Saturday, July 17, 2010

2010 WSOP Main Event Day 8 - Semi-Live Blog

By Pauly
Las Vegas, NV

This is it. The final day of the summer session of the WSOP before we adjourn only to return again in November. We have 27 players remaining and we won't stop until the November Nine is set. Come along for the ride with me on the final day of semi-live coverage. Remember, please do not feed the animals and keep all hands, arms, and legs inside at all times.

* * * * *
Quick Numbers
2010 Main Event Entrants: 7,319
Players Remaining: 27
Payouts: 747
First Place: $8,944,138
Prizepool: $68,798,600
Chipleader: Joseph 'subiime' Cheong - 24,490,000

Day 7 Money Jumps:
10th-12th - $635,011
13th-15th - $500,165
16th-18th - $396,967
19th-27th - $317,161

Top 10 Chipcounts:
1. Joseph 'subiime' Cheong - 24,490,000
2. Cuong Nguyen - 23,100,000
3. Pascal LeFrancois - 15,780,000
4. Jason Senti - 13,550,000
5. Matthew Jarvis - 13,300,000
6. Matt Affleck - 12,515,000
7. Jonathan Duhamel - 10,520,000
8. John Racener - 10,470,000
9. Filippo Candio - 10,020,000
10. Benjamin Statz - 9,885,000

Click here for a list of 2010 Main Event money winners and payouts.
Stay tuned for semi-live updates.

* * * * *

Cards in the Air; Day 8 Begins

It was a special day at the WSOP -- high end pimpage of some MMA stuff with a bulky and mean-looking Kevin "The Monster" Randleman handling "Shuffle Up and Deal" honors. Hey, I'm not one to mess with a guy who can break my tibia by just looking at it, but an MMA fighter? Come on. I wanted a legend like Doyle or a former champ. Or that honor should have gone to someone like Ty Stewart or even Jack Effel himself -- they've done a kick ass job over the last 50+ days (and longer) running the 2010 WSOP. I give them a lot of guff on Tao along with the occasional cheap shot and back-handed compliment, but deep down I have a tremendous amount of respect for what they do -- the WSOP is a daunting undertaking and sometimes that effort goes unnoticed. So three cheers to those guys. Oh, and Seth, Nolan, Dave, and Alan too. I have to give them shoutouts along with Tony aka head of security aka head of the GOON SQUAD, or they'll have me hauled off to county lock up for possession.
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Cramped Quarters

The crew set up a third table near the featured table area. if you have never been to the Rio's Amazon Ballroom let me set the scene for you. There's a massive structure in the corner of the ballroom that houses both the featured TV table that is surrounded by stadium style seating on three sides. Attached to the back of that is the beef jerky lounge which overlooks both the TV table and the secondary featured table. I'm sitting in a press area in the beef jerky lounge. Last year, this was the Milwaukee's Beast bar. Now it's a haven for fried meat products.

My view

The third table (and first to be broken) is set up behind the entire structure off to the side. That's technically behind me as I hover over the secondary table. I'm squeezed into a tiny area in between Merchdawg from Part Time Poker and one of the Dutchies aka Web Joker from Poker News. I miss the Frenchies whom I were embedded with for most of the WSOP. Since they have zero players left aside from a few French-Canucks, they are absent from the mini-press box. Seriously we're so packed in here that I can stretch out my arm and smack Jess Welman and Vin from Casino City Times in the head. Flipchip is nearby and that's comforting. My father figure in poker, and one of the people responsible for getting me into the poker media, is within earshot so we're gonna be finishing up this run together. Fitting, because this might be the last time we both do this for the long haul.

I took three twit pics of the final three tables whiele players were unbagging their chips. Check out the featured table, the secondary table, and the tertiary table.

And here's one of Benjo's pics of the featured TV table...

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Scandi Down; Johnny Lodden Eliminated in 27th Place ($317,161)

Short-stacked Norwegian PokerStars pro, Johnny Lodden, made a stand with pocket 8s. He was all in against Matt Affleck who called with A-10. Lodden faded any overs on the flop, but a ten on the turn sunk his ship. he couldn't suck out on the river and Lodden was toast. He became the first player to bust out on Day 8.

One Scandi down. Two still left. Sweden's William Thorson is really their only hope.
* * * * *

Matthew Bucaric eliminated in 26th Place ($317,161)

It was a frenzy to keep up with action to the right of me, action to the left of me. There was an all-in at the secondary table with Scott Clements 10-10 calling John Dolan's Kh-Qh. Dolan flopped a Broadway straight and doubled through Clements.

On the TV table, Matthew Bucaric was all in with a pair of nines on an 8-high flop with two hearts. Filippo Candio, the wacky Italian, had a flush draw and got there on the turn. it held up and he busted Bucaric in 26th place.
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Scandi Down; Mads Wissing Eliminated in 25th Place ($317,161)

Scandi on Scandi violence. All in on the flop. Mads Wissing from Denmark had top pair. William Thorson held bottom pair. Thorson turned two pair and it held up. Wissing busted out in 25th. Alas, he next to last Scandi is out. Only William Thorson is here to carry out the directives of the Scandi Sleeper Cell.

Down to 24. Joe Cheong is still the chipleader with around 24 million. Exact numbers are not available because no one is allowed on the stages when filming is in progress.
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Sponsorship Update by Benjo; Introducing!

Thanks to Benjo for the research... "Here's the final tally among last 27 : 13 Full Tilt, 12 Poker Stars, 2 UB, and 0 BrokeDickPoker."

