Las Vegas, NV
Down to 189. This is when things get really serious. The money begins to escalate. So does the pressure. The agents will be swarming along with the media and the backers and the hangers on and the vultures and the scam artists and the hookers and the lazy relatives of the players who are going deep.
The circus really kicks into gear today. I'm in position to provide the color commentary live from the killing floor.
Special thanks to Jeremy Firth who brought me two bottles of orange juice to boost my immune system today.
Tiffany Michelle has been decked out in several hipster t-shirts.
"I'm wearing 'lucky' today," she said as she pointed to her black t-shirt with LUCKY is gold lettering. "Yesterday I was at Hevad Khan's table and he asked me if I paid $180,000 to start playing on Day 4. He was surprised that I made it this far. I told him that I blew a lot of guys to get my way in."
Ah, Tiffany Michelle and her self-deprecating fellatio jokes. Just last spring she was give me massages in media row in Monte Carlo. And now? She's one of the five remaining females left in the field.
Tiffany Michelle is an actress and has a representation in Hollywood. She recently picked up a poker agent. I pressed her about the patches. She was evasive but said "We're still working things out. Some of the offers have actually dried up depending n the (online poker) site."
I told Tiffany Michelle that I'm running a pool.... what online site will be on Tiffany Michelle's breasts. The battle for branding of her boobs have begun. I heard Michalski offered her $300 and an expired food comp to wear a Pokerati patch. I told her that I'd dump a ton of cash into her PokerStars account if she says, "This is almost as better as sex with Dr. Pauly!" after she was raked in a pot in front of ESPN cameras. She's going to get a lot of face time today. She's on the secondary table with Allen Cunningham.
Tiffany Michelle is wearing a PokerNews patch since she's the interview girl on PokerNews. Also, Tony G and Jeff Lisandro have a piece of her. She's a horse for the Aussies.
Cards are in the air. No frills. No bullshit. Just a simple... "Shuffle up and deal!"
Mike Matusow and EPT hottie Kara Scott are at the featured TV table.
ActionBob has so many chips that he was still stacking them up when the first hand was dealt. He is his table's chipleader...
Blue #1"ActionBob is also wearing Full Tilt gear today. He's obe of many players who got snatched up late last night or early this morning.
Seat 1: Tri Nguyen – 592,000
Seat 2: Dwayne Stacey – 372,000
Seat 3: Ylon Schwartz – 870,000
Seat 4: Jason Riesenberg – 735,000
Seat 5: Kyle Carlston – 265,000
Seat 6: Mark Wilds – 241,000
Seat 7: Nathan Hays – 312,000
Seat 8: ActionBob – 875,000
Seat 9: Nhan Le – 336,000
Friedman stopped by. He said that the only people he saw in the hallways were agents lurking around and trying to set up deals before cards went in the air.
Mark Vos was chowing on a salad at the start of action. Hellmuth swigged Starbucks. I wonder if he got extra bucks for that special product placement.
Big Stacks: Brandon Cantu, Nikolay Losev, Cristian Dragomir, David Benefield, Davor Lanini
Players Remaining: 177
Recent Bustouts: Ben Roberts, Allen Carter, Joshua Norris, Neil Sweeting, Diren Yildiz, Anthony Meeker, Jerry Cusick, Hai Bo Chu, Anthony Clark, George Rahme, and Peter Traply
Action Bob still with about 900K in chips.
Big hand? Mike Matsuow doubled up at the featured TV table when he won a race. Hellmuth took a hit, while Brandon Cantu jumped into the chiplead.
A friend of mine, Ted, who covers PokerStarsBlog for China told me about one of his players who went deep... Mao Qiu started the day with over 1 million in chips. He's a PokerStars Qualifier and is one of the most known Chinese players. Although originally from China, he got a Masters degree in the US and currently lives in Arizona. He fared well at last year's WSOP and took 240th place. He plays online poker and also has a final table in a WCOOP event. He usually plays $560 SNGs and $5,600 heads up SNGs on Poker Stars in addition to be a regular on the APPT.
Players just returned from a break. Level 20. Blinds are 6K/12K with a 2K ante.
