Monday, June 30, 2008

WSOP Day 32 - Live Blog

By Pauly
Las Vegas, NV

Back for Day 32 of the WSOP. A little late start to today because of HORSE last night. Have a slight HORSE hangover. Four events today....
Event #49 $1,500 NL - Final Table
Event #50 $10,000 PLO - Day 2
Event #51 $1,500 HORSE - Day 2
Event #52 $1,500 NL - Day 1
And here's today's final table...
Event #49 $1,500 NL - Final Table:
Seat 1: Christoph Kohnen (Moers, Germany) - 293,000
Seat 2: Joe Pelton (Irvine, CA) - 1,093,000
Seat 3: Jesper Hoog (Stockholm, Sweden) - 320,000
Seat 4: John Conroy (Dublin, Ireland) - 501,000
Seat 5: Robert Kalb (Offenbach, Germany) - 456,000
Seat 6: JC Tran (Sacramento, CA) - 1,438,000
Seat 7: Chad Siu (Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada) - 185,000
Seat 8: Peter Nguyen (Tustin, CA) - 870,000
Seat 9: Rasmus Nielsen (Copenhagen, Denmark) - 2,998,000
Can JC Tran win a bracelet? Or will another Euro take it down?

* * * * * *


Today's smoke break is sponsored by PokerStars!

* * * * *


Event #52 $1.5K Final Table: Down to 2. Rasmus Nielsen has over a 3 to 1 chiplead over JC Tran.

Event #50 10K PLO: 46 players remaining including Johnny Chan. Tony G recently busted. Josh Arieh is the chipleader. Go Billy Madison! My favorite Josh Arieh story happened in Monte Carlo at the EPT Grand Finale in 2007. Arieh dragged a monsterpotten against a Scandi. A member of a foreign news outlet didn't know who Arieh was and asked him hos name. Arieh responded, "Billy Madison."

* * * * *


Event #49 1.5K NL Final Table: Rasmus Nielsen is stil ahead, but JC Tran caught up a bit.

Event #50 10K PLO: Josh Arieh's stacks finally got counted by FTrain and Camillo. They finally figured out he had 681K.

Event #51 1.5K HORSE: Down to 81. Bubble time. Chad Brown = chipleader.

... back by popular demand!
Last 5 Pros I Pissed Next To:
1. Greg FBT Mueller
2. Hoyt Corkins
3. JDags
4. Scotty Nguyen
5. Dan Alspach
Jesus was in the hallway posing for autographs again. He's always accommodating.

* * * * *


Event #49 1.5K NL Final Table: JC Tran comes from behind to win the bracelet. He beat a Scandi from Copenhagen to win it all. Plenty of Tran's friends were in the crowd including Tuan Le, Quinn Do, and Tuan Lam. Tran won his first bracelet and said, "this was very difficult. I have been playing at the WSOP for five years. I made lots of final tables but could not get over the hump even though I kept getting close."

He had some interesting strategy.

"I played this like it was my last every tournament, like my last chance to win. That means that I would play harder."

Whatever Tran did to psyche him up, it worked.

Event #50 10K PLO: Down to 37. Josh Arieh has over 11% of the chips in play.

Event #52 1.5K NL: 600 remaining out of 2693 runners. Yep, they are going quick. Erica Schoenberg is in the Top 10 in chips.

* * * * *


Event #50 10K PLO: 30 to go. Josh Arieh's domination has subsided. He's still the chiplead but no longer has a commanding lead. Aussies Billy the Croc and Jamie Pickering are chasing down Arieh. Day 2 was being played out in the Brasilia Room but ESPN got them to switch the last couple of tables to back into the Amazon Ballroom. Better lighting and more branding. They will be shooting b-roll for the PLO final table. Might turn out to be a good one. Oh, and Nikolay Evdakov set a new record for number of cashes. He now has ten this year.

Event #51 1.5K HORSE: 75 to go. They're in the money with Chad Brown second in chips.

Event #52 1.5K NL: 460 to go. Erica Schoenberg and Devilfish = busto. The dragon is the chipleader.

* * * * *


Blew off the All In party. Left the Rio to go see Get Smart at Red Rock. It was blah. I passed out and fell asleep during the end of the second act.

* * * * *


Both Day 2 events are trying to play down to a final table. The PLO one most likely will happen. The HORSE one? It might get down to about 15/16 players before the end play.

Event #50 10K PLO: 16 to go. Kido Pham out in front. Josh Arieh still alive along with Billy the Croc and the Grinder.

Event #51 1.5K HORSE: With 32 players to go, Phil Hellmuth is second in chips. Allen Cunningham and Joe Hachem are both still alive.

Original content written and provided by Pauly from Tao of Poker at All rights reserved. RSS feeds are for non-commercial use only.
2008 WSOP Day 31: Scotty Nguyen = Horsemaster

By Pauly
las Vegas, NV

Like the previous $50,000 HORSE Championship events, they start on one day and no not end until the next morning. This year's event began on Sunday and spilled into Monday morning. I was there from start (dleayed because Huck Seed was late) to the final hand at 5:03am.

Action was three-handed at the final table for several hours as time slowed down. Erick Lindgren was shortstacked but hung tough like a cockroach while Scotty Nguyen and Michael DeMichele battled back and forth for the chiplead. Lindgren's posse was led by an inebriated Gavin Smith. Several players who Lindgren backed in the past and present were on the rail cheering him on which included Bill Edler, Nordberg, Chris Bell, and Gavin Smith. I dubbed that section "Lindgren's Stable."

While on the other side, it appeared that Michael DeMichele and Scotty Nguyen each had a few people on the rail that were only there because they had pieces of them. I cannot confirm. but I have a sneaky suspicion that Todd Brunson had a piece of Scotty but Layne Flack had 36% of the former world champion. Several online guys like YellowSub and ShaunDeeb had pieces of DeMichele.

The agents were swarming. The media were circling. The backers were licking their chops. A couple of hookers strolled the hallways. Just another night at the WSOP.

Around 1:30am, Lindgren made a heroic comeback to almost pull even with DeMichele and Scotty. That's when Scotty lost his shit for a full level. He was drunk and irritated. Happy Scotty was gone and Evil Scotty took his place. He was out in the deep end and he berated dealers and started to head down the path towards utter tiltdom. Lucky for him, he was saved by the bell. Scotty sobered up and two decisive pots from DeMichele to jump back in the lead.

Scotty never looked back. Just after 4:20am, Erick Lindgren was eliminated in third place. Scotty Nguyen was heads up with a nifty lead against Michael DeMichele, who was just 13 years old when Scotty won the world championship in 1998. It would only take Scotty less than twenty minutes to win his fifth bracelet and the Chip Reese Memorial Trophy.

Click here to view Flipchip's winner photos.

I could write a several thousand word recap, but I'll let the live blog from Day 31 do the talking. It appears below...

Original content written and provided by Pauly from Tao of Poker at All rights reserved. RSS feeds are for non-commercial use only.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

WSOP Day 31 - Live Blog

By Pauly
Las Vegas, NV

At the end of today (more likely in the wee hours of Monday morning), the WSOP will crown its next HORSE Champion. Since the Main Event's final table will be delayed until November, the HORSE bracelet will be the most prestigious bracelet awarded this summer.

This is the last Sunday before the Main Event starts and five tournaments will be played out and two bracelets will be awarded.
Event #45 $50,000 HORSE - Final Table
Event #48 $2,000 NL - Final Table
Event #49 $1,500 NL - Day 2
Event #50 $10,000 PLO - Day 1
Event #51 $1,500 HORSE - Day 1
And here are both final tables for today...
Event #45 $50,000 HORSE - Final Table:
Seat 1: Matt Glantz (Philadelphia, PA) - 1,445,000
Seat 2: Huck Seed (Las Vegas, NV) - 1,200,000
Seat 3: Patrick Bueno (Paris, France) - 695,000
Seat 4: Lyle Berman (Minneapolis, MN) - 1,430,000
Seat 5: Scotty Nguyen (Las Vegas, NV) - 3,535,000
Seat 6: Barry Greenstein (Rancho Palos Verdes, CA) - 1,955,000
Seat 7: Michael DeMichele (Las Vegas, NV) - 905,000
Seat 8: Erick Lindgren (Las Vegas, NV) - 3,680,000

Event #48 $2,000 NL - Final Table:
Seat 1: Dan Rome (Millington, IL) - 650,000
Seat 2: Ryan D'Angelo (Blacksburg, VA) - 520,000
Seat 3: Marco Johnson (Walnut Creek, CA) - 2,135,000
Seat 4: Kirill Gerasimov (Moscow, Russia) - 1,145,000
Seat 5: Robert Brewer (Sherman Oaks, CA) - 1,050,000
Seat 6: Gabe Costner (Long Beach, MS) - 1,475,000
Seat 7: Alan Cutter (Vernon Hills, IL) - 535,000
Seat 8: Alexandre Gomes (Curitiba, Brazil) - 1,075,000
Seat 9: Sverre Sundbo (Oslo, Norway) - 685,000
* * * * *


Sitting in Scheckytown and watching Spain/Germany in the Euro Championships. Spain is up 1-0 at halftime. I have more money on Germany than Spain so I need a stellar second half from the Germans.

* * * * *


Well, the Germans screwed me and Spain won 1-0. Great effort from Spain and a lackluster effort from the Germans. That is my last sports bet until football season. At least Benjo won a big bet with Spain.

* * * * *


Event #45 50K HORSE: Cards in the air at 3:42pm.

Huck Seed arrived 26 minutes late. The night before ESPN told him he had to be at the Rio by 2:30pm for his interview. He said, "I'll be sleeping at that time."

It was the battle of the logos. Who is wearing what?
Seat 1: Matt Glantz - PokerStars and PokerRoad
Seat 2: Huck Seed - FullTilt
Seat 3: Patrick Bueno - NONE
Seat 4: Lyle Berman - WPT BootCamp, PokerRoad, All In
Seat 5: Scotty Nguyen - Full Tilt, WPT BootCamp, All In
Seat 6: Barry Greenstein - PokerStars and PokerRaod
Seat 7: Michael DeMichele - Ultimate Bet, All In, WPT Boot Camp, a patch for a poker agent
Seat 8: Erick Lindgren - Full Tilt, RawVegas, and Poker VT
Either Patrick Bueno is not for sale or his price is too high. He's the only player at the final table without a logo.

