Saturday, November 06, 2010

2010 WSOP November Nine - The Semi-Live Blog

By Pauly
Las Vegas, NV

Welcome back to the circus, well I should say, the biggest gambling-themed circus in this solar system. Yes, I have returned to Las Vegas for my third November Nine and my 6th overall final table of the the most prestigious individual poker tournament in the world -- the World Series of Poker Main Event Championship.

Before we begin today's November Nine coverage of the 2010 WSOP Main Event final table, feel free to read Timtern's November Nine Profiles in order to catch up on who's who (if by chance you happened to have woken up from a coma or were a trapped Chilean miner).

And now, here's some quick info to catch you up to speed...
The November Nine Seating Chart:
Seat 1: Jason Senti - 7,625,000
Seat 2: Joseph 'subiime' Cheong - 23,525,000
Seat 3: John Dolan - 46,250,000
Seat 4: Jonathan Duhamel - 65,975,000
Seat 5: Michael 'The Grinder' Mizrachi - 14,450,000
Seat 6: Matthew Jarvis - 16,700,000
Seat 7: John Racener - 23,525,000
Seat 8: Filippo Candio - 16,400,000
Seat 9: Soi Nguyen - 9,650,000

Final Table Chip Counts:
Jonathan Duhamel - 65,975,000
John Dolan - 46,250,000
Joe Cheong - 23,525,000
John Racener - 19,050,000
Matthew Jarvis - 16,700,000
Filippo Candio - 16,400,000
'The Grinder' - 14,450,000
Soi Nguyen - 9,650,000
Jason Senti - 7,625,000

Quick Numbers
2010 Main Event Entrants: 7,319
Payouts: 747
First Place: $8,944,138
Prizepool: $68,798,600

2010 November Nine Odds:
Jonathan Duhamel +180
Michael "The Grinder" Mizrachi +250
John Dolan +250
Joseph "subiime" Cheong +350
Matthew Jarvis +700
John Racener +700
Soi Nguyen +1200
Filippo Candio +1200
Jason Senti +2000

2010 WSOP Main Event Final Table 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

Here's a complete list of 2010 WSOP Main Event money winners.
* * * * *

Quick disclaimer... all non-official media are bound by a Draconian rule and only allowed to update once an hour. Rest assured, Tao of Poker will squeeze as much info into those updates as humanly possible. So don't forget you can always follow me on Twitter (@taopauly) for random updates and twitpics throughout the day, evening, and perhaps even early Sunday morning.

I don't do chip counts (and physically can't where I'm seated), so visit for official chip counts.

And of course, stay tuned for new episodes of Tao of Pokerati podcast, which Michalski and I will recorded from inside the Penn and Teller Theatre and other random spots in the Rio. We actually recorded two episodes yesterday...
Tao of Pokerati - 2010 November Nine Episodes:
Episode 1: Power Breakfast - Italian Cock and Eggs
Episode 2: Meeting KevMath
YOu can always subscribe to our podcast in iTunes by using this link.

Unlimited tweets and podcasts, but limited to hourly blogs? Such is life these days. So stay tuned for semi-live blog updates. The November Nine officially kicks off at noon Vegas time.

2010 Main Event Championship Bracelet
Photo by: Flipchip

Who is going to win the coveted bracelet? Tune in to find out...

* * * *

Cue the Music

The November Nine will be walking onto the stage of the Penn and Teller Theatre with intro music pumping through the sound system. Lots of DJ Kahled fans. Here's the tunes...

Seat 1: Jason Senti - This Is the End by his own band Suburban Hero
Seat 2: Joe Cheong - In One Ear by Cage the Elephant
Seat 3: John Solan - I Made It by Kevin Rudolph
Seat 4: Jonathan Duhamel - I'm Shipping Up to Boston by Drop Kick Murphys
Seat 5: The Grinder - Out Here Grindin' by DJ Kahled featuring Akon
Seat 6: Matt Jarvis - Feel It by Three 6 Mafia featuring Eminem, Kanye, and Lil Wayne
Seat 7: John Racener - Forever by Drake
Seat 8: Filippo Candio - We No Speak Americano by Yolanda Be Cool and D-Cup
Seat 9: Soi Nguyen - All I Do Is Win by DJ Khaled.
* * * * *

Before the Storm

I wandered into the Rio past all of the Saturday morning gamblers on the floor and in the pits, and made my way down the hallway -- a walk that I have done thousands of times before but not once in the last four months. I shook out the cobwebs and any jitters as I saw many familiar faces. The hallway was a sea of red -- mostly fans of Soi Nguyen along with a dozen or so Montreal Canadiens sweaters (for you non-hockey fans that is a jersey). Red. Red. Red. A few flashed went off as tourists and fans snapped photos with the Jack Link's beef jerky mascot, Sasquatch. Soi Nguyen's fans yelled "Soi might win! Soi might win!"

