Las Vegas, NV
Back to the grind. Day 1C. You know the drill by now...
2,000 and Rising
Before action even began, over 2,000 players were in the field. By the time players took their seats, the numbers passed 2,400. Over 180 tables were in use in the Pavilion, compared to 18 on Day 1A. At the moment, around 2,000 players are currently registered for Day 1D with enough space for 1,800 more runners.
Registration is open until Level 3, just in case you find $10,000 in the cushion of of your couch.
Editor's Note: Due to the extreme length of the live blog, if you're reading this on the front page of Tao of Poker, then you have to click through READ MORE link below to read more and to view the video of Phil Hellmuth's MMA-themed entrance.
I love a good prank. The floor guys at the WSOP have a tremendous sense of humor. Rumors and gossip travel fast in the press box. Word got out that Michael Jordan was playing in the WSOP. The Michael Jordan? Mike from Part Time Poker and I rushed over to check out the scene when I got a text about the hoax. Blah. Too bad it wasn't true. That would have boosted the popular of the WSOP a hundred fold.
Prelude to Hell: The Hellmuth Entrance
This year's Hellmuthian entrance will include an MMA-theme. Stay tuned for reports on the absurdity. Follow me on twitter (@taopauly) for pics and snark while I go outside.
Just got back from the Hellmuthian circus. WOW. I want to wait until my recap tonight to write about everything I experienced, but as per usual it was quite the controversial spectacle. In short, it's a moment that we love to hate, or hate to love.
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The Phil Hellmuth Entrance Video
And here's the video you've been waiting for! This is the pre-show in the parking lot of the Convention Center.
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The Pavilion Report: Brrrrr and Brrrrr
The young woman couldn't see behind four and five deep on the rail. ESPN had a camera crew on Tom Dwan's table. A couple of media reps hung near by snapping photos. Dwan easily had the most railbirds in the room as he was conveniently located at the crossroads in the Pav.
"I think it's that Brrrr kid."
"No brrrrrr. B and a bunch of R's. Brrrrrrr."
Sometimes, I fucking love the rail. I really wish I was making this stuff up, you simply don't have to. Just open your ears and listen to uninformed railbirds butcher names and mistake pros for someone else.
Tom "brrrrrrrrrr" Dwan
Speaking of Brrrrrrrrrr, parts of the Pavilion are freezing. It's like stepping into the freezer. Liz Lieu was freezing her tushy off, and she's wearing a hoodie, but that's not working it. If you want to score browning points with Liz, then bring her a blanket!
One of the floor guys had to give a player a penalty for threatening another player. all I overheard was "I'm gonna slap the shit out of you!"
The Rug Doctor, and latest member of Team PokerStars David Williams jumped out to an early chip lead. I don't do chip counts but let's just say he's got a lot.
Oh, and Men the Master is busto. For real. But Scotty Nguyen is still alive and well. He only has a bottle of water and a can of Red Bull in front of him. Wonder if the waitress spiked his drink with vodka?
4:20pm Smoke Break Sponsored by Lost Vegas
Today's smoke break is brought to you by Lost Vegas. Yep, I'm shilling my own shit this Main Event, so support an independent writer and artist by buying it. Heck, buy 2 or 3. There are free shipping options available (in the U.S.) over at Lulu.com. For more info, check out the Lost Vegas FAQs.
Click here to purchase!
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Sorry You Didn't Make the Dinner Break
Recent Eliminations: Men the Master, Huck Seed, Darioa Minieri, Ayaz Mahmood, and Scott Fischman.
Day 1C Closed, Get Your Day 1D Seat ASAP Before It Sells Out
Everyone has been warned. There are at least 1,000 seats available. Get 'em while they're hot.
New Tao of Pokerati Episode - Porn Stars, Hookers, and Poker Players
Um, yeah, no Michalski so Benjo stepped in to record one of the funniest episodes that we've done this summer. Raunchy.
Episode 53: Porn Stars, Hookers, and Poker Players with Benjo - While sitting in the press box, Pauly and Benjo notice that their favorite massage girl is working today. The discussion veers off into running a hooker ring out of Europe to coincide with various poker tours.Listen to more episodes at the Tao of Pokerati Archives.
It's official. The numbers are in. Good news... the WSOP will surpass last year's numbers and should surge to 7,000. Day 1D can accommodate up to 3,800 players. I'm doubting that they will come close, but regardless, the numbers this year are very healthy as the prize pool approached $50 million.
Day 1A: 1,125
Day 1B: 1,489
Day 1C: 2,314
Day 1D: ??
Total: 4,928 (not including Day 1D)
Also Not Making Dinner Break...