The new Chip Reese Trophy? Totally ugly. His cute daughter presented it. The only cool think about the trophy is that it is a perpetual award which will be housed at WSOP head quarters. The names of the winners will be engraved.

It arrived chipped and Jeffrey Pollack said that he felt it was fitting (since it's named after Chip Reese) so they decided to keep it.

"This is a really special tournament," said Doyle Brunson.

He also mentioned, "Chip Reese was the best player I ever played against."

Plenty of pros in the crowd including Joe Sebok, Doyle Brunson, Gavin Smith, Jeff Madsen, Todd Brunson, YellowSub, and Steve Wong. I have a feeling that YellowSub has a piece of Michael DeMichele.

* * * * *


Today's smoke break is sponsored by PokerStars!

* * * * *


Event #48 2K NL Final Table: Eight players left. Tony G's horse Kirill Gerasimov is in the middle of the pack.

Event #45 50K HORSE: 7 players remaining.

Recent elimination: Patrick Bueno

Big stacks: Erick Lindgren, Scotty Nguyen, Michael DeMichele

Shortstack: Huck Seed

Beuno is busto. I walked up to the final table and Benjo whispered, "Bueno is about to go out. He's shortstacked."

The French businessman is a semi-pro. He plays in the biggest cash game in Paris once a week. I guess you can say it's his weekly homegame.

Lindgren took our Beuno in Razz. Down to 7. Lindgren still out in front. More of his horses came to sweat him such as Chris Bell and Nordberg and Gavin Smith. Gavin Smith ripped open a bag of sunflower seeds. He then ordered two trays of cocktails and delivered a drink to Todd Brunson who is sweating Scotty Nguyen. I wonder if Todd has a piece of Scotty?

Phil Hellmuth came up and shook Michael DeMichele's hand since Hellmuth is a UB spokesman and DeMichele is branded with UB. Layne Flack also made an appearance.

Several dealers came by to sweat the final table on their break. After all, they are players and fans too. I heard a few say who they were secretly rooting for. Dealers root for guys based on their nice guy factor. If a pro is a dick, the dealers have very little respect for them. If they are nice guys like Erick Lindgren, you have a hordes of dealers cheering you on.

"Dealing the final table is fun, but stressful," one veteran dealer told me. "Sometimes dealing on TV makes things easier when you have difficult players. They tend to be softer and nicer on TV than when the cameras are not on them."

One example was John Bonetti. The saltiest poker player on the circuit passed away the other night. Max Shapiro wrote me an email at the end of last week and mentioned that Bonetti was in a hospice. Pokerati had the scoop on Bonetti's passing.

Another dealer told me that when news of Bonetti's death reached the dealer's break room, there was a standing ovation. Bonetti was historically known for being one of the worst dealer abusers in the game.

That same dealer told me the only other time he witnessed dealers cheering about a pro's death was with Puggy Pearson. He was in the middle of dealing an event when news got out that Puggy died. Everyone in the dealer's room went nuts and cheered on Puggy's death. He was notoriously known for being the worst dealer abuser in the history of poker.

"Puggy? He was just plain mean. He pissed on two female dealers. He used to wear steel-toed shoes and kick dealers underneath the table."

As Doyle Brunson wrote on his blog, "Puggy Pearson is also on my list. I remember at the old Dunes card room, he got into a fight with a lady dealer name Kim. When a male dealer jumped in to hold Pug back, Kim took off her high heel shoe and was beating Puggy on the head. We laughed about that for years."

Bottom line? Respect your dealers. They're people too.

* * * * *


Event #45 50K HORSE: 6 players remaining.

Recent bustout: Huck Seed

Big stacks: Scotty Nguyen, Erick Lindgren, and Matt Glantz

Shorties: Barry Greenstien

Event #48 2K NL Final Table: Kirill Gerasimov busted out in 6th place. Must have been his chic sunglasses that looked like something Michalski would wear. Down to 5.

Several poker agents are lurking around the final tables sweating their players. Extra bonuses kick in if players finish in the top three and especially if they win it all. The HORSE Champion can collect over six figures for wearing a patch. Judging from what went down the last 24-36 hours behind the scenes, it's going to be an all out bidding war during the 3 month delay for the Main Event final table.

Change100 pointed out that Huck Seed was drinking some sort of green wheat grass smoothie or some other concoction.

By Hand #41, the crowd got restless. Several fans already bailed. They finally realized that watching poker on TV is much more exciting than watching it live on the stage. The editors who splice together poker tournaments do an amazing job at cutting out all the dull moments. HORSE might be a 12-15 hour affair spliced down into two hours of coverage. Alfred Hitchcock once said that his movies were just like real life, "with all the dull parts cut out."

One of the dealers told me that she dealt to Erick Lindgren in the 10K PLO event that started at noon. Both him and Greenstein were in that event. Junkies. Addicts. They both have prop bets against each other for number of bracelets and player of the year points. Every event counts. Oh, and both were eliminated from PLO. They are simply focusing on the HORSE final table. Pretty much whoever finishes higher in today's event has an edge on winning Player of the Year... unless John Phan or Jacobo Fernandez wins the Main Event or the last $1,500 donkament which starts tomorrow.

Event #51 1.5K HORSE: Both Coach and Shirley Rosario are playing in today's event.

Here's Coach in action...

* * * * *


Event #45 50K HORSE: Down to 5.

Recent elimination: Barry Greenstein

Big stacks: Scotty Nguyen, Erick Lindgren, Michael DeMichele

Todd Brunson was wearing a "Go Scotty Baby!" t-shirt.

Matt Glantz's buddies brought him a plastic bag filled with snacks and junk food.

There's a spot saved in media row for an AP writer. Of course the AP has yet to spend one day at the WSOP and there's a spot given to them over other outlets and writers who have been here since Day 1. He/she is not here yet. Wonder if they will ever show up?

Where's Scotty's monkey? Be cool to see it run around the stage and shit on Nolan Dalla's laptop.

The poker table used for TV tables is perfectly designed for shilling. After four years ESPN got it down to have logos in the perfect places... ESPN, Rio, Milwaukee's Beast, and Everest Poker.

Event #48 2K NL Final Table: Alexandre Gomes, a Brazilian, is heads up for a bracelet.

Event #49 1.5K NL Kristy Gazes shortstacked but still among the final 64.

Event #51 1.5K HORSE: Coach has 2825 at the break. Steve Dannenmann sat down to Coach's left, then quickly busted. Also in today's event are DonkeyBomber and Sam Simon from The Simpsons. Jen Creason was also playing "I'm playing PONY!" she joked. Sweet Svetlana walked past me and did not say hello.

* * * * *


Event #45 50K HORSE: 5 players left. They are on a dinner break.

Big stacks: Michael DeMichele and Scotty Nguyen

Shorties: Lyle Berman

Event #48 2K NL Final Table: Alexandre Gomes beat CrazyMarco heads up and won Event #48. Gomes becomes the first Brazilian to win a bracelet at the WSOP. My buddy Felipe (from Portugal) made a bet with Flipchip that a player from Brazil will win a bracelet this summer. Flipchip said no way and bet him a free dinner anywhere in town. Looks like he's buying Felipe a lobster dinner after Alexandre Gomes took it down. By the way, if there's one victory party you wanna go to at the's the one thrown by the Brazilians. Gonna try to crash that one...

Event #49 1.5K NL Kristy Gazes made the final four tables. She asked me if I had a PokerNews patch. I had one and she's now branded in Full Tilt and PokerNews logos. I wish I had a Tao of Poker patch to slap on her!

Event #51 1.5K HORSE: Coach up to 6500! DonkeyBomber is the chipleader.

* * * * *


Eskimo Watch: I forgot to write about my Eskimo encounter today. Just outside the poker kitchen, Eskimo was stopped by a fan. They were standing in front of Isabelle Mercier as she smoked a cigarette. The fan told Eskimo that he saw him on TV a bunch of times. Eskimo asked the guy to borrow some money. Just at that moment, L.A. Lakers owner Jerry Buss sauntered by with his hot twenty-something year old Asian girlfriend. He patted Eskimo on back and left.

Michalski told me that Bryan Micon and David Sklanasky were seated at the same table. Sklansky refused to acknowledge Micon, who taunted him to no end.

Event #45 50K HORSE: 4 remaining.

Recent elimination: Lyle Berman

Big stacks: Scotty Nguyen

Shorties: Matt Glantz

Scotty Nguyen ordered a beer and things got interesting. The beer makes Scotty's face flush beet red. He also perks up and starts hamming things up for the camera. Once action got four handed, it became the Scotty Nguyen Show. During a hand with DeMichele, Nguyen bet on the river and DeMichele went into the tank. Nguyen than picked up his three down cards and showed them to the crowd. That got chuckles from everyone especially Layne Flack who stood behind him. Then Scotty picked up each card one by one. Brooks the floor guy didn't think it was funny and gave Nguyen a warning.

"But I didn't see the cards," protested Flack. "I can't see them from here."

If anything it was a perfect shot for the AP photographer who stood next to me behind the scenes. Nguyen kept laughing. DeMichele called and Nguyen won the pot to take back the lead.

Event #49 1.5K NL Kristy Gazes went out in 34th on a sick beat. "Fucking river!" was her text message.

Event #51 1.5K HORSE: Coach up to 8200.

* * * * *


Event #51 1.5K HORSE: Three players remaining.

Recent elimination: Matt Glantz

Big stack: Scotty Nguyen

Short stack: Erick Lindgren

Daniel Negreanu is in the crowd and he's doing his best Scotty Nguyen imitation for the crowd. Bill Edler is also sitting in Lindgren's cheering section. He needs a lot of help since hes short stacked.

There's a fat white guy in Scotty Nguyen's entourage who is a clone of Scotty with the mullet, bling, and funky clothes.

Fuck up of the day? They played 11 hands of Stud 8 before anyone noticed. They are supposed to play eight hands then switch to the next round. Ooooooops.

* * * * *

After Midnight...

Event #45 50K HORSE: 3 remaining.

Big stack: Scotty Nguyen

Shorties: Erick Lindgren

It's after Midnight. That's when the freaks come out to play. The hookers wake up and crawl out of their holes and plaster layers of cheap samples that they stole from Dillards.