I chatted with some friends in the media that I haven't seen in months. A min-reunion of sorts, except we all look much fresher and less suicidal from the last time we saw each other at the tail end of the seven-week fracas. I picked up my badge and ran into renown author Michael Kaplan. We're both seated in the orchestra section. I also have few copies of Lost Vegas with me, so if you're already here or stopping by the Rio and want a copy of Lost Vegas, then definitely come find me!

The doors officially opened at 11am and the Penn and Teller slowly filled up. Family and close friends of the November Niners took their assigned seats on the main stage. Everyone else scattered throughout the two-tiered theatre.

The chants have begun from the antsy crowd. A few smattering of boisterous, yet gaudy "USA! USA! USA!" attempted to drown out the "Ole! Ole! Ole!" soccer-goon chants. Will they be able to keep up their accelerated emotional level over 10+ hours? Most sports matches are times and last three or so hours. Poker tournaments are a different beast. You need both stamina and the ability to fight off boredom during the down time, and if you were hanging on ever hand on the final table bubble, then you know about those long dead periods of inaction that mostly make you want to waterboard the closest moron within walking distance.

More red in the crowd with the Grinder's crew sporting red "Royal Pain" graphic t-shirts. I snuck up onto the stage as the players were unbagging their chips. Barry Greenstein is sitting in the front row. Haven't seen any Micon or Max Pescatori sightings... yet. I ran into Bruce Buffer, who will be uttering his famous (and trademarked) catch phrase. I dunno if I can write it out because I might get sued.

* * * * *

Introducing the November Nine

TD Jack Effel, clad in a slick black tuxedo and bright red vest, took the mic and kicked off the player introductions. Players entered the stage from the tunnel leading into the theatre and they have to make their way down a long aisle passing the bottom section of seats and eventually step onto stage. They follow a hot scantily clad woman with a large circular red button with the seat number and name of the players. Very similar to those models/ring girls at Las Vegas boxing matches who carry around round cards designating the round number in between rounds.

The Grinder got the loudest ovation -- he has one of the largest groups of rabid fans (out of the unaffiliated spectators).

Lots of hiphop pumping through the sound system. Poker players are outlaw by nature, and these days, hip hop is as about outlaw as you'll get in the music world. Well, that and alt-country... (Ha, just kidding. I don't want to get flamed on a Sun Volt forum).

Me? I would walk onto stage with the Grateful Dead's Shakedown Street. For right now, my intro music (or the last song I listened to in my girlfriend's car before she dropped me off at the Rio) is Pusherman by Curtis Mayfield. Let's be honest... I'm here to shill for the WSOP, PokerStars and the entire online poker industry. I am the Pusherman, and you are my loyal addicts, except you don't pay a cent for your monster habit.

I should add that Soi Nguyen's friends/family were chanting Soi! Soi! Soi! when he was introduced as the last player.

TD Jack Effel is running down the last bits of rules and regulations (no biting, no hitting below the belt, no videos) for the fervent crowd. Cards should be in the air shortly after Bruce Buffer kicks things.

Quick programming note... In about 14-15 hours, we'll find out who are the final two players. If you don't know, heads-up will be played out at 8pm Monday night (Vegas time). That's great for me because I can watch football tomorrow and get some sleep. Also, the Hall of Fame ceremony was held during the dinner break last year -- it won't be held today and instead it the ceremony will take place before the final heads-up match at 7:30pm inside the Penn & Teller Theatre.

And yes, the final table will be aired on ESPN at 10pm ET on Tuesday night. There is a live stream right now online at ESPN3 (it's on a five minute delay). If you can't access ESPN3, here's how to do it.

* * * * *

Green Felt Battlefield of Champions

I think Bruce Buffer has been reading General Patton's autobiography again. He tossed the crowd a curveball with an unusual and slightly poetic intro calling the November Nine final table the "green felt battlefield of champions" before he utterered his catch phrase, which was followed up by a hearty "Shuffle up and deal!"

The crowd exploded with applause and five or size small cannons in front of the stage unleashed plumes of smoke, something that you'd see go off on stage during an 80s metal hair band (minus the pyrotechnics of course). If I had know it was gonna smell like smoke inside the Penn and Teller Theatre, I would have blazed up a blunt before the intros began to put myself in a heady head space!

And yes, cards are in the air.