Recent Eliminations: Chad Brown, Vicky Coren, Scott Ian, Faraz Jaka, Jeff Madsen, Ville Wahlbeck, Shaun Deeb, E-Fro and Steve Begleiter
And with that said, it's dinner break.
The Orange Section Report - Honky Tonk Jesus
I spotted the first clone. Then the another. And another. They all dressed the same. White shirt. Red hat. That meant only on thing -- Dennis Phillips was playing. His supporters were in costume and one of his friends brought the truck horn. During the break, they stored the horn underneath Change100's desk. Funny stuff. I tried to pawn it on break out back to the dealer's room, but I didn't get any decent offers. Dealers are hurting this year. They pretty much got stiffed on tips due to some sort of snafu during the payout process.
Darvin Moon was on the rail for a few minutes. I did a double take and yep, it was him. Spotted him doing an interview later on.
Jerry Yang played at the tertiary featured table along with Finnish death metal legend Viotto Rintala. The battle of good and evil. Yang had one of his supporters on the rail, dressed in a Jesus shirt. He'd random run over to Yang and scream random religious sayings. Not quite quoting scripture, but close.
Oh, and I saw that Jesus Ferguson look-a-like wandering around again.
Not a real Jesus
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Last 5 Pros I Pissed Next To...
Back by popular demand.
Last 5 Pros I Pissed Next To...
1. Little Man Mike Sica
2. Johnny Lodden
3. Minh Ly
4. Max Lykov
5. Hasan Habib
Hallway Chatter and Musings
I spent a lot of today roaming the hallways looking for suspicious characters. Here's my report...
- Lara Miller tipped me off to the agents standing outside and trying to acquire new clients via the shotgun approach. Everyone knows that if you get a spot at the featured TV table, that one of the online poker rooms can give you a shitload of cash if you get lots of face time. These agents were spamming players with business cards with instructions to call them if they happened to get moved to a featured TV table.
- One young woman was talking on the phone. "My backer is at the cage waiting for a transfer. Then he'll give me my Main Event buy-in." (LONG PAUSE) "Ewwww. No I didn't sleep with him. He's my grandfather's age."
- A bracelet winner and another local circuit grinder were handing each other mini-bricks of cash. It seems like they both came into some money and were paying back debts to one another after the long series.
- I was interviewing someone on the phone in the back hallway when Durrrr passed me. He was listening to his iPod and nodded at me when we passed. Negreanu let out a shriek down the hall and durrrr stopped to let Negreanu catch up so they can chat. Durrrr told him that he was around 7,000 and looking for someone to book his action.
Not Making It To Day 2...
Recent eliminations: Phil Hellmuth, Jerry Yang, Neil Channing, Mike Swoers, David Kitai, Corry Carroll and Chau Giang.
When Steve Frezer announced over the loudspeakers that Hellmuth had busted most of the room began clapping. When Jerry Yang busted and his name was announced, only a handful of people clapped.
I saw Johnny Chan walking around before, which isn't something that happens to often. Just a couple of years ago he somehow managed to convince Harrah's to stop serving Red Bull and go with his third-rate sugar water as the only energy drink that you can get inside the Amazon Ballroom. Well, thankfully, that pisswater is no longer here and the cocktail serves proudly give you Red Bull upon request.
So Chan made a couple of rare appearances at the Rio this summer, including Day 1C of the Main Event. He didn't fizzle out or bust out early. Rather, he quickly went to work to build a stack for most of the day he was out in front of the pack (near the lead). Man, Chan with a stack. He's still a week away from becoming a huge story. If he's still alive next Wednesday, then that's a big fucking deal.
Yeah, it feels weird that it'll take one week to get from Day 1 to Day 3 with all of the multiple flights on Day 1 and Day 2, and a day off in between 2 and 3. It's kinda hard to get super excited about a chipleader on Day 1. History is always against the early leaders. And these days with the Main Event lasting up to two week, it's nearly impossible to seize the lead on Day 1 and not look back. The closest I saw to that was the year Jamie Gold won. As soon as he took the lead away from Dmitri Nobles, he never looked back.
Day 1C Complete
Recent Eliminations: Isabelle Mercier, Alex Gomes, Alex Outhred, Anthony Rapp from Dazed and Confused, Bill Gazes, Lee Childs, and David Benefield
That's it. A bunch of players advanced. 1,642 to be precise. Click here to check out chipcounts from end of Day 1C.
Day 1D is the last chance for everyone to buy-in the Main Event. Seats are available but it's hard to tell if it will actually sell out. One thing is for sure -- this is the largest WSOP Main Event since the UIEGA with over 7,000 runners expected.
Photos courtesy of Harper & Benjo.