Big Stacks: Cristian Dragomir, James McManus, David Benefield, Mark Ketteringham, and Nikolay Losev
Players Remaining: 157
Recent Bustouts: Hoyt Corkins, Evan Jarvis, Gus Hansen, Chip Jett, Andy Witek, Robin Larsson, Jesse McEuen, Mao Qiu, Cornel Pazara, Graddus Terwiss Cha Van, Helge Pedersen, William Purle, Bernie Koerner, Tom Cope, Lou Esposito, James Mills, Chad Layne, Chris Barrile, Charles Dolan
Tao of Poker reader Chad Layne busted out during the last level.
Three big dogs out: Hoyt Corkins (Queens ran into Aces), Chip Jett, and Gus Hansen.
Chips have been flying around... Cristian Dragomir took the chiplead and is trying to pass the 3M mark.
Big Stacks: James McManus (not the writer), David Benefield, Victor Ramdin, Ivan Demidov, Mark Ketteringham
Players Remaining: 140
Recent Bustouts: Joel Fischbein, Jeremiah Smith, Jon Friedberg, Barry Leventhal
Hellmuth at 610K and Matusow at 660K
Jim McManus, a PartyPoker qualifier from Ireland, is the chipleader. Fun Warren from Party told me that McManus once won a bad beat jackpot on Party.
I had puked up my breakfast earlier. Why? The atrocious play of some of these big stacks. Ah, just kidding. Sort of. I have been sick and it followed me into Day 5. Anyway, Jeremy brought me some OJ earlier and Friedman stopped by and brought me a sandwich which helped settle my stomach.
I gonna guess that I'm not the only puker in the building. Many years ago, during my first season as a tournament reporter, I was covering a WPT event at Foxwoods and it was just before the final table and one of the guys who made it was puking his balls off. Nerves. Some people have nerves of steel like the Scandis. Others loose their mud at any given moment.
One guy on the rail is reading "Book of Bluffs.' The Beat Lounge is packed. I couldn't get upstairs. Ted Lawson and his wife are on the rail sweating Tiffany.
I saw Greg FBT Mueller hanging out by the payout room waiting for Jeremiah Smith after he busted. Hoyt Corkins and big thuggy looking guy walked out of the payment room together. Lindgren has been on the rail sweating one or more of his horses.
I lost $20 in throwing things prop bets with Otis. I also bubbled out in Saturdays with Dr. Pauly.
There are no more cash games in the Amazon Room.
Humberto Brenes did an interview with some sort of magazine. When he was done,a couple of fans stopped to take photos.
Jimmy Somerfeld had been announcing the names of the bustouts, but he had a tough time pronouncing some of the names which sounded hysterical in a southern drawl. He handed the mic over to Nolan Dalla.
Today's smoke break is sponsored by PokerStars!
* * * * *
Big Stacks: Terry Lade, James McManus, Mark Ketteringham, Victor Ramdin, Alex Outhred
Players Remaining: 125
Recent Bustouts: Deng Dong, Dan Assor
Terry Lane is one of the first playes past the 4M chip mark. Lane has taken over the chiplead. PokerStars Team Member Victor Ramdin has been sitting on a big stack for most of the day.
Both Matusow and Hellmuth are sitting on 650K stacks. Average stack is 1M.
Chatted with the PokerShrink. His client is Mike Matusow and the Shrink said that his meds kicked in and he's fine and focused. Matusow's plan was to double up early and then double up again late in the night. He is halfway there.
The Beast girls strolling through the room looking bored as shit.
The most crowded area is the secondary table. There's very little space to move in that area. As tables break, the room gets smaller and smaller and the circle of spectators and media gets bigger and bigger. At this point with 124 players to go, there's twice as many media and staff here covering the event than there are players remaining.
The agents have been floating around in the background and in the hallways. Michalski and I saw one potential deal going down, while the rest of the agents are trying to get to the players who are not patched up yet. I was told by one source that some of the players with big stacks were holding out for "better offers." Some of them have lost a ton of chips and their gamble failed.
