"Do you know your final table is at 2pm?" asked Schecky.
1:45pm. I sat in the cafe at the Palms with Change100 finishing up breakfast. The bill arrived at the same time my cellphone rang.
"Awww, fuck," I said. "I'll be there in less than ten minutes."
I rushed to the final table and no one was there yet. The crew started to set up but no players were present. There was an issue with conflicting starting times. ESPN told me it began at 3pm. It was scheduled for 2pm and several of the players were confused with the starting time.
Alas, the event started at 3pm anyway. That gave me a few minutes to crank out short bios of the final table for Event #7 $5K PLO with Rebuys.
Humberto Brenes won $4.8 million in career tournament earnings. He also owns WSOP bracelets (2004 PLO Omaha and 2005 Limit Hold'em). Otis was at the final table with me sweating his team PokerStars player.
John Juanda has over $6.7 million in career tournament earnings. He also won three bracelets; PLO bracelet in 2003, Seven-Card Stud Hi/Lo in 2003, and Triple Draw in 2002.
Larry Jonsson from Malmoe, Sweden made a final table at PLO at the Aussie Millions a few years ago, that was won by Marcel Luske. He was the chipleader late in Day 1 and at the start of Day 2.
Minh Ly plays in the Big Game in Las Vegas. He's considered one of the best cash game players in the world and has $2.3 million in tournament earnings. He's also made three final tables at the WSOP including a 9th place finish at the 2002 Main Event.
The Devilfish is a former safe-cracker and jeweler from Hull, UK. He has $4.1 million in career tournament earnings. He won one bracelet at the WSOP and won a WPT event. The Devilfish started the final table as the chipleader. B
Burt Boutin is a local cash game specialist. He made four final tables at the WSOP with $1.2 million in career in earnings. He won a bracelet at Pot-Limit Hold'em in 2001 where he beat Devilfish heads-up to win. Mike Sexton, Men the Master, and Feddy Deeb were at that final table.
Robin Keston from London, England was playing in his 8th WSOP. He's one of three Europeans who made the final table.
Sirous Jamshidi, a car dealer Philly, finished 18th at the 2006 WSOP. Erik Cajelais from Montreal dropped out of school to play poker full time. He has over $700K in career tournament earnings.
Event #7 would be the first final table that I live-blogged for PokerNews and worldseriesofpoker.com. I had Leanne helping me with chipcounts. I'm never nervous at these events, but I admit that I felt a little extra pressure because the event was Pot-Limit Omaha. There were more cards in play to keep track of and make sure everything was accurate especially on the flop and turn when players pick up redraws. NL is a breeze to cover compared to the specialty games.
The first ten hands were tough to follow but I got a hang of everything and managed to log every single hand at the final table. The first player busted on Hand #2.
Devilfish lost his chipleader early on as two other named pros headed to the rail early on. Brenes and Juanda also busted early, Devilfish took out Brenes on Hand #16. Erik Cajelais did most of the dirty work. He busted Juanda on Hand #35, Minh Ly on Hand #56, and Devilfish on Hand #91.
Cajelais held a 3.2M to a 2.4M chiplead over Burt Boutin when they began heads-up play... which lasted only four hands.Most of the damage was done on the first hand. Both players limped preflop. With 160K in the pot, the flop was Ah-8s-2s, Boutin fired out 125K and Cajelais raised to 500K. Boutin re-raised an additional 1M. Cajelais moved all in and Boutin insta-called. Boutin flipped over As-Ks-Qh-6c for top pair with a nut flush draw. Cajelais tabled 8h-8d-5d-5c for a flopped set. The turn was the 3s and Boutin turned an Ace-high flush for the lead. Cajelais had outs for a boat but didn't get there. The river was the Qc and Boutin doubled up to 4.9M. Cajelais was knocked down to 760K. He was out three hands later as an excited Boutin won his second bracelet.
At dinner break, I headed to the Tilted Kilt and drank two beers with Bad Blood who came into town for a few days. I went back to the final table which lasted less than 15 minutes. I did a good deed and helped Nolan Dalla and Jeffrey Pollack figure out some background and bio information on Burt Boutin moments before the bracelet ceremony. I came through in the clutch for the bigwigs.
After the PLO final table, I covered some of the start of $5K Stud event. I have to cover Day 2 on Thursday and wanted to get familiar with the pro-heavy field.
(Photo courtesy of Flipchip)
I also checked out the $2K NL event. Brandi Hawbacker was in the event but I was too busy with other things to check out the Lindsay Lohan of poker.
You could easily spot her table with a slew of railbirds and media lurking in her section like sleazy paparazzi. She had a $1,200 Louis Vuitton bag underneath her chair (Change100 told me the retail price) and I must say she's a much more attractive person in real life. She has a certain energy about her that sucks you in. That's why women like her are dangerous.
"She's so crazy," said Benjo. "I'm trying to ignore her."
All eyes in the Amazon Ballroom were on Brandi. For several hours, nothing else existed as she was the center of the poker universe (much tot he chagrin to other pros particularly the female veterans) as everything she did was gobbled up by the voracious media covering the WSOP. Plenty of rumors and jokes swirled around the Rio and the media room about Jamie Gold's backing, David Sklanasky, and of course... Capt. Tom's Penis.
"You know the saying," mentioned Snake from Wicked Chops Poker. "Once a stripper, always a stripper."
The girl who had a brief stint as a dancer at Spearmint Rhino amassed chips early on and ended the day as one of the big stacks.
You can't just have one photo of Brandi Hawbaker
(Photo courtesy of Flipchip)
There will be a cool final table for Event #8 $1K NL with Rebuys. My friends Jan from 50 Outs along with Shaniac made the final table. They are shortstacks but anything can happen at a final table.
Event #8 Final Table Chipcounts:Yes, Vahedi has the monster stack while Mike Gracz is trying to win another bracelet. You can't count out real estate guru Tommy Vu.
1. Amir Vahedi - 1,360,000
2. Michael Gracz - 730,000
3. Dolph Arnold - 520,000
4. Michael Chu - 480,000
5. Barry Cales - 420,000
6. Tommy Vu - 344,000
7. Shane 'Shaniac' Schleger - 290,000
8. Robert Aron - 385,000
9. Jan Von Halle - 205,000
Check out this video with Shaniac...
Click here to view the Shaniac video
Bouncin' Round the Room on Day 6
I didn't have too many notes on Day 6. I spent the majority of my time writing intense coverage for the PLO final table and didn't get to float around as much as I have been. In the past week, I've cranked out 18K words on Tao of Poker. I'm due for a short due.
I got to shoot the shit with Kristy Gazes for a little bit on one of her breaks. She told me that I have to go visit New Zealand the next time I go to Australia (which might happen sooner than I think).
I ran into Bone Daddy while he was on break. I also bumped into Miami Don, Weak Player, and Fuel55 on my way to dinner. Fuel55 told me how he busted out of his event. It was a bad beat story and I made him give me $1.
Devilfish hit on Leanne when she was trying to count chips at the final table. "Do you want my phone number, Sweetie?" he asked.
Stella Count at Tilted Kilt: 9
I took a piss next to Jeffrey Pollack last night. He would have made my list but he's not a pro.
Last 5 Pros I Pissed Next to...
1. Andy Bloch (2 days in a row!)
2. Chad Brown
3. Scotty Nguyen
5. TJ Cloutier
Don't forget to check out LasVegasVegas for Flipchip's WSOP photos. And come back at the Tao of Poker for daily recaps and head over at PokerNews for live coverage and updates including chipcounts.
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