Las Vegas, NV
An integral part of the WSOP happens outside of the Rio. The WSOP Experience is not just limited to the Amazon Ballroom. There are several different poker tournament series ongoing as we speak over at the Venetian, Binion's, and the Golden Nugget.
Yesterday, I hit up the afternoon shift at the Rhino, which is something I recommend everyone do at least once.
And then there's Red Rock. I'm not talking about the casino, rather Red Rock Canyon. I dedicated an entire photo gallery to my different trips to Red Rock over the years. I'm have never been shy about my love for that park located just thirty minutes away from the Strip. Fortunate for me Scheckytown is a five minute drive from the park. I always go there to clear my head, drive the scenic loop while listening to music, or go on a hike to touch the magical Red Rocks. I always write better after I touch the Red Rocks. My brother had a minor lingering health issue and when he touched the rocks during a trip in March, he mentioned that he improved.
Does Red Rock have magical healing powers or spur the creative juices? Depends on who you ask. There's only one way to find out and that's see for yourself.
I've been in Las Vegas for a week and did not have the chance to visit Red Rock, until today.
Friedman stopped by Shceckytown and we're going on a hike in Red Rock. I'll try to take pics.
In the meantime, I'm sort of praying that one of my favorite bands gets back together. After all, I have an extremely popular Phish blog. There have been some rumors that Phish will get back together. Trey, their lead singer, hinted at it last week in an interview with Rolling Stone and lyricist have hinted at a Phishy reunion. If there's one thing that will pull me away from poker, it's hitting the road and following Phish once again. So if Phish is touring next summer, I won't be at the WSOP. That's looking more and more like a possibility every day. Priorities, man. So enjoy Tao of Poker this summer. Right now it's a coinflip if I'll be here next year.
The boys at Wicked Chops Poker posted a bunch of high octane pics of Shannon Elizabeth playing poker yesterday before she busted out.
And Pokerati poses a question... Why Is Chris Ferguson Special?
Today's the first big day at the WSOP with two final tables. One is a monster and Joe Tehan should run over the other table...
Event #3 $1,500 PLH Final Table:
Seat 1: Russ Harriman (Clarkston, Michigan) 206,000
Seat 2: Joe Tehan (Utica, New York) 458,000
Seat 3: Jacobo Fernandez (Hollywood, Florida) 428,000
Seat 4: Zachary 'Carter' King (Marietta, Georgia) 139,000
Seat 5: Al Barbieri (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) 271,000
Seat 6: Gregory Alston (Danville, California) 179,000
Seat 7: Glen Bean (Biggs, California) 75,000
Seat 8: David Singer (Las Vegas, Nevada) 83,000
Seat 9: Robert Lipkin (Buffalo Grove, Illinois) 305,000
Event #4 $5,000 Mixed Hold'em Final Table:
Seat 3: David "Chino" Rheem (Los Angeles, California) 885,000
Seat 6: David Williams (Las Vegas, Nevada) 678,500
Seat 7: Justin Bonomo (Las Vegas, Nevada) 517,500
Seat 9: Erick Lindgren (Las Vegas, Nevada) 345,000
Seat 1: Howard Lederer (Las Vegas, Nevada) 324,500
Seat 2: Roland de Wolfe (London, United Kingdom) 194,000
Seat 8: Andrew Robl (East Lansing, Michigan) 162,000
Seat 5: Isaac Haxton (Syracuse , New York) 115,500
Seat 4: Pat Pezzin (Toronto, Ontario, Canada) 108,500
Seriously, it take a lot to impress me these days, but shit, I'm very impressed with that final table. I'm actually a little bit giddy and can't wait for it to start at 3pm. ESPN caught a much needed break with a star-packed final table along with Event #1 $10K PLH.
Well, it looks like the final table of the $5K Mixed is push back to 4pm. Change100 is covering the 5pm tournament the first ever Event #8 10K Mixed Championship. There will be eight rotation games including:
1. 7-2 Triple DrawWow... that's gonna be one sick field and another pro-heavy event. The event hasn't started and players are already grumbling about the structure for the 10K Mixed Championship. I have a feeling that it's going to take a year before they figure out the flaws in this year's structure. The 2006 HORSE structure came under quick assault and Harrah's tweaked it last year. Alas, for now, let the complaining begin...
2. Limit Holdem
5. Seven-Card Stud
6. Stud 8
I already heard one player call the structure, "totally retarded." Another said simply and eloquently called it "shitty."
See the structure for yourself.
Today's 4:20 break is brought to you by PokerStars.
Here's one of the pics I took at Red Rock...
I have an ongoing last longer prop bet with Matt Parvis (editor of Bluff). When Event #4 was down to 23 players, we drafted fantasy teams.
Pauly: Roland de Wolfe, Andy Bloch, Isaac Haxton, Phil Laak, and Ariel SchnellWhen the final table kicked off, he had 4 players left and I only had 2 (Isaac Haxton & Roland de Wolfe). Parvis is looking good with four players remaining (Michael McKenna busted yesterday). I have been on a roll in pro bets so far this year. I'd hate to lose this one.