* * * * *

Sublime Subiime Draws First Blood

The first major pot of the final table happened a lot sooner than anticipated. Joe Cheong and Matt Jarvis tussled and it wasn't pretty if you're rooting for the Canadian. Jarvis opened, Cheong three-bet, and Jarvis called. The flop was 10-5-2 with two clubs. both players checked. The turn was the 7d. Jarvis fired out 3M and Cheong called. The 8c fell on the river. Jarvis bet 4.5M or so and Cheong shoved all-in. Jarvis folded and Cheong dragged the pot as he took a hearty chunk of Jarvis' stack.

That has been the most notable hand in the first thirty minutes of play. Shorty Jason Senti shoved on the second hand of day -- but like a geeky virgin in high school, he did not get any play. Same thing happened on the fourth hand. No action.

Sasquatch is roaming through the crowd. Whoever is wearing that costume must be sweating his hairy balls off. If I had to do that job, I'd be super schwasted. I guess my new goal in poker is to get Sasquatch stoned to the bejesus.

Frank Kasella is in the house. He stepped up to the stage. He's locked up at least a tie for POY. If the Grinder busts, he gets to rage solo as the newest WSOP Player of the Year.

* * * * *

New Episode of Tao of Pokerati Podcast -- November Nine Begins and Missing Michalski

The November Nine final table kicked off and Dan is AWOL. Luckily Timtern was at the Rio to step up and record an episode. We have currently sent out a search party for missing Dan.
N9 - Episode 3: November Nine Begins and Michalski Missing with Timtern -- In Dan Michalski's (unexplained) absence, Timtern stepped up and recorded and episode with Pauly. The final table is off an running and less than an hour into the November Nine, Timtern gives us his initial impressions of the spectacle. Pauly also wonders if the loud drunken fans can maintain their enthusiasm over the long haul.
For more episodes of the 2010 WSOP visit the Tao of Pokerati archives.

* * * *

The Grinder's 4-bet

The Grinder 4-bet John Dolan and Dolan went heading for the hills. The Grinder won the pot and his extended family went ape shit with a "Grinder! Grinder! Grinder!"

Matt Jarvis's friends trying to stir up his supporters with an "MJ" chant: "When I say M, you say J!" A for effort. C- for execution.

Filliop Candio (wearing his baby blue and navy blue striped sweater around his neck as a scarf) dragged a pot. His first of the day. His fans gave him a werm applause and TD Jack Effel prodded the Italian fans for a louder ovation. They obliged.

* * * *

Soi Nguyen Eliminated in 9th Place ($811,823)

Classic race. Queens versus Big Slick. Soi Nguyen had slipped to the shortest stack at the final table. He was all-in preflop with A-K against the other shorty Jason Senti's pocket Queens. A roar let out when the dealer fanned out the flop because Senti flopped a Queen for a set, but Soi picked up a Broadway gutter on the Q-10-x flop. soi falled to improve and Senti's set of bitches held up. Soi Nguyen headed to the rail as the first player to hit the road. His loyal supporters clad in red gave him a boisterous send off. Meanwhile, Senti's fans unleashed a "Ja-son Sent-i" clapping chant followed up by the ESPN da-da-da intro.

Players went on a break after Soi's bustout. Down to 8. We lost a player before the first scheduled break.

In case you were wondering, Duhamel is still the overwhelming chipleader. Dolan and Cheong are moving up the ladder, and Senti jumped into 6th in chips after his timely double up. Jarvis is the current short stack with a shade over 10 million. The Grinder is sitting 5th in chips with 18M or so.

* * * * *

The First Break

So what goes down on the break? A mad rush out of the theatre with almost a thousand people in search of bathrooms, places to smoke cigarettes, and the Starbucks gets swarmed with thirsty caffeine junkies. It's tough to get out of the theatre without running into people you know, so a quick trip to the store can take 3x as long. I chatted with Addict from Wicked Chops Poker and everyone's favorite Brooklyn scribe Jay Greenspan when both Andy Bloch and Trishelle from the Real World wandered by. The ticketless spectator line was wrapped down the hallway. It had went as far back as the rotunda, but had stopped as far as the flower shop. A couple of old guys in line struggled on how to pronounce the Grinder's last name as they pointed up a one of many TV screens that aired the current chip count.

Upon returning to the theatre, the security guards are shaking down people trying to bring food or drinks into the theatre. One pissed off fan got 86'd for eating a muffin inside! He took out his ire on Twitter. Luckily the press gets free beef jerky and bottled water, otherwise, we'd have a mutiny here.

Jess made an interesting observation -- three members of the November Nine are wearing patches for "Flip this house." And if you're not following the live-feed on ESPN3, then you don't know that a few of the players (that were not allowed to wear FT logos since the final table quota is three) wore Card Runners or Poker After Dark patches on their hats.