Big Stacks: Steve Lade, James McManus, Brandon Cantu, Ivan Demidov, Scott Montgomery
Players Remaining: 113
Recent Bustouts: Allen Cunningham, Raja Kattamuri
Another big dog busted out when Allen Cunningham headed to the rail. In 2006 Cunningham made the final table and just two months earlier Flipchip picked him to win it all that year. This year Flipchip picked Matusow to win it all. At this point, Matusow is alive and well according to his shrink, The Poker Shrink, his meds are working. Matusow is around 700K and gets to play at the same table as Kara Scott. She has about 450K. She's wearing a sleeveless number and I just want to run my fingers down her smooth arms....
Hellmuth is on a mini-run and is now over 1M. He's just below average but he's playing with more... bravado.
ActionBob is holding steady with 1M. He hasn't been playing too many pots. Did I just state the obvious. There was one all in and a call at Bob's table. Tri Nguyen was in a hand and lost a coinflip. "Fifty-fity he said. You lose or you win. I lose."
Friend of Pokerati, Raja Kattamuri, is busto. He's just a friend because Michaslki gave him a patch, but didn't wear it. Had he worn the patch, he would have been a member of Team Pokerati. See, there's a big difference according to Michalski and the pecking order of the pros that he covers in tournaments.
The Beast lounge was packed when I checked it out. I saw Barry up there. He usually works the bar in the hallway and Otis and I see him late nights. He serves us the drinks before our late night lime tossing sessions. Anyway, Barry teh Bartender told me that sales "have been steady" all afternoon.
Greg FBT Mueller was sweating Tiffany Michelle. She has about 2M. Whaaaa? Yes she keeps sucking up chips. Steve Dannenmann was taking photos with fans.
Brandon Cantu has added a fourth tier to his massive chip stack. The top tier is all green 25K chips.
Big Stacks: Steve Lade, Brandon Cantu, James McManus, Jamal Kunbuz, Ivan Demidov
Players Remaining: 104
Recent Bustouts: Kara Scott, Shawn Sheikhan, Jeff Madsen
Aw, poor Kara is busto. See ya in London for the EPT...
Hellmuth still at 1M. Tiffany up to 3.5M. With Allen Cunningham out, she's getting most of the camera time at the table.
Matusow is at 700K. "No one is putting in a bad chip," he mentioned about the quality of play at his table.
Action Bob still has his head above 1M.
I caught one hand where Mark Vos busted one of Benjo's French players. "I'm done!" exclaimed a happy Benjo. With that elimination, there are no more French players remaining at the WSOP. He can close up shop.
Scotty Nguyen was posing for photos and shaking hands with fans on the rail.He did a free promo for a Dutch TV show. The hostess has a nice pair of bananas. Benjo was taking shots of her cleavene.
Greg FBT Mueller sat in media row at the featured table and got a full on massage.
Two security guards were talking about the final table delay.
Guard 1: "The are coming back in November to play the final table."
Guard 2: "I don't get it."
Guard 1: "They are trying to hype it up, like the super bowl, how they take a week off then play it after all the hype."
Guard 2: "I always hated that. They should play it right away. The games suck because they hype it up.
Guard 1: "Yeah they always suck. Except this year. I won four grand on the Giants."
Guard 2: "I lost a couple of hundred. Was I the only one who bet the Pats?"
Guard 1: "Fuckin' cheaters. They deserve to lose."
Big Stacks: Nikolay Losev, Mark Ketteringham, Tiffany Michelle, Jamal Kunbuz, Aaron Gordon
Players Remaining: 92
Recent Bustouts: ActionBob
Players are returning from their dinner break. Only one more level tonight.
Yeah, can't believe it either. Tiffany Michelle is third in chips. I missed teh hand, I just saw her stacking up the chips. Unreal. Tiffany making a run.
Oliver is almost eliminated in thr agent sweepstakes. He told me that the last of the players he repped has been eliminated. Although... Change100 saw him and a player talking shop on the dinner break.
I forgot about the funny scene yesterday on the smoker's porch when EPT Denmark winner Tim Vance was trying to explain Benjo the pop culture significance and popularity of Survivor.