At the 2006 WSOP HORSE final table, the stands were empty at 5am. The interns were told to go out into the casino and encourage people to sit in the stands. One of them brought back a drunk hooker. She kept pestering Harrahs officials for money to stay.

Crowd has thinned a bit. Scotty Nguyen has a lot of chips and Lindgren is on the verge of busting out. Lingren has the most pros cheering him on. Scotty is the fan favorite among all the random spectators who came out to watch the event. At different times the Milwaukee's Beast Lounge was packed. I tried to catch the action from different angles... from sitting in the stands to hanging out in the lounge, to sitting in media row with MeanGene, Logan, and Change100 who are live blogging the final table for PokerNews. Last year, BJ and I called the action. He was the play-by-play and I was color.

Harrahs suits came to check out the action. Some of them were chatting about they were excited that NBC would shooting some footage of 50K HORSE.

Event #51 1.5K HORSE: Coach's table broke and he got moved to Mickey Appleman's table. He's shot, under 3900. He did flop quads during hold'em but didn't bet paid off.

* * * * *


I spotted a hooker playing at a 2/5 NL table. It's either a very slow night or been a very good night.

Event #45 50K HORSE: 3 remaining.

Big stack: Michael DeMichele

Shorties: Erick Lindgren

I wandered back to the final table.The crowd was sort of mellow compared to before. It was Sunday night so the drunks were not out in force. The only ones knocking back any booze of sorts were Lindgren's railbirds led by the always festive Gavin Smith. Lindgren's stable of horses was there... Edler, Bell, Nordberg. Layne Flack and Daniel Negreanu were also milling around. Occasionally Negreanu would shout out random phrases in his best Scotty Nguyen impression.

Devilfish was in the stands with his twenty-something girlfriend. She looked bored to death and neurotically did that weird thing where she would bite on her nails or play with her lip like Juliet Lewis in Cape Fear.

YellowSub has been in the audience since 3pm. Either he's a true friend or an anxious backer of Michael DeMichele

Todd Brunson is still in Scotty's corner. He tossed on his shades and is sitting pretty. He has to be backing Scotty. Why would he sit there for so long?

And then there was Chainsaw Kessler sitting in the stands chewing gum.

There's one guy from the third-rate energy drink company that has been spamming the crowd at the final table all afternoon and night. When he's not handing out cheap shit, he's hitting on the ditzy WSOP hostess. That was the same guy who came into the pressbox on Day 1 and tried to get everyone to buy cases of his sugar-water which eats the paint off of cars. They also have bottled water which tastes like mercury. I have visions of a warehouse full of illegal immigrants (most likely from Guadalajara) who are pouring tap water into slick designed water bottles then sealing the caps with blowtorches. They wrap them up and then ship them off to the Rio.

While all of that went down, Nolan Dalla was hard at work and diligently writing out his end of day recap. Hat tip to one of the best in the business.

Event #51 1.5K HORSE: Coach's table broke again. He has Keith Sexton at his table along with Bart Hanson from Poker Road. When one guy in Seat 7 busted out, he took a photo of his stud hand then left. At the table next to them, Perry Friedman pontificated about why poker movies suck. Another nearby table included Gank, Jerry Buss, and DonkeyBomber.

* * * *


Munchies setting in. I ate my second six-pack of Oeros today.

Lime Tossing Update: In our second match, Otis and I went scoreless again. Another push.

Event #45 50K HORSE: 3 remaining.

Big stack? Hard to tell. Players went on a break and they all have dirty stacks, especially Scotty Nguyen. He's been tilting the last hour. I dunno if the lack of nicotine is getting to him or the pressure or the hot lights or the fact that he's hammered. One thing is for sure, he's heading down the wrong road and giving Lindgren or Michael DeMichele a chance to win it.

Scotty's eyes look mean. He has been berating dealers over the last level. Brooks had to give Scotty a talking to on three different occasions.

Erick Lindgren made an amazing comeback. He was on the verge of getting the boot and stormed back to almost get everyone even in chips.

Gavin Smith got in trouble with Nolan Dalla for almost inciting a riot at the final table. OK, maybe not a riot, but Gavin was promoting binge drinking.

"$100 to anyone who chugs this beer!" he offered up.

ESPN cameras were quick to capture the scene.

Marcel Luske sighting in the crowd.

Event #50 10K PLO: 87 players remaining. Josh Arieh has the chiplead.

Event #51 1.5K HORSE: Coach out. Valiant effort. His two pair was chased down by a bigger two pair. Chad Brown and Phil Hellmuth are among the chipleaders.

* * * * *


Event #45 50K HORSE: 3 remaining.

Big stack: Scotty Nguyen

Short stack: Michael DeMichele

After the break, Scotty got his shit together and won two pots off of DeMichele. He took the lead and all of a sudden DeMichele found himself the shortstack. The hunter to the hunted.

I hung out in the Milwaukee's Beast Lounge for most of the last hour. I hid my badge and tried to go undercover. Be just a regular guy on the rail. The bar was still open and serving drinks. I hung out with Marcel Luske. He was getting compliments from different fans. I watched one big hand with Marcel when DeMichele doubled up. He was analyzing something but I had no idea what Marcel was talking about. Either I'm super faded on pharmies or he was speaking Dutch. Maybe both.

A couple of poker fans were in front of me discussing one hand that they felt DeMichele played wrong. Even the drunks in the lounge at 3am are experts and critics.

Change100 told me that she saw two hookers in the bathroom while on her break.

* * * * *


Event #45 50K HORSE: 3 remaining.

Big stack: Scotty Nguyen

Chainsaw Kessler sighting. He stopped chewing gum but still hanging tough in the stands. I wonder if he has a piece of Scotty?

I heard a rumor that Layne Flack has 36% of Scotty Nguyen. I believe it, because 36% is such an odd number that it must be true. I wonder how much Todd Brunson has?

Lindgren supposedly backed 12 guys into almost every event at the 2008 WSOP. Most of his horse are sitting in his cheering section. I call that place Lindgren's Stable. He's got 25 horses ready to run in the Main Event and wanted to get as many as 50. He's currently seeking applications.

Plenty of dealers and floor supervisors are rooting for Lindgren to come from behind and win it. "He's the best tipper," was a phrase that I heard several times.

By the way, the same two dealers who started the event are still here. They deal 16 hands then switch. Troopers for sure.

Mike Matusow sighting. As one Harrahs exec said, "I heard his voice from the other side of the room and I knew Mike was at the final table."

Phil Hellmuth stopped by when his baby HORSE event completed Day 1. He tried to get camera time and went up on stage to shake Scotty's hand. He stood in one area that Steve Frezer dubbed, "the pros who want to be on camera section." That group included Daniel Negreanu, Layne Flack, Mike Matusow, Hellmuth, and Marcel Luske.

Flack was out of control at one point and had to be given a talking to by security and floor staff. He was jumping up and down and screaming, "What's up baby! What's up baby! What's up baby! What's up baby!" He was waving his arms and screaming and jumping up on stage.

ESPN guys are thinking 7am or 8am for the final hand.

"If it goes to seven, I hope it goes to eleven!" screamed Gavin Smith as he walked past me as players went on a break.

As I walked back to the pressbox, I passed the cash game tables. One old guy was screaming, "Steam raise! Steam raise! Steam raise! Steam raise! Steam raise! Steam raise!"

The cash games are still running at 75% capacity. Don't these people have homes?

* * * * *


Event #45 50K HORSE: Two players remaining.

Erick Lindgren was just eliminated in third place. Scotty Nguyen is the chipleader over Michael DeMichele.

You know it's a long day when there are two smoke breaks! This morning's smoke break is sponsored by PokerStars!

* * * * *


Event #45 50K HORSE: Scotty Nguyen wins! He collected his fifth bracelet after defeating Michael DeMichele heads up.

Before Scotty won, it was a crazy scene. Although Lindgren's stable emptied out, a new batch of drunks sat in that section. Layne Flack was in there and super wasted... like Dudley Moore drunk in the flick Arthur. He screamed a lot and was cheering on Scotty who had two massive piles of chips.

Some of the things he yelled...

"What's up baby!"

"I'm not drunk. Chill the fuck out dude!"

"What game are we playin'?"


Scotty yelled out, "Brick this! Some asshole yelled out brick!"

Before Scotty had put Michael DeMichele all in during Hold'em Scotty uttered one of his most famous lines, "It's gonna be all over baby!"

And in a flash, at 5:03am Michael DeMichele was all in with A-3 against Scotty's A-10. Scotty's hand prevailed. He won his fifth bracelet and the 50K HORSE title and $1,989,120.

Respect to Scotty. Well played, sir.

HORSE will be aired on ESPN on August 19th. Check local listings.

Well I guess that's it. Amazing night. One of my favorite that I had ever had in poker. Memory burn for sure.

I will post my recap shortly. Time for a last beer and some breakfast before I return to Scheckytown to write. Thanks for following along. You have been an awesome crowd.

Original content written and provided by Pauly from Tao of Poker at All rights reserved. RSS feeds are for non-commercial use only.
2008 WSOP Day 30: HORSE Day 4 - Erick Lindgren and the Killing Floor

By Pauly
Las Vegas, NV

It was another one of those Saturdays at the WSOP. Thousands of souls were crushed in the $1,500 killing fields while in one small part of the Amazon Room, the spectators were captivated with feeding frenzy in the rectangular tank where the world's most treacherous sharks tore each other to shreds until eight of them were left to battle it out on Sunday at the final table of $50,000 HORSE.

While everyone on the rail watched the players, I soaked up the insanity on the rail. That was the real freak show sort of like a religious revival on steroids meets a Star Trek convention. Most of the tourists were good folks having a grand time on their paid vacations. The loved poker as a hobby, as a pastime, as something to bide their time in between the everyday banality of the Monday through Friday grind.

But a few of them stood out. And in the poker carnival where every other person you meet was a "freak and a very weird dude" in their previous lives before the got into poker that's saying something.

You know that expression... "falling through the cracks of society?" Well that describes poker. That's where the misfits end up, me included.

There was a guy with the mullet wearing the wifebeater standing behind Daniel Negreanu. His beer gut hung several inches over the rail. Due to poor table spacing by Harrahs, one table was right up against the wall of spectators. All the sweat and drool from the railbirds almost drowned Danny Boy's starting table that also included Matt Glantz, my main man Ray Davis, Erick Lindgren, Edwin Ting, David Bach, The Grinder, and the legendary Doyle Brunson.

