Thursday, July 08, 2010

2010 WSOP Main Event Day 1D - Semi-Live Blog

By Pauly
Las Vegas, NV

Welcome to Day 1D. The final opening flight of the 2010 WSOP will be the largest single day number of entrants for a Main Event. Stay tuned for semi-live half-baked coverage...

* * * * *

Backwards Down the Number Line

Numbers are everything, right? If you recall, the 2009 WSOP was plagued by the Day 1D fiasco (when players were shut out because of lack of space and the fact they waited to the last minute to register) and the paltry numbers for the Day 1 flight that was held on July 4th. Both issues are a non-factor this year and the result will be at least 7,000 runners.

Day 1D should attract 3,000 runners with at least 1,000 or so advancing to Day 2B.
2010 WSOP Main Event Entrants:
Day 1A: 1,125
Day 1B: 1,489
Day 1C: 2,314
Day 1D: ??
Total Runners: 4,928 (not including Day 1D)

Day 1A Survivors: 766
Day 1B Survivors: 1,018
Day 1C Survivors: 1,646
Total Remaining: 3,430 (not including Day 1D)

WSOP Main Event Entrants Since 2003:
2010: ???
2009: 6,494 (Cada)
2008: 6,844 (Eastgate)
2007: 6,358 (Yang)
2006: 8,773 (Gold)
2005: 5,619 (Hachem)
2004: 2,576 (Raymer)
2003: 839 (Moneymaker)

* * * * *

 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.

Slaughterhouse Five

There will be blood today with at least 2,000 causalities on the last opening round of the Main Event. The doors to the Amazon Ballroom opened at 11:48am and players were trickling in for over five minutes as The Guess Who's American Woman blasted on the speakers, a much welcomed changed from the uber-whiny-emo Losing My Religion from REM. The WSOP needs to hire my buddy the Joker to spin tunes. He knows how to get a party started right.

Despite the sluggish nature of getting enthusiastic about the fourth version of Day 1, this batch of players seems a lot more energetic. Let's hope this early frenetic energy continues throughout the day.

* * * * *

No Play for Mr. Grey

Emmit Smith. Gotta love the guy even though most Americans know him as "the football player who won Dancing with the Stars." I feel bad for Shannon Elizabeth. The former contestant on the same reality show (different season as Smith) got upstaged once again by someone -- this time, one of the greatest running backs in the history of the NFL. I gotta say, wow, that was pretty cool (although I heard a rumor that Emmit Smith was coming but I hear lots of things these days and you never know what is bullshit, propaganda, gossip, or stone cold fact). TD Jack Effel could hardly contain himself. He's from Dallas and a huge Cowboys fan, which was the root of his giddyness. I gotta say that the addition to Smith added even more excitement to the day.

And yes, Emmit Smith is playing today in his first ever WSOP Main Event.

* * * * *

The Pharmie Report - Day 1D

Marijuana prices are sluggish due to the lifetime ban warning if anyone is caught smoking reefer on premises. Alaska Blueberry has tanked this week and prices bottomed out to $50 an 1/8. On the up side, Purple Kush is trading at an all time high of $65 an 1/8.

Since this is Day 1 of the Main Event, Adderall sales are hitting their 52-week high. Expect prices to tailspin as the trading day progresses.

On the painkiller front, 10mg of Vicodin and generic versions of Hydrocodone are going for $5/pop with Percosett and other Oxycodone derivatives trading slightly higher even though they got hammered in the Asian markets this morning. Roxycontin and Oxycontin's prices have remained steady throughout the main event 30mg pills for $20.

With that said, futures prices for Xanax, Valium, and other benzodiazepines are expected to increase substantially as more players bust out. Downers will be king this afternoon with over 1,000 eliminations on the largest Day 1 flight of the Main Event.

And that concludes the Day 1D pharmie report.

I included some of this information in a quick solo episode of Tao of Pokerati. Listen to the Day 1D Pharmie Report recorded live from the floor of the WSOP.

