Las Vegas, NV
Down to the final three tables. 27 players will fight to the death. Only nine will survive and go on to become the next wave of poker celebrities. Which nine will it be? Cantu? Chino? Hot Chips? One or more Scandis?
Featured TV Table:
Seat 1: Joe Bishop (Cincinnati, OH) – 4,855,000
Seat 2: Peter Eastgate (Odense, Denmark) – 9,325,000
Seat 3: Gert Andersen (Herning, Denmark) – 6,740,000
Seat 4: Kelly Kim (Whittier, CA) – 8,840,000
Seat 5: Brandon Cantu (Las Vegas, NV) – 4,740,000
Seat 6: Dean Hamrick (East Lansing, MI) – 2,375,000
Seat 7: Ivan Demidov (Moscow, Russia) – 4,965,000
Seat 8: Niklas Flisberg (Stockholm, Sweden) – 1,330,000
Seat 9: Michael Carroll (Carson, CA) – 1,015,000
Seat 1: Scott Montgomery (Perth, Ontario, Canada) – 4,320,000
Seat 2: Tim Loecke (Highland Park, IL) – 2,280,000
Seat 3: Anthony Scherer (Truckee, CA) – 2,385,000
Seat 4: Owen 'ocrowe' Crowe (Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada) – 3,800,000
Seat 5: Craig Marquis (Arlington, TX) – 11,460,000
Seat 6: Ylon Schwartz (Brooklyn, NY) – 3,655,000
Seat 7: Paul Snead (Kings Park, NY) – 6,600,000
Seat 8: Tiffany Michelle (Los Angeles, CA) – 9,755,000
Seat 9: Phi Nguyen (Hawaiian Gardens, CA) – 1,020,000
Table #3 Outside
Seat 1: Jason Riesenberg (Halbur, IA) – 3,405,000
Seat 2: Darus Suharto (Toronto, Ontario, Canada) – 4,510,000
Seat 3: Chris Klodnicki (Voorhees, NJ) – 6,245,000
Seat 4: Toni Judet (Bucharest, Romania) – 5,000,000
Seat 5: Nicholas Sliwinski (Las Vegas, NV) – 4,925,000
Seat 6: David 'Chino' Rheem (Los Angeles, CA) – 8,280,000
Seat 7: Dennis Phillips (St. Louis, MO) – 11,910,000
Seat 8: Albert Kim (Staten Island, NY) – 3,675,000
Seat 9: Aaron Gordon (Brighton, UK) – 1,790,000
In position. The room is almost empty. An eerie calm before the human sacrifice unfolds before our eyes.
My sources at PokerStars say that have not heard anything about sponsoring Tiffany. I'm assuming it will be a last minute decision.
"Absolutely drama ladened," was how one poker insider described the behind the scenes battle for Tiffany's chest.
She walked in a few seconds ago... with a UB patch. That cost me a lot of money in side bets. Yikes.
The doors opened o the public and the first person to walk through? An agent slithered through. A mad dash of people trickled through the only entrance. They all wanted to get a good spot on the rail.
Joe Awada is here sweating somebody. I wonder if he has a piece of someone.
Cards in the air. Action was delayed for about ten minutes while Jeffrey Pollack addressed the final 27. He told them that the final nine has to come back tomorrow for a three hour orientation meeting. They will get paid their $900,000 and then they will find out about what will happen over the next three months.
The big buzz is about the shift in strategy once it gets down to 12-11-10-handed. Will people stall and not play a hand in order to become the final nine? Or will they throw all the celebrity hoopla out the window and play it down like a regular tournament? I guess we'll find out. Because of that extra-incentive to play tighter near the final table bubble, I'm setting the O/U at 5:01am.
Big Stacks: Dennis Phillips with 12.5M, Peter Eastgate, Craig Marquis, Paul Snead, Chino Rheem
Players Remaining: 26
Hot Chips Watch: 7.5M
The first player to bust out was Michael Carroll in 27th place. he had been sporting Lakers jerseys for the entire Main Event. I talked to him once or twice and he was engaging and funny and I wanted to get to know him a little bit better. He was one of the guys I wanted to cover heavily today, but he's busto in the first ten minutes of play.
I'm starting to piece together the battle for Tiffany's breasts... supposedly, PokerStars had a deal in place and she was good to go with them. However, she shocked everyone when she walked in through the back door with her ever growing entourage and sporting a UB logo and wearing a camouflage trucker's hat with a UB patch on the front. Maria Ho is sweating Tiffany today.
MeanGene is covering Tiffany's table for PokerNews. I hung out with him for a bit and Tiffany has been bullied early on and lost two pots. She's a huge target and with all the side drama, I hope her head is in a good spot because it's gonna be a bloody-knuckle brawl.
