:45pm... Recent Elimiantion: Cuong Do busted out in 30th place. Mitch Schock is out in 29th. Lowell Kim busted in 28th place. There are 27 left and play is suspended for the day.
The following players won $329,865:4:55pm... Picture of the Day: Tom Murphy from Antes Up sent me this photo. Cick to see an enlarged view.
28 Lowell Kim
29 Mitch Schock
30 Cuong Do
31 Eric Molina
32 Dan Schmeich
33 Rob Berryman
34 Andrew Schreibman
35 Mike Binger
36 Humberto Brenes
37 Kyle Bowker
Oh the irony...
5:00pm... Play is over for the day. Action will resume at Noon on Tuesday. There are 27 players remaining. Jamie "Ari" Gold is the chipleader.
End of Day 6 Chipcounts (courtesy of PokerWire):5:15pm... WSOP Photo Dump: Here's some pics that I took today. Click on them to see an enlarged view.
1 Jamie Gold 13M
2 Erik Friberg 7.735M
3 David Einhorn 6.905M
4 Rhett Butler 6.4M
5 Dan Nassif 5.43M
6 Richard Lee 5.275M
6 Michael Binger 5.275M
8 William Thorsson 3.765M
9 Jeffrey Lisandro 3.75M
10 Kevin Aaronson 3.67M
11 Doug Kim 3.595M
12 John Magill 3.275M
13 Allen Cunningham 2.65M
14 Leif Force 2.265M
15 Kevin O'Donnell 2.13M
16 Prahlad Friedman 1.85M
17 Eric Lynch 1.785M
18 Lee Kort 1.7M
19 Rob Roseman 1.685M
20 Fred Goldberg 1.611M
21 Dustin Holmes 1.21M
22 Sirious Jamshidi 1.19M
23 Luke Chung 1.1M
24 Paul Wasicka 700K
25 Siddharth Jain 675K
26 Mark Garner 635K
27 Richard Wyrick 570K
John Magill and Allen Cunningham
Sewdish chicks on the rail
The crush of the media
Chipleader Jamie "Ari" Gold