Las Vegas, NV
For me, the day started out with a lot of excitement. Iggy was still alive, albeit barely, and trying to make a run. He had a tough draw with Jeremiah Smith and Chad Layne to his right, but Iggy fought admirably and bowed out in the first level of play.
The always humble Iggy thanked all of our friends for the support, love, and coverage even though his secret identity was most likely purged in the process.
Over the last four years, I have been able to detach myself from the actual events transpiring in front of me. But when Iggy went deep, I could not help but to root for the guy. Once he was eliminated, it felt like I also got punched in the stomach. I sort of lost the will to live. I was already sick, but operating on pure adrenaline due to Iggy's magnificent run. Once Iggy busted, I sort of broke down.... physically. The remainder of the Day 4 was a struggle for me. Luckily, play was stopped with 40 minutes to go in the fourth level of play.
EPT hostess Kara Scott
Photo courtesy of Flipchip
With 189 players to go, Steve Frezer stopped the action. The had a soft number of 180 to stop at. However at that specific time on Day 4, the ESPN TV table was the next table to break according to their breaking schedule. That is a whole drawn out process and by the time they got everyone off and got a new nine up on the stage... it would be time to go home.
At this point of the WSOP, a lot of decisions are influenced by ESPN. Rumors were swirling all afternoon about the stopping number. Everyone was trying to ask Jack Effel. He said one thing and (no shocker here) something else totally happened.
I know better at this point. I let the rookies hang on every word that Jack says. I don't because I know that behind the scenes, ESPN makes a lot of these calls. That's why I went up to them and asked about the ending time. After all, it's their party and Harrah's is just working it.
Perfect example. Two players are all in on one table. The dealer has to halt the action and waits for an ESPN producer to give them the go ahead to proceed. They check to see who is all in. Unknowns? Nope. ESPN is not interested and the dealer can proceed with the action while the two unknowns get a little miffed for being snubbed by ESPN's cameras.
Hot chicks? Definitely. Big pros like Hellmuth, Hansen, or Matusow? Then get the hell out of the way because not one but two units rush to the table barreling over anything in the process. Once the cameras are in position, the producer tells the dealer to proceed. Not a floor person or Harrah's staff... but someone from ESPN. The big crowd attracts more people. Staff, players from adjacent tables, media reps. Even the occasional rule breaker who sneaks inside the ropes to check out the action. A massive circle engulfs the table. When the hand is over,one player is usually sent to his death, while all of the vultures disappear and flock to another table where a familiar situation is arising.
It's almost like watching pigeons in the park peck and fight over a couple of crumbs. Throw the bread in one direction (all in and a call) and hundreds of pigeons (hungry media) will go apeshit and peck each others' eyeballs out just to grab a crumb. A morsel. Anything they can get their beaks on. As that song goes, birds of a feather are flocking outside.
Bu tin ESPN's defense, there are several high quality stars left in the field unlike in previous years. They are doing an excellent job of obtaining footage on Day 4in order to help mold the stories that they want to present in the upcoming months.
Ah, when Day 4 ended... earlier than expected... my ailing body was so happy. I knew I could go home and recharge. However, I also knew that Sunday night is when everyone will pay for the decision to end almost 2.5 hours earlier on Friday night.
Why not play the full five hours? Because you never know how long the last day (27 to 9) will transpire. I have covered enough tournaments to know this... you always play it out as scheduled in the early days. That is the best prevention from getting proper fucked on the night before the final table when everyone in the stands is falling asleep as action slows down to a death march.
Alas, decisions like those are beyond my control. All I can do is snipe from the press box.
OK, so what is the good news? 198 players are left in the 2008 WSOP Main Event. Some of them are quite popular among the ladies like super dreamy Gus Hansen. And then there's the bad boys of poker in Phil Hellmuth, Mike Matusow, and Mark Vos. And then there's a few ladies like Kara Scott (yumo!) and the lovely Tiffany Michelle who I have had the chance to work with on and off for 18 months while she did on-air interviews for Poker News.
Here's some info...
End of Day 4 Top 10 Chip Counts:Action starts at noon on Saturday. See you there!
Jeremy Joseph (Buffalo, New York) - 2,187,000
Nikolay Losev (Moscow, Russia) - 2,110,000
Cristian Dragomir (Bucharest, Romania) - 2,065,000
Brandon Cantu (Las Vegas, Nevada) - 1,981,000
Lanini Davor (Parma, Italy) - 1,958,000
David 'Chino' Rheem (Los Angeles, California) - 1,851,000
Andrew Rosskamm (Cleveland, Ohio) - 1,764,000
James McManus** (Dublin, Ireland) - 1,761,000
Geoffrey Herzog (Jacksonville Beach, Florida) - 1,695,000
Albert Kim (Staten Island, New York) - 1,688,000
** not the writer
Shahram 'Sheiky' Sheikhan (Las Vegas, Nevada) - 1,516,000
Alex Outhred (Los Angeles, California) - 1,377,000
Mark Vos (Cape Town, South Africa) - 1,373,000
Gus Hansen (Monaco via Denmark) - 1,367,000
Victor Ramdin (Bronx, New York) - 1,322,000
Allen Cunningham (Las Vegas, Nevada) - 1,141,000
Matt Matros (Brooklyn, New York) - 1,126,000
Jeremiah Smith (Las Vegas, Nevada) - 955,000
Tiffany Michelle (Los Angeles, California) -909,000
Robert 'ActionBob' Hwang (Barnegat, New Jersey) - 875,000
Ylon Schwartz (Brooklyn, New York) - 870,000
David 'The Turtle' Saab (Melbourne, Australia) - 776,000
Jeff Madsen (Los Angeles, California) -690,300
Phil Hellmuth (Palo Alto, California) - 581,000
Mike Matusow (Las Vegas, Nevada) - 458,000
Keith 'The Camel' Hawkins (Middleton Tyas, England) - 406,000
Deng Dong (Edmonton, Alberta, Canada) - 388,000
Chip Jett (Las Vegas, Nevada) - 386,000
Kido Pham (Dallas, Texas) - 317,000
Hoyt Corkins (Glenwood, Alabama) - 305,000
Thomas Keller (Scottsdale, Arizona) - 251,000
Kara Scott (Brighton, England) - 247,000
Ben Roberts (London, England) - 214,000
Chad Layne (Las Vegas, Nevada) - 140,000
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