The sketch-guy is back. An artist has been here the last couple of days lurking in the background and doing pen and pencil drawings. I haven't talked to him yet. I've been leaving him alone to do his thing.
Someone asked me who I'm rooting for. I gotta go with Ylon Schwartz... everyone's favorite future juniper addict of America. He
The goodbyes have begun. Over the last couple of days, I have been in the process of bidding my friends farewell. Some I'll see on the tour later this year. And the ones who I only see at the WSOP, I might not see for a long time. Sort of sad, at the same time, I don't have time to dwell upon it with 26 players to go.
Big Stacks: Dennis Phillips with 14.4M. Peter Eastgate, Craig Marquis, Kelly Kim, and Joe Bishop
Players Remaining: 23
Hot Chips Watch: 5M
Recent eliminations: Aaron Gordon 24th place; Niklas Flisberg 25th Place; Phi Nguyen = 26th place
A couple of quick bustouts... and there's 23 to go.
Ylon Schwartz doubled up with A-K versus Paul Snead's A-J, despite the fact that Snead flopped trips on a K-J-J board. The turn was a King and Ylon took the lead and won the hand to double up.
I have already lost $50 today in throwing things prop bets and almost another 1K in gambling on the online poker logos on Tiffany's breasts. Bad start to today. Need to make it back. Can you say online tennis betting?
Big Stacks: Dennis Phillips with 14.4M. Peter Eastgate, Craig Marquis, Kelly Kim, and Joe Bishop
Players Remaining: 23
Hot Chips Watch: 5M
Players returned from a break. Level 20. Blinds 50K/100K with 10K ante.
Ylon took a pot from Tiffany before the break. He's moving up while she's moving down.
Lots of stunned and confused faces today from poker insiders over Tiffany's decision to wear UB. That's fodder for the forum flamers to feast on for the rest of the decade.
On the other hand, PokerStars appears to have won the final 27 branding battle with more than 50% of the remaining field considering only four of them were qualifiers (Tim Loecke, Owen Crowe, Chris Klodnicki, and Darus Suharto). The other eight (including Cantu and Chino) were plucked up over the last couple of days.
Big Stacks: Dennis Phillips with 14M, Darus Suharto, Joe Bishop, Ylon Schwartz, and Craig Marquis
Players Remaining: 18
Hot Chips Watch: 5M. She's slipped to the middle of the pack.
Recent Bustouts: Oliver Kim 19th, Brandon Cantu 20th, Paul Snead 21st, Judet Toni Cristian 22nd, Tim Loecke 23rd
Holy shit. Several bustouts in the last five minutes. It was hard to keep up. Someone was all in on every table at one point. OK, action has been paused. Down to the final 18 or the final two tables. Wow. That was quick. Stay tuned for the final 18 seating assignments.
With Cantu's elimination, the big names left are Chino and Tiffany.
Ylon up to 10M and jumped into the Top 5.
I heard that all but two of the final 27 players were signed up by online poker sites. The two holdouts? The distrusting Russian who did not want to deal with any agents. And the Romanian guy who wouldn't talk to anyone for less than 500K.
Action resumed after a short delay while the final two tables completed a re-draw.
Featured TV Table:JC Tran and Shaniac are on the rail sweating Chino and Owen Crowe. Crowe is Shaniac's roomie this summer.
Seat 1: Nicholas Sliwinski
Seat 2: Jason Riesenberg
Seat 3: Tiffany Michelle
Seat 4: Dennis Phillips
Seat 5: Scott Montgomery
Seat 6: Dean Hamrick
Seat 7: Gert Andersen
Seat 8: Anthony Scherer
Seat 9: Peter Eastgate
Seat 1: Joe Bishop
Seat 2: Chris Klodnicki
Seat 3: Owen Crowe
Seat 4: Ylon Schwartz
Seat 5: Kelly Kim
Seat 6: Darus Suharto
Seat 7: Ivan Demidov
Seat 8: Craig Marquis
Seat 9: David "Chino" Rheem
"I'm totally proud of Chino. He's had an amazing summer. He's in the zone right now. By the way, this is the year of the marginal pro. One of them will win it this year," explained Shaniac.
Tiffany is over at the featured TV table. She has Ted Lawson's wife sweating her along with Maria Ho and her agent Katie, not to mention porn star Samantha Ryan. Her ex-boyfriend Hollywood Dan is in the stands as well. He was kicked out of the media area for several reasons including wearing a media badge that was not his.
Greg 'FBT' Mueller has three horses left. Chino, Crowe, and Tiffany. He'd love for them to go 1-2-3. "But you know how poker is," lamented FBT. "They could all be the next three to bust, especially how fast the action has gone today."
With the consolidation of the final two tables, the entire crowd has split up into two distinct areas. They are gathered at the featured table where it's standing room only there and in the Beast Lounge. The secondary table has railbirds standing ten deep. That table has been the worst table at the WSOP to cover an event because it is sort of secluded. Horrendous set up and a total clusterfuck. There's zero room to move and very little space to house the media.