* * * * *

Double Espresso for Candio

Lots of excitement shortly after play resumed in a hand that involved the always excitable Italian, Filippo Candio. He got it all-in preflop with A-A. Luckily, he got Duhamel to call with A-K. Candio survived and avoided an elimination. He was so jittery while the dealer dealt out the flop that I thought he was gonna piss himself. A woman, presumably his mother (otherwise Candio is a cougar hunter) gave him a wet sloppy kiss. Meanwhile, out in the audience, a contingency of Italians went berserk as their hero rocketed to 3rd in chips. A bunch of Americans in the crowd attempted to drown out the Italians with a menacing "USA! USA!" Candio moved up to 31M or so while Duhamel slipped to 50M.

* * * * *

Dolan and Cheong

While a prolonged hand developed between Joe Cheong and John Dolan, Timtern and I noticed that Dolan looks like a cross between Allen Cunningham and Gus Hansen. And Cheong looks so young that I wondered how many times he gets carded in Vegas?

"Maybe we'll find out Cheong is actually 18 and there will be a huge scandal like those pre-teen Chinese gymnasts," mused one anonymous member of the press.

By the way, after tanking on the river for several minutes, Dolan called a river bet from Cheong. Bad call? Or bad turn and river? Cheong caught a runner-runner Ace-high flush to win the hand and pass Dolan in chips.

* * * *

New Episode of Tao of Pokerati - Up to Speed

Michalski finally arrived! And we quickly recorded a quickie podcast.
N9 - Episode 4: Up to Speed -- After a late night, Dan arrived a little later than he wanted. Pauly catches him up to speed with what he missed including Soi Nguyen's bustout, Filippo Candio's double up with Aces, and Joe Cheong taking a pot off of John Dolan. They also discuss the situation for ticketless fans who want to watch the November Nine.
For more episodes of the 2010 WSOP visit the Tao of Pokerati archives.

* * * * *

Matt Jarvis Eliminated in 8th Place ($1,045,738)

Wow. Talk about one of the craziest hands I've ever seen at a Main Event final table. Here's how it went down... the Grinder opened, short-stacked Matt Jarvis shoved, and Grinder tank-called. Grinder was flipping with A-Q against pocket nines. All of the Grinder's fans jumped to their feet. Some shouted out his moniker. Others begged the dealer for an Ace or a Queen. The dealer fanned out the flop. When everyone saw two Queens on the board, the theatre shook like a 4.0 quake. My eardrums rattled with the deafening sounds of jubilation from the Grinder's faithful. It seemed like a good two minutes of frantic screaming before the dealer peeled off the turn card. A nine spiked, giving Jarvis a boat. His fans from Canada went absolutely insane as their hero all of a sudden sprang back to life. Jarvis had to fade seven outs and he'd double up. Alas, an Ace of spades spiked on the river. Jarvis lost to a bigger boat. The ground shook as the Grinder's fans lost their shit.

One member of the Canadian press turned to me and said, "So fucking rigged."

Michael Craig wandered over and muttered, "Ha, more proof that live poker is rigged."

Talk about a sick sick sick sick sick cooler. Felt bad for Matt Jarvis' devastated dad who was in tears. Meanwhile, the Grinder's fans rushed up to get in line to access the stage. With Jarvis' elimination, there's a few rows of empty bleachers available.

Down to 7. The Grinder is now third in chips and not far behind Joe Cheong.

* * * * *

Say Hello to Our New Chipleader.... Joe Cheong

6-4 sooted is gold. Just ask Joe Cheong, who snagged the lead with that very hand. He won a decisive pot against Jonathan Duhamel, which propelled him into the lead. Cheong opened, Duhamel almost min-raised, and Cheong called. Cheong flopped bottom pair on an A-10-4 rainbow flop. He check-called a half-pot bet from Duhamel. The turn was a 6 and gave Cheong two pair. He checked and Duhamel checked behind. The river a Jd. Cheong bet out 8M into a pot worth around 11M. Duhamel called and was dumbfounded when Cheong tabled 6d-4d for two pair. Duhamel mucked his hand. Cheong improved his stack to over 60M as Duhamel slipped to third with 36M. The Grinder is currently second in chips with 42M.

* * * * *

4:20 Smoke Break

Today's 4:20 smoke break is brought to you by Lost Vegas. Yes, if you like what you are reading here, please help support independent writers and buy my book! E-book copies are also available.

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* * * * *

Diamonds for Senti

It look grim for short-stacked Jason Senti. He made a stand with K-7 against Joe Cheong's A-9. The flop didn't help Senti. The Ad fell on the turn. It gave Cheong a pair of aces, but Senti picked up a four-flush diamond re-draw. The river was a diamond and Senti's stash crew exploded with glee as their boy was on death watch and sprang back to life.

