Sunday, June 29, 2008

WSOP Day 31 - Live Blog

By Pauly
Las Vegas, NV

At the end of today (more likely in the wee hours of Monday morning), the WSOP will crown its next HORSE Champion. Since the Main Event's final table will be delayed until November, the HORSE bracelet will be the most prestigious bracelet awarded this summer.

This is the last Sunday before the Main Event starts and five tournaments will be played out and two bracelets will be awarded.
Event #45 $50,000 HORSE - Final Table
Event #48 $2,000 NL - Final Table
Event #49 $1,500 NL - Day 2
Event #50 $10,000 PLO - Day 1
Event #51 $1,500 HORSE - Day 1
And here are both final tables for today...
Event #45 $50,000 HORSE - Final Table:
Seat 1: Matt Glantz (Philadelphia, PA) - 1,445,000
Seat 2: Huck Seed (Las Vegas, NV) - 1,200,000
Seat 3: Patrick Bueno (Paris, France) - 695,000
Seat 4: Lyle Berman (Minneapolis, MN) - 1,430,000
Seat 5: Scotty Nguyen (Las Vegas, NV) - 3,535,000
Seat 6: Barry Greenstein (Rancho Palos Verdes, CA) - 1,955,000
Seat 7: Michael DeMichele (Las Vegas, NV) - 905,000
Seat 8: Erick Lindgren (Las Vegas, NV) - 3,680,000

Event #48 $2,000 NL - Final Table:
Seat 1: Dan Rome (Millington, IL) - 650,000
Seat 2: Ryan D'Angelo (Blacksburg, VA) - 520,000
Seat 3: Marco Johnson (Walnut Creek, CA) - 2,135,000
Seat 4: Kirill Gerasimov (Moscow, Russia) - 1,145,000
Seat 5: Robert Brewer (Sherman Oaks, CA) - 1,050,000
Seat 6: Gabe Costner (Long Beach, MS) - 1,475,000
Seat 7: Alan Cutter (Vernon Hills, IL) - 535,000
Seat 8: Alexandre Gomes (Curitiba, Brazil) - 1,075,000
Seat 9: Sverre Sundbo (Oslo, Norway) - 685,000
* * * * *


Sitting in Scheckytown and watching Spain/Germany in the Euro Championships. Spain is up 1-0 at halftime. I have more money on Germany than Spain so I need a stellar second half from the Germans.

* * * * *


Well, the Germans screwed me and Spain won 1-0. Great effort from Spain and a lackluster effort from the Germans. That is my last sports bet until football season. At least Benjo won a big bet with Spain.

* * * * *


Event #45 50K HORSE: Cards in the air at 3:42pm.

Huck Seed arrived 26 minutes late. The night before ESPN told him he had to be at the Rio by 2:30pm for his interview. He said, "I'll be sleeping at that time."

It was the battle of the logos. Who is wearing what?
Seat 1: Matt Glantz - PokerStars and PokerRoad
Seat 2: Huck Seed - FullTilt
Seat 3: Patrick Bueno - NONE
Seat 4: Lyle Berman - WPT BootCamp, PokerRoad, All In
Seat 5: Scotty Nguyen - Full Tilt, WPT BootCamp, All In
Seat 6: Barry Greenstein - PokerStars and PokerRaod
Seat 7: Michael DeMichele - Ultimate Bet, All In, WPT Boot Camp, a patch for a poker agent
Seat 8: Erick Lindgren - Full Tilt, RawVegas, and Poker VT
Either Patrick Bueno is not for sale or his price is too high. He's the only player at the final table without a logo.

The new Chip Reese Trophy? Totally ugly. His cute daughter presented it. The only cool think about the trophy is that it is a perpetual award which will be housed at WSOP head quarters. The names of the winners will be engraved.

It arrived chipped and Jeffrey Pollack said that he felt it was fitting (since it's named after Chip Reese) so they decided to keep it.

"This is a really special tournament," said Doyle Brunson.

He also mentioned, "Chip Reese was the best player I ever played against."

Plenty of pros in the crowd including Joe Sebok, Doyle Brunson, Gavin Smith, Jeff Madsen, Todd Brunson, YellowSub, and Steve Wong. I have a feeling that YellowSub has a piece of Michael DeMichele.

* * * * *


Today's smoke break is sponsored by PokerStars!

* * * * *


Event #48 2K NL Final Table: Eight players left. Tony G's horse Kirill Gerasimov is in the middle of the pack.

Event #45 50K HORSE: 7 players remaining.