The Poker Kitchen is nevermore. It has been totally stripped down. The only thing left out back is a portable shitter that smells like it hasn't been drained in weeks. When shit and urine bake out in the Nevada sun, the result is a toxic and obnoxious aroma.
Today's smoke break is sponsored by PokerStars!
* * * * *
Eight minutes into Level 30, Tiffany Michelle was eliminated in 17th place. Poker's last hope is out.
Tiffany Michelle. The last chance star in the darkened sky of poker has faded into oblivion.
It seemed like everyone had something riding on Tiffany Michelle. Harrahs. ESPN. Poker News. Ultimate bet. The G. Lisandro. FBT. Online poker. The entire poker industry. With the weight of world on her back, it hard not to think she buckled under the pressure.
"She had a phenomenal run," said Flipchip.
Congrats to Tiffany for a valiant effort. She posted a stunning run under the most dire of external circumstances.
Big Stacks: Peter Eastgate with 18.6M, Joe Bishop, Craig Marquis, Darus Suharto, Dennis Phillips
Players Remaining: 15
Recent Elimination: Anthony Scherer in 16th place
Ylon is a shade under 12M. Chino is one of the shortstacks with 3M.
Been watching the home run derby. I'm sitting next to the plasma screen. For the last two days, I abandoned the press box and sat much closer to the action. My area is mostly secluded and I get more work done. Sometimes the press box was too distracting and at this point in the tournament, it's less about social hour and everything to do with hunting down the stories. At the tables. On the rail. In the hallways.
Right now? It's super quiet. You would never know it's the final two tables of the WSOP.
The entire air has been let out of the room. Seems like everyone is depressed and sad about the Tiffany elimination. When you are bone dead tired after seven long weeks... something like Tiffany energizes you. The story is so fascinating and has so many aspects and it really fired up everyone involved. It was sort of magical in a way. With her departure, life returns to its ordinary blandness. Especially since some reporters have commented that the play on the final two tables resembles "an online tournament" or a "$1,500 donkament." I was quick to point out that they might have some semblance of truth to their statements. But there's also $9 million on the line.
Big Stacks: Peter Eastgate, Scott Montgomery, Darus Suharto, Chino Rheem, Joe Bishop
Players Remaining: 15
We're at a new pay jump...
10-12th place = $591,869
13-15th place = $463,201
Wow, Chino making a tremendous run. he was on the verge of getting busted and ran his stack all the way up into the Top 5. As Shaniac said earlier, Chino is in the zone.
Peter Eastgate is the current chipleader.
Nick told me about the Nicholas Sliwinski story about how he was living on his buddy's couch and down to his last $1,000 and somehow parlayed that into a seat into the Main Event. He's still in the middle of the pack.
Watching Josh Hamilton put on a clinic in the HR derby. That's more interesting than the final two tables. Chris Berman has jizzed in his pants at least four times.
Owen 'ocrowe' Crowe eliminated in 15th place. Down to 14. Peter Eastgate is the chipleader.
Players are heading on dinner break.
14 to go. Players will be back from their dinner break soon. The average stack is 9.77M. Here's the updated chipcounts:
Peter Eastgate 18.8MFive more bustouts until the final table is set.
Darus Suharto 14.8M
Dean Hamrick 12.6M
Joe Bishop 11.8M
David 'Chino' Rheem 11.2M
Scott Montgomery 10.59M
Ylon Schwartz 9.77M
Craig Marquis 9.6M
Dennis Phillips 9.2M
Kelly Kim 6.8M
Chris Klodnicki 6.7M
Ivan Demidov 5.4M
Nicholas Sliwinski 4.565M
Gert Andersen 3.7M
When they come back, action will be on level 31. Blinds 80K/160K with 20K blinds.
Big Stacks: Dennis Phillips with 18.6M, Ylon Schwartz, Peter Eastgate, Joe Bishop, Dean Hamrick
Players Remaining: 12
Recent Bustouts: Nicholas Sliwinski in 13th, Gert Andersen in 14th
Average stack is 11.4M.
Ylon Schwartz took over the chiplead, before Dennis Phillips got it back when he busted Nicholas Sliwinski. Phillips had a bunch of inebriated and boisterous fans. Sliwinski's crew wore t-shirts that said, "Whose the bully now."
A couple of railbirds stole a couple of stools that a Dutch TV show had been using to conduct interviews with Dutch pros such as Marcel Luske. A secuity guard busted them and dragged the stools across the Amazon ballroom back to where they belongs.
Johnny Chan was spotted sitting in the audience. He was branded up and I betcha he was there to pimp his third-rate energy drink.