* * * * *

What? No Lifetime Supply?

WSOP sponsor Jack Link's beef jerky has a promo where you get a prize for quad Jacks -- $100 worth of jerky. One guy just hit his bonus hand and got super excited. I could hear him bragging about winning "a year's supply of beef jerky" but when the floor informed him of the miscommunication, he was pissed.

"What? No lifetime supply? What kinda bullshit is that? I get $100 worth? $100 won't even cover a week's worth!"

Kudos to Rich Ryan, Tao of Poker's dried beef products correspondent for being on top of this story and assisting with this report.

* * * * *

Who's Your Daddy?

I got a sweet email last night from Grant and Brain Hinkle's mother. Grant won a bracelet at the 2008 WSOP -- the same year that his brother Blair had won one ten days later.

Anyway, Grant was in Kansas City awaiting the birth of his first son. He had hoped that his wife would go into labor before today. Alas, she didn't and is due next week, so he flew out to Vegas last night. Both Hinkle Brothers are in the field today, with Grant holding his cell phone near by just in case his wife goes into labor. I assume he'll drop everything, getting blinded out, and fly back home. Ah, it's never a dull day at the WSOP.

Early in the first level, Grant lost some chips when his flopped set lost the hand. On a good note, he didn't lose too much of his stack and is still alive and well.

Good luck to Grant. Let's hope he can go deep and his baby get born on the day off between Days 2 and 3.

* * * * *

Emmit Smith Stirring the Pot

Emmit Smith is playing in the Pavilion. His security guards are shooing away media like little gnats. Gah, this is not a club in South Beach where you can control who gets access to the stars. This is the WSOP. You buy the ticket, you accept the consequences. Just like a few years ago when Tobey Maguire refused to be photographed or reported on. I recall getting an edict from PokerNews management in 2007 when I was a part of their live reporting team. We were told to ignore his table and not report on any hands. I wish I had Twitter then,l because I would have been tweeting the fuck out of it.

I got word from three sources that Emmit Smith did not sign the ESPN waiver which allows his image to be used for the ESPN broadcast. Everyone gets this waiver when they buy into an event. It's standard, but Smith refused to sign it. All the powers to be involved have been diligently working all morning (and now afternoon) to rectify the situation very shortly. Hopefully once he signs the waiver, he'll call back the thugs.

Thanks to Mercdawg from Part Time Poker for helping me out with this report.

Update: According to one of my readers grungedave: "Emmitt is probably still mad about ESPN firing him from their NFL Countdown show a couple years ago... which is why he won't sign."

* * * * *

Philo Gordo Busto

Phil Gordon will have to wait another year to win the Main Event. He was among the first wave of causalities on Day 1D -- set over set. Poor Gordon. On a positive note, I see plenty of players sporting a green 1% patch which designates their support to pledge 1% of their Main Event winnings to Bad Beat on Cancer. Even though Phil Gordon busted from the Main Event, his philanthropic mission to raise money for cancer research continues to be a success.

* * * * *

The Pavilion Report - Emmit's World and the Mystery of the Skunk

I wandered through the white section. I wasn't going anywhere in particular, just wandering with my eyes open. My goal was to get over to the yellow section of Pavilion to keep tabs on Emmit Smith. That's when I saw two huge dudes standing at the end of the aisle. I looked left and that's when I saw Emmit. His table broke and he was moved to the white section. He was also patched up with Full Tilt logos and even sported a Full Tilt hat.

Cyndy Violette was rocking a tie-dyed hoodie. A few tables a way, an older Deadhead was in the 6 seat rocking a tour shirt circa the late 1980s.

