Thursday, May 28, 2009

WSOP Day 2 - Live Blog for Event #2: 40K NL

By Pauly
Las Vegas, NV

Five summers ago, Flipchip and the Poker Prof hired me to write for and they put me up at a short-term place that I dubbed The Redneck Riviera. Times have changed over the last half of the decade. I lived all of Las Vegas since then including the quaint suburban drudgery in Summerlin and Henderson. And this year? We're slightly south of the Strip in a place that we've been calling Stripper Central. The place is swarming with random girls who work on the pole. In the mornings, they are working out in the gym. Usually Change100 is flanked by strippers during her early morning workouts. I told her to befriend the strippers so they can pop on by for cups of sugar and to watch episodes of The Simpsons.

Every morning, I sit out on our terrace and I write. Mean Gene lived in the same complex last summer and said that there were lots of strippers around. He wasn't joking. When we moved in Garry told us that all the strippers walk their little yapping dogs around the complex at 10:30am. He was accurate. Every morning, pole dancers let their purse poodles shit on the front grass.

Change100 and a bunch of us carpooled from Stripper Central to the Rio. Ah, the dreaded walk of shame ensued as I trudged across the already hot asphalt of the Rio's parking lot. Flashbacks of WSOP past flooded my memory banks. I wandered inside the Amazon Ballroom and saw the crew from 441 setting up their gear. They laughed at the rumors on the poker intertubes of their demise. Thank God for Oliver Tse's twitter confirmation that those rumors were false.

The quiet before the storm. Eskimo Clark wandered by and shook the hand of one of the floor staff. I wondered if he was seeking backing into the 40K NL event? Today is a special event to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the WSOP.

Stay tuned for live blogging updates of the 40K NL.

* * * * * *

10:55am... Food Tilt

Yeah, I haven't been here an hour and I'm already on food tilt. In a previous post, I wrote about different WSOP food options. I loved Capriatti's sandwiches last summer and I recommended them... until I saw the new incarnation of my favorite turkey sandwich.

The above photo indicates the sign of the financial times. Harrah's and Capriatti's reduced their sandwiches by 33%. What the fuck?

The good news is that the kangarooburgers are back and there's plenty of beef jerky available. The bad news? The beef jerky is not free to members of the media. We don't even get a discount.

* * * * *

12:05pm... And We're Off....

22 tables were set up. Nine-handed.

The sharks are circling. This field is stacked with a hundred of the top NL players in the world. Texas Dolly. Ivey. Greenstein. Negreanu. Raymer. Hellmuth. Hachem. John Duthie. Mike Matusow. Peter Eastgate. Humberto Brenes. Ivan Demidov. Annie Duke. Elky. Dennis Phillips. Tony G.

Jeff Lisandro looks like a mobbed up zebra. Andy Black is sporting a beard and looked like he walked off the parking lot of a Phish concert. I'm gonna hit him up for heady nugs.

Also here... Chris Moneymaker, Eric Mercier, Terrance Chan, Brandon Adams, Gavin Griffin, Shaun Deeb, Jon Little, Nicholas Levi, Bruno Fitoussi, Dale Pinchot, David Einhorn, JC Tran, Ansky,, Vanessa Rousso, SirWatts, Adam Junglen, Bill Chen, Ted Lawson, Jim Bechtel, Japanese industrialist Masaaki Kagawa, Russ Rosenbloom, ActionJeff, Kathy Lieert, Freddy Deeb, Kirill Gerasimov, John Juanda, The Dragon, David Benyamine, Eli Elezra, Eric Liu, Mark Seif, Sorel Mizzi, Dan Shak, Vivek, Unabomber, and Ludovic Lacay.

The tournament was not even started when John Duthie was already getting a massage.

TD Jack Effel spoke rapidly for a few moments. "He sounds like he's on Adderall," said the Poker Shrink. I then asked the Shrink for a prescription.

Jack introduced Jeffrey Pollock who introduced Main Event champion Peter Eastgate who uttered the famous line, "Shuffle up and deal!"

Cards are in the air. And for the first time in a very long time, the clattering of chips began to echo.