Recent elimination: Patrick Bueno

Big stacks: Erick Lindgren, Scotty Nguyen, Michael DeMichele

Shortstack: Huck Seed

Beuno is busto. I walked up to the final table and Benjo whispered, "Bueno is about to go out. He's shortstacked."

The French businessman is a semi-pro. He plays in the biggest cash game in Paris once a week. I guess you can say it's his weekly homegame.

Lindgren took our Beuno in Razz. Down to 7. Lindgren still out in front. More of his horses came to sweat him such as Chris Bell and Nordberg and Gavin Smith. Gavin Smith ripped open a bag of sunflower seeds. He then ordered two trays of cocktails and delivered a drink to Todd Brunson who is sweating Scotty Nguyen. I wonder if Todd has a piece of Scotty?

Phil Hellmuth came up and shook Michael DeMichele's hand since Hellmuth is a UB spokesman and DeMichele is branded with UB. Layne Flack also made an appearance.

Several dealers came by to sweat the final table on their break. After all, they are players and fans too. I heard a few say who they were secretly rooting for. Dealers root for guys based on their nice guy factor. If a pro is a dick, the dealers have very little respect for them. If they are nice guys like Erick Lindgren, you have a hordes of dealers cheering you on.

"Dealing the final table is fun, but stressful," one veteran dealer told me. "Sometimes dealing on TV makes things easier when you have difficult players. They tend to be softer and nicer on TV than when the cameras are not on them."

One example was John Bonetti. The saltiest poker player on the circuit passed away the other night. Max Shapiro wrote me an email at the end of last week and mentioned that Bonetti was in a hospice. Pokerati had the scoop on Bonetti's passing.

Another dealer told me that when news of Bonetti's death reached the dealer's break room, there was a standing ovation. Bonetti was historically known for being one of the worst dealer abusers in the game.

That same dealer told me the only other time he witnessed dealers cheering about a pro's death was with Puggy Pearson. He was in the middle of dealing an event when news got out that Puggy died. Everyone in the dealer's room went nuts and cheered on Puggy's death. He was notoriously known for being the worst dealer abuser in the history of poker.

"Puggy? He was just plain mean. He pissed on two female dealers. He used to wear steel-toed shoes and kick dealers underneath the table."

As Doyle Brunson wrote on his blog, "Puggy Pearson is also on my list. I remember at the old Dunes card room, he got into a fight with a lady dealer name Kim. When a male dealer jumped in to hold Pug back, Kim took off her high heel shoe and was beating Puggy on the head. We laughed about that for years."

Bottom line? Respect your dealers. They're people too.

* * * * *


Event #45 50K HORSE: 6 players remaining.

Recent bustout: Huck Seed

Big stacks: Scotty Nguyen, Erick Lindgren, and Matt Glantz

Shorties: Barry Greenstien

Event #48 2K NL Final Table: Kirill Gerasimov busted out in 6th place. Must have been his chic sunglasses that looked like something Michalski would wear. Down to 5.

Several poker agents are lurking around the final tables sweating their players. Extra bonuses kick in if players finish in the top three and especially if they win it all. The HORSE Champion can collect over six figures for wearing a patch. Judging from what went down the last 24-36 hours behind the scenes, it's going to be an all out bidding war during the 3 month delay for the Main Event final table.

Change100 pointed out that Huck Seed was drinking some sort of green wheat grass smoothie or some other concoction.

By Hand #41, the crowd got restless. Several fans already bailed. They finally realized that watching poker on TV is much more exciting than watching it live on the stage. The editors who splice together poker tournaments do an amazing job at cutting out all the dull moments. HORSE might be a 12-15 hour affair spliced down into two hours of coverage. Alfred Hitchcock once said that his movies were just like real life, "with all the dull parts cut out."

One of the dealers told me that she dealt to Erick Lindgren in the 10K PLO event that started at noon. Both him and Greenstein were in that event. Junkies. Addicts. They both have prop bets against each other for number of bracelets and player of the year points. Every event counts. Oh, and both were eliminated from PLO. They are simply focusing on the HORSE final table. Pretty much whoever finishes higher in today's event has an edge on winning Player of the Year... unless John Phan or Jacobo Fernandez wins the Main Event or the last $1,500 donkament which starts tomorrow.

Event #51 1.5K HORSE: Both Coach and Shirley Rosario are playing in today's event.

Here's Coach in action...

* * * * *


Event #45 50K HORSE: Down to 5.

Recent elimination: Barry Greenstein

Big stacks: Scotty Nguyen, Erick Lindgren, Michael DeMichele

Todd Brunson was wearing a "Go Scotty Baby!" t-shirt.

Matt Glantz's buddies brought him a plastic bag filled with snacks and junk food.

