Las Vegas, NV
574 to 205.
It was another weird and wild ride on Day 5 of the Main Event as the field thinned faster than the Formula of Donkey Liquidation had indicated. 574 players entered the Amazon Ballroom and by the end of the night, only 204 men and 1 woman were left standing in the Killing Fields as the previous tables around them vanished and the corners of the room faded to black.
Photo by Mean Gene
The day started with thoughts of Johnny Fucking Chan dancing in our heads and everyone wondering if Day 4 chipleader, Tony 'Bond18' Dunst. When I first met Dunst a few years back at the Crown Casino in Melbourne, Australia, he was wearing a snazzy suit (minus the tie since it was the summer in Oz at the time). Whenever I've seen him at the WSOP, he's been sporting different pinstripe suits and a tie. He looked like he could be working the equities trading desk at Morgan Stanley more than a prototypical online player. His choice of dapper suits easily won him high marks with everyone's favorite fashionista, Change100. Dunst was the best dressed player in the Main Event and the only person inside the Amazon Ballroom who wore a suit but didn't have a name tag. Poker is a sneakers, sweatpants, schwag hoodie and graphic t-shirt kinda crowd, so a well-dressed young man like Dunst sticks out.
Dunst had a spectacular Day 4 as he finished up with the lead. But could hold off a pack of marauders who were in a frantic pursuit of $9 million? Yeah, one of the illustrious November Nine will take home a little less than $9 million. Nine for nine. But which 574 players would be the final nine left standing? We'd got a better indicator as Day 5 progressed as several players attempted to pull away from the pack.
It didn't take very long after cards went in the air on Day 5 before Dunst's lead was threatened. He had a nearly impossible task ahead of him and needed to double up his 1.5 million stack if he wanted to stay on top of the leaderboard for consecutive days. However, Dunst could not add to his stack. He hovered around 1.5 million or so for most of the day before a disastrous second half of Day 5. He didn't bust, but he's among the basement dwellers after slipping to 182nd in chips out of 205.
Day 5 began with only a handful of players with over 1 million in chips. By the time the day ended, 91 players, or around 45% of the field, passed that mark. A total of 20 players finished up with 2 million or more and each player in the top five had at least 3 million.
The Scandis sleeper cells found themselves in a tough spot when two of them, Theo Jorgensen and Jesper Hougaard, seated at the same table. Hougaard had a rough day and spewed chips. The Dane finished Day 5 with one of the shortest stacks left in the event. He needs a miracle early on Day 6 if he wants a shot at the November Nine. Meanwhile, his fellow countryman, Theo Jorgensen, seized the lead in the middle of Day 5 as he became one of the first players to pass the 3 million mark. Jorgensen even took out one of the Mizrachi brothers en route to building a mönsterstäcken.
The race for Last Woman Standing, an actual trophy and award presented by Wicked Chops Poker, was decided on Day 5. New poker hottie, Luaren Kling, was the first woman to bow out of the race when she busted early on Day 5. Evelyn Ng might have been the favorite to win it, but she was knocked out in 445th place. As action got late into the night, the loving cup came down to a battle between Dorothy Von Sachsen and Breeze Zuckerman. Von Sachsen was eliminated in 273rd place, which clinched the cup for Breeze Zuckerman.
In the notables department, Johnny Chan did not play on the featured TV tables, which was reserved for the Scotty Nguyen and Phil 'OMGClayAiken' Galfond shows. Chan was stuck in the middle of the room, in a tough to navigate area of the red section. Once the aisles got too clogged with media, everyone except ESPN's crew and the official coverage at PokerNews were allowed inside the ropes. The rest of the peasants in the press were relegated to the outside ropes in a tiny moat area that seemed to anger the spectators. Many of them wanted to be as close as possible and kept pushing the ropes closer which meant that the moat space had shrunk. To complicate matters, several entitled railbirds acted like shitheads. A few pushed media out of the way and bitched and moaned when they couldn't see. If anything, the moat made the spectators even more hostile to the press -- who were doing their jobs.