The foreign guy next to the mullet guy couldn't figure out how to remove the flash function on his camera. Every other minute a flash went off and the floor person issued a warning shot over the microphone.

"Please no flash photography," he pleaded. Alas, his warning ended up disappearing into the void.

The ghost of Chip Reese was somewhere in the dense pack of spectators on the rail. The entire room was dominated by the massive field in the last Saturday $1,500 event which attracted weekend warriors from all over North America. The $1,500 are the events where amateurs have the biggest chance at winning a bracelet, where as the higher buy in championship events are geared towards the pros. $50,000 HORSE was created for pros. It was a pissing match among the best of the best to prove who really had the biggest cock in the room. It somehow got tossed into the greed machine and hyped up by the poker media and made an integral part of ESPN's WSOP coverage. It's really a poker fans wet dream to see familiar faces at the table unlike a bunch of unkowns that often make up the weekly WPT snoozefests.

One side of the Amazon Ballroom was flooded in the carcasses of the losers in the $1,500 slaughterfest. Call them whatever. Donkeys. Emus. Pigeons. Fish. Pigs. Dogs. Rats. They were causalities and within hours of taking their seats, they ended up on the killing floor. When the survivors trudged through the HORSE area, they tracked donkey blood all over the carpet. Harrahs cleaning crews worked around the clock using an extra-strength extract from special Guatemalan fruit (previously used by porn stars in Hollywood in increase the distance of their cum shots) which helped erase the blemishes.

A couple of agents slithered around the HORSE event looking for more fresh blood. One in particular had the personality of a pawn shop and tried to glad hand as many of the unknowns. Find the pros. Ride them to the final tables. Get them on TV. Suck the life out of them. Then spit them out and find another pro to feast on. The true bottom feeders.

The top feeders. The ones stuck in the middle and don't forget about everyone else who has to fight over the last bits of fatty tissue.

One by one, the sharks washed up on shore. The online whizkid bowed out before the money bubble along with The Grinder, Brandon Adams, and Freddy Bonyadi. Poor Mike Wattel ended up as the 50K Horse Bubble Boy which is one of the most excruciating distinctions to receive in the poker world. HORSE Bubble Boy. Talk about a kick in the junk. $50,000 pissed away.

The Sweet 16 includes several legends such as Phil Ivey and Doyle Brunson. Both cashed but didn't make the final table. Ivey made a smooth exit and everyone barely noticed that he slipped out the side door. Brunson's exit was slightly more raucous. Everyone on the rail gave him a jubilant send off. He tipped his hat to the crowd and hobbled out the side door into the hallway where he was swarmed with a mob of fans.

With Daniel Negreanu's departure in 13th place, I lost my only chance to win a last longer with Benjo. The lucky fuck still had Barry Greenstein left among his five picks.

Action passed the Midnight hour and eleven players remained... among them two former world champions and a couple of Big Game players and two 2008 bracelet winners in Erick Lindgren and Barry Greenstein. Otis and company focused on Greenstein while the cameras tended to pass over the always quiet and shy Greenstein. He's never one to mug for the cameras so Scotty Nguyen got the entire spotlight to himself and ordered a beer. A pack of Winstons sat near his big stack and he always flashed a used car salesman smile for the cameras.

On the rail the spectators were sort of baffled with the players on Lindgren's table. A couple of them pointed to Matt Glantz and Michael DeMichele and asked me who they were. I told them their names and then one guy point to Ray Davis.

"Who is the black guy?"

"Ray Davis," I said.

"Never heard of him," he said so matter of factly.

"Well, you will," I assured him.

Ray Davis is a player from Southern California who paid his dues in various L.A. card rooms. He plays in cash games and lots of the big events. He bought in to HORSE and admitted to Doyle Brunson that he had never played 'ORSE' before. Of course, that was the con Davis was running. He won an 08 tournament at the Bike. He made a final table in the SHOE event at the 2007 WSOP. And 50K HORSE was his 10th career cash at the WSOP. A brief scan of Davis' stats reveal that he has won over $1.2 million playing tournaments. He succeeded own in the smaller buy-in events in and around the Los Angeles area. Gardena. Commerce. The Bike. Hollywood Park. Ray Davis was a true L.A. grinder.

"I love his Gucci fedora," added Change100. "And he sometimes wears those funky earings."

Ray Davis stood out because of his fashion panache that everyone favorite Hollyweird fashionista approved. Ray Davis always displayed little bling here and there and wears slammin' lids that only slick cats like Ray Davis could get away with.

David Bach went out in 11th. When it got down to ten players, Ray Davis slipped to one of the short stacks. He busted out in 10th place and wasn't happy. On his way to the payout room, I overheard him explain several hands to three friends/backers who accompanied him to the cage. In the bathroom I overheard two guys talking who both said they had pieces of Ray. The way everyone was talking in the hallway, who didn't have a piece of Ray?

The final nine players were consolidated to one table. It took only one hand before the final table of eight was set. A dejected Ralph Perry bubbled off the final table.

Erick Lindgren ended Day 4 as the chipleader by a slight margin. He's riding the spirit of Chip Reese all the way to the final table. Lindgren went several years without winning a bracelet. He's on the cusp of winning his second one this year but has to get past Scotty Nguyen and six other tough players.
$50,000 HORSE - Final Table:
Seat 1: Matt Glantz - 1,445,000
Seat 2: Huck Seed - 1,200,000
Seat 3: Patrick Bueno - 695,000
Seat 4: Lyle Berman - 1,430,000
Seat 5: Scotty Nguyen - 3,535,000
Seat 6: Barry Greenstein - 1,955,000
Seat 7: Michael DeMichele - 905,000
Seat 8: Erick Lindgren - 3,680,000

Event #45 $50,000 HORSE Money Winners:
9. Ralph Perry - $177,600
10. Raymond Davis - $177,600
11. David Bach - $159,840
12. Phil Ivey - $159,840
13. Daniel Negreanu - $142,080
14. Joseph Michael - $142,080
15. Andy Bloch - $124,320
16. Doyle Brunson - $124,320

Event #45 Final Table Payouts:
1. $1,989,120
2. $1,243,200
3. $781,440
4. $568,320
5. $444,000
6. $355,200
7. $284,160
8. $230,880
Stellar final table definitely made up for the genocide on the other side of the Amazon Room.

Original content written and provided by Pauly from Tao of Poker at All rights reserved. RSS feeds are for non-commercial use only.
Derek Wins Saturdays with Dr. Pauly

By Pauly
Las Vegas, NV

Sydney 8 was trying to win his third Saturdays with Dr. Pauly and consecutive events. He had been on a tear... until my brother stopped his streak.

This week for Saturdays with Dr. Pauly, we had 25 runners. The top 3 were paid.

JohnPings was Gigli. I missed the start of the event and sat out for a bit.

I played on the way to the Rio as Change100 drove. Ironically, I busted out just as I got to the same intersection where I wrecked my rental car eight days earlier.

I took 18th place when I missed a royal flush gutshot draw. BigHeeb flopped a boat and I was toast.

I got to the RIo and had to cover Day 4 of HORSE. Derek made the final table as one of the big stacks. Sydney 8 made the final table but finished in 9th place. What a run... first, second, first, 8th. Great job.

Holdinragz! was Bubble Boy.

When heads up began, dredful was the chipleader. Derek trailed 29.5K to 8K.

Derek won a big hand to almost pull even in chips. He eventually took it down.
Week 22 Money Winners:
1. HermWarfare (Derek) -$125
2. dreful - $75
3. WudupBuster - $50
Congrats to Derek for the victory. And thanks to everyone who pimped and played the event. See you next week.

Original content written and provided by Pauly from Tao of Poker at All rights reserved. RSS feeds are for non-commercial use only.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

WSOP Live Blog Day 30

By Pauly
Las Vegas, NV

Wow. I wrote 30 for the first time. It seemed like only a few days ago that I reached the double digits in covering the WSOP.

Today is a Saturday which means a slew of donkeys, pigeons, and other assorted farm animals will be shitting their brains out in the hallways while the rest of them will be slaughtered in the killing fields.

HORSE is in the fourth of five days and there are two final tables.
Event #45 $50,000 HORSE - Day 4
Event #46 $5,000 NL Short-handed - Final Table
Event #47 $1,500 Stud8 - Final Table
Event #48 $2,000 NL - Day 2
Event #49 $1,500 NL - Day 1
And yeah, two bracelets will be given out today. Sklansky is in the hunt for one in Stud 8. There are still two tables left in that event and they will play down to a champion. The short-handed final table includes 200 bracelet winner David Kitai...
Event #46 $5,000 NL Short-handed - Final Table:
Seat 1: Sam Trickett (Nottingham, UK) - 1,000,450
Seat 2: Davidi Kitai (Belgium, Brussels) - 298,000
Seat 3: Joe Commisso (Las Vegas, NV) - 1,961,000
Seat 4: Richard Lyndaker (Chaumont, NY) - 2,345,000
Seat 5: Tom Lutz (Dayton, OH) - 1,493,000
Seat 6: Edward Ochana (Elgin, IL) - 928,000
Yep, today will be the last crazy weekend before the Main Event begins next week.

* * * * *


In position in the press box. 2,700+ entrants in today's noon event. A sea of dead money before me. I'm glad we have donkey repellent in the pressbox. Today is gonna be a long day.

Event #45 50K HORSE: Action resumes in one hour. For now, here's the table draws courtesy of Poker News...
Seat 1: James Mackey - 151K
Seat 2: Farzad Bonyadi - 365K
Seat 3: Ralph Perry - 1.043M
Seat 4: Joseph Michael - 647K
Seat 5: Lyle Berman - 939K
Seat 6: Barry Greenstein - 1.311M
Seat 7: Mike Wattel - 474K
Seat 8: Phil Ivey - 145K

Table #2:
Seat 1: Michael DeMichele - 1.351M
Seat 2: Andy Bloch - 421K
Seat 3: Brandon Adams - 290K
Seat 4: Huck Seed - 190K
Seat 5: Chad Brown - 81K
Seat 6: Patrick Bueno - 806K
Seat 7: Gabe Kaplan - 360K
Seat 8: Scotty Nguyen - 1.033M

Table #3:
Seat 1: Matt Glantz - 521K
Seat 2: Raymond Davis - 438K
Seat 3: Erick Lindgren - 485K
Seat 4: Edwin Ting - 261K
Seat 5: Daniel Negreanu - 1.226M
Seat 6: David Bach - 801K
Seat 7: Michael Mizrachi - 701K
Seat 8: Doyle Brunson - 777K
And Benjo and I have 2 players each in our last longer.
Pauly: Negreanu 1.2M, Bloch 421K
Benjo: Greenstein 1.311M, Brunson 777K
It's gonna be close. Top 16 get paid. We have bonuses for players who cash, final tables, and the overall bracelet.