Yes, stay tuned to my new website that I'm launching shortly called it's a joint venture with Benjo that were going to use to launder money for the French mafia from Marseilles. We're hoping that we can secure the live updates contract with the WSOP. Our goal is to hire flying monkeys with iPhones to do chipcounts with a dedicated monkey following around Negreanu -- wherever he goes. We'll even broadcast a live feed of the Negreanu/Monkey Cam... for a cost of just $4.20/day.

I'm super excited about our new venture, which will also include player management of everyone's favorite broke dick player. Simply put, if you're a broke dick, then we can help find you backing and sponsorship. That's what we do at

We're about to launch our coup to take over the poker media. Soon come.
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Ronnie Bardah Eliminated in 24th place ($317,161)

All in pre-flop at the TV table. Ronnie Bardah was all in with Ah-Kh against Filipo Candio's As-Ad. The Italian assassin knocked out another player and climbs up the food chain. Meanwhile, Ronnie Bardah is the last Ronnie standing at the Main Event. Does he get a trophy for Wicked Chops Poker for that?

Down to 23
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Today's Semi-Live Blog Sponsored by Lost Vegas

Tao of Poker's WSOP updates is a free service done out of a sheer love for the game. What can I say, I'm a glutton for punishment. I won't ask you for a cent for reading the Tao. However, if you like what you have seen here, then help a brother out and purchase my book Lost Vegas: The Redneck Riviera, Existentialist Conversations with Strippers, and the World Series of Poker.

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* * * * *

Habib Doubles Through ODB

Flipping for the November Nine. Habib took Big Slick to a fight to the death against Original David Baker's pocket nines. An ace on the flop was good enough to keep Habib alive. The short-stack ninja doubled up to avoid an elimination.
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Robert Pisano Crippled On Last Hand Before Break

I was leaving the pressbox to take a leak on the break, but one hand was still in progress. I caught the hand on the flop of 7c-3s-2d. Jonathan Duhamel check-called a 1.6 million bet from Robert Pisano. The Ac fell on the turn. Duhamel fired out almost 2 million. Pisano shoved and Duhamel insta-called. he had 5s-4s for the Wheel. Pisano showed A-K and was fucked.
* * * * *

Updated Chip Counts

Subiime is still the leader with 25M.
Top 5 Chippies:
1. Joseph 'subiime' Cheong - 25,130,000
2. Jonathan Duhamel - 21,600,000
3. 'Soi' Nguyen - 18,800,000
4. Pascal LeFrancois - 16,800,000
5. Jason Senti - 16,655,000

Matt Affleck - 14,225,000
Michael Mizrachi - 7,380,000
Scott Clements - 6,625,000
William Thorson - 5,155,000
Adam Levy - 4,720,000
Hasan Habib - 4,295,000
David Baker - 3,545,000

Robert Pisano - 320K
* * * * *

Robert Pisano Eliminated in 23rd place ($317,161)

In the first hand after the break, Pisano was short and shoved for his last 300K or so. He couldn't double up and hit the rail. Down to 22.
* * * * * *

William Thorson Eliminated in 22nd place ($317,161)

The Nordic jihad is over when William Thorson busted in 22nd place. He had gotten it all in with Jd-10d against John Racener's pocket kings. Thorson flopped a flush draw but could not catch up to Racener. Thorson headed to the rail amid warm applause. The last Scandi is nevermore. This will be a Scandi free November Nine.
* * * * * *

New Tao of Pokerati - Logo Wars

Benjo and I chatted on the first break and recorded a quickie episode. The topic? Online poker room sponsorships.

Episode 72: Logo Wars with Benjo - With three tables remaining in the Main Event, Benjo and Pauly discuss the battle for product placement on the heads of the final 27 players, which has been dominated by either Full Tilt or Poker Stars. They discuss the future of logos and longed for the throwback days of logoless final table players (e.g. Sammy Farha in 2003).
For more episodes visit the Tao of Pokerati Podcast Archives.
* * * * *

Battle of the Matts, Round 1: Jarvis 1, Affleck 0

Crazy hand between Matt Affleck and Matt Jarvis. I caught it on the flop of Qc-9h-4h. Affleck bet 1.6M and Jarvis called. The turn was the Jc. Affleck bet 2.7M. Jarvis bumped it up to over 6M. Affleck called. The 2c spiked on the river. Affleck checked. Jarvis shoved for under 5M and Affleck folded. Wow, Jarvis dragged a monsterpotten worth over 18M or so. He increased his stack to over 23M, while Affleck slipped to 4M or so. Jarvis is now second in chips behind subiime.
* * * * *

Battle of the Matts, Round 2: Jarvis 1, Affleck 1

Matt Affleck got a little revenge when he doubled up with Aces against Jarvis' A-K. He's now back around 10M or so. Jarvis is hovering under 20M or so. Hard to tell. But he slipped out of the Top 5.
* * * * *


Nothing worse is getting the Vegas Crud, which is a virus that includes nasty flu-like symptoms. At some point, if you're at the WSOP for the duration, you come across the virus. If you're healthy enough to repel it -- that's awesome. But as soon as you catch it -- it's hard to shake and you're battling with it for the remainder of the WSOP. Once someone in the press box gets it -- everyone will eventually become infected.

Poker players are not the healthiest breed. Many of them do what they can to remain a healthy lifestyle and get a lot of rest, but when you don't sleep that much, your immune system gets run down. That's the thing about Vegas -- it's a city that frowns upon sleep and does everything possible to prevent you from sleeping. Alas, it's usually when I've been up for a few days when the germs invade while my defenses are at its weakest.