160+ is the unofficial number to start. I had 188 and under 200 in a series of bets.

* * * * *

12:55pm... Sick Tables

189 players and counting. I just lost one prop bet.

I gotta give Harrah's credit. They finally figured out a perfect table set up to allow space in between the tables to allow ESPN cameras and poker media to move without crushing the players.

I took a quick stroll through the tournament area and noticed several stacked tables.

Here's a couple of sick tables...
Peter Eastgate, Humberto Brenes, Barry Greenstein, Joannes Strassberg, Andy Black

Scotty Nguyen, John Dutie, Tony G, Chris Moneymaker, Terrance Chan.

Chris Moorman, Ansky, Gavin Griffin, Andy Bloch, Brain Rast, Yevgeniy Timoshenko, Luke Staudenmaier, J.C. Tran.

Shannon Shorr, Nicolas Levi, Doyle Brunson, Greg FBT Mueller, Brian Townsend,
Huck Seed., Vanessa Rousso, John Juanda, Ivan Demidov, Johnny 'Fuckin' Chan.

Jeff Lisandro, Matt Glantz, Dale Pinchot, Daniel Negreanu, Dennis Phillips, and Dario.
Joe Sebok is not playing but he's sweating his dad, Barry Greenstein.

* * * * *

1:55pm... Fear the G

Total Players: 196
Remaining Players: 192
Chipleaders: Tony G, Unabomber, David Chui
Shorties: Peter Jetten
Busto: Scott Montgomery, Erik Cajelais, and Jim Becthel.

Tony G is among the early chipleaders after Erik Cajelais spewed chips to the G's pocket Aces early on. Cajelais busted shortly after along with former WSOP champion Jim Bechtel.

November Niners are giving back some of their booty to the poker community when the Rain Man.... Scott Montgomery was eliminated. Chino, Dennis Phillips, Demidov, and Eastgate are all in today's field.

I spotted Rafe Furst in the hallway. If you don't know, Rafe is like the 12th smartest human on the planet. I always feel smarter when I read his blog. He was considering buying into the event and has until the end of the second level/beginning of the third level to register. Then again, maybe Rafe is so smart that he's avoiding the pool of hungry sharks.

FYI, Late registrations get a full stack. Starting stacks today? 120,000. This is the triple stacked version of the WSOP. 40K buyin = 120K. As AlCantHang said, "This is a deep stack donkament."

There was a Dan Michalski sighting in the hallway as well. He skipped the first day of the WSOP and finally made it today. He's been on wifi tilt.

The fans have flocked. Chris Moneymaker was walking down the hallway and taking on his phone while a group of amateur paparazzi followed behind frantically snapping cell phone pics of the former champion.

Mike Matusow is a rare form. The garrulous musings of Matusow have been wafting up to the press box. He's been teasing Elky, ripping on Pizza Hut, and talking overall smack. Vintage Matusow.

Phil Hellmuth is late. As per usual.

* * * * *

3:15pm... Officially 201

Total Players: 201
Remaining Players: 189
Chipleaders: Vivek Rajkumar, Tony G, Unabomber, Sandor Demjan
Shorties: Jean Gaspard, Daniel Negreanu
Busto: durrrr, gboro780, Jonathan Little, Dario Minieri, Christian Harder, Ted Lawson, Per Ummer, Peter Jetten,

Hellmuth is still AWOL. We're awaiting his grand entrance.

Howard Lederer was the 201st and final player to buy into the 40K event. Jesus has finally taken his seat in between Barry Greenstein and Andy Black. Talk about a lot of facial hair on all three.

Rafe Furst decided to keep his 40K and not play in today's stacked event. Wise man.

* * * * *

4:20pm... No Gus

Remaining Players: 180
Total Players: 201
Prize Pool: $7,718,400
Chipleaders: Ted Forrest, Antonio Esfandiari, Justin Bonomo, Scott Seiver, Vivek Rajkumar, Tony G
Shorties: Daniel Negreanu, Nicolas Levi, Peter Eastgate
Busto: Sergey Rybachenko, westmenloAA, Eric Liu, John Juanda

201 is official. The top 27 will get paid. First place wins $1,891,012.