Todd Brunson had an interesting table...
Seat 1: Old guy with white shirt that had nautical flags plastered all over it.
Seat 2: Eurodonk in a garish hoodie, white capri pants, black tennis shoes and no socks.
Seat 3: Normal dude in a polo shirt and jeans
Seat 4: Bald guy with iPod
Seat 5: Ylon Schwartz looking like he's been up for four days
Seat 6: PokerStars Qualifier (Easy to spot wearing a brand new Stars hat and doing chip tricks)
Seat 7: Todd Brunson
Seat 8: Token Asian guy
Seat 9: Guy in a white Minnesota Vikings #28 Adrian Peterson away jersey
A couple of 2+2'ers were on the rail snickering at Doug Lee's table. I could see the harsh sarcasm dripping out of their ears.

And someone must be holding some killer weed in the white section. Holy shit, I passed through one area and I started salivating like Pavlov's frothing dog after I was nearly intoxicated by the flavorful aromas. I know Northern California kind bud when I smell it. Very jealous. I'm relegated to eating generic Vicodin in the press box. Not as natural and nowhere near as fun.

* * * * *

First Break Musings

The first break is always the most crowded, hectic, and annoying. The snippets of conversation are mostly annoying -- complaining about bad beats and bragging about hero calls. You occasionally hear a few funny ass stuff (mostly amateurs ragging on "pros" for being overrated) but those moments are few and far between.

I got stuck in the hallways with all of the cattle, sheep, donks, and other circus animals while they went off to graze, piss, shit, get stoned, or rub one out. Seriously. I know a pro who swears that he plays better when he jacks off on the breaks. I hope he washes his hands before he returns.

I went out back and the lines to the trailers were so long that one guy took a whiz behind the trailer. A few others followed suit. I also caught a semi-volatile pro enjoying herbal supplements. He was embarrassed that he got caught and offered me up a hit for my silence. I shook him down for the rest of his stash.

The random interviews with foreign outlets I never heard of before (here's how you create a poker website in Europe -- take the word "poker" and add a completely unrelated word and then slap on your country code and viola!,,, or Anyway, there's always one guy talking in some sort of Slavic tongue to a camera crew about getting his aces cracked

And then there's the individual player who has a small team of supporters. They remind me of a Nascar crew pit, surrounding the player and he debriefs them while they furnish him with fluids, snacks, and other necessary tweaks before they send him back out to the fight.

* * * * *

Kara Scott's Breezy Start

I never do chipcounts, but I think Kara Scott is among the over leaders. According to her Twitter feed, "70k at break - cardrack." Her tweet was ended with a smiley face. Snoopy said she won a monsterpotten on the last hand before the break.

* * * * *

Didn't See You There

It took over 2 hours for me to realize that Robert Varkonyi was sitting right in front of me at one of the tertiary feature tables. I thought I almost ran into his wife while walking through one of the doors. He never gets any respect! I think I'm gonna expand this thought into my end of day recap.

* * * * *

Smith Pancaked

Emmit Smith is officially out of the Main Event. That was quick. His only saving grace is that he was not the first player to dust off his 30K stack and flush $10,000 down the toilet. I wonder how much Full Tilt paid him for the hat/patches. Full buy-in? Did they know he was going to stiff-arm ESPN and not sign a waiver before they agreed to terms?

OK, to update you on that drama -- Smith finally signed a waiver (most likely on the break), but he didn't get too much face time before he hit the road.

* * * * *

Featured Table Update - Dolly's Ghostbusters and Logoless Moon

I finally had a chance to wander over to the featured TV table area. Doyle Brunson, old Texas Dolly himself, was sitting at the secondary table in the beef jerky area. I didn't recognize anyone at his table -- but of nobodies playing with the legend himself. One of the guys at the table ask him about his card capper -- a black lighter with a Ghostbusters logo and 'DOLLY' etched underneath. he proceeded to tell every (and ESPN cameras too) how that was his only good luck charm -- but he didn't realize how lucky it was until he sold it to Howard Lederer. Brunson went on a losing streak and was convinced that he acquired the bad juju because he sold the lighter. He asked for it back, but had to pay Lederer a nifty penny for it. At the present moment, the Ghostbusters lighter is sitting atop of his bigger chips (yellow and orange).