An then there's the vacillating temperatures inside the Rio. Some places are hot as fuck while other spots are a freezer. I know people who caught colds and how about those Snuggie guys from Day 1? They were awesome but freezing their asses off.

This year, I've managed to avoid the crud. I guess that all of the generic vicodin has made me impervious to the crud, but I haven't been without exposure. My girlfriend was stricken the last week or so and I've been praying that I could fight it off. And then I had not one but two players turn around and sneeze into me while I made the rounds during the opening days of the Main Event. Now, we have the rail right up against the pressbox. I've been getting rained on my germs from people who don't cover their mouths when they sneeze. If it's not the drunks, you got the ill ingrates.
* * * * * *

Redmond Lee Eliminated in 21st place ($317,161)

The British Invasion has officially been thwarted. The last standing Brit, Redmond Lee, hit the rail when his pocket fours could not beat the Dutchie's pocket tens. Michiel Sijpkens won the pot and he's looking strong.
* * * * *

Double Dips

Adam Levy doubled up with set of fours at the tertiary table. And in front of me, Michiel Sijpkens just lost a pot when Brandon Stevens doubled through him (flopped a straight with old 6-4 sooted) to avoid an elimination.
* * * * *

More Double Dips; Eurodonk Snaps Off Aces & Dolan Doubles Through Dutchie

All in on two tables. Tough to cover, but both short stacks doubled up.

On the secondary table. John Dolan open-shoved with Queens. He got called by Michiel Sijpkens's A-10. The Queens held up and Dolan doubled up.

Filipo doubled up on the TV table when he caught a little luck to crack the chipleader, Joe 'subiime' Cheong's A-A. They got it all in on a flop of 6-6-5, but the crazy Italian caught a runner-runner straight with 7s-5s to sink subiime's Aces. He lost the lead and the Italian now has a big stack and should be the chipleader. They are still counting chips. At this point, that was one of the most atrocious hands I've seen played at the Main Event -- enough to give Filipo a new nickname Filipo Candonko.

Update: Candonko has 27 million and is our new chipleader. Subiime slipped to under 10M.

New chipleader
* * * * *

Patrick Eskandar Eliminated in 20th place ($317,161)

I missed the hand (I was writing up both double ups in the above paragraph), but Eskandar just hit the road in 20th place. He was short before the hand began with around 1M in chip. Down to 19. We will consolidate to two tables (and have a pay jump) with the next elimination.
* * * * *

Racener Doubles Through Dutchie

The Dutch have always been merchant bankers and money lenders going back centuries. but right now, Michiel Sijpkens is practically giving his money away. He shipped some chips over to John Racener. He lost a biggie to Racener's trip sixes. Sijpkens is now one of the short stacks, while Racener raced past 20M in chips -- good enough for the Top 3 at the present monment, trailing the Filipo Candonko, and French-Canuck Jonathan Duhamel.
* * * * *

Break Time Chippies
Top 5:
Filippo Candonko - 26.075M
John Racener - 23.53M
Pascal LeFrancois - 22.3M
Matthew Jarvis - 19.7M
Jonathan Duhamel - 19M
* * * * *

Explanations on the Break

I ran into Candio on the break when a fan asked him to take a picture. "You're getting a pic with the new chipleader," I told the fan.

"Lucky chipleader," replied Candio.

According to David Baker, he had acquired his stack after beating Candio in a hand, which supposedly tilted the Italian -- and spilled over into the hand with subiime. At least, that's how the Italian explained his reasoning. He wasn't playing optimal at the time of the A-A vs. 7-5 hand. But he did say that he played with subiime on Day 6 or 7 and had a read on him -- he just didn't think he had an over pair when he called and put him on a much weaker range.
* * * *

Double Dutch

Michiel Sijpkens's 4-4 won a race against John Racener's A-Q. The doorcard was a 4 and Sijpkens' set held up. He improved to around 7.5 million.

And then... a few hands later, Sijpkens shipped most of his stack to John Dolan. Dolan flopped a boat with A-A on a A-2-2 board. He let Sijpkens catch up and he rivered a Broadway straight.
* * * * *

Michiel Sijpkens Eliminated in 18th place ($396,967)

It wasn't pretty, but the Duthie open-shoved with J-J and he was called by JohN Racener's K-Q. A queen on the flop sealed the fate of Michiel Sijpkens. He hit the road in 19th place. With his elimination, the final two tables are redrawing for seats.

Down to 18.
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Well, it was a fucking clusterfuck to say the least when the final two tables were set. Spectators ran into the featured TV area and up on the stage while players were trying to rack up to their chips and move to a new seat assignment. Staff did what they could to keep the surge of spectators from trashing the stage and expensive video equipment. Heck, even in the pressbox someone tried to steal a chair! Security sprinted into action and kicked as many people out as possible in order to allow family of the final 18 players to get seats. At the secondary table, a couple of drunken French-Canucks were causing issues with Charlie the floor guy. He almost 86'd them!

