Las Vegas, NV
It's the Fourth of July, a day when America celebrates their independence from tyrannic rule from those monarch-loving folks across the pond who drive on the other side of the road and add an necessary 'u' to words like humour and colour.
Don't worry. They won't be playing God Saves the Queen today, although it would be pretty bold if they did. Instead, the walk in music was U2's greatest hits.
The doors opened promptly at
We're playing four levels today and expecting a couple of less runners than yesterday's anemic number of 1,116. Will this be the lowest Day 1 of the WSOP since it was moved to the Rio?
Jack Effel reminded everyone about the quad Jacks promotion. They get a lifetime supply of beef jerky. OK, that's not true. They only get $100 worth of beef jerky.
"This is the slowest structure ever for the Main Event!" proclaimed Jack Effel after he told everyone that have them 30,000 in chips this year.
Effel also reminded players that if they cause any trouble and given an infraction, their name will be added to SCMODS (State County Municipal Data System), which is Harrah's way of tracking pedophiles and WSOP troublemakers.
As many of you know, I don't do chip counts because I can't count. Click here for chippies if you're that kind of person.
12:20pm... Day 1B Begins; Day of Champions
Cards went in the air at 12:07pm after we heard the national anthem. Even Benjo and the Germans stood up to honor America.
96 year old Jack Ury is playing in the WSOP today. Just like last year and the year before, he was the oldest player at the Main Event. He's was born when back when Vegas was nothing more than a Mormon mission.
Also in the mix are a slew of former Main Event champions including a late arriving Jamie Gold, Greg Raymer, Carlos Mortensen, Doyle Brunson, Amarillo Slim, Chris Moneymaker, and Jim Bechtel.
Notables in Day 1B... Jeremiah Smith, Barry Greenstein, Bill Edler, Burt Boutin, David 'The Dragon' Pham, Neverwin, Erik Seidel, Hoyt Corkins, Todd Brunson, Pam Brunson, Jason Lester, Owen Crowe, Jason Young, Jerrod Ankenman, Mike Caro, Joe Sebok, Shaun Deeb, and Kara Scott
Euros in the field? Jani Sointula, Fabrice Soulier, Barny Boatman, Juha Helppi, Patrick Bruel, Kirill Rabtsov, Luca Pagano, Thor Hansen, Vicky Coren, and Rolf Slotboom.
Oh, I walked by the Brasilia Ballroom? It's empty aside from some satellite players. That's an indication that there will be less players today. They used a few tables in Brasilia yesterday.
Chipleaders: Ray Davis, Jeremiah Smith, Carlos Mortensen, Kara Scott
Sorry for the lack of updates. I wandered into the Pokerpalooza to look around. Joe Hachem has a new book out called Pass the Sugar. I hung out at the Aussie Millions booth and chatted up with some old friends from the Crown Casino including Jonno and Mike. Awesome guys and we shared some old stories about my time Down Under. I covered the Aussie Millions twice and had to skip this year in order to cover the PCA in the Bahamas for PokerStars Blog.
Anyway, the Pokerpalooza is kinda lame. A friend of mine was joking around that the convention area is filled with people who have poker-related products that are going to miserably fail. Those cool poker-themed t-shirts and card protectors and pooper scoopers might have sold during the poker boom, but in these troubled times, it's tough to get broke people to buy those kitchy items.
Pre-UIGEA, the Palooza was called the Expo and online poker sites hired the skankiest chicks in town to hawk their goods. Do you remember the BoDog loft? Where they had scantily clad models engaging in chubby-inducing pillow fights? Sweet Jesus.
You know it's bad when a bunch of Jesus freaks rented out space in the Palooza and are hawking the Lord and reminding us that we're going to hell for having fun in Sin City.
3:01pm... Free Wine and Hose Water
Chipleaders: Ray Davis, Jeremiah Smith
Short Stacks: Greg Raymer, and Joe Sebok, Barry Greenstein, Chris Moneymaker
Free wine in the hallway. They are giving out free samples for some booth that is hawking their different wines. I'm not a wine snob. I just like drinking stuff that will not give me a hang over. When I visited Australia for the first time, I got addicted to the their different selections of Shiraz. I could drink it in bulk without acquiring a nasty hangover the next day.