Over at the featured TV table, Darvin "Gump" Moon held court. According to superagent Brian Balsbaugh's tweet this morning, Moon was offered $10,000 to wear a hat/logo from an undisclosed online poke room. He counter offered $25,000 and the online room balked. Kudos to Moon for not taking the lowballed offer. Instead, he's sporting his New Orleans Saints hat.

* * * * * 

4:20 Smoke Break - Sponsored by Lost Vegas

Here's the time of the day when I direct you to the book that I had been working on the last few years. If you like what you have seen here, then you should buy my book Lost Vegas: The Redneck Riviera, Existentialist Conversations with Strippers, and the World Series of Poker.

Please support an independent writer and artist by buying my book. Heck, buy 2 or 3. Lulu is the site that is selling my book and they offer up FREE shipping options (for US residents). For more info about my book, check out the Lost Vegas FAQs.

Click here to purchase!

* * * * *

Hinkle Update

The brothers Hinkle, both bracelet winners, are in the field today. Well, just Grant. His brother Blair busted out just before the break. Grant is still alive with about 40K in chips.

* * * * *

Snuggies and Slankets

Liz Lieu mentioned the freezer-like breeze yesterday. Over in the Pavilion one group of players got stuck under the coldest vent in the entire casino. One of them joked about getting a Snuggie and then chatter turned to the entire table acquiring them -- and they did.

Thanks to Mercdawg from Part Time Poker for the picture.

* * * * *

So So Sorry That You Did Not Make the Dinner Break

Recent Eliminations: Phil Gordon, Emmit Smith, Nine and a Half Fingered Vinny (my dad's old bookie from Manhattan), John Kabbaj, Justin Smith, Nicolas Levi, and Pam Brunson.

If you're dining alone tonight, those players are more than available to eat with you.

* * * * *

LBJ Fever

Lebron James is supposed to make an announcement at 9pm ET regarding the future of his NBA career. Over the last week or so, I had plenty of players, media, and random friends ask me handicapping odds about Lebron leaving the Cleveland Cavs and going to different teams including my hometown NY Knicks. Also on that list were the Chicago Bulls and Miami Heat.

Chatter at the tables has intensified as the deadline approaches. You don't usually hear too much about current events inside the Amazon Ballroom, and when you do, it's usually sports-related (like the NBA finals and the World Cup -- mainly because those are events that can be wagered on). I'm guessing there are a few prop bets going on at the Rio about where Lebron ends up.

As a Knicks fan, I'm torn because Lebron is not the answer to our woes -- it's all ownership and the GM. Blah. The official news is coming... soon.

* * * * *

Emmit Slumming in the Cash Games

Oh and by the way, according to Mercdawg, Emmit Smith is sitting in a 2/5 cash game at the Rio. If you wanna get some of Jerry Jones' cash, then get on the waitlist!

* * * * *

2,000 Online Qualifiers?

John Katkin was crunching the numbers and he estimated that 2,000 or so players had won Main Event satellites via online rooms (PokerStars, Full Tilt, UB, Party, Everest, et al). He didn't know how many actually showed up.

Back in 2006, it seemed like one in every five players in the room had qualified through PokerStars. This year, Stars sent out 1,100 packages. Since they do not do direct transfers to the cage, they shipped the money to your account.

* * * * *

Official Numbers: 7,319

It's official. The total runners in the Main Event is 7,319. A shade under $9 million goes to first place. The top 747 or so will get paid.