At this point in the WSOP (even if you arrived on Day 1A of the Main Event), everyone is exhausted and drained. 95% of everyone I know who works the WSOP on some capacity has already checked out mentally. Everyone wants to be somewhere else right now, but they have jobs to finish up. One of those requires trying to cover a tournament with a reduced viewing capacity. Dealing with selfish railbirds is an unfortunate job requirement, but I just don't understand how they feel as though they can physically engage the press by pushing and shoving. I've had incidents like that going back as far as 2005 when one dirtbag shoved Jay Greenspan and myself out of the way. Greenspan is one of the calmest and coolest cats that I know and even he was ready to pummel the inbred tard.
An expression that us in the press use a lot when dealing with these jackals is... "Please tell me where you work, so I can get drunk inside your cubicle, bombard you with senseless questions, take photos with flash, and then shove you out of the way when I feel like it."
I do what I can to keep the peace on the rail and try to tell whoever is behind me what's going on. However, Day 5 brought out the classless morons. Even when I called out cards for them, no one bothered to thank me. All I got was guff. Fucking vultures and parasites.
Ah, it's just one of those challenges you encounter as the tournament progresses. Competition heats up among different media outlets and lazy reporters will lift your work and pass it off as their own. The moment "All in and a caaaaaaaall!" echoes throughout the room, surly ESPN camera guys charge towards tables like rhinoceroses and take out anything in their path. If you don't get the shit beat out of you inside the ropes, you gotta deal with the hostiles on the rail. And that doesn't include those slimy agents and snake oil salesmen who are stalking big stacks, like pimps preying on teenage runaways at inner city bus stations.
One of my buddies, Jesse Martin, declined an invitation to wear an UB patch the other day when he was moved to the featured table. He could have gotten enough money to cover a good percentage of his buy-in, but he did not want to promote UB. I admire his decision because as much as everyone likes to trash UB, it's not as easy when agents are dangling $8,000 in front of you. Martin wasn't enticed by the cash. He stuck to his guns and proudly wore his Waterwheel Foundation hoodie. That's the organization that handles all of the charitable and environmental causes for the band Phish. Last year Happy Shulman was the Phishead who went deep in the Main Event. At this point, Jesse Martin is holding that distinction.
As Day 5 progressed, the chiplead changed hands. Unknown Canadian player, Evan Lamprea, ended the day with the lead and 3.5 million, with Michael Skender (a SuperNova Elite player on PokerStars from Germany) not far behind in second. Theo Jorgensen finished up 5th in chips and the biggest threat from the Scandis.
Russian young gun, Alexander Kostritsyn, sniffed out a bluff early on Day 5 which was kicked off a march up the leaderboard. The former Aussie Millions champion ended up in the Top 10 in chips, just ahead of Johnny Fucking Chan, who still managed to maintain a big stack and is easily the most "popularly known" pro in the Main Event.
And my new favorite Dutch pro, Fokke Beukers finished up with a decent stack. The French pronounce it "Fookin' Bonkers" and I'm really hoping that Fokke can making a fucking run. I just want to keep making Fokke jokes like... "Are you a pothead Fokke?"
By the way, two of the Mizrachi brothers are alive -- Robert and The Grinder. Four of the brothers cashed, but can they continue their epic run? Will one or both be a November Niner? Can the Grinder continue his path towards redemption?
My British colleagues reminded me that I shouldn't forget about JP Kelly. The young British bracelet winner (one each at the WSOP and WSOP-E) is a legit shot at the November Nine and one of the few British players left in the Main Event. The British Invasion seemed to end shortly before the Main Event, but there always seems to be the token Brit at the final table. Last year, it was James Akenhead, and punk rocker John Kalmar in 2008.