The lovely Kara Scott had some ESPN camera hovering around her for a bit. They left her alone and now she could go back to playing poker.
What happened to All In products? I notcied earlier in the WSOP, that their energy drink was no longer offered and Red Bull was back in the mix, much to the pleasure of Red Bull-addicted players (e.g. Burt Boutin). They were still serving All In water, which was probaly water from a hose poured into fancy plastic bottles that may or may not give you testicle cancer. Nothing is worst that cancer of the nut. Anyway, I noticed that the cocktail servers are back to serving... Rio water bottles. I'm gonna go into the major drink station in the back hallway and snoop around. Some of the cooler folks at the WSOP are the people who handle the beverages. They blast classic rock tunes while they pour drinks.
There's a French player sporting a Zidane jersey. Benjo refuses to cover him. "He's such a douche, trying to show up Americans with his idiotic nationalist pride."
4:01pm... Money & Winky = Busto
Chipleaders: Shaun Deeb, Ray Davis, Jeremiah Smith
Players Remaining: ????
Recent Eliminations: Pro boxer Winky Wright and Chris Moneymaker
Short Stacks: Joe Sebok and Barry Greenstein
I might be the cooler today. I made the rounds and thirty seconds after I passed Chris Moneymaker's table, he headed to the rail after he ran his pocket tens into Aces, according to a French player sitting at next to Moneymaker. And after I wandered by the secondary table with Doyle Brunson, boxer Winky Wright busted out.
At one time, he was a light middleweight champion. Some of the better fights I saw with my brother were the Sugar Shane Mosely and Winky Wright fights back in 2004. Last summer, Winky lost a fight to Bernard Hopkins when Hopkins head-butted him resulting in a bloody gash. In previous WSOPs, Lenox Lewis and Antonio Tarver played. Neither managed to go deep.
I watched the featured table for a few hands and noticed that Mike Matusow was unusually quiet. The crowd was hanging on for dear life and praying and hoping and awaiting one of his infamous blow ups where he goes batshit apeshit. I love using the word shit and throwing an animal in the front of it. Dogshit. Donkeyshit. Oceletshit. Anyway, the media were lurking about hoping for a a sound bite from Matusow to spice up their coverage.
I'm still awaiting on official numbers. At this point, the few tables that were using in the cash game tables were broken.
4:20pm... "Smoke 'em if you got 'em!"
Today's smoke break is brought to you by... PokerStars!
6:01pm... Back from Dinner; Two Levels to Go
Chipleaders: Vadim Gruzglin, Shaun Deeb
Players Remaining: ????
Recent Eliminations: David Steicke and Ralph "Up My Sleeve" Perry
Short Stacks: The Dragon
Still trying to get an official number of entrants. I'm hearing anywhere from 950 to 1,000.
Dinner break was at 4:30pm with the old folks. There will be two more levels tonight. It's been rather slow for July 4th. The drunks have yet to show themselves tonight.
"Everything seems pretty thin on the ground," said my colleague Homer about the first two levels.
Yeah, much like Day 1A, it's been kinda dull. On a good note, Johnny Mushrooms and Kara Scott are both alive, as Shaun Deeb raced toward the front pack. And a Russian is out in front and one of the first players to pass the 100K mark.
7:01pm... 873 and Benjo Ends Strike! New Episode of Tao of Pokerati
Chipleaders: Vadim Gruzglin, Nick Maimone
Players Remaining: 830 out of 873
Recent Eliminations: Jeremiah Smith, The Dragon
Official numbers courtesy of TD Steve Frezer... 873 runners on Day 1B. 1,989 through the first two days. They will have to average 2,006 runners over the last two days to break 6,000.
Ilya, one of my Russian colleagues, gave me some background on one of our chipleaders named Vadim Gruzglin. It appears that Gruzglin is one of the two SuperNova Elites on PokerStars. He's a big cash game player who plays up to 20 tables at a time online. He's a former gamer turned poker pro. Hmmmm.... sounds familiar. Vadim Gruzglin might have come out of nowhere, but he's been well known on the Russian poker scene for some time.
Interesting table... Billy the Croc, Alex Kravchenko, and Greg Raymer.
