Las Vegas, NV
I'm not quite having one of those Ground Hog Day moments, but it's sort of close. I knocked myself out last night with a fistful of Xannies to force myself to sleep five hours. Last year it would take me three days to get five total hours of sleep, so At this point I am definitely passing myself.
Well, I'm back for the fourth day of action at the WSOP. There three tournaments today... Event #2 $1,500 Donkament Day 2, Event #3 $1,500 PLH, and Event #4 $5K Mixed Hold'em.
Finally arrived at the Rio. I pulled into the parking lot with Misty Mountain Hop blaring and nearly got sideswiped by a cabbie on his cellphone. I always thought California drivers were the worst in America but Vegas driver are at the top of my light because they are made up of California transplants, old retired drivers, tweakers, and drunks.
Every time I'm stopped at a redlight in Las Vegas and I'm in the front row, I think about the advice my buddy GMoney gave me. He's a long time Vegas resident and told me I should count to three when the light turns green before I accelerate into the intersection, since so many accidents involve speeding maniacs jacked up on crystal meth or drunks running red lights.
Benjo arrived last night and is in media row today. Also here is Chops from Wicked Chops Poker and RawVegas.TV fame.
The media situation is slightly different this year. There's an actual media room which I chose not to sit in. The drawback is that they have three big screen TVs and a couple friends are inside like the Listings guys (Spaceman, Ed, Homer, Martin, Owen, Matt, & Arthur).
The press box is comprised of two levels. I sit on the top level which is head up by Nolan Dalla. There's a couple seats taken up by Bluff folks there like Lance and Gary Wise and the Wicked Chops Poker guys. Some of the Poker News on air talent chicks sit up here and today I'm seated next to the lovely, sassy, and sweet smelling Tiffany Michele. Aaron is near by along with the Pokerati crew California Jen and Michalski when he actually shows up. He hasn't been around in 36 hours. Typical Michalski WSOP behavior!
The front row of the media box is filled up with a couple of PokerNews live reporters both US and European. And the remainder of seats are taken up by mainstream European poker media. Klaus and the Germans are in front of me along with several French reporters including Benjo. I can overhear plenty of different languages and accents which is a reminder that poker is truly a global entity.
Michalksi has gone AWOL from the WSOP. We're worried about him in the press box, so we drew straws. I lost, so now I have to go look for him. My inner detective decided to visit his known hangouts to unravel the mystery of the missing Michalski. First, I'll try the gay bath houses down on Rainbow, then check out the drive-thru Thai massage parlor on Tropicana, and lastly I'll pop into the MGM poker room. Chances are, Michalski is most likely at the 2:15pm showing of Sex in the City. And you wonder why we think he's gay?
By the way, there was a Vinnie Vinh sighting and Eskimo sighting... in the same day.
My Amsterdam roomie, Johnny Mushrooms, is also here playing in Event #3.
Michalksi could not be found. We're going to start putting his picture on the back of boxes of milk.
Tony "Bond18" Dunst stopped by the press box after he busted from his event. He told me about some of his staking woes, which I'll expand upon in today's recap or perhaps in a future post.
By the way, check out Poker Shrink's post from yesterday... Thinking About the State of Poker (PokerBlog.com). Here's a bit...
Just because someone can play poker does not mean they understand the financial world of poker away from the tables. Some players are just whistling past the graveyard, hoping for the best and playing their cards. To be a pro at the tables, you play the players not the cards. To be a poker professional away from the tables, you must engage in the business of poker.Yeah, the Poker Shrink is one of my many must reads this summer.
Smoke break. Today's smoke break is brought to you by LasVegasVegas.com, which is home to the Poker Prof's poker blog and Flipchip's amazing photography.
Official numbers have been released for Event #3 $1,500 PLH... 713 runners with a 973K prize pool. 214K to first place. Less than 275 players are left in that event. Top 72 paid out. At this rapid pace, they might make the money by dinner time.
Ah, I also won my second prop bet of the WSOP. California Jen was hoping Michalski would arrive by 5pm. We'll... he's still a no show.
Gabe Kaplan sighting. Don't blow all your Weclome Back. Mr. Kotter residuals at this year's WSOP, since you don't have a job announcing High Stakes Poker anymore since the Game Show Network dumped it quicker than a psycho ex-girlfriend.
California Jen is tempting me after bringing a Krispy Kreme back to media row. Mean, very fuckin' mean. The Rio is raping donut junkies. Donuts are $2. Unreal. I'm glad that I'm off donuts otherwise I'd be racking up a $20/30 Krispy Kreme habit per day.
Event #4 is about to kick off... so now there's three events running simultaneously.
I can't recall where I read it first online, but I heard at least three people tell me about it since I got to Vegas. Phil Ivey made a 600K bet that either Allen Cunningham or Phil Ivey will win a bracelet this year. I wrote sometime back that I thought Allen Cunningham would win a bracelet this year. Finally... Phil Ivey and I agree on something.
Jan von Halle is wearing a black t-shirt that says "Royal flush. Checked behind." He has a sense of humor after his mind-fart in Event #1 when he checked a royal flush on the river against Kathy Liebert. I found out later that Jan thought he had two black jacks in the hole. He didn't want to check his cards because he was worried that was a sign of weakness. He was as surprised as everyone else at the table that he checked a Royal Flush.
I chatted with Melissa Hayden. She's happy that I'm writing for the Tao, but her favorite blog of mine is Tao of Pauly.
I found a gas station that had $3.85 a gallon. Michalski finally arrived and bitched about paying $4 a gallon today.