Oh, and there were 2,391 runners today.
2010 Main Event Payouts:
* 1st - $8,944,138
* 2nd - $5,545,855
* 3rd - $4,129,979
* 4th - $3,092,497
* 5th - $2,332,960
* 6th - $1,772,939
* 7th - $1,356,708
* 8th - $1,045,738
* 9th - $811,823
* 10th-12th - $635,011
* 13th-15th - $500,165
* 16th-18th - $396,967
* 19th-27th - $317,161
* 28th-36th - $255,242
* 37th-45th - $206,395
* 46th-54th - $168,556
* 55th-63rd - $138,285
* 64th-72nd - $114,205
* 73rd-81st - $94,942
* 82nd-90th- $79,806
* 91st-99th - $67,422
* 100th-171st - $57,102
* 172nd-243rd - $48,847
* 244th-315th - $41,967
* 316th-387th - $36,463
* 388th-459th - $31,647
* 460th-531st - $27,519
* 532nd-603rd - $24,079
* 604th-675th - $21,327
* 676th-747th - $19,263

* * * * *

New Tao of Pokerati Episodes - 7.319 and the Pharmie Report

Michalski is AWOL. I dunno if I'm going to continue to write that because at this point, it's a given that he's not around. Anyway, you might have already heard the Pharmie Report earlier today, but as soon as the WSOP staff announced official numbers, we jumped into action and recorded an episode.
Episode 54: Day 1D Pharmaceutical Report - Here's a solo report from yours truly where I give a quick rundown of street prices for pharmies and other illicit narcotics.

Episode 55: 7,319 with Benjo - The official numbers for the Main Event were released: 7,319 runners. Benjo and Pauly discuss the origins of the increase in the player pool.
Listen to more episodes at the Tao of Pokerati Archives.

* * * * *

LBJ > Miami

Miami. Fucker.

* * * * *

Yep, They Also Didn't Make the Dinner Break

Recent Eliminations: Joe Hachem, John Juanda, Steve Dannenmann, Nacho Barbero, Michael Craig, Blair Hinkle, Paul Darden, some donk in a PokerStars hat, Anna Wroblewski, Johnny Bax, and Olga Varkonyi.

With that said, it's dinner time. Play should resume around 8:25pm PT. When players return, they will play 1.5 levels before action is suspended.

* * * * *


I headed over to the featured TV table. There seemed to be a lot of foot traffic flowing in and out so I investigated. Seems as though Darvin Moon's table wasn't exactly the most exciting action in the room with a steady shuffling of fans taking empty seats and bored spectators getting up to leave. The only highlight? A hottie in a yellow tube top who strategically sat behind him. She'll definitely get some TV time. Why? She was nipping out. Hubba hubba.

* * * * *

Finding Ivey

It's easy to find Phil Ivey -- just look for the crowds. The rail of the Blue section focused heavily on Ivey -- who sat with his back to the rail, yet everyone was still scattered forty to fifty feet wide on the rail and standing six deep. Even the Humphries, Ivey's loyal fan club, were in attendance. Tao of Poker reader Maureen mentioned that Mrs. Humphries had a whole bag of apples with her. Seriously -- Ivey eats apples which gives him superhuman strength, so I'm gonna eat at least six hours a day. I doubt that I'll be able to leap tall building in a single bound, nor will I be able to play better PLO, but at least I'll get more fiber in my diet.

* * * * *

Kara Watch: 75K

Kara Scott had a hot start and ended the first break as one of the big stacks. Her stack has not improved much since then, and at present moment, she's sitting pretty with 75K. I can't believe I actually gave a chip count. But it's Kara, so we make an exception.

* * * * *


The Snuggie Boys make me laugh. Here's the deal -- if the person in the Snuggie busts then the Snuggie stays at the table. I kinda hope that the Snuggie Boys continue to wear their Snuggies throughout the remainder of tournament. For one, it would be easy to identify them. And shit, I hope one of them makes the November Nine and gets a sick multi-million dollar Snuggie endorsement deal.

Best quote so far? "Oh look," said Benjo. "They are wearing the hippie Snuggies."

Photo courtesy of Harper & Benjo.

* * * * *

Rookie Mistake

The floor guys played a nasty trick on me. And I fell for it, like a friggin' rookie. Gaaaaaaaaah. Those fuckers are on my shitlist now and I will get my revenge before the series is over.

Here's what happened... it started with a tip.

"Best looking woman I've seen playing at the Main Event."

"Really where?"