Jeff Madsen left the payout room with his hot girlfriend who had some serious sleeve tats.
Both PartyPoker qualifers remaining are from Dublin, Ireland. I wonder if they go to the same church?
With five minutes to go in the dinner break, security open the doors and spectators rushed in to get into position on the rail. There's two rails set up. An inner perimeter or moat area is set up for photographers and media which circles the entire playing floor. There's an outer barrier where the spectators stand. Of course, several unruly ones jump the rail and stand inside the media area. Vin told me that the security guards kick them out but minutes later, they sneak back in. One group of railbirds bullrushed the ropes when their friend was all in. They ran up to the table and security kicked them out. They might have to get water hoses to calm everyone down. Then again, a group of the rent-a-guards are a serious lazy bunch... always looking for an opportunity to sit down. I even saw one guy take out his cell phone and took pictures.
Oh and here's the hot Dutch chick with the delicious bananas...
Picture courtesy of Benjo
* * * * *
Big Stacks: Jamal Kunbuz, Nikolay Losev, Mark Ketteringham, Tiffany Michelle, Alfredo Fernandez
Players Remaining: 88
Jamal Kunbuz is the new chipleader. The Venezuelan is making a run late in the day. Matt Matros on the verge of 2M in chips.
I sat next to the Poker Shrink at the final table and sweated Mike Matusow, who doubled up on an insane hand. During the break, the Shrink hung out with Matusow and a security guard inside the VIP lounge. Hellmuth was at dinner and Matusow was the only other VIP member left in the main event. Matusow analyzed his table for the Shrink. Matusow specifically said if the players in seat 2 or 3 raised his blind one more time, he was going after them. Matusow also took a half of an Adderall.
Well, just after the dinner break, Sean Davis raised his blind. Matusow moved all in for his last 540K. His opponent called with Big Slick. Matusow sheepishly tabled 10-5 and muttered a couple of expletives under his breath. I guess it was Matusow's day. He flopped a 5 and went nuts. He jumped up and down as his fans cheered on their hero.
"I shifted gears at the right time!" screamed Matusow. "It's time to go to work. I feel good!"
The Shrink chuckled as he sat next to me witnessing a jubilant Matusow playing up for the cameras and the crowd.
Greg FBT Mueller has been sweating Chino Reem. Ah another one of FBT's horses.
Hellmuth was moved to the featured TV table and Matusow lost his shit. He was so excited. So was the crowd. And I think everyone at ESPN wet themselves with the possibility of a an insane blow up. Then again, I think they were also cringing, because the thought of one of them bust the other would not be good for ratings. In a perfect world, the two would avoid each other and meet at the final table.
When Phil Hellmuth won a pot one fan yelled out, "Go Wisconsin, Phil!" Hellmuth won one pot uncontested with Jacks.
"You already picked up three good hands since you got here," bitched Matusow. "I haven't seen three all day."
"I got some money back with eights, honey!" Hellmuth shouted to his wife, who sat right behind me on in media row.
Big Stacks: Mark Ketteringham with 5.7M, Tiffany Michelle, Jamal Kunbuz, Albert Kim, Nikolay Losev
Players Remaining: 82
Recent Bustouts: Alexander Kostritsyn
The young Ruskie that took down the Aussie Millions, Alexander Kostritsyn, is out. Matt Matros busted a player to move past the 2M mark.
Mark Ketteringham became the first player to pass the 5M mark. Action slowed down substantially. Really surprised that they decided to kill action at the end of four levels. Keep playing. Bust as many as possible. Tiffany Michelle's vacuum cleaner continued to scoop up chips. She has over 3.8M and chasing down 4M. Gulp.
Hung out in at the featured table. It was the Matusow and Hellmuth show. FBT returned since he was sweating two guys including Chino. He got a massage. Again. One of his horses Chino Rheem picked up a lot of pots during that stretch.
"He's a whole different Chino!" shouted Matusow to FBT as he got a masaage.