Anyway, here's the new table draw...
Seat 1: Adam Levy
Seat 2: Jon Duhamel
Seat 3: Matt Affleck
Seat 4: Jon Dolan
Seat 5: Duy Le
Seat 6: Pascal Le Francois
Seat 7: ODB David Baker
Seat 8: Joe 'subiime' Cheong
Seat 9: Filipo Candio

TV table:
Seat 1: Soi Nguyen
Seat 2: The Grinder
Seat 3: Hasan Habib
Seat 4: Scott Clements
Seat 5: John Racener
Seat 6: Matt Jarvis
Seat 7: Jason Senti
Seat 8: Brandon Steven
Seat 9: Ben Statz

Pascal LeFrancois - 27,500,000
Jonathan Duhamel - 22,400,000
John Racener - 21,700,000
Matthew Jarvis - 21,000,000
Filippo Candio - 18,000,000
Matt Affleck - 16,500,000
Jason Senti - 14,500,000
Soi Nguyen - 12,150,000
Joseph 'subiime' Cheong - 11,600,000
Duy Le - 11,100,000
John Dolan - 9,200,000
Brandon Steven - 7,465,000
Adam Levy - 7,000,000
Michael Mizrachi - 6,295,000
Scott Clements - 4,685,000
David Baker - 4,600,000
Benjamin Statz - 4,525,000
Hasan Habib - 2,300,000
Stay tuned... nine more to go til the November Nine.
* * * * *

Scott Clements Eliminated in 18th Place ($396,967)

AIPF. Clements' A-Q could not chase down Jarvis' A-K. The former bracelet winner could not muster up enough of a run to advance to the final table. Down to 17.
* * * * *

Fame Whores

Some of the folks in the press box are making fun of Trishelle from the Real World who is standing on the rail sweating the secondary table. She's also posing for photos and readjusting those huge tracks of land she's hiding in her dress. I mean, wow. Them some tig ol bitties.

Los hombres from Wicked Chops Poker sent their photog here to snap photos of her cleavage. You could park a Mini Cooper in there.
* * * * *

Thirsty FBT

Greg FBT Mueller is sweating ODB along with Jess Martin and Roy Henson. FBT was thirsty and kept pleading with the staff to send over a cocktail server. He practically tackled an old Asian guy with a tray of water and RedBull. Charlie the floor guy must have 86d the drunken Queebs who were causing trouble at the onset of the seating of the final two tables. They are not here and FBT and Martin are in those seats.
* * * * *

ODB David Baker Eliminated in 17th Place ($396,967)

David Baker just hit the rail when his whiffed on a flush draw. He held Js-7s and had check-raised all in on a flop of Qs-4c-2s. Duhamel held K-K and faded the flush draw. No spades fell on the turn or river, and Baker busted on 17th place.

Down to 16. Don't forget, I have been posting a list of Main Event money winners.
* * * * *

New Tao of Pokerati Episode: Eurodonk Chipleader

With all the commotion of the final two tables mayhem and the near riot (along with minor tech tilt with down wifi), I forgot to post this episode that I recorded with Benjo on the dinner break...
Episode 73: Eurodonk Chipleader with Benjo - Benjo and Pauly discuss the "hand" that propelled Italian player Filipo Candio into the chiplead. Benjo insists that every Main Event final table needs a "donk" in order to keep harmony in the universe.
For more episodes visit the Tao of Pokerati Podcast Archives.
* * * * *

Ben Statz Eliminated in 16th place ($396,967)

Ben got it all in with Ah-5h against Matt Jarvis' Kd-Qh. Jarvis must have been donating portions of his bankroll to the poor or some other worthy charitable organization, but he caught a heavenly flop of K-K-Q. His boat held and Statz was eliminated in 16th place. FYI, Statz is dating the younger sister of Annie Duke and Howard Lederer.

Down to 15.
* * * *

Dinner Break

15 players will return in 90 minutes for dinner break. See you at 8:35pm local time. We're playing down to the final nine.

In the meantime, if you are bored, check out my 20 favorite episodes of Tao of Pokerati podcast that we recorded this summer.
* * * * *


15 players remaining. Post-dinner chip counts courtesy of the flying monkeys with iPhones...
Matthew Jarvis - 32,000,000
Jonathan Duhamel - 30,940,000
John Racener - 21,000,000
Filippo Candio - 19,750,000
Matt Affleck - 17,130,000
John Dolan - 17,075,000
Joseph Cheong - 16,745,000
Soi Nguyen - 15,620,000
Pascal LeFrancois - 14,415,000
Jason Senti - 13,300,000
Brandon Steven - 5,300,000
Adam Levy - 4,695,000
Grinder - 3,210,000
Hasan Habib - 1,545,000
* * * * *

Tighter Security

OK everything got out of hand for a bit and settled down. The security situation is stepped up and hopefully the TV table won't be a zoo with everyone running up on stage. TD Jack Effel had to remind everyone to not step on the stage because it will fuck up the crew's equipment. He was the good cop. Behind the scenes, the security crew were briefed to take a tough guy and no tolerance stance. Hopefully they will bounce people who get out of line instead of just giving them empty warnings.

At present moment, none of the spectators have been allowed inside unless they are guests/family of the final 15 players. Some of them were given wrist bands to get them in first so they can get in the proper viewing They will let everyone else in a few minutes.


and then there was an almost stampede. Tony opened the side doors and people ran into the Amazon Ballroom. Ty Stewart tried to ask them to slow down, but they blew right by him.

Welcome back to the freak show.
* * * * *

Shorty on Shorty Violence; Grinder Crippled

The Grinder and Hasan Habib went to battle. For Habib, it was to the death. His K-K held up against Grinder's A-8. The Grinder was crippled, while Habib avoided elimination and doubled up.
* * * * *

Matt Affleck Eliminated in 15th Place on Testicle Numbing Beat

Secondary table. I caught the hand on the turn. The board read 10d-9c-7h-Qd. Pot size was 10M. Matt Affleck was all-in 11.6M and it took a few minutes for the dealer and floor guy to count down his stack. French-Canadian Jonathan Duhamel tanked for several minutes. The mood was tense even though on the other side of the stands, the Grinder was all-in at the TV table and his vocal supporters were going ape shit. The Grinder won his hand and everyone cheered as the bleachers shook, but Duhamel still sat in silence and tanked. He eventually said, "Call."