"Table 280, seat 8. I can't believe that the guys at Wicked Chops overlooked this hottie."

I tried to be cool with the situation and didn't sprint over to the table like a horn dog. Instead, I made chit chat for a few minutes before I excused myself and followed up on their reccomendation. As I approached the table, it was obvious that no women were sitting there. I wondered if she had busted. As I got closer to table 280 I scanned all of the seats to see if I recognized anyone. Sitting in seat 8? Bernard Lee.

I just got the poker media equivalent of a Rick Roll.

* * * * *

Liquored Up on Day 1D

At this point, reporting that Layne Flack is drunk at the tables is like a weatherman during monsoon season reminding the citizens that it's raining outside. Eddie Sabat is sitting next to Flack and he mentioned that cameras have been swarming his table, and shooting plenty of Flack's antics.

* * * * *


I love snippets of conversations on the rail...

- "I had $1,200 on me. When I woke up, I had less than $300. She rolled me for at least $900."

- "I was thinking about going to Prague tomorrow."

- "I'm getting hammered in the market. I sold off everything and I'm still getting fucked."

- "Hey Mom, yeah Dad is doing fine. He's still in and has half the average stack. I think he's gonna cash."

- "I think she's a pro? Yeah, look at her. Only a hooker would wear tight jeans like that."

- "I'm not going to bring a hooker back to our house. I'm afraid that I'll wake up and all the furniture will be gone."

* * * * *

Huge Tracts of Land

Gotta love Flipchip. He took a photo of a very busty woman. One of the floor reporters saw it and asked where she was sitting. "Her boobs are in seat 4...and seat 5."

Seriously, they were resting on the table cushions they were that ginormous.

* * * * *

Not Coming Back

Recent Eliminations: Chainsaw Kesler, Sorel Mizzi, Joe Cassidy, and Noah Boeken.

* * * * *

Day 1D Complete

That's it were done. The opening round of the WSOP is finally complete. Day 1D included 2,391 runners which pushed the total number of entrants to 7,319. Almost $9 million will go to the winner in the second largest Main Event in the history of the WSOP.

Stay tuned for official end of day chipcounts. Check in with in a few hours.


  1. Losty3:49 PM

    Now these are the stories I want..

    Emmit, #s, and the Report..

    Note no "Oxy/Perc Lifetime ban", Just lighting up..

    What about Nevada's Medical Patients?  They have a Medical bill I think, Terrible..

    Wonder if they'd move the Series to the Bike or Commerce if Tax & Regulate goes through..

  2. grungedave4:40 PM

    Emmitt is probably still mad about ESPN firing him from their NFL Countdown show a couple years ago... which is why he won't sign.

  3. Pauly4:51 PM

    Ah, that makes sense. Thanks grungedave for the info.

  4. Expensive Wino4:59 PM

    We want photos and twitter reports.  Emmitt is a public figure participating in a public event.  Don't let his thugs scare you away!

  5. Kevmath6:11 PM

    Did Emmitt or his peeps roll FTP for 10k?

  6. Conan7766:42 PM

    I really gotta remember to read your blog more often. A+

  7. Pauly6:54 PM

    Ha. I'd love to know. He finally signed the waiver, btw.

  8. scott sanford10:00 PM

    What's the story behind Ivey and ESPN in an argument again this year in the hallway?

  9. Schizohedron10:43 PM

    Speaking of active trading outside the realm of pharmies: When newsradio 880 mentioned MSG stock had sold off early today, I had a strong hunch the Knicks had lost their bid.

    Also, "Nine and a Half Fingered Vinny (my dad's old bookie from Manhattan)"—There's gotta be a couple of good stories there.

  10. Sideshow Bob10:55 AM

    Love the snuggie table. Doesn't this call for a last-longest prop bet?

  11. Grant Hinkle6:36 PM

    Thanks for the shout out! Big fan of your blog and twitter.

  12. Is there somewhere I can send Full Tilt money to have James Dolan killed? I just want to make the world a slightly better place if I can.