And yes. All of you Benjo fans can breathe a sigh of relief. He returned to the Tao of Pokerati and filled in for a sick Dan Michalski. We recorded an episode earlier today. We caught the tail end of the National Anthem and Texas Dolly kicking things off with "Shuffle up and deal." Then Benjo proceeds to go off on French donkeys with soccer jerseys. He also rags on how Americans refer to football as soccer.
Check it out...
Episode 11.29: Poker de la Liberte with Benjo (3:06)
8:01pm... Doyle Brunson Busto and Walk Away with Chips
Chipleaders: Vadim Gruzglin, Nick Maimone
Recent Eliminations: The superstitious Frenchman Pascal Perrault, Doyle Brunson, and Vicky Coren the former scribe turned pro from the London
Short Stacks: Eddy Sabat
The always lovely and talented Team PokerStars pro Vicky Coren hit the rail mid-way during level 3. And the legendary Texas Dolly has been ill the last few weeks. He didn't look like his usual chipper and smiling self during 50K HORSE. He's out of the 2009 Main Event. According to Twitter, "i'm freaking out again. some guy went nuts with a gut shot aganist my hidden trips. all the money went in on the flop...geeeez"
Everyone's favorite EPT hostess Kara Scott has 35K according to her last tweet.
Apparently, one player walked away from his table with 3K to 4K in tournament chips. He left a single 100 denomination chip on the table. His tablemates assumed he left for the bathroom, yet he never came back. Homer knew one of the players at the table and said that the fellow was a "wiseguy from New Jersey and very very very drunk." His drink of choice? Chivas?
Tournament rules state that once a chip is removed from a table (with exception of in a rack during a table change) they are no longer valid. If they player ever returns, all chips will be null and void. If he's trying to help a friend cheat? He's a moron and should have left when he had a 30K stack. If he's a drunk? Then well, he's a drunk. Nice way to piss away $10,000. If he wanted a soused adventure, he should have given me $10,000 and I would have hit him over the head with a tequila bottle and given him a hit of liquid sunshine.
I got to the bottom of the lack of All In drinks at the WSOP. They were serving All In water prior to the Main Event and now it's just regular Rio bottled water. I asked the Eastern European bartender in the back what was up. He joked that the company probably went out of business. I wouldn't doubt it. Did anyone really drink that third-rate sugar water that made your pee turn bright shades of fluorescent orange?
This is why I love Wicked Chops Poker. Hubba Hubba.
Players are going on break. When they return, they will play one more level.
9:01pm... Here Come the Russians?
Chipleaders: Vadim Gruzglin, Nick Maimone
Players Remaining: 684/873
Recent Eliminations: David Icke (not the British author who believes in reptilian shape shifting aliens who are conspiring among us)
Short Stacks: French actor/singer Patrick Bruel
Erik Seidel is getting a massage. Joe "Not Serock" Sebok issued a bad beat and is up to 63K. Seriously. I'm hurting for content tonight.
Johnny Mushrooms and Kara Scott are both alive, but both below average.
So who's playing from overseas?
13 AussiesAnd I think there's a hooker hanging out on the rail. I have no idea who she's waiting for.
and 21 Russians
The NL cash games are in full swing. Best time to play cash games? Over the next few days with all this dead money floating around.
10:01pm... 5 Levels on Days 1C & 1D?
Heard from a few sources that due to the high turnout of players expected for Day 1C and Day 1D (which is supposedly sold out), that they will play 5 levels tomorrow and Monday. That means Day 2A players will play 5 levels and Day 2B players will play 4 levels to even things out.
Again, this is just a rumor if numbers are substantially high (over 2,000 each day) and only four levels are played, there's a chance that 3,000+ players return for Day 2B.
I heart Jack Effel's audibles.
10:30pm... Day 1B Complete
And we're done with the smallest flight of the Main Event since the WSOP was moved to the Amazon Ballroom at the Rio. Here's some stats from Change100...
Day 1B 2006 - 2,182Stay tuned for official information, chip counts, and a recap from yours truly.
Day 1B 2007 - 1,545
Day 1B 2008 (also played on July 4th) - 1,158
Day 1B 2009 - 873
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