There's a spot saved in media row for an AP writer. Of course the AP has yet to spend one day at the WSOP and there's a spot given to them over other outlets and writers who have been here since Day 1. He/she is not here yet. Wonder if they will ever show up?

Where's Scotty's monkey? Be cool to see it run around the stage and shit on Nolan Dalla's laptop.

The poker table used for TV tables is perfectly designed for shilling. After four years ESPN got it down to have logos in the perfect places... ESPN, Rio, Milwaukee's Beast, and Everest Poker.

Event #48 2K NL Final Table: Alexandre Gomes, a Brazilian, is heads up for a bracelet.

Event #49 1.5K NL Kristy Gazes shortstacked but still among the final 64.

Event #51 1.5K HORSE: Coach has 2825 at the break. Steve Dannenmann sat down to Coach's left, then quickly busted. Also in today's event are DonkeyBomber and Sam Simon from The Simpsons. Jen Creason was also playing "I'm playing PONY!" she joked. Sweet Svetlana walked past me and did not say hello.

* * * * *


Event #45 50K HORSE: 5 players left. They are on a dinner break.

Big stacks: Michael DeMichele and Scotty Nguyen

Shorties: Lyle Berman

Event #48 2K NL Final Table: Alexandre Gomes beat CrazyMarco heads up and won Event #48. Gomes becomes the first Brazilian to win a bracelet at the WSOP. My buddy Felipe (from Portugal) made a bet with Flipchip that a player from Brazil will win a bracelet this summer. Flipchip said no way and bet him a free dinner anywhere in town. Looks like he's buying Felipe a lobster dinner after Alexandre Gomes took it down. By the way, if there's one victory party you wanna go to at the's the one thrown by the Brazilians. Gonna try to crash that one...

Event #49 1.5K NL Kristy Gazes made the final four tables. She asked me if I had a PokerNews patch. I had one and she's now branded in Full Tilt and PokerNews logos. I wish I had a Tao of Poker patch to slap on her!

Event #51 1.5K HORSE: Coach up to 6500! DonkeyBomber is the chipleader.

* * * * *


Eskimo Watch: I forgot to write about my Eskimo encounter today. Just outside the poker kitchen, Eskimo was stopped by a fan. They were standing in front of Isabelle Mercier as she smoked a cigarette. The fan told Eskimo that he saw him on TV a bunch of times. Eskimo asked the guy to borrow some money. Just at that moment, L.A. Lakers owner Jerry Buss sauntered by with his hot twenty-something year old Asian girlfriend. He patted Eskimo on back and left.

Michalski told me that Bryan Micon and David Sklanasky were seated at the same table. Sklansky refused to acknowledge Micon, who taunted him to no end.

Event #45 50K HORSE: 4 remaining.

Recent elimination: Lyle Berman

Big stacks: Scotty Nguyen

Shorties: Matt Glantz

Scotty Nguyen ordered a beer and things got interesting. The beer makes Scotty's face flush beet red. He also perks up and starts hamming things up for the camera. Once action got four handed, it became the Scotty Nguyen Show. During a hand with DeMichele, Nguyen bet on the river and DeMichele went into the tank. Nguyen than picked up his three down cards and showed them to the crowd. That got chuckles from everyone especially Layne Flack who stood behind him. Then Scotty picked up each card one by one. Brooks the floor guy didn't think it was funny and gave Nguyen a warning.

"But I didn't see the cards," protested Flack. "I can't see them from here."

If anything it was a perfect shot for the AP photographer who stood next to me behind the scenes. Nguyen kept laughing. DeMichele called and Nguyen won the pot to take back the lead.

Event #49 1.5K NL Kristy Gazes went out in 34th on a sick beat. "Fucking river!" was her text message.

Event #51 1.5K HORSE: Coach up to 8200.

* * * * *


Event #51 1.5K HORSE: Three players remaining.

Recent elimination: Matt Glantz

Big stack: Scotty Nguyen

Short stack: Erick Lindgren

Daniel Negreanu is in the crowd and he's doing his best Scotty Nguyen imitation for the crowd. Bill Edler is also sitting in Lindgren's cheering section. He needs a lot of help since hes short stacked.

There's a fat white guy in Scotty Nguyen's entourage who is a clone of Scotty with the mullet, bling, and funky clothes.

Fuck up of the day? They played 11 hands of Stud 8 before anyone noticed. They are supposed to play eight hands then switch to the next round. Ooooooops.

* * * * *

After Midnight...

Event #45 50K HORSE: 3 remaining.

Big stack: Scotty Nguyen

Shorties: Erick Lindgren

It's after Midnight. That's when the freaks come out to play. The hookers wake up and crawl out of their holes and plaster layers of cheap samples that they stole from Dillards.