* * * * *

New Episode of Tao of Pokerati - Cheong! Cheong! Cheong!

N9 - Episode 5: Cheong! Cheong! Cheong! -- Dan and Pauly returned to their favorite smoker's porch for an episode. Pauly asked Dan what it was like hanging out in the festive mezzanine during the previous level when Joe Cheong lost a rough hand against Jason Senti. Pauly proceeded to give Dan guff for breaking protocol and cheering for a player -- behavior that Dan usually loathes.
For more episodes of the 2010 WSOP visit the Tao of Pokerati archives.

* * * * *

Ten Minutes with Sasquatch

Sasquatch has been roaming around the Penn & Teller Theatre all day long. I decided to follow Sasquatch for ten minutes and record his every move. This happened just before the 5 o'clock hour. I haven't had the chance to write this up yet -- until now.
Following Sasquatch...

4:50pm... Sasquatch stood in front of the John Racener banner hanging over the mezzanine section where his crew is sitting. Sasquatch posed for two photos with what looked like Grinder fans, then took off into the tunnel toward the lobby.

4:52pm... Sasquatch posed for photos with a couple of old guys in front of the bathroom. When he turned to walk away, someone with a camera phone ran after him screeching, "Sasquatch! Sasquatch!"

4:54pm... Sasquatch stopped in front of the merchandise stand and was hugged by a short guy in a pink bunny suit. Seriously, and no, I'm not on acid... today.

4:55pm... Sasquatch posed for a photo with Shauna from Full Tilt. The photographer? AlCantHang. No bullshit.

4:57pm... The guy from Jack Link's was following around Sasquatch with a bag of free samples. He asked me if I wanted any. I declined. I already ate two bags of Buffalo chicken jerky nuggets throughout the day.

4:58pm... Sasquatch left the lobby and posed for photos with spectators waiting in line to get in.

4:59pm... I last saw Sasquatch leaving the theatre and heading toward the Hooker Bar to drink with AlCantHang. Dare I say... wookie down. No way Sasquatch can hang with AlCantHang.
And that concludes my ten minutes tailing Sasquatch.

* * * * *

Dinner Break

The seven remaining players are on a dinner break until 8:15pm local time. For updated and official chip counts, visit The Grinder is the chipleader and John Dolan is the short stack.

* * * * *

New Episode of Tao of Pokerati - The Dinner Break: Sustenance and Smoke

Dan and Pauly took advantage of the dinner break to record a new episode.
N9 - Episode 6: The Dinner Break: Sustenance and Smoke -- Dan and Pauly hang out at the tail end of break and pontificate on what November Niners are tokers. Their stoney discussion veers off into a query about which ones were cooking on Adderall and whether or not the poker world would ever drug test their players.
For more episodes of the 2010 WSOP visit the Tao of Pokerati archives.

* * * * *


Otis and I were chatting on the break. He mentioned that Senti had been picking on John Racener most of the day -- specifically in instances when Racener opened and then folded to a Senti raise -- something that he thought would never happen. Despite Racener's rough start he fought back in the level before the dinner break and chipped up to 4th overall. However, since the break resumed, he back to his old bad habits. It was Cheong's turn to be the bully and he pushed Racener around, who quickly wilted.

* * * * *

The Drunks Come Out in Waves on Saturday Nights in Vegas

The dinner break gives railbirds ample opportunity to load up on booze. Heck, most of them have been knocking back cold ones for a few hours before the November Nine began. This is not like a timed sporting event or a concert that lasts only 3-4 hours. This final table is on pace to last 16+ hours, which means that only the most seasoned alkies can survive the elongated bender. Being able to stomach the emotional swings and stay awake during the long lulls is a whole other story, which is why many folks turn to booze (not just in poker, but in life in general -- getting shitfaced makes the most mundane things seem interesting). With that said, a few more spectators are heading into the belligerent zone -- loud talking during play, shouting out random and inappropriate things, and acting like an overall soused moron. But that's expected behavior in Las Vegas where excess is the norm. Take the drunken guy in the pink bunny suit for example. He's exactly what the November Nine needs -- a fearless soul who has no qualms about playing the role of the village drunk from an James Joyce novel. Someday an actual brawl is gonna break out, just like at European soccer match. Would love to see that happen -- would make for interesting color commentary.

Anyway, during a three-way hand, Candio shoved all in. One opponent folded and Racener headed into the tank for a rather long time. All of the drunks shouted out even when TD Jack Effel hushed them. They responded with either louder chatter or a rude "shhhhing" sound. One of Candio's friends from Italy called for a clock, as he request echoed from the mezzanine. At least that's what I think he said. My conversational Italian is bad, especially slang, so the guy could have easily called for a clock or ordered a screwdriver.

