Tuesday, June 30, 2009

WSOP Live Blog - 50K HORSE Final Table

By Pauly
Las Vegas, NV

This is one of the (last) busiest days at the WSOP, with the $50,000 HORSE Players Championship final table taking center stage and a handful of other bracelet events coming to a close. Not to mention there's the $5K Short-Handed which attracted a horde of international and online players, and let's not forget about the survivors playing on Day 2 of the Donkament and Triple Draw.

After a quaint breakfast with the lovely Change100 at the Bellagio, I spent the first few hours sprinting around the Rio and checking out all of the events. When everything was held inside the Amazon Ballroom (2005-06), it could take me a half hour to survey the entire room. With all of the spillover ballrooms in use, it took three hours. And I purposely avoided the circus in the hallways. It could have taken longer. I really need to hire interns for the Main Event.

Here's some numbers about the 50K HORSE final table:
Final Table Players:
Seat 1: Ville Wahlbeck - 645000
Seat 2: Erik Sagstrom - 3675000
Seat 3: John Hanson - 1700000
Seat 4: Huck Seed - 1380000
Seat 5: Vitaly Lunkin - 2490000
Seat 6: David Bach - 2345000
Seat 7: Erik Seidel - 965000
Seat 8: Chau Giang - 1075000

Final Table Payouts:
1st - $1,276,802
2nd - $789,199
3rd - $522,394
4th - $368,813
5th - $276,610
6th - $219,655
7th - $184,087
8th - $162,382
* * * * *

2:30pm... Germany Prevails

The German national anthem was played today in honor of Carsten Joh's bracelet victory. I gave Change100 some shit because she didn't stand or her Mohterland's anthem. But you know what, Joh? Talk about cold-blooded and stoic. The German barely blinked during the bracelet presentation. I can't explain why, but I'm craving Black Forest Chocolate Cake right now.

There was also a small WSOP-Europe PR fluff thingy with Annette15. The best female NL player in the world can't even play at the WSOP because she's not 21 yet. She was captain of Team Europe and announced her first round pick of Peter Eastgate. Danny Negreanu had the pick for North America and Phil Ivey trotted up on stage for thirty seconds. He flashed a crooked politicians smile, winked at a few cameras, and then exited stage left as fast as he could. Eastgate stopped and posed for a few pics with curious fans while his agent locked his arm and tugged him away. He had an interview to do with some important people. That's what happened when you're the World Champion.

As per usual, the final table for HORSE was delayed almost an hour as they set up for Bluff's online taping of the event.

Instead of the HORSE hoopla, I checked out the final two tables of Stud 8. Max Stern, Chad Brown, Vince Burggio, and Matt Savage were all alive. Savage barely advanced to the final day. He was super short at the end of Day 2 and somehow managed to scoop a couple of three-way pots to stay alive. Mike Sexton was on the rail for bit sweating the action.

I wandered all the over to Miranda where the Triple Draw event was being played down to a final table. The wife of the DonkeyBomber was still alive along with a handful of other pros such as Gobboboy and Billy Baxter.

FTrain told me that the final table for the 3K Triple Chance was moved from the secondary final table to a regular table in the far corner... Green #153. The players were pissed and demanded to see Jack Effel immediately and tell them in person why they were not allowed to play at the secondary table.

* * * * *

4:20pm... Seidel & Chau Out of HORSE; Down to 6

Danny Negreanu is still alive in the Triple Draw event. Somehow I overlooked him on the first pass. There's under 50 players to go and Danny Boy has a lot of work ahead of him if he expects to win another bracelet. I didn't see him because he's been two-tabling.

Matt Savage officially advanced to the final table of the Stud 8 event along with Max Stern and Chad Brown.

I watched 50K HORSE for about thirty minutes. Very disappointed with the turn out, or lack of turn out. More than 50% of the seats are empty. In years past, the 50K HORSE was standing room only. This year? The final tables are not as "crowd attracting" as in the past. There were more railbirds for the Limit Hold'em Shootout the other night. Kinda sad.

I caught Huck Seed drag a monsterpotten against Chau and Seidel in Stud 8.
Seidel was my HORSE in the fantasy pool until he busted out in 8th place, as Chau followed him in 7th almost instantly afterwards. Down to 6 in HORSE with Erik123 still out in front.

