If Comic Book Guy from The Simpsons was covering Day 1b of the WSOP, he'd say, "Worst WSOP ever."
That might be a little harsh, but Day 1b was pretty boring compared to preliminary events this year and previous Main Events. I can't explain what was wrong. I described Day 1a as "poker on Valium". Well Day 1b was uneventful. The action was slow and the room was rather quiet. I get more excited picking out socks or watching Simpsons reruns.
A quick scan of the celebrities in the crowd will tell you about how hard we were struggling to cover interesting people. Aside from talk-show host Montel Williams and former Saturday Night Live Weekend Update Anchor Norm MacDonald, there were not too many celebs in the field.
Of course, Sam Simon from the Simpsons was playing. He's the executive producer and at one time was married to Jen Tilly. "That's how she got all her money," said Grubby.
And I was geeked about Todd Philips. He directed the Phish documentary Bittersweet Motel and several other films such as Road Trip, Starsky and Hutch, and one of my favorites... Old School.
The day started on time with Penn & Teller (actually just Penn, since Teller never talks) saying, "Shuffle up and deal!"
That's when I got two reports from our field reporters. The first one was that Jamie Gold's mother was playing. The other was that some chick had her tits hanging out on Table #2. I checked out the boobs and were amazed. Felipe took a photo and added it to the PokerNews gallery. Her titage spillage tantalized most of the players at her table and the majority of media reps. There was not a minute that went by in the first level where someone stopped by the media desk and said, "Did you see the tits on table #2?"
Even Nolan Dalla stopped by and said, "Did you see that? They are on the table."
Photo courtesy of Flipchip
I wandered over to Jane Gold's table. She was seated at one of the tables in the "high rollers" cash game area. She drew Annie Duke's table, who showed up a few minutes late. Anyway, I chatted with Jamie Gold for a few minutes and he told me that I needed to watch out for his boy Jimmy D.
"I've been working with him the whole year," Gold said. "He's going to win the entire thing."
I also saw Action Bob, Tony G, Charlie Shoten, Bill Chen, Scotty Nguyen, Action Dan Harrington, and Isabelle Mercier on my first pass of the room.
The most inspirational story involved Jason Holbrook. Tom Sexton stumbled upon his table and Change100 wrote the story up on Poker News:
Close your eyes and imagine playing the Main Event of the WSOP... completely in the dark. Jason Holbrook is doing it right now. Watching Holbrook play poker is an amazing feat to behold. He is blind and has a female assistant who sits beside him to whisper in his ear what his hole cards are and give him a running commentary on the flop, turn, and river. Beyond that, she relates what each player is doing in hands he is not involved in so he can get an understanding of the flow of the game. Holbrook is focused, with his head down, and is listening to everything, with his chips lined up in front of them, organized by denomination. Our hats are off to one of the Main Event's most amazing players.There were a few former main event champions in the field including Joe Hachem, Scotty Nguyen, Tom McEvoy, and Berry Johnston. If you didn't know, at one time Berry Johnston held the record for most WSOP cashes. He des hold an amazing stat... he's cashed at least one time in the WSOP (includes all events) since 1982.
Montel Williams made a run. At one point he was the chipleader before he doubled up a couple of short stacks at his table. He had his trustworthy bodyguard on the rail and he hung out with us at the media desk for a while. Tom Sexton gave me some good background info on him and I wrote up a post for Poker News. During some background research I stumbled upon an interesting bit. Williams was diagnosed with MS and he's used medicinal marijuana to help him ease the pain. Once Change100 found out, she got excited.
"I wonder if he's holding right now?" she said.
The big story of the day surrounded David Singer's controversial elimination. Here's what went down according to the Poker Geek. On a flop of Ks-7s-4d, a player bet 3K and Singer pushed all in for 9,450. His opponent went into the tank and his cell phone rang. The player removed the phone from his pocket and turned it off. According to surveillance cameras, the phone rang a second time and the player pulled the phone out and shut it off without looking at it. Singer motioned to the dealer to do something about it. That's when the player called.
"His hand should be dead," Singer said as he requested a ruling from the floor.
She deferred to the TD who said that his hand would be considered live. Singer requested a higher ruling and said, "I have a drawing hand here and I obviously don't want him to be allowed to call."