The featured table was a bit of a let down because I expected huge fireworks. Instead Hellmuth was rather quiet and when the two talked they were whispering things to each other with Matusow hiding his face with his hand sort of like when a pitcher and catcher have a mound conference.
Nolan Dalla chatted up a drunk Romanian in the crowd who is here sweating two players.
Everyone in the Amazon Room whispered about ESPN setting up the Hellmuth vs. Matusow match up. My opinion? Lucky draw.
Players Remaining: 79
Here's the leaderboard...
End of Day 4 Top 10 Chip Count:Recent bustouts: Mark Vos went out on the last hand of the night.
Mark Ketteringham (Los Angeles, California) - 5,800,000
Nikolay Losev (Moscow, Russia) - 4,058,000
Albert Kim (Staten Island, New York) - 3,734,000
Tiffany Michelle (Los Angeles, California) - 3,438,000
Dennis Phillips (St. Louis, Missouri) - 3,436,000
Aaron Gordon (Brighton, England) - 3,369,000
Jamal Kunbuz (Venezuela) - 3,327,000
Terry Lade (Ormond Beach, Florida) - 3,225,000
Jeremy Joseph (Buffalo, New York) - 3,100,000
Alfredo Fernandez (Miami, Florida) - 3,053,000
Over at the featured TV table, just when I was ready to declare the matchup between Hellmuth and Matusow a dud... Hellmuth had a meltdown after Cristian Dragomir called a Hellmuth raise with 10-4. Cristian Dragomir outflopped Hellmuth's A-K and Hellmuth folded Big Slick face up. Cristian Dragomir showed his hand and that set Hellmuth off. He went apeshit so much so that Steve Frezer gave him a one orbit penalty. Since it was the end of the day, Hellmuth has to sit out one orbit tomorrow.
Play is over for Day 5. Action resumes at noon on Sunday. Thanks for following along.
Here are the Day 4 money winners...
80 Mark Vos Cape Town South Africa $77,200
81 Davor Lanini Parma Italy $77,200
82 Stephen Kenna Dublin Ireland $64,333
83 Lonnie Heimowitz Monticello New York $64,333
84 Alexander Kostritsyn Moscow Russia $64,333
85 Cedric Kolstad Mesa Arizona $64,333
86 Reagan Silber Los Angeles California $64,333
87 Karle Wilson West Chester Ohio $64,333
88 Santeri Valikoski Espoo Finland $64,333
89 Jose Barbero Buenos Aires Argentina $64,333
90 Jeffrey Papola Howell New Jersey $64,333
91 Timothy Taylor Tampa Florida $51,466
92 Geoffery Herzog Jacksonsville Florida $51,466
93 Markus Feurle Bregenz Austria $51,466
94 Robert 'ActionBob' Hwang Barnegat New Jersey $51,466
95 Yde Deutekom Zoetermeer Netherlands $51,466
96 Aditya Agarwal Philadelphia Pennsylvania $51,466
97 Dwayne Stacey Romsey England $51,466
98 Darren Grant Toronto Ontario, Canada $51,466
99 Cort Kibler-Melby Berlin Germany $51,466
100 Marc Podell New York New Jersey $41,816
101 Vito Branciforte Kourtant Germany $41,816
102 Petteri Pirinen Espoo Finland $41,816
103 Tri Nguyen Westminster California $41,816
104 Kara Tobin Hove England $41,816
105 Shahram Sheikhan Las Vegas Nevada $41,816
106 Stephan Hornet Clichy France $41,816
107 Nathan Hays Lincoln Nebraska $41,816
108 Nghia Le Shakopee Minnesota $41,816
109 Greg De Bora Toronto Ontario, Canada $41,816
110 Reggie Lyons Dublin Ireland $41,816
111 Robert Ford Johnstown Pennsylvania $41,816
112 Jeff Madsen Las Vegas Nevada $41,816
113 Steve Pestal Long Beach California $41,816
114 Adam York Bristol England $41,816
115 Keller Hunter Minot North Dakota $41,816
116 Matthew Jensen Los Angeles California $41,816