I spotted the infamous McLovin wandering around the area and I ran into Miami John in the hallway. And no, Michalski and his Pokerati paparazzi was not tailing behind snapping photos.

And of course, today's smoke break is brought to you by PokerStars...

* * * * *

5:20pm... Reverse Cooler

When I sweat the 50K HORSE, nothing happens. Still at 6 players. When I leave, people bust. After watching the final table from several different vantage points (including perched up in the beef jerky lounge - formerly the Beast Bar and Lounge that is now just an empty wasteland with a couple of tables for people who want to sit and discuss politics while chomping down on beef jerky). I sat in the crowd for a few hands nearby the lone supporter of Vitaly Lunkin. He was so bored he couldn't stop yawning. He had two New school Russian flags draped over him.

Ah, and Lunkin the Russian has taken over the chiplead from the Scandi Erik123.

I saw two chicks that dressed like hookers. I dismissed them as ladies of the night until they walked into the final table area for HORSE. They sat down and clapped when Huck Seed won a pot, so I had to assume both girls were with him. Shit. That's what happens when you're a WSOP former world champion and FT pro... you get not one, but two fine ass bitches to sweat you at final tables. Something for all you kids to look up to. Play online poker. Go to the WSOP. Make a final table. And have two scantily clad ladies of questionable repute sweat you.

There's one scary looking dude sitting in the crowd. He strategically placed himself in the camera shot so the people watching the feed at home could see the religious message stamped on his t-shirt.... Jesus Saves Sinners From Hell. He gave off some serious Travis Bickle vibes. He even sported a Mohawk haircut and scribbled down notes at a frantic pace. Who the hell knows what that guy's deal is.

* * * * *

6:08pm... Down to 5 in Stud 8

I'm not a cooler at 50K HORSE, but my cooler powers seem to work when I hover over the Stud 8 event. With5 to go, Matt Savage, Max Stern, and Chad Brown are still alive. However, Savage is incredibly short stacked. He might not make the final four unless he gets some help.

Over in the HORSE event, two out of the three Americans left are short. Huck Seed and David Bach both have under 1 million in chips. Vitaly Lunkin still leads in chips.

Daddy Bot continues to multi-table events. He has Chainsaw Kessler at his table in Triple Draw.

And yes, it appears that Otis has fallen for a cowgirl that may or may not be a transvestite. Life is not perfect, nor is true love inside a Las Vegas casino. Better make sure you do a cock check before you do anything else.

* * * * *

6:30pm... Savage & Brown Out

Matt Savage, TD extraordinaire, finished in 5th place. He busted as soon as I walked over to his table, which further proved that I was a cooler in Stud 8. T'was down to the final four in that event, until Chad Brown headed to the rail in 4th place after Max Stern took him out. A nice amount of Costa Ricans on the rail sweating Max Stern, including his lovely wife, Maria.

The Triple Draw event is down to the last 36 players. Danny Boy and Mrs. DonkeyBomber are all alive. Nam Le and John Pham are on life support.

* * * * *

9:00pm... Cowboy Up?

The cowboy tranny has had everyone in a tizzy. I caught a glimpse of the seven foot beats once. She was standing in front of the booth for Matusow's check-raising the devil. Change100 caught her walking into the ladies room, which makes me wonder, she obviously pees standing up, right?

Let me know if anyone captured a photo of this hallway phenomenon.

And over in the Triple Draw event Mrs. DonkeyBomber is still alive and among the top 10 in chips with 27 to go. She's apparently having a much better year than her husband. The former/part-time/some-time Pokerati contributor has been the source of Michalski's barbs this summer. DonkeyBomber was on the verge of an O-fer in the 2009 WSOP until he cashed in the Limit Shootout. He bubbled off the final table when he lost a heads up battle against eventual champion FBT Mueller. In DonkeyBomber's defense, he was playing against one of the hottest players at this year's WSOP.

* * * * *

10:00pm... Ville No Way

The 50K HORSE snoozefest is down to five players with the departure of the Finn Ville Wahlbeck.Russian Vitaly Lunkin and David Bach are at the top of the leaderboard with Huck Seed as the shortest stack.

