Las Vegas, NV
Welcome to the zoo. It's more like a clusterfuck. The Main Event was sold out by 11am because everyone decided to wait to the last minute to register despite numerous warnings from this scribe and plenty of other media outlets.
Lots of angry players were livid after learning they could not buy a ticket to the richest tournament in poker. Rocker Sully Erna got shut out and according to Andrew Feldman from ESPN,a few late arriving high rollers such as Patrik Antonius and Brandon Adams were told that they would not gain entry. And even poker Hall of Famer TJ Cloutier was denied entrance.
This is the most crowded I have seen the Rio since the Main Event began. Players are sitting in front of Buzio's and Miranda is full, but there's a potential melee about to break out in the hallways.
Lon and Norm from ESPN said, "Shuffle up and deal!" Lots of schtick. Too bad they could not cover up the turnmoil going on outside in the hallways.
I bumped into a loyal reader from Sweden named Fredrick. He said that he won a $5 satellite on Party Poker to win his seat into the Main Event. He was supposed to play today, but Party Poker fucked up his registration. Supposedly, a dozen or Party Poker qualifiers are in the same boat. They were originally shut out but placed on a waiting list. Their qualifiers were told that they would get seated after 1pm. Is Harrah's making an exception or rectifying an error on their part?
One media rep walked into the pressbox and said, "I have something more for the Jack Effel Is Full of Shit File. Jack told everyone that every single available table was being used for action today. Yet there's cash games running in the poker room!"
More Effelshit to shovel around today. I don't envy the suits and the Commish who have to tell the late players that there's nothing they can do and that it's the players fault for not taking advantage of early registration.
1:20.... Day 1E?
There's a rumor that 1,000 players were turned away and there's a potential riot in the hallways. There's rumblings of a Day 1E to accommodate the lagtards who decided to wait to the last minute to register.
"They are all idiots," said Benjo. "They deserve to be shut out! They would have busted out on Day 2 anyway. They are saving their money by not getting in."
More wisdom from Benjo.
One of my British colleagues, Homer, said, "You know what, if you didn't get in, it's your own fucking fault. You've had four days to choose from, and more than enough time to buy in."
Yeah, players had more than four days... almost two months.
According to the Poker Shrink... "(Overheard) Start the late reg. players at 3 PM, have them play four levels and toss them in with the Day 1A-B players tomorrow."
According to Aaron, players in the "Diamond Registration" room were told to come back at 3pm and they would get seated. Sully Erna managed to get in despite being originally turned away.
2:20pm... Antonius = In the Field
Big Stacks: Josh Arieh and Kristy Gazes
Recent Eliminations: Dario Minieri.... insert your own joke here _____.
I'm finally had a chance to check in on some friends who I'm gonna try to feature on Tao of Poker such as Shirley Rosario and Matt Parvis. Shirley flopped a set of nines on the first hand against Aces and won a small pot, while Matt took a hit early on.
Lots of conflicting reports about the players who were turned away. Feldman from ESPN originally told me that Antonius was turned away, but it turns out someone had bought him in so he's in today's event after all.
In case you were wondering... Erick Lindgren is on the featured TV table, while Peter Eastgate is on the secondary table.
I asked around and one Harrah's official said that they do not have an official number as of yet. However, I'm off to the Poker Palooza where Commish Pollack will be making an announcement and addressing the angry players. Stay tuned for more info on this debacle.
3:20pm... The Meeting
I navigated a jam-packed hallway in order to get to the Poker Palooza. The massive ballroom was empty aside form a hundred or so shut out player sitting in the middle of room. A security guard called them over to the far corner of the room where a small room was set up with 120 or so chairs. Players quickly filled the seats, about 150 players who were shut out. Among them were Minh Ly, Capt. Tom, one of the Lerner twins, and Melissa Hayden. A dozen or so media reps stood on the sidelines while a dozen suits tood in front of the room. I had not seen that much firepower from Harrah's in sometime.
"We are sorry and I am sorry," said Commissioner Pollack as he addressed the crowd. "The last thing we want to do is deny players entry into our events... we simply reached capacity today... we are unable to accommodate any more players for the Main Event this year. We're disappointed about this. I wish more people had played other days of the Main Event. I wish that we accommodate you, but we can't... I apologize for this. You have my word and my promise that this is going to be topic #1 as we plan for 2010."
"Why can't we play from Midnight to 12?" one player screamed as a few others walked out.
"What about alternates?" asked Melissa Hayden.
"No. We have not alternates for this event and will not start now," explained the Commish.
Several players spoke out while others tried to talk over one another. But it didn't matter what they said or pleaded. A decision had been made. At the end of the conference, the head of security motioned that Pollack and the executive exit through a side entrance in order to avoid any confrontations from angry players.
I will be working on this story throughout the day. For the meantime, I apologize for lack of updates.