At the 2006 WSOP HORSE final table, the stands were empty at 5am. The interns were told to go out into the casino and encourage people to sit in the stands. One of them brought back a drunk hooker. She kept pestering Harrahs officials for money to stay.

Crowd has thinned a bit. Scotty Nguyen has a lot of chips and Lindgren is on the verge of busting out. Lingren has the most pros cheering him on. Scotty is the fan favorite among all the random spectators who came out to watch the event. At different times the Milwaukee's Beast Lounge was packed. I tried to catch the action from different angles... from sitting in the stands to hanging out in the lounge, to sitting in media row with MeanGene, Logan, and Change100 who are live blogging the final table for PokerNews. Last year, BJ and I called the action. He was the play-by-play and I was color.

Harrahs suits came to check out the action. Some of them were chatting about they were excited that NBC would shooting some footage of 50K HORSE.

Event #51 1.5K HORSE: Coach's table broke and he got moved to Mickey Appleman's table. He's shot, under 3900. He did flop quads during hold'em but didn't bet paid off.

* * * * *


I spotted a hooker playing at a 2/5 NL table. It's either a very slow night or been a very good night.

Event #45 50K HORSE: 3 remaining.

Big stack: Michael DeMichele

Shorties: Erick Lindgren

I wandered back to the final table.The crowd was sort of mellow compared to before. It was Sunday night so the drunks were not out in force. The only ones knocking back any booze of sorts were Lindgren's railbirds led by the always festive Gavin Smith. Lindgren's stable of horses was there... Edler, Bell, Nordberg. Layne Flack and Daniel Negreanu were also milling around. Occasionally Negreanu would shout out random phrases in his best Scotty Nguyen impression.

Devilfish was in the stands with his twenty-something girlfriend. She looked bored to death and neurotically did that weird thing where she would bite on her nails or play with her lip like Juliet Lewis in Cape Fear.

YellowSub has been in the audience since 3pm. Either he's a true friend or an anxious backer of Michael DeMichele

Todd Brunson is still in Scotty's corner. He tossed on his shades and is sitting pretty. He has to be backing Scotty. Why would he sit there for so long?

And then there was Chainsaw Kessler sitting in the stands chewing gum.

There's one guy from the third-rate energy drink company that has been spamming the crowd at the final table all afternoon and night. When he's not handing out cheap shit, he's hitting on the ditzy WSOP hostess. That was the same guy who came into the pressbox on Day 1 and tried to get everyone to buy cases of his sugar-water which eats the paint off of cars. They also have bottled water which tastes like mercury. I have visions of a warehouse full of illegal immigrants (most likely from Guadalajara) who are pouring tap water into slick designed water bottles then sealing the caps with blowtorches. They wrap them up and then ship them off to the Rio.

While all of that went down, Nolan Dalla was hard at work and diligently writing out his end of day recap. Hat tip to one of the best in the business.

Event #51 1.5K HORSE: Coach's table broke again. He has Keith Sexton at his table along with Bart Hanson from Poker Road. When one guy in Seat 7 busted out, he took a photo of his stud hand then left. At the table next to them, Perry Friedman pontificated about why poker movies suck. Another nearby table included Gank, Jerry Buss, and DonkeyBomber.

* * * *


Munchies setting in. I ate my second six-pack of Oeros today.

Lime Tossing Update: In our second match, Otis and I went scoreless again. Another push.

Event #45 50K HORSE: 3 remaining.

Big stack? Hard to tell. Players went on a break and they all have dirty stacks, especially Scotty Nguyen. He's been tilting the last hour. I dunno if the lack of nicotine is getting to him or the pressure or the hot lights or the fact that he's hammered. One thing is for sure, he's heading down the wrong road and giving Lindgren or Michael DeMichele a chance to win it.

Scotty's eyes look mean. He has been berating dealers over the last level. Brooks had to give Scotty a talking to on three different occasions.

Erick Lindgren made an amazing comeback. He was on the verge of getting the boot and stormed back to almost get everyone even in chips.

Gavin Smith got in trouble with Nolan Dalla for almost inciting a riot at the final table. OK, maybe not a riot, but Gavin was promoting binge drinking.

"$100 to anyone who chugs this beer!" he offered up.

ESPN cameras were quick to capture the scene.

Marcel Luske sighting in the crowd.

Event #50 10K PLO: 87 players remaining. Josh Arieh has the chiplead.

Event #51 1.5K HORSE: Coach out. Valiant effort. His two pair was chased down by a bigger two pair. Chad Brown and Phil Hellmuth are among the chipleaders.