Affleck, sporting his Seattle Mariners baseball jersey, turned over A-A and jumped out of his chair. Duhamel sheepishly tabled J-J and was behind -- but with some outs for a set of Jacks or a n OESD. The TV crew got into position to film the reactions of the players as the dealer paused the action. The producer gave the nod. The dealer burned a card and slipped it in the muck. She peel off the river card and the 8d spiked. The two or three French-Canadians in the crowd rejoiced while everyone else let out a collective groan that caused a 3.2 earthquake. A stunned Affleck stared at the board in disbelief. He was brutally beaten by a straight. His face flushed bright read, and I could see an emotional breakdown coming. He tried to hide back tears and bit his lip, with at least two TV cameras in a close up on his face and almost a hundred fans standing on the rail and above in the beef jerky lounge. He did what he could but his quivering lip gave and he pulled his PokerStars hat off his head and sobbed into it so the cameras wouldn't catch the most demoralizing beat of his poker career. Heck, even up in the pressbox, I could feel the testicle numbing beat.

Duhamel seemed embarrassed to pull in Affleck's chips. The shocked and stunned crowd attempted to give Affleck a fitting send off, but they were still too shellshocked to applaud with any sort of vigor.

Affleck left the secondary table with a 15th place pay day. The money means nothing. He'll carry this beat with him to his deathbed.

By the way, Dihamel has 51 million in chips. He's the leader. By a shitload.

14 to go.

(Thanks to Merchdawg from PokerJunkie for the photo.)
* * * * *

Hasan Habib Eliminated in 14th Place ($500,165)

All in preflop. John Racener was looking groovy with A-K against short-stack ninja Hasan Habib's A-9. The way Habib was running, you knew he was going to survive the elimination. As scripted, he flopped a nine to take the lead. However, the board ran out 10-9-3-10-A. He got counterfeited on the river and Racener won the pot with two-pair, Aces and tens, but with a better kicker than Habibb. He went out in 14th place.

Down to 13. Go here for a full list of Main Event money winners.
* * * * *

Duy Le Eliminated in 13th place ($500,165); Hot Asian Tail Departs the Rail; A Nation Weeps

John Dolan is on everyone's shit list who has a severe Asian fetish. Here's what happened. Battle of the blinds. John Dolan shoved from the small blind with Kd-6d. He was snap called by Duy Le in the big blind with Ah-Qd. Dolan flopped a King to take the lead, and it held up. He was sent to the rail in 13th place, along with a bevy of hot railbirds in tow. Who are los hombres from Wicked Chops Poker gonna take pictures of now?

Down to 12.
* * * * *

Grinder Grinding His Way to the Final Table

The Grinder doubled up with K-K. He's the man and managed to hold on and is on the cusp of the November Nine. He's got alligator blood in his veins.
* * * * *

Adam Levy Eliminated in 12th place ($635,011)

Roothlus is nevermore. His K-Q lost to Duhamel's A-A, even though it was a semi-interesting sweat. With Levy's exit, we're down to 11.

We're getting close. One more elimination and we will consolidated down to a single table of ten players and redraw for seats. The floor guys told the crowd that they are going to clear everyone out once one more player busts. They will set up the pseudo-final table, seat the VIPs and family of the final ten players, and then allow the unwashed masses to have a race to the death to get inside to watch the November Nine bubble.

But we're not there... yet. The action has progressed at a more rapid pace than expected, but at some point, this tournament has to hit a lull. I don't want to jinx it, but...
* * * *

The John Dolan Story: 2M to 20M

John Dolan began Day 7 in the back of the pack as 24th in chips out of 27 players. He had a paltry 2M stack, yet he's one of the 11 remaining players with a 20M stack. Impressive indeed. He's currently playing five handed on the outer table and sporting a white hoodie compared to the dark hoodies of the two French-Canadians on either flank. I can only tell Duhamel from Le Francois by their logos. Duhamel is a PokerStars sponsored player while Le Francois is a Full Tilt horse.

Former chipleader, Filipo Candip has been rather quiet since we returned from dinner break. Also at this table is Joe 'subiime' Cheong, who has also been out of the fray since the final two tables were set.
* * * * *

The Fucking Grind

The crowd erupted when the Grinder dragged in a pot to push him over 8 million. He was on vulture watch before/after dinner break and has since chipped up. He's got a little wiggle room with 11 to go and the pressure mounting. As the seasoned vet, the Grinder has the edge here -- experience and a killer instinct on a final table bubble, let alone a TV bubble, and the November Nine bubble.
* * * * *

Updated Chippies
Jonathan Duhamel - 53,260,000
John Racener - 30,100,000
Joseph Cheong - 26,050,000
Matthew Jarvis - 21,825,000
John Dolan - 20,810,000
Soi Nguyen - 15,780,000
Jason Senti - 14,740,000
Pascal LeFrancois - 13,830,000
Filippo Candio - 11,920,000
Michael Mizrachi - 7,820,000
Brandon Steven - 3,380,000
* * * * *

Lesbian Kisses Reprise - New Tao of Pokerati Episode

On the break, we recorded two quick episodes...
Episode 74: Lesbian Kisses Reprise with Benjo - Back by popular demand! We recorded a special episode reprising your favorite episode from this year's WSOP podcasts, where Benjo and I watch lesbian kissing videos on YouTube and provide commentary.