117 Allen Cunningham Las Vegas Nevada $41,816
118 William Brewin Bristol England $41,816
119 Jens Klaning Aarhus C Denmark $41,816
120 Jeff Kimber London England $41,816
121 Keith Ferrera Las Vegas Nevada $41,816
122 Brandon Becker Loveland North Dakota $41,816
123 Raja Kattamuri Irving Texas $41,816
124 Douglas Ashmore Houston Texas $41,816
125 Dale Hoy Norwich England $41,816
126 Andrew Teng London England $41,816
127 Dan Assor Caracas Venezuela $41,816
128 Brad Johnson Madison Alabama $41,816
129 Jason Su Houston Texas $41,816
130 Jeffrey Anderson Mt. Vernon Washington $41,816
131 Anton Nikaj Putnam Valley New York $41,816
132 Alexander Tinsley Wauconda Illinois $41,816
133 Xiao Dong Deng Edmonton Alberta, Canada $41,816
134 Terry Stewart Duluth Georgia $41,816
135 Brent Sheirbon The Dalles Oregon $41,816
136 Minna Ritakorpi Vantaa Finland $41,816
137 Robert Betts Las Vegas Nevada $41,816
138 Pontus Khosravi Gothenburg Sweden $41,816
139 Karen Manfrede Santa Monica California $41,816
140 Sylvain Coeur Echirolles France $41,816
141 Mikael Johansson Kristianstad Sweden $41,816
142 Andrew Schultz Madison Wisconsin $41,816
143 Keoni Schwartz San Francisco California $41,816
144 Matthew Lessinger Alameda California $41,816
145 Joel Fischbein Las Vegas Nevada $41,816
146 Jeremiah Smith Las Vegas Nevada $41,816
147 Sarkis Akopyan Moscow Russia $41,816
148 Jonathan Friedberg Las Vegas Nevada $41,816
149 Charalampos Tsaoussis Starberg Germany $41,816
150 Barry Leventhal Brooklyn New York $41,816
151 Justin St John Pittsburgh Pennsylvania $41,816
152 Patrick Zamarian Zurich Switzerland $41,816
153 Garth Paul N Ridgeville Ohio $41,816
154 Kyle Carlston Las Vegas Nevada $41,816
155 Christopher Overgard Naperville Illinois $41,816
156 Joshua Freeman Plantation Florida $41,816
157 Noah Kawashige Honolulu Hawaii $41,816
158 Jerry Martin Indianapolis Indana $41,816
159 Cory Albertson Houston Texas $41,816
160 Gus Hansen Copenhagen Denmark $41,816
161 Charles Jett Henderson Nevada $41,816
162 Hoyt Corkins Las Vegas Nevada $41,816
163 Robin Larsson Koping Sweden $38,600
164 Andy Witek Nevada City California $38,600
165 Evan Jarvis Toronto Ontario, Canada $38,600
166 Cornel Pazara San Jose California $38,600
167 Mao Qiu Scottsdale Arizona $38,600
168 Gerardus Terwisscha Van Scheltinga Groningen Netherlands $38,600
169 Jesse Mceuen Akron Ohio $38,600
170 Helge Pederson Odensec Denmark $38,600
171 William Purle Wokingham England $38,600
172 Luigi Esposito Glendale New York $38,600
173 Thomas Cope Westport Connecticut $38,600
174 James Mills Downey California $38,600
175 ChristopherBarrile Marlborough Massachusetts $38,600
176 Chad Layne Henderson Nevada $38,600
177 Charles Dolan Huntington Beach California $38,600
178 Benjamin Roberts London England $38,600
179 Joshua Norris Toronto Ontario, Canada $38,600
180 Bernie Koerner Daytona Beach Florida $38,600
181 Diren Yildiz Namur Belgium $38,600
182 Roy Carter Carrollton Texas $38,600
183 Neil Sweeting Ashtead England $38,600
184 Anthony Meeker Rockville Centre New York $38,600
185 Gerald Cusick Aurora Colorado $38,600
186 Hai Chu Melbourne Australia $38,600
187 Anthony Clark Reno Nevada $38,600
188 Peter Traply Budapest Hungary $38,600
189 George Rahme Burbank California $38,600
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