* * * * *


Event #45 50K HORSE: 3 remaining.

Big stack: Scotty Nguyen

Short stack: Michael DeMichele

After the break, Scotty got his shit together and won two pots off of DeMichele. He took the lead and all of a sudden DeMichele found himself the shortstack. The hunter to the hunted.

I hung out in the Milwaukee's Beast Lounge for most of the last hour. I hid my badge and tried to go undercover. Be just a regular guy on the rail. The bar was still open and serving drinks. I hung out with Marcel Luske. He was getting compliments from different fans. I watched one big hand with Marcel when DeMichele doubled up. He was analyzing something but I had no idea what Marcel was talking about. Either I'm super faded on pharmies or he was speaking Dutch. Maybe both.

A couple of poker fans were in front of me discussing one hand that they felt DeMichele played wrong. Even the drunks in the lounge at 3am are experts and critics.

Change100 told me that she saw two hookers in the bathroom while on her break.

* * * * *


Event #45 50K HORSE: 3 remaining.

Big stack: Scotty Nguyen

Chainsaw Kessler sighting. He stopped chewing gum but still hanging tough in the stands. I wonder if he has a piece of Scotty?

I heard a rumor that Layne Flack has 36% of Scotty Nguyen. I believe it, because 36% is such an odd number that it must be true. I wonder how much Todd Brunson has?

Lindgren supposedly backed 12 guys into almost every event at the 2008 WSOP. Most of his horse are sitting in his cheering section. I call that place Lindgren's Stable. He's got 25 horses ready to run in the Main Event and wanted to get as many as 50. He's currently seeking applications.

Plenty of dealers and floor supervisors are rooting for Lindgren to come from behind and win it. "He's the best tipper," was a phrase that I heard several times.

By the way, the same two dealers who started the event are still here. They deal 16 hands then switch. Troopers for sure.

Mike Matusow sighting. As one Harrahs exec said, "I heard his voice from the other side of the room and I knew Mike was at the final table."

Phil Hellmuth stopped by when his baby HORSE event completed Day 1. He tried to get camera time and went up on stage to shake Scotty's hand. He stood in one area that Steve Frezer dubbed, "the pros who want to be on camera section." That group included Daniel Negreanu, Layne Flack, Mike Matusow, Hellmuth, and Marcel Luske.

Flack was out of control at one point and had to be given a talking to by security and floor staff. He was jumping up and down and screaming, "What's up baby! What's up baby! What's up baby! What's up baby!" He was waving his arms and screaming and jumping up on stage.

ESPN guys are thinking 7am or 8am for the final hand.

"If it goes to seven, I hope it goes to eleven!" screamed Gavin Smith as he walked past me as players went on a break.

As I walked back to the pressbox, I passed the cash game tables. One old guy was screaming, "Steam raise! Steam raise! Steam raise! Steam raise! Steam raise! Steam raise!"

The cash games are still running at 75% capacity. Don't these people have homes?

* * * * *


Event #45 50K HORSE: Two players remaining.

Erick Lindgren was just eliminated in third place. Scotty Nguyen is the chipleader over Michael DeMichele.

You know it's a long day when there are two smoke breaks! This morning's smoke break is sponsored by PokerStars!

* * * * *


Event #45 50K HORSE: Scotty Nguyen wins! He collected his fifth bracelet after defeating Michael DeMichele heads up.

Before Scotty won, it was a crazy scene. Although Lindgren's stable emptied out, a new batch of drunks sat in that section. Layne Flack was in there and super wasted... like Dudley Moore drunk in the flick Arthur. He screamed a lot and was cheering on Scotty who had two massive piles of chips.

Some of the things he yelled...

"What's up baby!"

"I'm not drunk. Chill the fuck out dude!"

"What game are we playin'?"


Scotty yelled out, "Brick this! Some asshole yelled out brick!"

Before Scotty had put Michael DeMichele all in during Hold'em Scotty uttered one of his most famous lines, "It's gonna be all over baby!"

And in a flash, at 5:03am Michael DeMichele was all in with A-3 against Scotty's A-10. Scotty's hand prevailed. He won his fifth bracelet and the 50K HORSE title and $1,989,120.

Respect to Scotty. Well played, sir.

HORSE will be aired on ESPN on August 19th. Check local listings.

Well I guess that's it. Amazing night. One of my favorite that I had ever had in poker. Memory burn for sure.

I will post my recap shortly. Time for a last beer and some breakfast before I return to Scheckytown to write. Thanks for following along. You have been an awesome crowd.

Original content written and provided by Pauly from Tao of Poker at All rights reserved. RSS feeds are for non-commercial use only.

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