Let's not forget about the legendary Johnny Lodden, part of the Scandi Sleeper Cell, who is always a threat whenever he sits down at the table. He struggled most of the Day 4, but inspired by his favorite Scandi pop bands, he mustered up a timely double up which gave him enough momentum to chip up and finish in the Top 40 in chips. Like most Jan Randomsens, Lodden loves to mix it up with big stacks and play mönsterpötten poker. If he finds the right spot, Lodden can easily take over the lead in a single hand. At the same time, an overzealous Lodden could implode and fizzle out. Alas, that's why Johnny Lodden is an exhilarating player to sweat.
205 players survived Day 5, and probably 65% of them won't live to see another day. Such is life in the Killing Fields.
Here's some important info and stats...
2010 Main Event Entrants: 7,319
Players Remaining: 205
First Place: $8,944,138
End of Day 5 - Top 10 Chip Counts:
1 Evan Lamprea - 3.564M
2 Michael Skender - 3.527M
3 Joseph Cheong - 3.357M
4 Duy Le - 3.186M
5 Theo Jorgensen - 3.088M
6 Bryn Kenney - 2.902M
7 Matt Affleck - 2.896M
8 Alexander Kostritsyn - 2.564M
9 Johnny Fucking Chan - 2.559M
10 Sebastian Panny - 2.442M
14 Fokke Beukers - 2.273M
27 Pierre Canali - 1.827M
30 The Grinder - 1.793M
40 Johnny Lodden - 1.625M
42 William Thorson - 1.607M
45 Scott Clements - 1.535M
49 Jeff 'MrRain' Banghart - 1.475M
51 JP Kelly - 1.474M
64 Christian Harder - 1.263M
74 Adam Levy - 1.147M
75 Jose Nadal - 1.122M
81 Filippo Candio - 1055M
85 Phil 'OMGClayAiken' Galfond - 1.025M
95 John Drohan - 986,000
100 Sergey 'gipsy' Rybachenko - 957,000
102 David Baker - 951,000
103 Jean-Robert Bellande - 946,000
105 Gualter Salles - 939,000
109 Jesse Martin - 91,2000
114 Diogo Borges - 846,000
121 Luis Ubierna - 811,000
129 Pascal LeFrancois - 758,000
149 Gabriel Nassif - 611,000
156 Juha Helppi - 555,000
171 Daan Slutter - 397,000
176 Todd 'DanDruff' Witteles - 380,000
178 David Benyamine - 353,000
187 Eric 'basebaldy' Baldwin - 292,000
188 Jesper Hougaard - 289,000
194 Hasan Habib - 266,600
195 Matt Keikoan - 254,000
201 Robert Mizrachi - 224,000
205 Russell Rosenblum - 152,000
In case you were wondering who you knew that cashed on Day 4...
The Ladies: Evelyn Ng (445), Karina Jett (513), Lauren Kling (565)
Former World Champions: Scotty Nguyen (209)
Familiar Faces: Doug Carli (259), Will Failla (279), Eric Morris (312), Mori Eskandani (331), Arnold Spee (356), Adam Schoenfeld (367), Bernard Lee (410), Dwyte Pilgrim (414), Bruce Buffer (478), Vince Van Patten (481), Jason Lester (507), Shannon Shorr (515), CK Hua (531), and Eric Buchman (554)
Brits: Mark Teltscher (239), Praz Bansi (240)
Euros: Vitaly Lunkin (308), Antony Lellouche (416), Fabrice Soulier (562)
Online Denizens: Brett Richey (262), Jason DeWitt (274), Thayer Rasmussen (305), Eric Liu (347), Allie Prescott (348), Cole South (365), Alex Jacob (390),
Previous Bracelet Winners: Ryan Young (225), Steve Billirakis (257), Hoyt Corkins (318), Brandon Cantu (444), Dean Hamrick (449), Jason Mercier (463), Sammy Farha (452), Vanessa Selbst (476), Carter Phillips (483), Matt Matros (539)
Mizrachi Clan: Danny Mizrachi (345)
Tao Readers: Mike Woo (435)
Click here for a list of 2010 Main Event money winners and payouts.