Personally, I want to see everyone who wants to play... get a chance to play.But I also understand the logistical issues that Harrah's has to deal with that makes it impossible from their end.
This reminds me a quote from Full Metal Jacket... "It's just one big shit sandwich and we all gotta take a bite."
4:20pm... Mayor Ivey
Chip Leaders: Nicolas Levi, Matt Hilger, Phil Ivey, and Josh Arieh
Recent Eliminations: WPT founder Lyle Berman, Scott Montgomery, John 'Spider' Salley the former Rambling Wreck from GA Tech and Detroit Pistons fame.
Shirley Rosario is up to 60K after flopping another set, but Frenchie Nicolas Levi jumped out to the lead at the end of Level 2. Matt Parvis is alive and well with almost 50K.
Supposedly, Phil Ivey's starting table was supposed to be on the feature table. Every morning ESPN hangs signs over tables telling them to report to the featured TV table or the secondary table. However, he's currently sitting on the floor at Orange #90. His table was never moved. I'm hearing whispers that since he's Phil Ivey, he called the shots and asked to remain on the floor. Ivey is not a guy who wants to mug for the cameras. He just wants to play poker. Ivey is the real mayor of Las Vegas. This is Phil Ivey's world and we're just paying rent.
Today's smoke break is brought to you by... PokerStars!
5:20pm... Unofficial Numbers: 2,808 for Day 1D
Chip Leaders: Nicolas Levi, Matt Hilger, Phil Ivey, and Chad Brown
Recent Eliminations: Torrie Wilson
Phil Ivey runs good. I caught the action on the flop as a crowd was huddled around Ivey's table. He was all in with pocket Kings against a player with 10-9 who flopped two pair. Ivey turned a King for a set and his hand held up to win the pot. Wow, I actually wrote up a poker hand on Tao of Poker.
Ivey is trying to go deep undercover. He's got a hoodie pulled up over his baby blue Full Tilt hat.
I forgot to mention that Chad Brown is sitting to Shirley Rosario's right.
Day 1D unofficial official numbers... 2,808. Overall? 6,493 runners in the Main Event.
6:20pm... Rapid Bustouts
Chip Leaders: Nicolas Levi, Dutch Boyd, Phil Ivey, and Chad Brown
Recent Eliminations: Jeff Madsen, Torrie Wilson, Olga Varkonyi, Roy Winston, former champions Huck Seed, OMGClayAiken, Nordberg, Mimi Tran
Brad Garrett has a hot girlfriend. Either she loves those Everyone Loves Raymond resdiual checks, or he's swinging a paint can between his legs.
Shirley Rosario went heads with Chad Brown. Downtown Brown wins with a set over set. She slipped to 30K.
A flurry of bustouts over the last hour or so including a couple of online legends (OMGCLayAIken and Nordberg) and a couple of bracelet winners in Jeff Madsen and Huck Seed.
Players will be heading to dinner in about thirty minutes. I'm still waiting for official numbers of entrants. 2,808 is the unofficial number.
7:20pm... Official Numbers
Official numbers for WSOP Main Event...
Day 1C? 2,809.
Prize pool = $61 million.
Top 648 places pay out.
Winner? $8.5 million.
November Nine 2009 Payouts:
1st - $8,546,435
2nd - $5,182,601
3rd - $3,479,485
4th - $2,502,787
5th - $1,953,395
7th - $1,404,002
8th - $1,300,228
9th - $1,263,602
8:30pm... LDP, Marlon, and Soccer Coaches
Chip Leaders: Blair Hinkle, Nicolas Levi, and Chad Brown
Recent Eliminations: Mark Seif, Charlie Ciresi, French soccer coach Raymond Domenech
Shorties: Sweet Svetlana Gromenkova, Lynette Chan, and the sixth richest man in France Phillipe Rouas
2,371 players returned from the dinner break and they will play out two more levels. It was the first really crazy break since the Main Event started. With so many people on the premises, the restaurants were packed.
On the celebrity note... one of the Wayans brothers is playing and still alive. Marlon was put in by PokerStars according to Otis, Bartley & Howard at PokerStars Blog. AlCantHang swore that he saw AJ Soprano walking around, but we can't find him on the player list. PokerStars put in a few hoops players including John Salley (who already busted), Torrie Wilson (the busty WWE star who also busted) and Jordan Farmer from the Lakers. Lou Diamond Phillips (whom my brother loves to call LDP) was also in the mix and backed by PokerStars.
The coach from the French national soccer team, Raymond Domenech, played on Day 1D until he busted. He is supposedly so far left on the French political system that he might as well be a communist... not that Benjo cares, because he's also a commie pinko bastard. Where's my Freedom Fries?
9:30pm... "All in and a call!"