Parvis: ZeeJustin, Erick Lindgren, Michael McKenna, Andrew Robl, and Howard Lederer
Sadly, Isaac Haxton was eliminated in 9th place. Parvis is up 4-1. I'm on life support.
Homer (from Blonde Poker fame) stopped by the press box to tell me about his recent score on Full Tilt. He won the 20K Guaranteed last night. Drinks on Homer...
I spotted Tim Vance during a break of Event #7 2K NL. He likes to chat up his tablemates and asked where everyone was from. One quiet guy in Seat 1 said, "Nowhere." That trigged the Beatles-table-karaoke session and Vance launched into a rendition of Nowhere Man by the Beatles. For you non-musical geeks, Nowhere Man was a track on Rubber Soul on the UK releases but didn't make the cut for the US release of Rubber Soul. It was originally release in America on the Yesterday and Today album. Thus concludes our brief Beatles history lesson.
Event #8 10K Mixed Championship had a glitch in the registration system and started 25 minutes late. TD Jack Effel got on the mic and apologized for the first delay of the WSOP. All seven previous events started on time, except Event #8 which had never been run before. Change100 reported that 134 players were registered for the event.
Oh and I almost forgot... thanks to DealBreaker.com for mentioning the Tao of Poker in this morning's Opening Bell. Deal Breaker is one ofmy favorite Wall Street blogs that I read. They are a self-proclaimed, "online business tabloid and Wall Street gossip site that covers the personalities and culture that shape the financial industry, offering original commentary, news and entertainment." Seriously, thanks for the plug guys.
Back by popular demand...
Last 5 Pros I Pissed Next To...Don't forget to check out some of the best photos in poker from Flipchip!
1. The Grinder
2. Dan Heimiller
3. Scotty Nguyen
4. Blair Rodman
5. Chau Giang
I wrote many times before that my French is bloody awful. I rely upon Babelfish to translate long documents for me.
Benjo wrote something about me yesterday...
Pauly m’a demandé si je voulais venir avec lui au strip-club…. A trois heures de l’après-midi ! J’ai poliment décliné son invitation, le laissant seul aller inspecter la rotation de l’après-midi au fameux Spearmint Rhino, qui apparemment serait de meilleure facture que dans les autres établissements moins prestigieux de Vegas. A son retour, il n’avais pas l’air convaincu de la véracité de cette information.
And here's the translation...
Pauly asked to me whether I wanted to come with him to the strip-club…. At three o'clock in the afternoon! I politely declined his invitation, letting it only outward journey inspect the rotation of the afternoon in famous Spearmint Rhino, which apparently would be of better invoice that in the other less prestigious establishments of Vegas. On its return, it did not have the air convinced of the veracity of this information.
Over at the Event #4 final table, David Williams busted out in 7th place. With six to go, ZeeJustin is the chipleader. Howard Lederer is the shortstack.
Today's weather was a bit odd in Las Vegas. When I was up at Red Rock, Friedman noticed the storm clouds coming in. Sure enough, the skies opened up a couple of hours later. Rain in June in Las Vegas. That's sort of rare. Since it rarely rains in Las Vegas, the locals aren't used to driving on slick roads and lots of accidents happen.
Anyway, the rain has subsided, however, the winds are whipping up something fierce. California Jen wrote something titled If the Poker Kitchen is a-Rockin’, Get Out. As she described, "the poker kitchen is a-shakin’ in the wind. Evidently, no matter how many bolts look to be holding this structure down, it still has the ability to terrify all who visit it..."
I went outside to the Poker Kitchen to join Benjo while he ate dinner. There were a few wind gusts that rattled the structure. It's supposed to be a little more secure than last year's half-assed Poker Tent. For ow, it's holding. Time will tell if the structure can withstand the elements. At the 2007 WSOP the score was Nature 1, Poker Tent 0.
Last couple of years, several chess junkies set up a chess board and backgammon game in the hallway of the Rio. There were games going on at all hours. "They were playing for some serious money too," explained Snake who played one of them in the past and got spanked. This year, I found them playing at different times in the Poker Kitchen... even through a wind storm.
The quote of the day so far goes to Shronk, one of the producers of Poker Road Radio.... "My cousin just got out of jail and sent me $10,000 to play in events."
Well just let Shronk explain that himself. Shronk is a Top Chef junkie (me too) and told me that during the first episode he bet that Richard would win it all and he got 5-1 odds. Wow. Well Richard is among the final four and the new episode is on shortly. Thank God for TiVo. I'll watch it when I get home.
From up in the press box, we can see a lot of random shit, like the hot chick who goes around selling smokes. "Cigarettes! Candy! Cigarettes! Candy!" is what she screams every few minutes. As one media rep said off the record, "I'd totally hit that."