* * * * *


Event #48 2K NL: Nikolay Evdakov broke a record for most cashes in a single WSOP. Several players were tied with 8. He was eliminated from Day 2 but secured his ninth cash.

Event #45 50K HORSE: Day 4 just kicked off. 24 players left. Top 16 get paid.

David Bach is already getting a massage.

Several agents were slithering around the HORSE area seeking out new clients (that did not have representation) or recently signed clients.

Lyle Berman was all smiles as he took his seat.

First fuck up of the day by Harrahs? Putting HORSE in the wrong part of the orange section. Imagine a rectangle and the final three tables inside. Well only one of the four sides could house railbirds. Two sides were adjacent to the dokament tables. The third was against the wall and used by tournament staff. That left only one side for the hundreds of railbirds. HORSE attracted the biggest crowd I have seen so far at the WSOP. By using the area closest to the main doors, the directly caused a major traffic jam with people trying to enter the Amazon Room. The lack of viewing space on the rail made it almost impossible for non-official media to get their jobs done. All in all, it's a big clusterfuck for the biggest event at the WSOP.

Their intentions were good but execution of their plan was poor. Big 'F' for day 4 before it has even started.

Yes, the poker fansare seven and eight deep on the rail. Several of them are hanging over the ropes, the saliva dripping from their mouths and onto the tables. Poor Daniel Negreanu needs an umbrella to shield himself from the drooling spectators. The rest of them need sunglasses to block out all of the flashes that are going off ever few minutes. What good is having a rule when no one listens to it?

* * * * *


Event #45 50K HORSE: 21 players remaining.

Recent eliminations:, Chad Brown, and Gabe Kaplan

Big Stacks: Ralph Perry, Michael DeMichele, Daniel Negreanu, Matt Glantz, Barry Greenstein

Mr. Kotter is out. Boooooooo.

There will be some changes at the first break. They will move one of the tables away from the rail which will mean that Danny Boy will be dry.

I feel bad for the surly security guys. They had their hands full keeping out the unruly railbirds who thought they were slick by doing an end around to try to get cellphone pics of their favorite pros. Other non-official media reps were trying to sneak inside and get pictures even after they were kicked out numerous times. One Harrahs official had to physically remove a photographer who refused to abide from the rules.

The spectators were cleared out of the room a few minutes before the other event went on a break which alleviated the congestion on the rail. So for a few moments, the reaming 21 runners can play in peace until the vultures return shit all over the place. I think the smell of spilled donkey blood from the other side of the Amazon Room has gotten everyone restless.

Welcome back to the Saturday killing fields.

* * * * *


Congrats to my brother Derek. He won Saturdays with Dr. Pauly! Congrats bro!

Today's smoke break is sponsored by PokerStars!

* * * * *


By the way, head over to Pokerati and vote for Tao of Poker in their latest poll.

Event #45 50K HORSE: Down to 20.

Recent eliminations: The Grinder

Big stacks: Ralph Perry, Michael DeMichele, Scotty Nguyen, Matt Glantz, Daniel Negreanu

Michael DeMichele is locked in and focused. "He lost a pot but it didn't affect him. He's playing on negative tilt," mentioned one of the PokerNews reporters.

The staff moved up the one of the tables so more spectator drool flooding Negreanu's table. The spectators are back and standing nine deep on the rail hoping to catch a glimpse of Texas Dolly. Flashes keep going off. Several spectators have professional cameras with lenses that rival Flipchip's. Despite Brooks the floor guy's plea for "no flash photograph" the fans still click away.

There are a few cute railbirds, but nothing of interest to the horny hombres at Wicked Chops Poker.

Event #46 5K Short-handed: Down to three.

Event #47 Stud8: Down to a final table. Finally. David Sklansky busted out in 8th place. Since it's Saturday night, he'll be back to trolling MySpace profiles looking for 16 year old white-trash nymphomaniacs with daddy issues.

Event #49 1.5K NL Kristy Gazes playing in today's event. "Oh my God!" she said. "I have a table of 12 year olds at my table."

* * * * *


Event #45 50K HORSE: 17 players remaining. We're on the money bubble.

Recent eliminations: Farzard Bonyadi, Brandon Adams and Edwin Ting

Big stacks: Ralph Perry, Daniel Negreanu, Barry Greenstein, Raymond Davis, and Scotty Nguyen

Big racks: there's one chick on the rail who is holding up two melons. She must have horrible back problems, I mean, with gravity and all. Good lord, them some 'tig ol bitties' for sure.

On life support: Mike Wattel is super short and praying for a miracle.

Very impressed with Scotty Nguyen. He's actually been flying under the radar. He
s not drinking which you will often see him doing. Focused Scotty.

During hand-for-hand Lyle Berman got up and chatted with his son who is sitting on the rail. Most of the players are standing around and chatting it up with each other. Ivey sat and talked with Huck Seed.

Danny Boy getting a massage.

Event #46 5K Short-handed Final Table: Heads up for the bracelet between Joe Commisso and Richard Lyndaker.

* * * * *


Event #45 50K HORSE: 16 to go.

Recent Eliminations: Mike Wattel = Bubble Boy

Big Stacks: Barry Greenstein, Daniel Negreanu, Matt Glantz, Ralph Perry, and Lyle Berman

The final 16 players all cashed and made the money. David Bach made me look bad. He cashed when I thought he'd be one of the first to go.

TeamPokerStars bloggers and suits are jizzing in their pants right now with Greenstein and Negreanu one-two in chips counts. I might have to hand Otis a towel to clean up all the spooge in the pressbox.

One of the PokerStars Supernovas (second every to become a supernova behind Elky) Joseph Michael is still alive with chips. He was saving up for an Aston Martin. He got a down payment to his house paid for by PokerStars. Talk about the hook up. He also bought into the 50K HORSE event with his FPPs.

Final two tables redrew for seats. Here's the breakdown:
Orange 32: Patrick Bueno, Huck Seed, Joseph Michael, Scotty Nguyen, Phil Ivey, Barry Greenstein, Doyle Brunson, David Bach

Orange 39: Erick Lindgren, Ray Davis, Michael DeMichele, Lyle Berman, Andy Bloch, Ralph Perry, Daniel Negreanu, Matt Glantz
Benjo and I both have two picks left.

During the break of the donkament, a horde of players tracked losers' blood in the HORSE area as they stopped to sweat the final two tables of action. I nearly slipped and barreled into one of the cocktail waitress wearing those rendunkulous shirts that Harrahs whore out to the highest bidder.

According to Brian B, Lindgren put only three horses in the 50K HORSE this year as compared to 8 last year.

I set the O/U for 3:13am with Otis. He took the over. Otis also purchased a Pai Gow snack....

* * * * *


Event #45 50K HORSE: Down to 14.

Recent Eliminations: Andy Bloch and Doyle Brunson

Big stacks: Matt Glantz, Ray Davis, Scotty Nguyen, David Bach, Huck Seed

On life support: Joseph Michael is super short, but tripled up to avoid elimination.

Two former world champs are in the lead pack. Erick Lindgren silently inching his way into contention.

Benjo and I were taping another episode of Tao of Pokerati when Doyle Brunson busted out. He got loud send off from the crowd and quickly exited the side door. He cashed and finished in 16th place.

Andy Bloch went out in 15th place. He was one of my picks in a last longer. And since Benjo picked Brunson, we both lost a player. Down to one each... Negreanu vs. Greenstein. I got Danny Boy.

ESPN is shooting some b-roll of the final two tables. Scotty Nguyen perked up once the cameras showed up at his table. He started laughing and the crowd of media around the table collapsed and moved in to get a closer look of the action.

Joe Sebok is on the rail sweating his dad Barry Greenstein. Brad Berman was here earlier sweating his old man. Didn't see Todd at all.

Security did another sweep and kicked out a lot of spectators who trickled into areas where they did not belong. More flashes. More drooling yardbirds. More flashes.

"Where's Bill Hellmuth?" one guy asked.

"Is that Scotty the Master?"

"Is that John Popper?"

Event #49 1.5K NL Kristy Gazes is still alive. In her last text: "Playing 1500 lotto...2nd break...5500k"

* * * * *


Event #45 50K HORSE: Down to 13. Players on a dinner break.

Recent bustouts: Joseph Michael

Big stacks: Erick Lindgren, Matt Glantz, Huck Seed, David Bach, Scotty Nguyen

Just before players headed to dinner, Lindgren jumped into the chiplead. He slowly accumulated chips during the first three levels.

Daniel Negreanu and Patrick Bueno are both shortstacks.

* * * * *


Event #45 50K HORSE: Players are back from their dinner break.

Patrick Bueno ordered a massage right away. The rail behind Negreanu's table is thick and dense with a wall of spectators. The droolfest returned as Negreanu was in rare form. The salesman in him quickly took advantage of the ESPN cameras. His time might be limited with a short stack.

Event #47 Stud8 Final Table: We have a new bracelet winner.... Ryan Hughes.

* * * * *


Event #45 50K HORSE: 13 players remaining.

Big stacks: Matt Glantz, Huck Seed, Erick Lindgren, Ralph Perry, and Michael DeMichele 1,390,000

Daniel Negreanu is the shortstack and talking it up for ESPN's cameras. Scotty Nguyen wandered over and the two chatted it up.

"Get in the zone, baby!" was the advice Scotty offered up to Negreanu.

"I'm trying. I'm waiting for Stud 8 and then I'll get in the zone," said Danny Boy.

Sitting next to Negreanu is a surly Ralph Perry. He's been trying to get a drink for several minutes. "Someone call a cocktail chick over before Ralph Perry completely loses it," said one media rep who overheard Perry steaming over his inability to get a drink.

* * * * *


Event #45 50K HORSE: 11 players remaining.

Recent eliminations: Phil Ivey, Daniel Nergreanu

Big stacks: Matt Glantz, Erick Lindgren, Ralph Perry, Huck Seed, and David Bach.