Chip Leaders: Blair Hinkle, Nicolas Levi, and Chad Brown
Recent Eliminations: 2008 runner up Ivan Demidov, Shirley Rosario, Alex Gomes, Lynette Chan, Sweet Svetlana Gromenkova, Yuval Bronshtein, and Christian Harder
Shorties: Paul Darden
This is the time of the day when you hear frequent cries of, "All in and a call!"
Players are busting out, but are they going fast enough? Hmmm... With less than 2,300 players to go, about 420 or so have to bust to have a managable Day 2B (1,106 survived yesterday) otherwise there will be a chance that they will have problems seating 3K plus players.
A handful of Russians have hot the rail including former Ladies bracelet winner Sweet Svetlana and last year's runner up Ivan Demidov. I didn't see the hand, but Shirley Rosario is out. And yes, I know she's not Russian.
Shamus told me a funny exchange at Robert Varkonyi's table. The former champ is seated next to NBAer Jordan Farmer. Players and fans were asking Farmer for his autograph, but passed over Varkonyi. The always overlooked Varkonyi felt left out, like a red-headed step-child at a family picnic.
Rafe Furst was in the middle of an arm massage, while Kristy Gazes sported a Redondo Beach Police hat. I asked her if she got busted by the federales and had to wear the hat in exchange for her freedom. She said that it was her boyfriend's favorite and lucky hat.
Quote of the Day: Overheard floor supervisor tell a dealer, "Although you should be terminated tonight, you won't be. We need dealers."
10:30pm... Raymond Felted, Chau Loves His Eyebrows Rubbed
Chip Leaders: Blair Hinkle, Dutch Boyd
Recent Eliminations: Ray Romano, Dag Martin Scandi, Grant Hinkle, Lika Gerasimova, Paul Snead, Raptor, TheWacoKidd, Mimi Tran, Luis Velador
Shorties: Amir Vahedi
David Benyamine said three words to Benjo and the kid cannot contain himself. Benjo asked Benyamine if he had trouble registering and Benyamine said that e did so a few days ago. When Benjo asked the more important question about Patrik Antonius' questionable entry, Benyamine went silent. Like a mime.
Speaking of Frenchies, Nicolas Levi is no longer in the top spot. Elky was up over 100K for a while until he lost a pot. He rattled off 5 hands inside of 17 seconds to Benjo.
I wandred into Brasilia and made a pass by Matt Parvis' table. He was short-stacked and doubled up to 20K. Homer told me about a hand when Phil Tom slowrolled an opponent. Phil is the father of Scott Tom who everyone allegedly knows is one of the original superusers at Absolute Poker.
Jen Harman looked like Liittle Red Riding Hood, except she was wearing a grey hoodie.
Chau Giang was in the middle of an intense head and eyebrow massage. I wonder how much the masseuses charge to rub his nipples in counter-clockwise motions?
Annette15 passed me in the hallway and asked where the ladies room was. She has no clue since she hasn't played in a single WSOP event since she's not 21 yet. But why is she roaming the halls? Hmmmmm.... I wonder who she's been backing into the Main Event this year.
11:30pm... The Last Hour...
Chip Leaders: Troy Weber, Blair Hinkle, Dutch Boyd
Recent Eliminations: Luis Velador, Archie Karas, Aussie fashion guru Chris Chronis, Amir Vahedi, Shawn Sheikhan, and David Williams
Shorties: Scott Clements, Robert Varkonyi
Oliver Tse only client, Luis Velador, busted out. Velador is #1 on the All Time Mexico money list.
According to Twitter... Rafe was super short and he hasn't hit any flops, and Matt parvis is barely holding on by the skin of his balls.
Lucko is up to 54, while Troy Weber is one of the first players to pass the 200K mark.
Rare sightings? Kirk Morrison is here. Kristy Gazes was moved to his table.
Sorry for the lack of comprehensive updates. I spet 45 minutes in two different, yet diverse conversations... talking to a Harrah's exec about today's sell out and discussing strip club banter with a French pro. I won't say which one... but his name rhymes with pattern.
12:30am... Day 1D Complete
Chip Leaders: Troy Weber, Carter King, Dutch Boyd
Recent Eliminations: Michael Binger, Steve Sung, LarsLuzak, Chip Jett, Pat Pezzin
One of the more interesting days of the 2009 WSOP came to a close. It started out with a potential mutnity when several hundred players were told that Day 1D was sold out. A press conference was called at 2:30 to address the angry players but that's all they got was an apology from Commissioner Pollack and assurance that would not happen again.
And before the night was over, the WSOP experienced one the more deviant prop bets went down involving durrrr and 10 shots of tequila. Matt Marafioti collected a cool $5,000 for downing ten shots of Patron in 15 minutes... without puking.
Stay tuned for a recap of today's sellout debacle.
Thanks to everyone who followed along today. I'll be back to live blogging Day 2A tomorrow afternoon. See you then.
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