* * * * *

Jason Senti eliminated in 7th place ($1,356,708)

Jason Senti was pegged to be the first guy to bust out. His opponents had several opportunities in the first level to send the musician home packing. Senti shoved a few times but failed to get any callers. He eventually doubled up and distanced himself from the cellar. Alas, Senti's magical run came to an end in another bizarre hand where the river caused extreme catastrophe. Senti got it all in with Big Slick against Joe Cheong's 10-10. Simple flip, right? Win it and you stay. Lose it and you go home. Senti caught a delicious flop with two Kings and it appeared that the poker gods were shining down upon him. He was ahead with trips, but the turn gave Cheong more outs with a straight draw, and all of a sudden the room filled with a nauseating feeling -- like everyone in the room knew what was coming -- a runnner-runner straight. Yes, a nine spiked on the river and the crowd screamed with glee or moaned in disgust depending on who they were rooting for. Senti's loyal following, the ones who had been screaming "Fear the stash!", were stunned and shocked. Cheong's crew celebrated as Senti headed to the rail in 7th place. Not bad consider he was pegged to be the first one gone. And we're down to six. Grinder is still the leader, but Cheong is picking up steam.

* * * * *

New Episode of Tao of Pokerati - Mezzanine Menagerie

N9 - Episode 7: Mezzanine Menagerie -- Pauly tracks down Dan up in the mezzanine, where he has set up his mobile office. They chatted about the reaction to the Senti bustout and the overall atmosphere in the mezz, including the soused guy in the pink bunny costume.
For more episodes of the 2010 WSOP visit the Tao of Pokerati archives.

* * * * *

John Dolan eliminated in 6th place ($1,772,959)

Another wild elimination hand. One thing is for certain -- the gang at 441 Productions will have several stellar and "no fucking way" type hands for the upcoming final table episode on ESPN. Short-stacked John Dolan got it all in with Qd-5d against Duhamel's 4d-4c. Another flip for life or death. The flop was J-7-6... all hearts. The turn was the 9h and Dolan picked up a potential chop if a fifth heart spiked on the river. He also picked up an OESD re-draw and still could win the hand if he hit one of his non-heart overs. The river was a small club and Duhamel's fans jumped up and down at his amazing ability to dodge a plethora of outs. Dolan could not catch a fortunate river and he went out in 6th place.

With five to go, the Grinder is still the chipleader with almost 62M -- but Cheong is not far behind with 60+M. Duhamel improved to 52M, while Candio is hovering around 27M. Racener is now the new short stack with 16M or so.

* * * * *

The Grinder Loses One and the Lead; Racener Avoids Death with Double Up

Not the best moment of the final table for the Grinder. He had been riding an amazing wave of emotion the last few levels after he snagged the overall lead. The in-game odds had dramatically shifted and he became the overwhelming favorite to win. But now, he slipped after he doubled up short-stacked John Racener. Grinder's Ad-8d was no match for Racener's A-K. Racener avoided an elimination with a timely double up. The Grinder slipped to second in chips to Cheong (new leader). Racener is still the short stack, but has a bit more breathing room.

* * * * *

New Episode of Tao of Pokerati Podcast - WSOPharmie Report

N9 - Episode 8: WSOPharmie Report -- Pauly and Dan recorded another episode in their favorite section of the Penn & Teller Theatre -- the mezzanine -- which has become a haven for pharmie-phriendly spectators. Dan has a theory that the rabid energy level at the November Nine, which had passed its tenth hour, has been maintained throughout the early evening because a majority of the crowd is juicing on a pharmaceutical cocktail, whether it's Adderall or Percosett... or both.
For more episodes of the 2010 WSOP visit the Tao of Pokerati archives.

* * * * *

Booing Hellmuth

Phil Hellmuth did the ESPN3 commentary earlier with James Hartigan, a British colleague of mine who is the voice of the live streaming broadcasts of the EPT. Hellmuth left to attend Brandon Cantu's wedding. When he returned, TD Jack Effel noted Hellmuth's late-night cameo. Most of the crowd responded negatively and showered Hellmuth with a piss-warm chorus of boooooooooos.

"You're just jealous -- he's got more money than you," defended Effel.

"You have more money than I do," remarked an honest and inebriated Matusow about his current broke-dick status.

"I doubt that," said Effel.

It's true. Only a few folks make the real money in poker, while the rest of us are min-wage slaves, expect there's no min-wage in poker (nor health insurance in case you were considering a job in poker media) and we all blow what our paltry welfare checks in the pits (Pai Gow is the devil's game), at the poker tables (we all have a Phil Ivey fetish), sportsbook, and/or piss it back away at the overpriced Starbucks during breaks.