Flipchip and Benjo were inspecting each others' cameras in the press box. Flipchip has a zoom lens that's twice the size of John Holmes' crank. Benjo had a very basic camera that paled in comparison.
"I feel like a small penis," said Benjo in his outrageous French accent.
Stuart from Poker Academy stopped by the press box and gave me a cool cardcapper.
Time to babelfish mon ami Benjo. He wrote this recently...
L’adresse incontournable de cet été pour suivre les WSOP sous toutes les coutures, ce sera bien sur (en plus de WickedChops) le génial Tao of Poker de mon estimé collègue, mentor et ami Pauly. Le globe-trotter New Yorkais, avec qui j’ai passé une bonne partie de la saison à bosser et prendre du bon temps d’Amsterdam à Los Angeles, a pris l’excellente décision de bosser pour lui-même en priorité lors de cette édition 2008, pour couvrir chaque journée sur son blog. A mon goût, Pauly avait été sous-utilisé par PokerNews en 2007, employé pour remplir des descriptions de mains sans saveur à longueur de tournoi. Heureusement pour nous tous, cette année, Pauly n’écrira qu’une chronique hebdomadaire pour le média exclusif des WSOP, et se concentrera sur le Tao, où il délivrera des mises à jour heure par heure, puis un post récapitulatif en fin de journée. Un peu comme ce que je vais faire sur Winamax et sur ce présent blog. Toute la journée, des infos en continu sur nos français, et le soir, mes impressions et opinions sur le grand cirque. Ca me semble être un bon plan. Et j’ai quelques autres projets et surprises en stock.... which translates into this...
The address impossible to circumvent of this summer to follow the WSOP under all the seams, it will be of course (in addition to WickedChops) brilliant the Tao off Poker of my estimated colleague, mentor and friendly Pauly. The globe trotter New Yorker, with which I passed a good part of the season to work and take good time from Amsterdam to Los Angeles, made the excellent decision to work for itself in priority at the time of this edition 2008, to cover each day on his blog. With my taste, Pauly had been under-utilized in 2007, employed to fill of descriptions of hands without savour to length of tournament. Fortunately for us all, this year, Pauly will write only one weekly chronicle for the exclusive media of the WSOP, and will concentrate on the Tao, where it will deliver.
I took Benjo to Fatburger. Actually, he drove in his rental car. We caught up on things and bounced ideas and writing philosophies off of each other. We even talked about loose aggressive Scandi donkeys. For every Annette15 there's a hundred broke dick-Svens.
Here's some of the in depth discussions that go on in press row:
Pauly: Can you post porn on Wicked Chops Poker.Michalski's Aunt and Uncle Ray stopped by media row to say hello to their favorite nephew. Supposedly Uncle Ray is a big fan of the Tao.
Snake: Ummm... unfortunately, no.
Michaslki: Why not?
Pauly: He has business ethics and standards. I don't.
I got the Rio's version of live spam. A vendor hawking his wares showed up in the press box. He asked me who I wrote for. I said, "Rolling Stone Magazine."
10:01pm... Eskimo Clark cashed in Event #2. He's $2,949 closer to grinding away his debt.
Event #3 $5K Mixed Hold'em is half Limit and half NL. Shamus and Tropical Steve are covering that event. Due to the 5K buy-in, the field is also pro-heavy. Chau Giang and Phil Ivey are among the Top 10 in chips. It started at 5pm and five hours later, there are plenty of big names who have been eliminated... Doyle Brunson, Daniel Negreanu, Vanessa Rousso, Tex Barch,Erik Seidel, Barry Greenstein, Roy Winston, Liz Lieu, Katja Thater, Greg Mueller, Burt Boutin, Joe Sebok, and Gabe Kaplan.
A well respected member of the media told me an interesting story involving a young Scandi (who recently made a EPT final table) that had a mix up at the Bellagio cage. He wired 60K from his bank to the Bellagio. The Bellagio gave him 120K by accident. The young gun hasn't been seen since. Rumors suggested that he flew back to Scandinavia. I think he's holed up in the VIP room at the Rhino. Perhaps I should investigate?
Four days into the WSOP, Michalski lost his badge. We were en route to the secret bar when we got as far as the Sao Paolo Cafe when he realized that his badge was missing. He considered retracing his steps, but we know how lack Michalski is, so he blew it off and went drink instead.
On the way back to the Amazon Ballroom, I could hear a group of four or five drunken frat boys behind me causing a ruckus as they made their way from the casino to the convention center. Humberto Brenes rounded the corner. From the dejected look on his face, e must have just been busted from an event. As soon as the frat guys saw him, they started taunting and screaming, "The chark! The chark! The chark!!!"
The scene: hallway. Four writers standing in a circle. TJ Cloutier hobbles out of the Amazon Ballroom and pops down on a scooter near the doorway. He drives off.
Aaron: Why is TJ on a scooter?
Lance: To get to the craps tables faster.
I wanna see a race between Doyle and TJ in the a parking lot... 10,000 buy-in... first person to do two laps wins.
Now I'm back in the press box. Flipchip is sitting next to me uploading photos.
Here's some words of wisdom from Michalski... "You should wash your hands before you touch yourself..."
Nolan Dalla told the press box that Event #2 will play down to the final nine. They have 70 left. They're gonna be here until 7:30am. That's the over/under I'm setting. I feel bad for FTrain who has to stick around to cover it. He'll earn his stripes tonight for sure.
Michale Craig stopped by the press box during one of the breaks in Event #4. There are 144 out of 332 runners. Gobboboy is second in chips. Hellmuth is one of the short stacks.
Over in Event #3, Brandon Schaefer has 44K in chips. He's in the top 10. There are 69 players left out of 713.
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