Episode 75: Here Comes the Sun - Dan and Pauly hang out in one of the back hallways and reminisce about the trials and tribulations of year's WSOP and being able to survive WSOPs of previous years. They also riff on the agony of defeat and being able to capture the tournament as it happens.
For more episodes visit the Tao of Pokerati Podcast Archives.
* * * *

Matt Affleck - The Aftermath

By now, you know about Matt Affleck's sick bustout. Shit, my nuts still hurt and it's been a while since he busted.

Anyway, the crew at PokerStars Blog covering the WSOP are some of the best in the business including sensational writers in Otis, Stephen Bartley, and Howard Swains. Let's not forget photojournalist Joe Giron for capturing the moment of utter agony with his lens. His pics are a must see. Also, read the recap of the aftermath written by Howard Swains...

The long, lonely walk of Matt Affleck.

We need more writing and accompanying images like that in poker. Nice work, gents.
* * * * *

Outer Advantage

The secondary table is five-handed with both French-Canadians, Pascal Le Francois and chipleader Jon Duhamel. Subiime is also there along with Filipo Candio and John Dolan. They seemed to be sitting back and playing patiently while the featured TV table is six-handed and featuring the Grinder reality show and a massive crowd hanging on every all-in. The TV table is being announced, including almost every bit of action because Robbie the floor guy is one of the best at calling the action. Anyway, since the TV table is being announced, the secondary table has a slight advantage because they can hear what's going on even though they are separated by the beef jerky lounge and the bleachers. On the flip side, the action is not being called on the secondary table, so the six on the TV table has no idea what's going on out there.
* * * * *

Pascal Le Francois Eliminated in 11th Place ($635,011)

One of the French-Canadian players just hit the rail. OK, so Duhamel opened from UTG. Le Francois called. Joe 'subiime' Cheong re-raised to 2.55M. Duhamel folded. Le Francois shoved and Cheong inst-called with Ks-Kh. He was up against Qs-Js. He had to sweat a Jack on the flop but his Kings held up and Le Francois made an exit in 11th place.

With 10 players to go, the action is paused while they move all of the players to the featured TV table. Security cleared out the entire room and will re-seat VIPs and friends/family of the final ten after everyone has re-drawn for seats and settled into the final table.

We're now on the November Nine Bubble. Will the Grinder advance? Stay tuned to find out.
* * * * *

The Final 10 - Seating Assignments and Chippies

Here's the seat assignments and chippies for the redraw for the final ten.
Seat 1: Jason Senti - 12.5M
Seat 2: Joseph Cheong - 39.3M
Seat 3: John Dolan - 24.5M
Seat 4: Jonathan Duhamel - 49.35M
Seat 5: Brandon Steven - 3.3M
Seat 6: Michael Mizrachi - 7.8M
Seat 7: Matthew Jarvis - 20M
Seat 8: John Racener - 32.6M
Seat 9: Filippo Candio - 13.3M
Seat 10: Soi Nguyen - 17.4M
Thanks to Cards are in the air. We're one more elimination away from the November Nine.
* * * *

Grinder Hits 10 Million

The Grinder went to work right away and dragged the first pot, chipping up to around 10 million. The crowd is overwhelmingly rooting for the Grinder -- mainly because he's the most notable player remaining in the Main Event and the fact that 347 relatives are here and shouting at the top of their lungs. OK, maybe not 347, more like 37. But they are loud and not shy about blurting out the most random things. And someone is feeding free booze to these people.

Anyway, Joe 'subiime' Cheong has a decent sized crew in the stands cheering him on, led by the ultra-degen Bryan Micon. Max Pescatori and a handful of Italians are in the crowd sweating Filipo Candio. But aside from those factions, there's not much of a rival for the pro-Grinder crowd.

The stadium seating is packed without an empty seat. The press area and media row is full with people I have never seen before. I took up shop in the beef jerky lounge overlooking the final table. It's seven and eight deep in someplaces and it feels like I'm playing a pickup hoops game in Central Park and elbowing my way into position to get a rebound. Hey, I prefer it up here at this juncture of the Main Event.

If I plopped down in media row, then I'm stuck there with everyone else and I can't float around and get multiple perspectives on hands, let alone the final table bubble. Besides, there's too many suits and officials there. That always gets me a little nervous.

Alas, I decided to embed myself with the railbirds. Since it's Saturday night, a lot of them are super saucy. Someone in the beef jerky. A couple of soused Queebs are talking loudly about who knows what and a guy from Switzerland is holding hands with someone I presume is a call girl. Otherwise, he has a very very very young daughter that is accompanying him in Vegas this weekend. My only concern is that the beef jerky lounge will collapse under the weight of all of the rowdy spectators. If it happens, I'll be sure to twit pic it.
* * * *

Racener's Addition

The first orbit was slow aside from the Grinder picking up the first pot. Since nothing has been happening, I figured that I'd tell you about a hand where Racener won a pot that went to showdown -- but then again, it's not that exciting to report. Yes, the action is kinda slow and methodical. The decisions the players are making have been slowed down a bit, and rightfully slow with so much at stake on the November Nine Bubble.
* * * * *

Grinder Takes a Hit; Brandon Steve Doubles Up

The Grinder lost a pot when he doubled up the short-stacked Brandon Steve. The Grinder had As-8s but got outflopped by Steve's Q-J. Steve's hand held up and the Grinder took a small hit, but a hit nonetheless.

Steve avoided elimination and lives to fight another day. He's still one of the short stacks though.

Both players are the shortstacks. The Grinder has around 7M while Steve has around 6M. Jonathan Duhamel is the overall leader and sitting on a mönsterstäcken.
* * * * *

Grinder Gets Some Breathing Room

The Grinder won a pot against Matt Jarvis. The Grinder's A-10 was good enough to ship the pot. He added a few million to his stack and is no longer deep in the shit as one of the short stacks.