Over in the 5K short-handed, Phil Hellmuth has the most railbirds. I heard plenty of funny chatter with one old lady even calling him an asshole. He didn't hear it of course. If he did. he might have hurled chair at the grandma type with a hearing aid. Her anti-Hellmuthism gave me a hearty chuckle.

* * * * *

11:14pm... Tuesday Night Lime Tossing Results

We had a full field again after an obstructed arena the night before. And once again, we pushed after whiffing on both throws. My first lime landed on the far end of a $20 grid but skidded out of bounds. Otis' first lime landed in the $200 grind and bounced out. So close for both of us. On ur second throws, we whiffed horribly. Otis was long and I threw short.
Round 4 - Lime Tossing Results: Pauly 0, Otis 0
Overall: Otis +20, Pauly -20
And right now, we're sweating Otis playing in the nightly 11pm late night $200 donkament. Felipe, my friend of Poker News, is sitting at the same table, and I just noticed that LJ is also at the same table. Rigged. So fuckin' rigged.

* * * *

11:31pm... Huckleberry Seed Out in 5th Place, Tom Sawyer Pissed; Final 4 in HORSE

If you had Vitaly Lunkin, David Bach, John Hanson, and Erik123 as your final four team, then you win $45,000. Can Vitaly really win the 40K and 50K? Will it come down to a Scandi vs. a Russian for the Player's Championship? Or will the American long-shot (Hanson or Bach) come from behind to take it down? As much as the final table has been a bit on the unexciting side, the drama is beginning to unfold.

Oh, and down in the Miranda Ballroom, the Triple Draw event finally broke the money bubble with 17 or so to go, Mrs. DonkeyBomber is still in the mix along with Danny Boy.

"I'm craving a milkshake," said MeanGene.

"If we had interns, that's the sort of thing they'd be doing for us," I said.

* * * * *

12:22am... After Midnight Edition

The Devil has been lurking around, which put Otis on slight tilt in his late night donkament.

Over in HORSE, there's four left. John Hanson jumped out to a significant lead and is up to 7M in chips. He almost has more than 50% of the chips in play as Russian Lunkin slipped to the short stack.

* * * *

1:11am... Tranny Cowboy Sighting

Everyone's favorite tranny cowboy was spotted by Julio playing 25/50 NL. High stakes cash games. Wow. Didn't know she had the bankroll. But does she have a cock?

HORSE is down to 3 players after Vitaly Lunkin busted out in 4th. John Hanson and Erik123 are similar in chips, while David Bach is super short.

* * * * *

1:59am.... Devil and Angry Julie

The Devil passed me in the hallway moments after I stood in the hallway chatting with a half-blind Michalski. The Iceman stopped, shook our hands (Michalksi first then me) before he said, "You guys look great." That's it. Nothing more after that.

Michalski was sweating Mrs. DonkeyBomber as she made a run in the Triple Draw event She's fifth in chips with 12 to go.

The HORSE is still three-handed. Bach made a comeback and doubled up a couple of times. This might take a while. 5am perhaps? That would suck. The Poker Kitchen just closed.

* * * * *

3:20am.... Erik123 Eliminated in 3rd Place; Heads Up Horse; Mrs. DonkeyBomber Advances

First of all, congrats to Julie Schneider aka Mrs. Donkeybomber for advancing to Day 3. She's among the final nine players in Triple Draw. She returns tomorrow to play out to a final table. Apparently, Michalski's cooler abilities took a day off. Although he should stay home on Wednesday.

We're finally heads up in HORSE after the Scandi Erik123 hit the rail in third place. The remaining two players? Americans David Bach and John Hanson. Here's what they are playing for...
1st = $1,276,802
2nd = $789,199
Yeah, the entire press box is empty save for me, Nolan Dalla, and Paul the WSOP intern.

And I'd like to say good morning to all of my East Coast readers who are waking up to go to work today. Thanks for tuning in first thing in the morning.

* * * * *

3:52am... Numbers

50K HORSE. 2 players left. 12 people in stands. 8 overall media. 1 dealer & 2 backups. 3 camera people (thanks to BJ for reminding me of the crane operator) & 1 producer & 1 tired announcer! Kudos to TD/announcer Robbie Thompson for sticking this out from the first hand.