Daniel Negreanu was holding on for his dear life with a short stack before and after the dinner break. He finally busted out. Ivey also headed to the rail. He failed to win a bracelet and time is running out for him this year.

Benjo is freerolling our last longer. He only gets paid if Greenstein is among the final eight and more if he wins it all. Nice catch, pigeon.

Ralph Perry has been bitching and moaning about something that was reported yesterday on PokerNews. Perry slowrolled Gene Fisher (one of the nicest guys in poker) and it was reported. Perry didn't even read it. His wife read it and said something almost a day later to Ralph. The result? Another pissed off player ambushing PokerNews bloggers on a break.

There's always been a frigid relationship between The G and Ralph. The entire "feel my powah" and "Get on your bike" theme stemmed from the Tony G vs. Ralph Perry bouts in the Intercontinental Poker Championships.

Event #46 5K Short-handed Final Table: Joe Commisso from Las Vegas won the bracelet.

Event #48 2K NL: Down to 21. Russian Kirill Gerasimov is among the chipleaders.

Event #49 1.5K NL Kristy Gazes up to 24K. Weeeeeeeeeeee.

* * * * *


Event #45 50K HORSE: 11 players remaining.

Big stacks: Erick Lindgren, Scotty Nguyen, Matt Glantz, Michael DeMichele, and Patrick Bueno

On life support: Ray Davis

Patrick Bueno went from being a short stack to one of the big stacks. Nice rush this past level. Lindgren is back on top.

The railbirds are still here. There are not as many of them, but the ones left are drunk and rowdy and a bunch of anarchists breaking rules.

Mean Gene was trying to take a few pictures when a group of spectators rushed in front of him and stood in an area they were not supposed to be in. The security guy tossed them out. "Family and media only," he barked.

One drunk guy pipped up, "My wife gave Doyle Brunson a hand job once. Does that count for something?"

Norman Chad wandered by and watched about three minutes of the action before he left. That's a lot for Norm. I rarely see him sweating the action. I've been her for 30 days and only saw him a couple of times.

Scotty Nguyen is drinking Michelob Ultras. His face is red and caught a buzz. Scotty likes beer.

Event #49 1.5K NL Day 1 is complete. Kristy gazes cashed and advanced to Day 2. She ended with 20K.

* * * * *


Event #45 50K HORSE: 10 players remaining.

Recent eliminations: David Bach

Big stacks: Erick Lindgren, Scotty Nguyen, Matt Glantz, Ralph Perry, and Barry Greenstein

On life support: Ray Davis

Action slowed down a bit before David Bach busted out in 11th place. Greg "FBT" Mueller walked by and shouted, "Hey Huckleberry, stay awake."

Seed had a bag of trail mix underneath his chair. Somewhere nearby, there was an empty Dibs container. One of the messy railbirds got hungry, stuffed his face, then left his trash behind. At this time of night, plenty of empty beer cups and cocktail glasses cluttered the adjacent unused poker tables and empty beer bottles are tossed on the ground by the drunks.

On their last break, I spotted Scotty Nguyen walking back from a fan encounter. He headed back into the Amazon Ballroom. I followed behind the two fans as they discussed their brush with the former world champion.

"You should have said, 'What's up baby!'" one guy said.

"I should have asked for a picture," the other said. "Jimmy is never gonna believe that we saw Scotty."

I wandered into the casino to get something to drink. Jesus was in front of Buzios and got stopped by two different groups of fans. He took pics with both.

* * * * *


Event #45 50K HORSE: Final table set! 8 players remaining.

Recent eliminations: Ralph Perry and Ray Davis

Ray Davis went out in 10th place. He wasn't happy. The final nine players consolidated to one table. On the very first hand... Ralph Perry went out in 9th place on the final table bubble. In the immortal words of Tony G, "Get on your bike!"

The final table will be... Erick Lindgren, Scotty Nguyen, Barry Greenstein, Lyle Berman, Matt Glantz, Michael DeMichele, Huck Seed, and Patrick Bueno.

Lindgren and Greenstein going after their second bracelets of the 2008 WSOP. Lindgren starts the final table as the chipleader.

Final table is at 3pm local time.

Thanks for following along. You've been a great crowd. See everyone tomorrow.

Original content written and provided by Pauly from Tao of Poker at All rights reserved. RSS feeds are for non-commercial use only.
2008 WSOP Day 29: HORSE Day 3 - Texas Dolly

By Pauly
Las Vegas, NV

Shortly after midnight, with the camera happy blooming Friday night crowd on the rail, the grizzled gunslinger took over the chiplead with 27 players remaining in the $50,000 HORSE World Championship. With his trademarked white Stetson cowboy hat, Doyle Brunson was sitting plush with the biggest stack in the room and welcomed all challengers as he flashed a wry smile.

One hour earlier, the legendary Texas Dolly limped past the press box with the assistance of his crutch. Brunson made his way out into the hallway and was besieged with autograph and picture requests from dozens of rabid fans who wanted a piece of their hero.

Brunson spent 90% of his break fulfilling requests from fans before he slowly returned to the tournament area and took his seat at Orange #1. Brunson looked more like a tired warrior than the once invincible poker player who everyone in their right mind wanted to avoid.

Then word got out the hobbling hero had taken over the chiplead. That's what made the moment even more special. More sweeter. Much more epic. Almost like Jack Nicklaus' victory at the 1986 Masters or Jimmy Connors magical run at the 1991 U.S. Open in Flushing Meadows.

TJ Cloutier was eliminated on Day 1 but stopped by to ogle Brunson's big stack. Cloutier had been dreaming of boxcars all night, yet wanted to wish one of his oldest foes he best of luck.

There's a fine line between luck and misfortune. On one end of the Amazon Ballroom, Eskimo Clark was milling around the cash game area looking for a buy-in while on the other side of the room, a slew of media surrounded Brunson's table. As Brunson raked in a pot during Stud, reporters from four different countries jotted down the hand. Didn't matter if it was in French, German, Swedish, or English... Texas Dolly as the chipleader was big news.

Brunson held the lead for about an hour before he slipped a bit. He remained in the lead pack for the rest of the night as Daniel Negreanu, Barry Greenstein, and Michael DeMichele were all gunning for the top spot.

Brunson ended Day 3 in the Top 10 in chips. He'll begin Day 4 in good shape to make another final table at the WSOP. Brunson made the first ever final table in HORSE and he's going to try to make another one once cards are in the air on Saturday.

Has Brunson slipped a bit? He'll be 75 in August. It's been three decades since he won back-to-back world championships. Michael DeMichele and Jame Mackey were not even born yet. The fact that Brunson still competes with the best in the world is a testament to his heart, ability, and experience. However, he is nowhere near the player that dominated every single game that he played in.

Since he won his 10th bracelet in 2005, Brunson has only $1.2 million in tournament earnings according to Hendon Mob. His biggest score during that time frame was third place at a Bellagio WPT event at the end of 2005 for roughly half that amount.

Brunson wins his 10th bracelet in 2005
Photo credit: Flipchip

There is no direct way to determine how much money Brunson cleared in various cash games, which should be much higher depending on the source. Although, Brunson admitted in his blog (entry from 6/22/08) that he had been stuck in the middle of a losing streak.
"Summer officially begins and this is the longest day of the year. I'm taking a couple days off from poker, tournaments, and cash games. I'm going to regroup and get ready for the 50k HORSE tournament on Wednesday. If I don't do well in that, I'll be greatly disappointed. For the life of me, I can't figure out what I'm doing wrong at the poker table. Losing 5 sessions in a row at the cash game tells me I'm not playing the way I should."
But Doyle Brunson comes from good stock. He might live another two decades. He also wrote...
"My uncle Bill, recently passed at the age of 99. I come from a long line of folks who flirt with 100 years before they die...

...I am blessed to still have pretty good endurance left, but lets face it... I'll turn 75 this summer so I have to face the fact that I am not a kid and I need to start pacing myself. As much as I would love to win my eleventh bracelet this year, I've got a lot going on so I don't want to wear myself out playing too many tournaments so I am going to be selective about which ones I play. I feel good, so I might knock off a bracelet anyway...

...Someone sent me a longevity test to see how long your life expectancy is. If you reach my age you figure to live until you are 84. After factoring in the answers to the 26 questions about your health, habits and genetics on the test, my life expectancy is 87.4. Good thing us poker players don't have things like stress and money problems huh? Anyway, I've lived 27,310 days and have only 4500 more days left. I've got a few guys I want to beat before I go to that big game in the sky, so I had better get busy..."
Brunson is very aware that he's in the winter of his life. That's why I have a gut feeling that if he gets a shot at the final table, then he's going to win it all. Nothing would shut Hellmuth up more than Brunson winning #11 to tie the Poker Brat.

Not to mention how many random bracelet prop bets that Brunson might have. He gave Ivey 3-1 that Ivey would not win a bracelet and won another prop when he bet that Negreanu or either of the bald Lees (Watkinson and Markholt) would win a bracelet before Ivey or Allen Cunningham.

There are 26 more players that stand in between Doyle Brunson and his 11th bracelet. If he has to, he'll pick them off one by one.

Original content written and provided by Pauly from Tao of Poker at All rights reserved. RSS feeds are for non-commercial use only.

Friday, June 27, 2008

WSOP Day 29 - Live Blog

By Pauly
Las Vegas, NV

Wow, we completed four weeks at the 2008 WSOP and today marks the 29th straight day of coverage on Tao live from the pressbox.

We're smack in the middle of 50K HORSE along with a couple of other events...
Event #44 $1,000 NL w/ Rebuys - Final Table
Event #45 $50,000 HORSE - Day 3
Event #46 $5,000 NL Short-handed - Day 2
Event #47 $1,500 Stud8 - Day 2
Event #48 $2,000 NL - Day 1
And here is today's final table which has two Danes...
Event #44 $1,000 NL w/ Rebuys - Final Table:
Seat 1: Scott Freeman (Los Angeles, CA) - 675,000
Seat 2: Max Greenwood (Toronto, Canada) - 728,000
Seat 3: Curtis Kohlberg (Weston, MA) - 209,000
Seat 4: Rene Mouritsen (Aarhus, Denmark) - 1,007,000
Seat 5: Alex Bolotin (Brooklyn, NY) - 308,000
Seat 6: Albert Iversen (Aarhus, Denmark) - 921,000
Seat 7: Aliaksandr Dzianisau (Vitebsk, Belarus) - 186,000
Seat 8: Phung Ngo (Commerce, MI) - 556,000
Seat 9: Jesse Chinni (Ellicott City, MD) - 2,160,000
Can another European win a bracelet?