* * * * *

Updated Chippies

The players just got back from a break. They are about to start level 35, which is sort of where the TD thought the final table would be set. If that's correct, then someone should be busting soon.

Anyway, here are the chippies. Once filming stops, Mickey Doft can properly go up on stage and count the chips.
1. Jon Duhamel - 49.3M
2. John Racener - 37M
3. subiime - 35.3M
4. John Dolan - 24.5M
5. Matt Jarvis - 18.1M
6. Soi Nguyen - 17.4M
7. Filipo Candio - 13.6M
8. Senti - 12.4M
9. The Grinder - 10.6M
10. Brandon Steven - 6M
* * * * *

Racener Mixes It Up

It seems like John Racener and the Grinder are the only ones playing pots past the flop. Anyway, on one of the first hands back from break, I caught the action on the river. The board was Qx-3c-3d-Jc-9s with over 3 million in the pot. Racener fired out 2.5M or so and Dolan re-raised to 6.5M. Racener tanked for a few minutes... and then folded.
* * * * *

Late Night Color: Burnt Siena

Some random thoughts...

- I saw a woman in high heels and skin tight jeans. I thought she was a hooker, initially, but the accent was a giveaway. She was just a Euro coke slut, who happened to wander down to the Amazon Ballroom. Maybe she's meeting her connection here?

- One of the security guards said something to one of the spectators leaving the featured TV table. "I smell weed. And I smell it on you." I dunno if it was a warning or he was dropping a hint that he'd like some. Hey after a long shift today of maintaining the peace at the WSOP, I don't blame anyone if they want to fire up a fatty once this is done, so they can decompress. Dealing with brokedicks, drunk railbirds, prima donna poker pros, and disgruntled media reps can definitely cause unwanted stress.

- During the break, most of the beef jerky lounge overlooking the featured table cleared out. The few railbirds who stayed improved their viewing spots. A few decided that they were tired and wanted chairs. One guy dragged a chair up a small flight of stairs so he could get comfy. Others simply reached over the rail and snatch up chairs from the seating area at the secondary table. About a dozen or so followed suit. When I returned from the break, two of the security guards were taking the chairs away. It seems they don't want anyone taking advantage of the high ground to cause a ruckus by throwing chairs. Of course, the tournament's action had slowed down so much that I sorta wish someone got so drunk that they starting flinging shit from the beef jerky lounge and onto the TV table.

* * * * *

No Smoking... Or Toking Either

Three plus hours into the final table bubble, things have gotten a bit loopy. The drunks have gotten even drunker and the over enthusiastic ones have lost their steam. Many of them left, others are here, but tired fans giving the occasional golf clap instead of a thunderous applause hours earlier.

Then there's the sleeping people. I can see four or five people sleeping just in eye shot. Security had to wake one guy up because he fell asleep standing up. A few folks in the spill over area were snoozing. Someone in the press is curled up against the press box. Heck, even the always energetic BJ Nemeth was spotted napping on the break.

The British press resorted to drinking alcohol. Copious quantities of it. That's how they cure the boredom... "The gin helps."

The Canadian press is dubbing this the "World Series of Folding."

* * * * *


Since there's not much going on... so let's do some chip counts courtesy of the flying monkeys...
Jonathan Duhamel - 51M
John Dolan - 45.5M
Joseph Cheong - 27M
John Racener - 25M
Michael Mizrachi - 17M
Soi Nguyen - 15M
Filippo Candio - 12.6M
Matthew Jarvis - 11.5M
Jason Senti - 10.5M
Brandon Steven - 7.7M
* * * *

4am Photo Essay by Benjo

OK, Benjo wandered around and snapped photos for his recent update of the tournament. It's lunch time in France now, so he has more readers. He felt that the below pictures explained the extended final table bubble (now past the 4th hour of 10-handed play)...

Thanks to Benjo for the pics.

* * * * *


Happy 4:20am west coasters. This smoke break is sponsored by Lost Vegas book.

Click here to purchase!

* * * * *

Cocktease: A-K vs. A-K

"Chop it up!"

Shit. After hours of inactivity, we finally had a potential knockout blow. Two players were finally all-in...except they both held Big Slick. I won't tell you the players names for fear of retribution. Let's just say, that everyone got hyper-excited and jumped to their feet, only to get let down. What a cocktease. We all have collective blue balls.

Still down to 10.
* * * * *

Italian Doubles, Italy Rejoices...Crowd Groans

Filipo Candio got it all in with A-A and got called by John Racener's A-K sooted. Candio's aces held up and the Italians in the crowd went ferenzi.

Guess what? Break time til 5am local time. Oh, and good morning East Coasters! Welcome back to the coverage of the WSOP November Nine final table bubble....
* * * *

5am Chippies
Jon Duhamel - 55,375,000
John Dolan - 45,300,000
Joe 'subiime' Cheong - 23,700,000
John Racener - 21,100,000
Filippo Candio - 19,850,000
The Grinder - 16,800,000
Soi Nguyen - 9,800,000
Matthew Jarvis - 9,625,000
Brandon Steven - 9,050,000
Jason Senti - 8,475,000
* * * * *


Marty Derbyshire called it the "World Series of Folding", while one of the camera guys mentioned that many of the players were folding without looking at their cards. That's why it's taken over 5+ hours of the final table bubble.