Gus Hansen will not be here. According to Benjo, Gus has a 900K bet on Rafael Nadal to win the French Open. The Great Dane is in Paris sweating the games live at Roland Garros.

Phil Hellmuth arrived late but not with the pomp and circumstance that he had arrived with in previous years. He was sporting his new book but only had one copy to show his friends which included Phil Ivey and Chau Giang. This is the season for poker books. The Poker Shrink is around and he co-wrote (with Amy Calistri) the Mike Matusow autobiography called Check Raising the Devil. And of course, Lost Vegas comes out later this year.

And for all you NBA bettors.... Cleveland is a 7.5 favorite tonight over Orlando.

And yes, it's 4:20pm. Today's smoke break is brought to you by....

* * * * *

5:25pm... Two Champions Eliminated

Remaining Players: 171
Total Players: 201
Prize Pool: $7,718,400
Chipleaders: Matthew Glantz, Antonio Esfandiari, Scott Seiver, Justin Bonomo
Shorties: Nicolas Levi
Busto: Daniel Negreanu, David Williams, Johnny Chan, Peter Eastgate

Approximately 10 players busted out during the last hour of play including two former WSOP Main Event champions in Johnny Chan and Peter Eastgate. Negreanu and David Williams are both gone as well.

AC pro Matt Glantz is the current chipleader.

We've been betting on women's softball all afternoon. Spelling bee is starting soon. Action is action.

* * * * *

6:25pm... The Dull Lull

Remaining Players: 161
Total Players: 201
Prize Pool: $7,718,400
Chipleaders: Matthew Glantz, Antonio Esfandiari, Scott Seiver, Justin Bonomo, RaSZi
Shorties: Nicolas Levi, Michael Binger
Busto: Annie Duke, FBT Mueller

I wish I had some exciting things to report. Lots of folks are bitching about the intertubes. There is no longer free wifi for everyone at the Rio. And the media feed has been slow and spotty. I'm fortunate that I have an air card, but a few friends have been on slight tech tilt.

The NBA game is on and the players asked for the TVs to air the game instead of the women's softball game.

Somewhere, Joan Rivers is laughing at Annie Duke's elimination. Too bad we can't actually see her laughing with all of the frozen botox injected into her face.

* * * * *

8:50pm... Back from Dinner and Down to 149

Remaining Players: 143
Total Players: 201
Prize Pool: $7,718,400
Chipleaders: Antonio Esfandiari, Justin Bonomo, Matt Glantz, Chris Moneymaker, Bruno Fitoussi
Shorties: Nicolas Levi, pr1nnyraid, Unabomber
Busto: Shaun Deeb, Mikael Thuritz, Phil Tom, Barry Greenstein, Chris Ferguson, Brandon Adams, David Benyamine, Ivan Demidov

Players went on a dinner break and are back. I went across the street to a combo check cashing joint/taco stand with Mean Gene. 99 cent tacos in these humbling times is quite a value. Plus we forged a couple of traveler's checks we stole from Benjo and they gave us a coupon for two free tacos.

A couple of familiar names hit the rail since the last updated. Jesus has left the building along with Barry Greenstein and Shaun Deeb, who I read about both eliminations on Twitter.

La French Update: According to Benjo, Benyamine is out, but three fellow Frenchman are still alive. Nicholas Levi has been short-stacked all day yet managed to stay alive. Ludovic Lacay has been hanging around while Bruno Fitoussi has a decent stack.

And yes, that's Chris Moneymaker surging to the top of the leaderboard.

* * * * *

9:50pm... The Greatness of Level 8

Remaining Players: 129
Total Players: 201
Prize Pool: $7,718,400
Chipleaders: RaSZi, Antonio Esfandiari, Justin Bonomo
Shorties: Nicolas Levi, pr1nnyraid, Unabomber
Busto: Sandor Demjan, Aaron Been, Gavin Griffin, Matt Woodward, Jay Kinkade, Eli Elezra, Gavin Smith, Jennifer Harman, and ActionJeff

Los hombres at Wicked Chops Poker have been busting on Michael DeMichele's get up today. They threw in not-so-obvious gay jokes alluding to that freaky guy on American Idol. Change100 was appalled at his choice of outfits. Meanwhile, MeanGene wondered if he lost a prop bet or something.