* * * * *


Event #45 50K HORSE: Day 3 is starting in less than an hour. 67 players left.

Benjo and I have a last longer. Here's the update...
Barry Greenstein : 473,000
Doyle Brunson : 366,000
OUT: Mike Matusow, David Chiu, and David Singer

Daniel Negreanu : 374,500
Andy Bloch : 362,500
Rob Hollink : 317,000
Marcel Luske : 99,000
OUT: Mike Sexton
I have four left to Benjo's two. He got a ton of hate mail over his picks. Alas, anything can happen today.

Seating assignments have been released. One of the toughest will be #6... Minh Ly, Miami John Cernuto, Barry Greenstein, Bill Chen, Doyle Brunson, Phil Ivey, Layne Flack, and Patrick Bueno.

* * * * *


Event #45 50K HORSE: 64 players left.

Recent bustouts: Max Pescatori and Jeff Lisandro.

Big stacks: Lyle Berman, Patrick Bueno, Barry Greenstein, Minh Ly, and Chris Reslock.

On Life Support: Chainsaw Kessler is shortstacked.

Four feet? Phil Ivey and Layne Flack are sitting next to each other. Ivey is sitting still while Flacks feet can't stop moving. He's been shaking his legs and feet non-stop. Flack is always in constant motion. His mouth, his hands, his feet, his mind. Ivey? It seems like Ivey's life passes by in slow motion. You never see him walk fast (unless he's trying toe scape a barrage of fans), say much, or exert much energy.

Event #46 5K Short-handed: Gobboboy busted out shortly before the money bubble broke. Elky is the chipleader as action is hand-for-hand.

* * * * *


Today's smoke break is sponsored by PokerStars!

* * * * *


Event #44 NL Rebuys Final Table: Down to 4. Two Scandis left in the hunt for a bracelet. Rene Mouritsen = chipleader.

Event #45 50K HORSE: 61 players left.

Recent bustouts: Tad Jurgens, Douglas Ganger, Steve Sung, and Chainsaw Kessler.

Big stacks: Lyle Berman, Barry Greenstein, Phil Ivey, Bill Chen, and Huck Seed.

Isabelle Mercier showed up wearing an adorable green short. Very tight. Very delicious. She should be her very own Ben & Jerry's flavor called No Mercy. It comes with chunks of mints, bananas, cherries, and chocolate ice cream.

Players just went on a break and when they walked into the hallway, they were swarmed by fans trying to get autographs and pictures and hoping that the Big Game players would toss $100 chips their way, sort of like centuries ago in Europe when royalty left their castles and walked among the peasants handing out gold coins.

On the break Marcel Luske headed to the poker kitchen and bought... a Ben & Jerry's ice cream cup.

* * * * *


Event #44 NL Rebuys Final Table: Although everyone is focused on HORSE, I checked out the only final table. It was down to three. One young American and two Scandis. Flicphip and I caught one hand where Scott Freeman doubled up to get back into contention. His cheering section is very loud, but there are plenty of rowdy Danish fans sweating their guy. They are standing up in the Milwaukee's Beast lounge wearing crowns and knocking back cups and cups of shitty bear. It's a festive atmosphere and even though the final table area is not filled to capacity, it's the loudest area in the Amazon Room. Every few minutes you hear a roar followed by a bunch of clapping and whistling. Both sets of railbirds are chanting and screaming like it's a soccer match instead of a poker tournament.

Event #45 50K HORSE: Down to 58.

Recent bustouts: OMGClayAiken, John Hanson, and Lee Markholt.

Big stacks: Lyle Berman, Barry Greenstein, Bill Chen, Huck Seed, and Joseph Michael.

Dario Minieri is on suicide watch. He's short stacked and might hang himself with his scraf if he doesn't win a pot anytime soon. Durrrrrrrrrrrrrr is aslo among the shorties.

Bad day for the bald guys. John Hanson and Lee Markholt were both eliminated.

* * * * *


Just had a not-so fun trip to the sportsbook. Wanted to watch some of the Yankees-Mets game. Drunk guy wouldn't leave me alone so I left.

Event #44 NL Rebuys Final Table: Heads up. Scandi vs. Yank Cannuck. Rene Mouritsen vs. Max Greenwood. Rene's Danish friends are chanting non-stop. Fun final table.

Event #45 50K HORSE: 46 players remaining and we're only two levels in.

Recent bustouts: Robert Williamson III, Roy Thung, Rob Hollink, Isabelle Mercier, Joe Bunevith, Rafi Amit, Stephen Wolff, Dario Minieri, Pat Pezzin, Greg "FBT" Mueller, Durrrrrrrrrrr, and Thor Hansen

Big stacks: Joseph Michael, Barry Greenstein, Edwin Ting, Lyle Berman, and Chad Brown.

I saw RW3 walked past me in the hallway after his elimination. Just 3.5 hours earlier, he was running past me and rushed to get to his seat.

Poor Isabelle is out along with one of my picks... Dutch bracelet winner Rob Hollink.

* * * * *


Event #44 NL Rebuys Final Table: We have a winner. Canada cockblocks Denmark when Max Greenwood wins bracelet as Denmark's Rene Mourtinsen took second.

Event #45 50K HORSE: Down to 42.

Recent eliminations: Kenny Tran, Layne Flack, George Lind, and Minh Ly.

Big stacks: Patrick Bueno, Huck Seed, Joseph Michael, Barry Greenstein, and Edwin Ting.

On life support: Brandon Adams and Raymond Dehkargani.

Lots of guys from last year's final table are out. But, Mr. Kotter is still alive and plenty of big names are still left like Ivey, Negreanu, Brunson, Berman, and Lindgren.

I'm up 3-2 in the last longer with Benjo. Negreanu, Luske, Bloch are holding up against Doyle Brunson and Barry Greenstein.

* * * * *


Event #45 50K HORSE: Down to 41.

Recent eliminations: Raymond Dehkargani.

Big stacks: Barry Greenstein, Michael DeMichele, Patrick Bueno, Edwin Ting, and Joseph Michael.

Action has slowed down with only one bustout in the last hour.

Players are on a dinner break until 9:45pm.

* * * * *


HORSE is still on dinner break. They will play three more levels or stop at 24 players... whichever comes first.

Event #46 5K Short-handed: 32 to go. Elky is third in chips.

Event #47 Stud8: 35 to go. Chris Bjorin is one of the chipleaders. Sklanasky and Men the Master are both still alive.

Event #48 2K NL: 440 remaining out of 2317. Big field for sure. Stig Top Rasmussen one of the chipleaders. William Thorson, Luca Pagano, Sweet Svetlana and Maria Ho are all out.

* * * * *


Event #45 50K HORSE: Down to 37.

Recent eliminations: Keith Sexton, Chris Reslock, John Cernuto, and Joe Bunevith

Big stacks: Michael DeMichele, Barry Greenstein, Joseph Michael, Daniel Negreanu, Edwin Ting

On life support: Billy the Croc

Biggest mover was Daniel Negreanu. He hovered in the top ten in chips for most of the day before he made a run since everyone returned from the dinner break.

The are was reconfigured to allow more spectators who surrounded the final five tables. They are standing five and six deep since it's prime time on a Friday night. Lots of pictures are being taken with cell phones and mini digital cameras. Every few minutes a flash goes off and the floor guy gets on the mic to explain to them they can't do that. And as soon as he finishes his warning, another flash goes off.

A couple of hot railbirds are standing behind Mike Wattel. Definitely a much better crop of high end ass here tonight... both for free and for sale.

Snake and I checked out all of the hot chicks and we also made fun of the guys with massive beer guts. There were to in particular and one guy's gut was slung over the rail. Talk about a massive surface area. It could replace the Hoover Dam if needed.

Katja Thater is the only player getting a massage, oh wait, I forgot about Danny Boy in the corner.

Phil Ivey is sitting calm and cool as ever. He doesn't seem to be jaded by Billy the Croc's hat... which is a green crocodile.

Jen Creason is on the rail sweating Andy Bloch, while Gerasimov is sweating fellow Russian, Alex Kostritsyn, who occasionally gets up in between hands and wanders up to the rail and they speak Sputnik.

* * * * *


Event #45 50K HORSE: 34 players remaining. Two more levels of play left tonight, or until they get down to 24 players (final three tables).

Recent eliminations: ZeeJustin,Steve Z, and Abe Mosseri

Big stacks: Michael DeMichele, Barry Greenstein, Daniel Negreanu, Joseph Michael, and Andy Bloch

Change100 told me that Abe Mosseri was making throwing things prop bets... empty bottles of water for $20. Change100 also wrote up some random facts such as... Of those 16 players who cashed last year, only 3 remain in this year's field: Barry Greenstein, Gabe Kaplan, and Mark Gregorich. Yeah Mr. Kotter us going deep once again. Up your nose with a rubber hose.

Snake said he saw Boston Rob playing a cash game. When I wandered over there, I saw Cyndy Violette in some sort of 75/150 game and Barbara Enright playing NL.

Katja Thater still getting a massage.

* * * * *


Event #45 50K HORSE: Down to 27.

Recent eliminations: Jim Bechtel, Billy the Croc, Mark Gregorich, Gene Fisher, Marcel Luske, Greg Mascio, and Katja Thater.

Big stacks: Doyle Brunson, Michael DeMichele, Daniel Negreanu, Barry Greenstein, David Bach

On life support: Mickey Appleman and Alex Kostritsyn

Holy cactus shit, Texas Dolly with the chiplead with 27 to go? No way! Action went rather fast over the previous level. 1.5 levels left for Day 3. Or if there are three more eliminations, action will stop for the day.

Hot chick from the latest cover of an Italian poker magazine has been showing off her goodies on the rail. Supposedly, her boyfriend "bought the cover" for her in hopes that she would get a poker sponsorship. She was posing for pics and rubbing her breasts for at least one poker agent. I mean, she had huuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuge tracks of land and could be spotted as far away as Barstow. Of course, the two biggest horndogs at the WSOP, Michalksi and Foiled Coup, were lurking around with cameras.