Over at Event #3 PLH final table, it's heads up between David Singer and Jacobo Fernandez. They're about even in chips after Singer came from behind despite a huge deficit. Singer recently won the $25K buy-in Heads Up Championship on Full Tilt over Memorial Day Weekend. AT this point, he's the definite favorite to win. It's his bracelet to lose.
Over at Event #4 5K Mixed final table, Hoard Lederer was eliminated in 6th place by Zee Justin, who's the chipleader. In the last longer with Parvis, the score is now 3-1. That's no won the dinner break.
Author Michael Craig made a rare appearance in the press box. He already cashed in one event this year. I asked him why he was absent from the field in the $10K Mixed Games Championship. His reply? "I don't have the buy-in. I left $10,000 in my other suit."
Over in the $10K Mixed Games Championship, a handful of pros already busted including David Chiu, Sam Grizzle, David Bach, Gary Benson, Ralph Perry, and Freddy Deeb.
The final tables are currently on dinner breaks. Lindgren is the chipleader in Event #4 with five to go. Over in Event #3, it's a deadlock between David Singer and Jacobo Fernandez with only 150K separating the two.
Today is one of the first days that there are six tournaments going on at once. It can get confusing at times. Luck for me, I'm only focusing on the final table events and the pro-heavy Event #8.
A lot can happen in ten minutes. I went to the deli near the sports book for a quick bite. On my way back, I spotted two fans taking photos with Scotty Nguyen. One of them asked Scotty for a cigarette.
"I wanna tell my friends that I bummed a smoke off a World Champion!" he proudly stated.
As I rushed past that scene, I ran into Gobboboy. He's at his first WSOP and said he made it to two Day 2s but didn't cash.
"Of course, they were Day 2s in 5pm events," joked Gobboboy.
I rounded the corner, Shaniac magically appeared. He updated his blog twice in the last 48 hours. That might be a record. I left a comment... If I smoke you out every day at the WSOP, will you promise to blog every day?
Well, as I made my way towards the TVs playing Main Event final hands on a loop in the corridor leading up to the Amazon Ballroom, I found Eskimo Clark watching the TV. I guess he couldn't find anyone to put him in a satellite or second chance event. The TVs showed Jerry Yang's winner's interview with Norman Chad. Eskimo stood there with his hands in his empty pockets and shook his head in disgust. I wish I had my camera to capture that scene.
I wandered through the tables in Event #8 Mixed Championship. I have been purposely avoiding walking through the tables and only do as a shortcut to circumnavigate the aisles that are clogged by tourists. Anyway, as I wandered through I stopped at Table #1 and watched that for a bit. One half of the able included Gabe Kaplan, Barry Greenstein, Andy Bloch, and Gavin Griffin.
I wandered up to the press box and looked out into the deep field. Gavin Smith was at Table #9 and saw me peering down at his table.
"Hey Tao of Poker!" Gavin Smith screamed.
"What's up?" I asked.
"Same old shit. Gamblin' and drinkin'," Gavin Smith said. He took a sip of an unidentified beverage out of a Milwaukee's Beast cup and called over a masseuse.
Over at Table #6 the Donkeybomber was lucky to have a few tough dudes to his right in Robert Williamson III, Chau Giang, and the dude that was Wicked Chops Poker Ginger of the Day.
And over at the Event #4 final table, my horse Roland de Wolfe was eliminated in 4th place. I lost my prop bet against Parvis. With three players left, ZeeJustin is the chipleader. Lingdren is second in chips.
David Singer won his first WSOP bracelet in Event #3 $1,500 Pot-Limit Hold'em after he took out Jacobo Fernandez. Singer won $214,131 but it's the bracelet that he really wanted. Singer is on a tear. Singer also won the $25K Heads Up Championship on Full Tilt over Memorial Day weekend.
Over at Event #4, it's heads up between Erick Lindgren and ZeeJustin. Lindgren holds a slight advantage in chips.
Congrats to Erick Lindgren for winning his first bracelet. He won Event #4 $5K Mixed Hold'em. ZeeJustin finished in second place.
Wow, two Full Tilt pros won bracelets today and three out of four total bracelets this year.
The Rio maintenance guys are quickly removing chairs at empty tables in order to prep for the next tournament which is Event #9 $1,500 Short-handed NL event. While you sleep, they are hard at work.
There's still two events going on. The remaining railbirds in the Amazon Room are focused on Event #8 Mixed Games Championship. 100 players remaining and DonkeyBomber is the chipleader. Tong G is alive but looks tired. The G is among the shortstacks.
And the final table for Event #5 is set. Jeff "YellowSub" Williams made the final table along with Michale Binger. Could YellowSub be the first young gun from the intertubes to win a bracelet this year?
With the conclusion of Day 1 for Event #8, I'm also done. No need for me to stay later that I already did. That's it for me at the Rio. Time to go home and write until dawn.
You've all been a great crowd. See y'all tomorrow.
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