There are vacuums blaring out in the hallways as the cleaning crews conduct their routine cleaning services. There are also 10 cash game tables running and one tired Flipchp. He said he's prepared for the long haul. Two or three more hours. I picked 5am. It's coming up on 4am and Hanson has a slight lead 8.1M to 6.1M.

The waiters are bringing out trays of Redbull in order to keep people awake. At this point, it's a nice gesture. Once sun comes up, then we should consider main-lining.

* * * * *

4:20am.... "Smoke 'em if you got 'em!"

Wow, you know it's a long night when you have TWO smoke breaks in a single live blogging session.

And yes, today's second smoke break is brought to you by PokerStars...

* * * * *

5:11am.... Good Morning, Good Afternoon, This Will Take a While

Thanks god for the time-released nature of Vicodin. That's the only thing keeping me going. I don't do cocaine nor do I advocate the ue of the illegal narcotic, but shit, I'd love to do a line or seventeen right now. It would wake me and everyone in the room right up.

So I discovered via Twitter than I have some followers in Europe who are hanging on every word. That's kinda cool that you might be in London or Paris or Munich killing time at work or checking out the Tao on your lunch break. I definitely appreciate the support.

Anyway, we're still heads up in 50K HORSE between John Hanson and David Bach. It was even for a bit until Hanson started to break away. Here's the thing... Hanson is obviously tired and irritable. I just wonder how long he can go before he gets overly fatigued and makes mistakes. Bach? He's locked in. Locked and loaded for "Gunslinger." I think he might be on some Focusum or something like that because he's like a fucking Scandi with his lack of emotion at the tables. I gotta say, I've been more than impressed with Bach's performance tonight.

And sadly, there are less than seven people in the audience. One of them is for Bach and three are for Hanson. The rest are bums, passed out drunks, or tweakers. Not one hooker in the crowd. What a let down.

* * * * *

5:49am... The Almost 6am Photo Dump

I took these less than five minutes ago...

The empty room

David 'Gunslinger' Bach

Passed out/Crunked/Faded

* * * * *

6:23am... Top O' the Morn to Ya

The sun has risen above the city of Las Vegas and the 50K HORSE is still in the middle of a heads-up battle. It's a break time and Bach is up 78.6M to Hanson's 65.45. This might never end with this blind structure. Bach was up over 10M at one point before Hanson fought back.

I thought BJ was a machine, a robot, whatever. He's not. I'm actually saw him take a nap during the last level. Folks are tired, which includes everyone involved, yet Change100 and TassieDevl continue live blogging this for Poker News.

Anyway, it's quiet in the Amazon Ballroom aside from a few chips clattering and a hearty drunken laughter from the cash game section. Seven tables are running. Not bad at all.

Wondering what time Starbucks opens? With these stacks and blind levels, we might be here until noon. At this point, I've been up for 24 hours. Weeeee.

Oh and at this point, there are three people in the crowd. One of them is a security guard. The other two? Tweakers.

* * * * *

7:06am... Collect the Rake

A dozen thick-necked security guards marched into the room and they are changing out all of the rake boxes in the cash game section. They're quick and efficient. All that rake on the graveyard shift. I always wondered how much they pulled in on any given night.

Anyway, just before 7am, both players pulled even in chips with 7.1M. Bach won a pot soon after to regain a minor lead. They're approaching 400 hands.

And sweet Jesus, sleep deprivation makes me hungry. I could also use a big ass iced tea right now. These are times when I wish I had an intern. Or perhaps I can wait until one of the Tao All Stars to wake up and take over live blogging for me. Until that happens, I'm sitting here and trying to evoke my cooler abilities.

Suffice to say, both players are very quiet. No drunken shenanigans like that Scotty Nguyen trainwreck last year.

* * * * *

7:42am... Almost?

Bach has Hanson on the ropes. An hour ago, they were almost even. Since then, Bach went on a mini-rush to open up the first significant lead of the match. Bach had Hanson all in, but Hanson made a timely double up.

There are two people in the crowd now. One of them is Hanson's girlfriend.

* * * * *

8:18am... Hanson Back in the Lead

John Hanson mounted a remarkable comeback. He was all in at one point and survived. Since then he's managed to chip away at Bach's lead and just before the break, he regained the lead. Just when it looked like Hanson was toast, he sprung back to life and seized momentum.