* * * * *

Le Whiffe! Another Double Dip for Racener

Tough break for the red-hockey-sweatered Canucks in the crowd cheering on Duhamel. Racener got it all in with A-Q and trailing Duhamel's A-K. Racener flopped a Queen to take the lead. We almost expected a King to hit the turn. It wasn't, but Duhamel picked up a gutshot. At that point, the way the night had been going, we expected another runner-runner shocker. Not this time. Duhamel whiffed on the river. Le whiffe! Racener faded a gutshot and any King to hold up. He doubled up to almost 40M. Meanwhile, Duhamel slipped to the short stack. The chipleader going into the November Nine is in trouble. Time for Duhamel's posse to say a few prayers to Guy LaFleur, otherwise that Canuck-Frenchie will be le busto.

* * * * *

Duhamel Gets Prayers Answered

Just when it looked like the life got sucked out of Duhamel, he sprang back to life with a double up through the Grinder. Duhamel won a race with A-9 against Grinder's pocket Treys. Duhamel flopped a nine and turned another nine. His trip nines held up and avoided elimination. That hand sent Grinder spiraling to the back of the pack. Duhamel's fans woke up from their somber funk (after his A-K got snapped off by Racener's A-Q a few hands earlier). The Canadiens chanted their catchy "Ole! Ole! Ole!" chant, better suited for a Brazilian soccer match, but hey it's a poker tournament in Vegas and we got French Canadians getting jiggy after Duhamel's double up. A few patriotic fans waved the Canadian flag. Doesn't the Maple Leaf look like a pot leaf? I'm just saying.

Cheong is the overall leader with over 68M. Duhamel chipped up to 53M for second. Racener in the middle of the pack with 39M. Grinder slipped to under 30M, just a tad more than the Italian.

* * * * *

New Episode of Tao of Pokerati Podcast - Shhhhh!

N9 - Episode 9: Shhhhh! -- Dan and Pauly hang out in the mezzanine and discuss the wave of shhhhh-ing that swirls around the theatre at random intervals, especially when a player is in the tank pondering an important decision. The two get interrupted by a text message notification beep and more shhhhh-ing ensues.
For more episodes of the 2010 WSOP visit the Tao of Pokerati archives.

* * * * *

The Grinder Eliminated in 5th place ($2,332,960)

Tough break for the Grinder. He was short and down to under 20M. He and got it all-in on a flop of Q-6-4 with Qh-8h. Unfortunate for him, Duhamel held A-A. The turn and river did not help the Grinder and he was dunzo. The Grinder bowed out in 5th place and will not win the WSOP POY. That distinction officially goes to Frank Kasella.

With the Grinder's exit, his legion of red graphic t-shirt wearing fans. They will be replaced by the last batch of red-clad fans -- Duhamel's friends and family decked out in Montreal Candiens hockey jerseys. They are already lined up and ready to swarm the stage.

Cheong had taken the lead before the hand began and surged over 80M. Cheong and Duhamel were racing to be the first player to pass 100M, and it looks like Duhamel is very close. With four to go, Cheong and Duhamel are the biggest stacks at the table, while Racener and Candio are both hanging on (but both are under 30M).

Action has been paused while Tony, the head of security, conducted the money presentation and placed bricks of cash on a table a few steps away from the players.
* * * * *

New Episode of Tao of Pokerati - DrinkeyBomber

N9 - Episode 10: DrinkeyBomber with DonkeyBomber -- Dan and Pauly welcome Tom "DonkeyBomber" Schneider (the 2007 WSOP Player of the Year), who stopped by the Rio after a night on the town. He gave us his take on the November Nine including the noticeable amount of booze consumed inside the Penn & Teller theatre. He then proceeded to give Dan guff about spending almost $10 on a bottle of soda. DonkeyBomber also offered up a contest to our listeners -- first person to send him a twit pic of a drinking water fountain will get a copy of DonkeyBomber's book.
For more episodes of the 2010 WSOP visit the Tao of Pokerati archives.

* * * * *

Filippo Candio Eliminated in 4th place ($3,092,497)

Battle of the blinds. Shorty Filippo Candio shoved with K-Q sooooted and Joe Cheong insta-called with his A-3 sooted. An Ace on the flop improved Cheong's hand to a pair of Ace. A blank on the turn sealed Candio's fate. The jittery Italian that Jess Welman nicknamed the "Roberto Benigni of poker" hit the road in 4th place. Amazing run for the kid who was a total fish out of water when he first set foot inside the Rio. Now, he's go down in Italian poker history as the first player from Italy to advance to a final table. All over Italy right now, newborn babies are being named after Filippo -- the newest national hero. If he ever wins a bracelet, a truly miraculous feat, the Pope will make him a saint.