His request was denied and action resumed. Singer flipped over 5s-4s while his opponent showed Kd-Jd. Singer was behind with bottom pair and a flush draw. The turn was the 10h and the river was the 8d. His hand did not hold up as he headed to the rail.
He requested a refund and called Jack Effel who refused to over rule the decision. Singer mentioned that he was going to take the matter up with the NGC.
Check out his interview with Poker News:
Click here to view the David Singer video via RSS and Bloglines
Anyway, by the time Day 1b ended there were around 595 players left.
Bouncin Round the Room on Day 1b...
I heard from a solid source that 5,700 players registered for the Main Event. Day 1a had 1,287. Day 1b had 1,545. That means almost three more thousand players will be playing over the next two days. There are still satellites running and it might actually go over 6,000 players. We'll find out by Monday.
I bumped into Snoopy and Homer from Blonde Poker. They said that their colleague Jen Mason was playing in Day 1b. I forgot that she had won a prop bet with Roland de Wolfe and won $10K for her entry. After the EPT Championships in Monte Carlo, de Wolfe bet Jen that she could not quit smoking cold turkey. In one healthy prop bet, Jen quit smoking and won her seat into the WSOP. Sadly, Jen did not make it to Day 2 and busted out shortly before 2am.
"Nobody gives a shit about the Irish," said Tom Murphy from Antes Up. "And we don't give a shit about anyone else." That's another classic line from Murphy. When I asked Murphy about Andy Black's implosion on Day 1a where he lost all his chips at the tail end of the day, he said that plenty of Irish players were flaming Black in their forums. Best line? "Did Buddha secretly tell Andy to go fuckin' nuts?"
Otis had a minor freak out in the media room during the afternoon. He sent me a text asking me when we were going to start drinking. I had to put it off until dinner time, but I went over to check up on him. He didn't look too good and was on media room tilt. The place was crowded and too small to house all the media reps. One loud person's voice can echo over the entire room. Add two or three and it becomes unbearable. I had several moments last year when the chatter got so loud that I had to go out into the service hallway to write.
Whoever entered Action Bob's chip count made an error. They gave him 144K instead of 14K. When I realized he was the chipleader (second place was 109K), I jumped up and ran over to his table, where he was laughing with everyone else at his table. I looked at his stack and he only had 14K. He told me that his wife called and found out he was the chipleader. He got text messages from friends who were pumped that he was the chipleader. A few minutes earlier, one player at his table noticed the scrolling chipcounts and they said, "Who's this Action Bob?" He told them that was him but obviously the stacks did not match. Action Bob was a good sport about it and had a hearty laugh with everyone at his table. Obviously, when I got back to my laptop, I corrected his chipcount.
Michele Lewis mentioned something about a Jesus Ferguson look-a-like who was hanging out at the Rio and taking photos with fans who thought it was him.
Steve Hall told me that Harrah's removed "Dunk a Stripper" from the Expo. He was disappointed. He also mentioned that there could be no more pole dancing by the strippers in there either. Well shit, why fucking go?
I spotted internet legend Annette_15 walking around the Amazon ballroom. When I pointed the Norwegian online poker whiz out to Change100, she said, "I thought she was in high school? How is she allowed in the casino." She snuck in.
Here's a conversation that took place at 3:01am...
Pauly: Hey look, hookers! (as I pointed at three scantily clad women)Deanna Duzier. Get to know that name. She's the actress who busted Jen Harman. She had plenty of media surrounding her table, after all she was some nice eye candy. She admitted that it was her first tournament. She was moved to Capt. Tom's table as his thought drifted towards late-night POB action.
PokerWire Jen: Them? No way. That's what the Milwaukee's Best girls do at night. Actually, one of them is too fat to be a Milwaukee's Best girl. They might just be regular hookers.
Photo courtesy of Flipchip
Tilted Kilt Stella Count: 62
Last 5 Pros I Pissed Next To...
1. Juha Helppi
3. David Levi
4. Sammy Farha
5. Bill Chen
Don't forget to check out LasVegasVegas for Flipchip's WSOP photos and there's the Poker Prof's cool 2007 WSOP Info page.
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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