* * * * *

8:30am... Level 29
Chip Counts:
John Hanson - 7.53M
David Bach - 6.875M

Hold'em/Omaha 8: Blinds are 125K/250K with Betting Limits 250K/500K
Stud games: Antes 50K, Bring-in 70K, Betting Limits 250K/500K
Yeah, we're on Level 29 and it looks like we might be here until Noon. I've been up for over a day and I had my first ever non-psychedelic. I really thought that someone was walking behind me down the hallway on the last break. It wasn't even my shadow, but rather some sort of figure that was in my head and then quickly disappeared.

If you are in Las Vegas and reading this and have any Adderral, please stop by the Rio... ASAP.

* * * * *

9:00am... Even Steven, Pass the Meth

Just like clockwork, both players have pulled even in chips. Oh joy. I'm now hitting up the dealers in search of crystal meth.

There are people who work the day shift that have arrived to work already. Insane, huh?

* * * * *

9:19am... Robbie = God

Robbie Thompson, the TD and announcer is the true Ironman. He's been going strong rockin' the mic since this started. I'm also very impressed with a handful of media reps who stuck it out all night long (of course TassieDevil & Change100, bit also Flipchip, Ryan, Arthur, Lance, and that girl from Poker Pages who's name I don't know). They all earned huge checkmarks in my book, while everyone else is a bunch of poseurs, wankers, and poker scensters. Sorry kids, I'm just calling it like I see it. You can't claim to be a poker journalist, then skip out on the highest buy-in event at the WSOP. With the exception of Michalski who is going blind in one eye and has to go get a wad of semen removed from his retina.

And if you show up from this point on to cover the final table, I'm gonna kick you in the junk. No bullshit, unless you have some good drugs for me. If you're a chick, I'll get Change100 to kick you in the vag. Believe me, she's pretty tired and cranky right now and has no problems doing that.

Anyway, sorry for the tangent. There's poker to be played. I'm sort of a purist and feel that HORSE should be played at the final table, but at this point, I'd like to see a round of NL Hold'em right now. Or how about NL Razz? And PLO8? Anything. Please. Throw us a friggin' bone. I'm an insomniac and I'm struggling to keep my heavy eyelids open.

* * * * *

9:37am... The Hallucinations Stopped

But now, the chills won't stop. I'm having shaking fits from the cold air. But then I go outside and sweat by balls off.

Bach has requested random bathroom breaks. I wonder if he's blazing up in the bathroom? Or he's just dropping a deuce. Nothing is worse than having to take a shit while playing live poker. Seriously. If you play online poker, you can drag your laptop into the shitter with you and play on the bowel. But in live poker? Not so simple.

The boys are almost even. This is getting redunkulous.

Also, the ESPN/441 Productions crew showed up early to work and prep the TV tables for the upcoming Main Event. Most of them are eagerly waiting for the 50K HORSE final table to end before they continue on with their work.

At this point, the live blog is reaching 4,000 words. It takes the hombres at Wicked Chops Poker one year to write that many words.

* * * * *

9:55am... I Spoke Too Soon

The new announcer? Awful. He doesn't call out who is betting etc, which makes the action more confusing. He obviously does not do this and is hopefully spelling Robbie for a few minutes. Final table coverage are only as good as the quality of information that the announcer gives, which includes chip counts.

Anyway, in the last couple of hands in Omaha 8, Bach opened up a sizable lead once again. Hanson was left with under 2M after Bach dragged a hefty pot. They are now in a level of Razz and who knows what can happen.

* * * * *

10:00am... Winner! David Bach = 50K HORSE Champion

After marathon final table and a 6+ hour head sup battle, John Hanson was eliminated in 2nd place and collected $789,199. David Bach wins the $50K HORSE bracelet and a cool $1,276,802! Congrats to both players. We're finally done.

Thanks to everyone who followed along on Tao of Poker and Twitter. At this point, I've been at the Rio for 23 hours, one of the longest stints of my career. It's been a weird ride. Thanks for dealing with all of the odd tangents, bitchfests, and hallucinations.

I'm taking Wednesday off. Maybe Thursday too. I need to rest up for the Main Event. I'll be back on Friday with a live blog starting at noon for Day 1A of the WSOP Main Event Championship.

That's it and I'm outta here.......

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

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