Benjo had not so nice words about her. "She's a sad and pathetic human being. Whoring herself for buyins or whatever fame she wants to achieve. Shes the embodiment of everything I despise about poker. People like this? She's like 'look at my boobies.' What kind of booshit is that? You should be judged on how you play at the tables, and not how big your boobs are."

Of course, Benjo is just a sexual frustrated chain-smoking malcontent journalist and he secretly wishes that he could have his way with her. But we definitely understand his point.

I'm tied with Benjo for our last longer...
Barry Greenstein : 1.3M
Doyle Brunson : 1.04M
OUT: Mike Matusow, David Chiu, and David Singer

Daniel Negreanu : 1.13M
Andy Bloch : 460K
OUT: Mike Sexton, Marcel Luske, Rob Hollink
Both Hellmuth and Matusow wandered into the HORSE section. They both looked like they wanted some attention but the remaining pros were too focused on laying than to shower them with love and their undivided attention. Of course, they both gravitated towards each other and talked some smack.

Eskimo Watch: Spotted him wandering around the cash game area looking for buy-ins.

* * * * *


Event #45 50K HORSE: 24 players remaining. Action has been suspended and Day 3 is complete.

Recent Eliminations: David Oppenheim, Mickey Appleman, and Alex Kostritsyn.

Plenty of big names left... such as Daniel Negreanu, Barry Greenstein, Doyle Brunson, Michael DeMichele, Chad Brown, Phil Ivey, Huck Seed, Erick Lindgren, Andy Bloch,, Mr. Kotter, Brandon Adams, Mike Wattel, Farzad Bonyadi, The Grinder, Scotty Nguyen, Freddy Bonyadi, Ralph Perry, David Bach, and my main man Ray Davis.

Day 4 will start at 3pm on Saturday. Final table is on Sunday.

Original content written and provided by Pauly from Tao of Poker at All rights reserved. RSS feeds are for non-commercial use only.

WSOP Day 28: Horse Day 2, The Procedure Part II, and More Existentialist Conversations with Strippers

By Pauly
Las Vegas, NV

"I'm addicted to pain," slurred the stripper as she slowly turned her arm to expose her left wrist. Through the faint light I could see several marks. She pulled my hand towards her wrist and I felt the roughness of her scars.

"It took me almost ten years, but I finally figured out that I'm addicted to pain. I love misery. I can't be happy unless I'm hurting."

Never swing at the first pitch.

That was one of the few words of advice my father gave me. However, when we walked into the Rhino a little after 2pm, MeanGene, BadBlood and myself were swarmed with strippers as we enacted part two of the Procedure. It was a routine invented and perfected by BadBlood back in G-Vegas.

Booze + Strippers + Poker = The Procedure

I had only done it once before with BadBlood and Grubby last December. The magic worked for us. We all played a tournament at the Venetian. Grubby made the final table and I bubbled off the final table when Grubby busted me.

Lucky for me, my girlfriend is totally cool with me frequenting strip clubs. It was even her birthday and I got a pass. She even gave me $225... which I quickly blew on overpriced watered down cocktails and the cover charge.

One moment we sauntered through the front door of the Rhino and the next moment we had a girl each on our arm. I headed to the bar to get a better look. The bar at the Rhino has the best lighting in the joint. If there's one place to inspect the goods, that's it.

She was drunk when she grabbed me and led me to the bar. I bought a round while she hung on my hip. I could smell the booze on her breath. Great, how the hell did I attract the drunk stripper? Karma? Lack of karma? Or simply bad luck?

I originally had a choice. Stripper A or Stripper B. Since I politely turned down the first stripper, I went with Stripper B. Looking back, I should have swung at the first pitch.

"I've only been taking Proazac for three days," she screamed over an AC/DC song.

On the third day of Prozac? That pretty much summed up my visit to the afternoon shift. The stripper was drunk, sedated on happy pills, sloppy, and slurring her speech like Albert Finney at happy hour.

Her name was Dylan.

"Like the singer?" I asked.

"No, like the 90210 character," she said.


"Yes. Oh my God, I'm on the South Beach diet," she blurted out.

She could never stay on the same topic for more than ninety seconds before the conversation had more multiple plot twists than a M. Night Shyamalan flick, except she didn't see dead people.

Dylan was also OCD, ADD, and definitely suicidal. She had model looks with the mental stability of Courtney Love.

"People think I'm really fucked up," she said.

"Why? Did you kill your husband, fake the suicide note, and then squeeze his band members out of millions of dollars in royalties?"


"Nevermind. So where you from?"

"Oklahoma. Oh my God, the last time I went home, I had not been there in seven or eight years, I saw some old friends from high school and you know what they were doing?"

"Cooking up a fresh batch of crank?"

"Almost. They were huffing propane. Driving around in a car, smoking cigarettes, and huffing propane."

"Did you join them?"

"Hell no."

The first fifteen minutes of our encounter were interesting and fascinating. Some strippers reveal very little and ask lots of questions and let you talk. Others will tell you all of their problems. Dylan unloaded on me. As I said, the first few minutes were great as I soaked up her life story and hung on every word. Part of the fun of hanging out with strippers is trying to dig deep and figure out what made them tick. What tragic event in their life led them down the path towards the pole? With Dylan, I didn't get to play the game. She was so drunk that she spilled the beans and then some.

Former gymnast. Majored in English at some college in Denton, TX. Got knocked up at 20 and dropped out of school. Had a botched back-alley abortion and can't have kids. Her step-father murdered her mother and knocked up her half-sister. She was a real life Jerry Springer episode gyrating on my lap and spilling Grey Goose all over my Ecco shoes.

She kept telling me that she was a gymnast. It was like when a former high-school athlete can not stop living in the glory days and they tell you the same old stories about how they hit the winning shot to win the league championship. The drunk stripper had her mind frozen on the happiest time of her life... senior year in high school.

"Since I was such an awesome gymnast, I could do all these cool tricks on the pole," she bragged. "But I like to drink, so I don't do them. Om my God, the last time I tried to get super fancy and show off to my friend Becky, I was so fuckin' wasted that I slipped and fell flat on my face. I chipped a tooth and I got seven stitches in my chin."

She lifted up her chin and let me feel those scars.

"Did you get off on the pain?"

"Yeah. I love the sight of my own blood."

"Do you have a livejournal page?"

"What's that? I'm on Myspace. Oh my God, did you Saturday Night Live this week? I love that show."

I looked over and BadBlood had a tall exotic Nordic woman sat on his lap. To my right was a happy MeanGene. On his lap sat a dominatrix-looking chick who could have been an extra from the freaky S&M inspired party scene at Zion from the last Matrix flick. All she was missing were a few firearms.

"Oh, but she definitely had some guns," mentioned MeanGene.

At the time, he had the top four buttons of his shirt undone. She slipped one hand inside and did some sort of scratching motion. That's when I noticed Stripper A had joined us. She said she was from Italy and looked like Kate Hudson. I did my best to bring her into my conversation. At some point I plotted the switcheroo. I desperately wanted to ditch the drunk and go for the quiet European one. Every time I tried to shift the conversation, the drunk girl interrupted. I kept making eye contact with Stripper A but she didn't get it and left. I had a second chance at her and blew it again. The result? More depressing and soused ramblings from Stripper B... the happy-pill popping, drunk, former gymnast who had a sister with a daughter/sister. Wait a sec, wasn't that the plot from Chinatown?

I asked to go into the VIP room because I thought it would shut her up. Nope. Didn't work. She still kept yammering and would stop in the middle of a dance to yap about something totally annoying. That was a sick bad beat.

"I used to love Xanax," she said. "When I first took it, I would be sleepy and pass out. Then after a while I took so much that all I felt was..."

"You felt normal?"

"Yeah, how did you know? You sound like you have a lot experience with pills. What do you do again?"

"I'm a psychiatrist."

Forty minutes in, she had not asked me my name nor what I did. I was a little bummed out. We already made up cover stories before we went to the Rhino. BadBlood stuck with his usual cover... hot air balloon pilot. My cover? A psychiatrist from San Diego named Geno Papageorgio.

MeanGene was a last minute addition to the team. He had never done the Procedure before. He didn't even know he was going to a strip club. He made an impulsive decision at the last moment. He didn't even have a cover story planned and scrambled to come up with one during the taxi ride to the club. He decided to make it simple and told the truth... that he was a freelance writer who traveled the world. That made all chicks wet.

The VIP room with the drunk stripper was such a letdown. Nothing is more disappointing in life than getting a horrible lap dance. I couldn't wait to leave because she wouldn't stop talking. She kept bombarding me with her life's bad beat stories. It was totally depressing and I almost wanted to put on the new Coldplay album then kill myself.

As we left the VIP room, Dylan had the balls to ask for a tip.

"Why would I tip? You did a shitty job. You are lucky I didn't ask for my money back. I should have ditched you the moment we met, but I felt sorry for you."

For the first time since she latched herself onto me, she was dead silent. Freedom at last.

I left the VIP room and noticed that MeanGene and BadBlood were still inside. Day 2 of the 50K HORSE event was about to start and I needed to get MeanGene back to the Rio. BadBlood eventually finished up and joined me outside. I had to tip the bouncer to boot MeanGene out of the VIP room. The massive looking guy who could have been a linebacker for the Oakland Raiders trudged over to the corner and told MeanGene that it was time to leave.

MeanGene and his girl were holding hands as they left the room.

"Heya Doc, can I'm a little short. Can I borrow a few bucks?"

"Sure thing," I said and turned to his stripper. "How much does he owe you? $40? $60?"

"$300," she said.

What the fuck? Geno, you sex-pot. I turned to him and mouthed, "300?"

MeanGene smirked and shrugged his shoulders as I peeled off three Benjamins and handed it to the latex-ladened stripper.

"Oh and don't forget a tip," she said.

I handed her a $20 bill and she gave MeanGene a kiss on the cheek. She turned around and disappeared into the darkness of the Rhino.

We were nearly blinded by the blazing sun when we left the Rhino. As soon as my vision cleared up, I noticed that MeanGene's hair was messy. He had random scratch marks all over his neck and several lipstick smudges all over his cheek.

"At least I got her number," he said as a devious grin illuminated his face.

Original content written and provided by Pauly from Tao of Poker at All rights reserved. RSS feeds are for non-commercial use only.