Sometimes the behavior of my fellow media reps embarrasses all of us... at the featured TV table there is one girl who is so bored that she's doing Sudoku puzzles. Most of the time, the bored folks are usually playing online poker or updating their facebook profile.
I offered to play Otis a $1K heads up freezeout... lime tossing. He declined. I think he's ducking me.
Chris Klodnicki out in 12th place. Down to 11. Dennis Phillips is the chipleader and the first player past 24M. Ylon is second in chips. Chino in third.
Joe Bishop's railbird bought a bottle of Dom Perignon for Joe and the secondary table. Ivan the Russian declined. There was extra glasses available and Bishops told the waiter to offer the extras to the final table. A couple of them declined and Ylon told the waiter to give the booze out to fans in the stands.
Mel Judah sighting in the crowd. Andy Bloch was on the rail as well. One old guy asked him for a picture. "Hey' you're the blackjack guy!"
Big Stacks: Dennis Phillips 28.6M, Ivan Demidov, Dean Hamrick, Craig Marquis, Joe Bishop
Shortstack: Kelly Kim
Players Remaining: 11
Sorry for the lack of updates. I had a last session of lime tossing with Otis. Here are the scores...
Round 1: Pauly 150, Otis 80Otis and I also did a quick podcast about his involvement with the Devil. Benjo stopped by and looked very sad. He said that the WSOP is like summer camp and today is the last day. He was kinda sad when we did our final podcast.
Round 2: Pauly 80, Otis 0
Overall: Pauly +220
Down to 10. Dennis Phillips is the chipleader with over 30M. Ivan in second.
Wow. Chino busted Joe Bishop in 11th place. Chino was
Chino was so far behind and got there on the river. His friends and buddies on the rail (among them Shaniac, FBT, Joe Bartholdi, JC Tran, Durrrr) went ballistic. It was one of the most explosive moments at the main event when Chino hit his card on the river. Even FBT gave the security guard a hi-five. Since the final ten players would be consolidated on the feature table was set, all of his buddies raced to the final table to secure a seat.
Here's the final 10 including seating assignments and chip counts.
Seat 1: Dean Hamrick 12,460,000The fan favorite is Chino with a dozen or so pros and internet legends in the crowd cheering him on.
Seat 2: Dennis Phillips 21,500,000
Seat 3: Craig Marquis 12,000,000
Seat 4: Ylon Schwartz 10,500,000
Seat 5: Scott Montgomery 20,635,000
Seat 6: Darus Suharto 16,425,000
Seat 7: David 'Chino' Rheem 10,100,000
Seat 8: Ivan Demidov 18,700,000
Seat 9: Kelly Kim 4,430,000
Seat 10: Peter Eastgate 10,430,000
Cards just went in the air. One more bust out... and everyone gets to go home.
Action has slowed down as expected. Ivan Demidov has taken over the chiplead... albeit by a slim margin. Kelly Kim is the shortstack.
More inaction. Despite a crowded final table, Ivan Demidov and Scott Montgomery have about 20M each and are out in front. Kelly Kim is the shortstack. Most of the younger pros in the crowd are sweating Chino.
SInce action has slowed down, I took it upon myself to engage in as many outrageous prop bets. Ali Nejad and one of his camera guys had a bet to see who could push an inflated six-foot high Milwaukee's Beast can across the empty Amazon Ballroom. Steve Frezer picked the cameraguy. I had Ali. I lost. So fuckin' rigged.
I lost $30 in throwing things bets with Otis and Michalski out back in the area that used to be the Poker Kitchen. I won a few bucks in "golfing" props... specifically hitting empty Gatorade bottles over a wall with a piece of PVC piping. When it came to throwing the PVC pipe as a javelin... I got smoked. Michalski can definitely bring it although he tossed the faux javelin like Lamar Latrell (aka the gay black guy in Revenge of the Nerds).
Drunk guy left the final table area and stumbled across the killing fields. He fired up a cigarette and smoked 1/3 of it as he slowly trudged across the Amazon Ballroom. Of course, he didn't get yelled at.
I have seen plenty of pros and unknowns stand around in the service hallways and smoke during break. Some of them just don't care and light up in front of no smoking signs. The worse is Amir Vahedi who smokes his stinky cigars everywhere.
All quiet on the western front.
"This is so strange. Of course everyone is tired. Or drunk. Or both. They are bringing beers over by the trayfull," said Flipchip.
Yes, still ten players left. Dennis Phillips is the chipleader while Ylon is fourth in chips.
Dean Hamrick bubbled off the final table in 10th place.
The November nine includes... Dennis Phillips, Craig Marquis, Ylon Schwartz, Scott Montgomery, Darus Suharto, David 'Chino' Rheem, Ivan Demidov, Kelly Kim, and Peter Eastgate.
One of those lucky fuckers will be the next WSOP champion.
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