* * * * *

On and On and On and On - New Tao of Pokerati Episode

Dan, Benjo, and Pauly sit in the beef jerky lounge and discuss the wall that everyone seems to have hit at 4am.
Episode 76: On and On and On and On with Benjo - Some four hours into the Final Table of 10, people are getting antsy about getting to the November Nine. Alcohol is wearing off and drugs are kicking in … causing some people to sleep on chairs and others to run randomly across the Amazon. (Everyone’s got the munchies, but the cupboard is bare!) Tony the security guard gets nervous about his staff having to go home at 7am, and the players … it's call-bet-fold, maybe bet-raise-fold.
For more episodes visit the Tao of Pokerati Podcast Archives.

* * * * *

5:35 Report: Here Comes the Sun

The Beatles' Here Comes the Sun was playing earlier in the back hallway. Michalski was inspired by the song and wanted to record a podcast. I agreed to do one and wondered if I would see the sunrise... again. OK, I knew that I would, I have seen the most sunrises in my life in Las Vegas. I figured that this would have ended around 1 or 2am, then write in the Rio til 3ish, have a goodbye drink with friends at the Hooker Bar, walk outside and get my eyes burned by the sunlight, and then go get breakfast, finish writing my recap, listen to a few Grateful Dead songs, rip a binger, and then take a sleeping pill so I can crawl into bed next to my girlfriend's warm body and crash for several hours.

That was my plan. Now it's 5:30am and I was supposed to be finishing off a cold one at the Hooker Bar. Instead, I'm seated next to Michalski who is actually busting his ass today, helping me with Tao of Pokerati podcasts. We're one of the few folks who are not angry that this is going late. Shit... I love the traffic numbers. It's good for business and shows the world that the November Nine is a serious thing -- and a bunch of donks were going to five-bet shove with rags on the third hand of the final table bubble.

Yep, it's 5:30am. Lance is the most popular guy in the room -- he's the short Asian guy serving drinks to the feature table. Many of the media left. The rest are struggling to stay awake with caffeinated products, 5-hour energy shots, Red Bull, Adderrall, and gin (the secret weapon according to the Brits).

Hey, whatever you need to do to get by... you do it, as this final table bubble approaches the sixth hour and the Day races towards 18 hours. I dunno about you, but I'm feeling pretty good right now and I'm pumped that people in Europe (lunch time) and on the East Coast are reading Tao of Poker updates and my Twitter updates (@taopauly).

So if you went to bed and then got up and fired up Tao of Poker as the first thing you did when you rolled out of bed... then shit, I'm dedicating the rest of the semi-live blog to you guys. Thanks for following along and we're gonna bring this fucker home. No matter what.

Stay tuned for future episodes of Tao of Pokerati.

You can always check out the list of 2010 Main Event money winners to see who finished where and what friends of yours cashed.

* * * *

Brandon Steven Eliminated in 10th place ($635,011); November Nine Bubble Boy

5:41am... I spoke too soon. After almost six hours of the final table bubble and 10-handed play, we had the elimination that everyone has been waiting for. Brandon Steven is the unfortunate November Nine Bubbe Boy when his A-K lost to Matt Jarvis' QQ.

* * * * *

November Nine Set

Seat 1: Jason Senti
Seat 2: Joseph Cheong
Seat 3: John Dolan
Seat 4: Jonathan Duhamel
Seat 5: The Grinder
Seat 6: Matthew Jarvis
Seat 7: John Racener
Seat 8: Filippo Candio
Seat 9: Soi Nguyen

Check out the list of 2010 WSOP Main Event money winners
* * * * *

The 5:41am Finale - New Tao of Pokerati Episode

That's it. We've reached the November Nine and we recorded an episode as the final hand completed.
Episode 77: The 5:41am Finale - After an exhausting evening, Dan and Pauly capture the 10th place elimination in the Main Event as Brandon Steven bubbles off the final table. The November Nine is finally set and you get to hear the celebration going on the background as everyone rushed the stage.

For more episodes visit the Tao of Pokerati Podcast Archives.
* * * * *

That's it for now. Thanks for following along. The semi-live blog for the 2010 WSOP Main Event is complete. I shall return in November for the November Nine (well, provided that I actually get credentialed and after all the crap I pulled this summer and all of the salacious dirt I dished in Lost Vegas, I might not be welcomed back). So I really hope you enjoy the Tao of Poker's coverage this summer.

If you enjoyed what I wrote during the last 52 days, then I encourage you to help me out by buying my book... Lost Vegas: The Redneck Riviera, Existentialist Conversations with Strippers, and the World Series of Poker. Help support out an independent writer. Buy a book.

Thanks for wasting your time with me for a sixth summer in a row. The highlights were a blast and I had a lot of fun moments that I'll be looking back on for many years to come.

Signing out from the beef jerky lounge at the Rio...


  1. Spike9:12 AM

    Thanks Pauly and the Tao All-Stars for another year of stellar WSOP coverage.  Outstanding work as usual.  Anyone reading who hasn't ordered Lost Vegas - what are you waiting for?

  2. Newinno9:40 AM

    Well done.

  3. Schizohedron10:14 AM

    I actually fired up the semi-live blog this a.m. even before putting in my contacts. Your and Swains' descriptions of Affleck's bustout were excellent. Congrats on surviving another WSOP and for sharing the whole sordid affair with us all again.

  4. Anonymous10:21 AM

    Thanks, Pauly

  5. Thanks for the dedication to this blog and to bringing us readers close to the action.  Now get some sleep..

  6. michael f.3:59 PM

    excellent job sir.

  7. oakwalds39:19 PM

    Can't believe its been 6 years.  Great work as always, I hope one of these years to see you writing rather than reading your posts as I fantasize about next year.  Thanks again.