My snarky comment? Dario called. He wants his scarf back.

Photo courtesy of PokerNews

Right in front of the pressbox is an interesting table...
Seat 2: LarsLusak
Seat 2: Kirill Gerasimov
Seat 3: John Duthie
Seat 5: Adam Junglen
Seat 9: Nenad Medic
* * * * * *

10:50pm... Down Goes Hachem

Remaining Players: 120
Total Players: 201
Prize Pool: $7,718,400
Chipleaders: RaSZi, Antonio Esfandiari, Justin Bonomo
Shorties: Nicolas Levi, pr1nnyraid, Unabomber
Busto: Dennis Phillips, Joe Hachem, Ludovic Lacay, Andy Bloch, Erick Lindgren, Yevgeniy Timoshenko, Doug Lee, Bill Edler

I know that Ludovic Lacay busted because I saw Benjo talking to him in the press box. Pros might be friends with random members of the media, but they don't actively hang out with us during a tournament, especially a $40,000 buy-in. Alas, it was safe to say that Ludovic Lacay sleeps with the fishes.

There has been a little bit of a ruckus at Andy Black's table. He was offered $5K to shave half of his beard by Bobby Suer.

The Toolbox is nevermore. I have no clue how Doug Lee found $40K to play in the event. But he's one of the latest causalities.

* * * * * *

11:50pm... The G Looking for Action

Remaining Players: 106
Total Players: 201
Prize Pool: $7,718,400
Chipleaders: RaSZi, Michael DeMichele, Alan Sass, Chris Moneymaker
Shorties: Scotty Nguyen, Chirs Morman, pr1nnyraid, Unabomber
Busto: Steve Sung, Dan Shak, Doug Mackinnon, Jean Gaspard, Ludovic Lacay, Philippe Rouas, Shannon Shorr, BoostedJ, Brett Richey, Daniel Alaei, Howard Lederer

This is the end of Level 9. We will play one more level tonight and then call it a night. There should be less than 100 players when the remaining players bag up their chips.

Tony G has been doing well since the first hour or so when he doubled up. Since then he's been near the top of the leaderboard. The former hoops pro down under challenged Corey Zeidman to a prop bet for $100K. The G wanted to demonstrate his deft hoops skills and offered upa three-point and free throw shooting contest.

* * * * * *

1:05am... The After Midnight Edition - Day 1 Complete

Remaining Players: 89
Total Players: 201
Prize Pool: $7,718,400
Chipleaders: Bruno Fitoussi, Chris Moneymaker, Emil "whitelime" Patel, RaSZi, Michael DeMichele
Busto: pr1nnyraid, Phil Laak, Raymond Faltinsky, Richard Geyer, Phil Hellmuth, Nenad Medic, David Einhorn, Marco Traniello, Sami 'LarsLuzak' Kelopuro, Tim Phan, ElkY, Nicolas Levi, Vivek Rajkumar, Hasan Habib, and Luke 'IWEARGOGGLES' Staudenmaier

And we're done for the night. There are approximately 89 players remaining. The top 27 get paid and we should hit the money tomorrow night. Maybe.

Hellmuth left the building at the beginning of Level 10 when Phil Ivey sent him packing. He arrived late, but in an unusually low key manner. He also left without making a huge scene. He posed for a few pictures with fans and quietly left through the side door.

The big story involved Chris Moneymaker's run as he ended the day as one of the chipleaders. He started at a tough table, yet managed to stay ahead of the pack for most of the afternoon and evening. I gotta say, if Moneymaker goes deep, I'm gonna be rooting for the guy. If it wasn't for Chris Moneymaker, I'd be back to slinging beers to douchebags in the East Village. Because of him, I've had the chance to travel the world and cover tournaments in exotic places.

Anyway, thanks to everyone for tuning in and linking up the coverage on Tao of Poker, or following my half-baked thoughts on Twitter. You've been a great crowd. See ya tomorrow when this event resumes at 2pm local time.

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

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