Las Vegas, NV
Back in black for the 34th day in a row at the WSOP. Today is the day before the Main Event begins. In the past this was Media Day and there would be a media tournament. Instead, the media event has been pushed back. There will be two bracelets awarded today. One final table is set and the Limit Shootout will play down to a final table later tonight.
Also, the Ante Up for Africa Charity event starts at 2pm and will be attracting many celebrities and poker pros.
Event #52 $1,500 NL - Final TableAnd Matt Matros is gunning for his first bracelet today...
Event #53 $1,500 Limit Shootout - Day 2 & Final Table
Event #52 $1,500 NL - Final Table:And yes,today is satellite day as players are trying a last moment effort to win a seat into the main event.
Seat 1: Dan Heimiller (Plymouth, MI) - 545,000
Seat 2: Matt Matros (Brooklyn, NY) - 1,447,000
Seat 3: Farzad Rouhani (Germantown, Maryland) - 212,000
Seat 4: Andrey Zaichenko (Moscow, Russia) - 495,000
Seat 5: Scott Sitron (Milwaukee, Wisconsin) - 503,000
Seat 6: Voitto Rintala (Helsinki, Finland) - 553,000
Seat 7: Jeff Courtney (Lancaster, PA) - 1,430,000
Seat 8: David Daneshgar (Westlake Village, CA) - 1,070,000
Seat 9: Corwin Cole (San Diego, CA) - 1,625,000
The Poker Shrink recently published a five week comparison of the 2008 WSOP. Take a peek.
And don't forget to check out Flipchip's 2008 WSOP winner photos.
There are three blackjack tables in the Amazon Ballroom. One is reserved for high rollers. The other two are open to anyone. I waited four years to see that... gaming tables on the floor of the WSOP. I assume the tables are in place to attract the celebrities and high rollers in the Ante Up for Africa charity event. The Rio is hoping Ben Affleck decides to donk off some of his Good Will Hunting residuals at the blackjack tables.
By the way, for almost five weeks, I definitely trashed poker players for being total degenerates and scumbags and selfish ego-centric whores. Today is the only day where I hold off on that because of the big hearts of the pros who are playing and pimping Ante Up for Africa. The event is going to raise awareness for the Darfur humanitarian crisis. Ante Up for Africa is working in conjunction with Not on Our Watch which is a foundation started up by George Clooney, Don Cheadle, Matt Damon, and Brad Pitt.
Here's an excerpt from their site:
Since 2003, the crisis in Darfur has taken over 400,000 lives and seen over 2.3 million people forced from their homes. Though the international community has been aware of this crisis for several years, the situation in Darfur continues to deteriorate. An increase in violence, combined with governmental inaction and lack of funding, has critically endangered humanitarian life-support systems. Through repeated trips to the region, several of our board members have witnessed this carnage and catastrophe. Not On Our Watch has adopted the crisis in Darfur as its inaugural campaign.My dear friend Mad Harper from PokerStars has been rallying behind the Darfur cause for several years. She would like to point you towards SaveDarfur.org.
The Ante Up for Africa event is taking place in the Brasilia Room. Stop by, bring your camera, and spread the word about Darfur.
"Who are all these people?" asked Aaron. Two guys who we had never seen before were sitting in his seat in the pressbox that he had been keeping warm for five weeks since Day 1.
With the Main Event approaching and the celebrity-heavy Ante Upfor Africa, there are hordes of national and local press here including bulky camera crews and beat writers from Hollyweird tabloids.
There were 84 players according to the clock. I asked Jack Effel how many runners and he had no clue. He told me to get the info from the clock.
The crowd in the Brasilia was massive and thick and it was hard to even see the playing floor. Jesus got caught up and tried to get to his seat. Since he was Jesus he just pointed and the crowd parted like Moses crossing the Red Sea. Jesus walked down the clear path as the sea of people quickly closed up behind him. I would have to find a better way to get inside the ropes. I did an end-around and went in through the back. I caught glimpses of Charles Barley and Kenny Smith, both of whom were branded in UB stickers. Maybe UB is helping Barkley pay down some of his gambling debts at the Wynn? Barkley sat at Jesus' table.
Kenny "The Jet" Smith wearing a UB logo
Photo credit: MeanGene
Hellmuth was on the mic yapping and wandered up to tables and talked to pros and celebrities. He gave Adam Sandler some guff and said that his kids loved Sandler's movies. Hellmuth also mentioned that he was best friends with Chris Farley in kindergarten in Wisconsin and that he was in the same school through the fifth grade when Hellmuth switched schools.
I spotted cricket god Shane Warne playing in the event along with Montel Williams.
The spectators were flash happy and flashes went off every second despite the please from tournament staff for now flash. After a while, they kicked all media out from behind the ropes, so I hid my badge and went undercover. I got better material that way.
Yep, both Matt Damon and Ben Affleck are in the house playing poker.
Sir Charles - degenerate gambler
Photo credit: Mean Gene
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They are playing a mega-sat for the Main Event in the orange section in front of the pressbox. At the table right in front of Otis has Richard Lee sitting there. Next to that table is Leif Force. I also saw BG's good buddy Tomer Benvenisti, Barbara Enright, Shawn Rice, and Young Phan trying to win a seat to the main event. They are among the familiar faces in a sea of dead money.
More Brits are here... the Hairy Gymnmast Simon made a token appearance along with DaveShoelace aka Barry Carter.
Today's smoke break is brought to you by Fantasy Sports Live.
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Event #52 1.5K NL: Farzad Rouhani is trying to win his second bracelet this year. He's second in chips with five to go. Matt Matros is out.
Calling it a night. WSOP Main Event madness starts in 16 hours. Going to have one last decent meal with the girlfriend, before we head over to the Bluff party... at a strip club.
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