No one has passed the 100M mark, but they are close. Cheong is the leader with 97M and Duhamel is closing in on 94M. Racener is the shorty with 28M.

* * * * *

$100 Million Man

Joe Cheong is the first player to amass a 100M stack. He's sitting on 108M at the moment, after he dragged a pot against Duhamel, who slipped to 84M.

* * * * *

Cheong Loses Lead; Duhamel Likes Big Slick

We had some serious movement among the two big stacks and when the dust settled, Joe Cheong lost a pot to Duhamel that cost him the lead. With over 6.5M in the pot, the flop was 10c-6c-6h. Cheong checked, Duhamel bet 2.75M, Cheong check-raised to 6.75, and Duhamel called. The turn was the 9s, Cheong fired out 5.5, and Duhamel called. The riber was the Kc, filling in a potential flush. Cheong didn't slow down and pushed out a 13.5M river bet. Duhamel eventually tank-called with A-K. His pair of rivered Kings won the pot and Cheong tossed his hand in the muck. Duhamel pushed his stack to almost 111M, while Cheong slipped to around 80M.

* * * * *

Cheong Crippled in History-Making Mönsterpötten

Even with five to go, it looked as though we were just biding our time before the eventual heads-up match between Duhamel and Cheong. Well now, that probably won't happen now...

After regaining the lead, Cheong lost the largest pot in the history of the WSOP worth over 177M. It was sorta crazy pre-flop action. Raise. Re-raise. Re-raise. Re-raise. Cheong 6-bet shoved, and Duhamel called all-in. Cheong held A-7 aka "the tourist" and was way behind Duhamel's Q-Q. The board blanked out for Cheong and he could not catch the elusive Ace. Duhamel won the pot and his fans unleashed the loudest "Ole! Ole! Ole!" of the night. A stunned and shocked Cheong was down to 4.5M. Duhamel has increased his lead to over 177M, or enough to have 80% of chips in play. Racener has around 36M.

* * * * *

Not Dead... Yet

Joe Cheong looked like he wanted to end his misery when he shoved with any two cards on the next hand after his devastating miscalculation in the previous hand. With less than 5M in chips, Cheong pushed with 7-3 off. Doubt he even looked at his hand until he tabled it. Duhamel called with K-9. The flop had both a King and a trey, but Cheong caught a lucky trey on the turn to take the lead with trips. It held up and Cheong doubled up. Duhamel gave Cheong an old-fashioned sympathy fuck.

* * * * *

Joe Cheong Eliminated in 3rd place ($4,129,979)

Cheong made a stand with Qs-10c against Duhamel's As-2c. The board ran out Ks-9c-6c-6h-7c. Duhamel won the pot and Cheong was busto in third.

Wow, I had picked Cheong to go all the way, so this is a bit of a disappointment for me. I can only imagine what Cheong feels like -- think about getting dumped on the same day that your dog dies, someone keys your car, and then a pigeon shits on you as you step in dogshit, and let loose a fart that was a sleeper cell for explosive diarrhea -- and then it comes close to what Cheong is feeling right now.

* * * * *

Duhamel vs. Racener

Heads-up is set...
Heads-Up Chip Counts:
Jonathan Duhamel - 188.95M
John Racener - 30.75M
Man, talk about Racener being one lucky duck! Instead of getting picked on by the big stacks, the big stacks went after each other. Racener was a pig in shit when Cheong and Duhamel got it all in on that epic hand -- he knew one of them would either bust or be crippled. Duhamel has almost a 6-1 advantage, but weirder things have happened.

Play resumes at 8pm PT on Monday. Door open at 7pm. The Hall of Fame ceremony (featuring inductees Dan Harrington and Erik Seidel) will begin at 7:30pm. See ya then.

* * * * *

Final Episode of Tao of Pokerati - Cheong Light Savings

N9 - Episode 11: Cheong Light Savings -- The final two heads-up match is set after Joe Cheong's shocking 6-bet shove that began his eventual demise. Dan is rather bummed out that his Facebook friend busted in 3rd place, and Pauly is sorta still in shock how that insane hand against Jonathan Duhamel transpired. They two also discuss the peculiar feeling of experiencing time travel and or jumping through a worm hole during Daylight Savings Time, which occurred during three-handed play.
For more episodes of the 2010 WSOP visit the Tao of Pokerati archives. You can also subscribe to our podcast over at iTunes.

* * * * *

That's It... See Ya Monday

It's 2:29am and it's time for me to go. I'll be at the Hooker Bar with the rest of the degens in the press corp, and I'm sure we'll discuss the mönsterpötten that led to Cheong's demise.

See ya Monday.


  1. Sean G12:18 PM

    Thanks for the great info Pauly.  Could you put in the blinds/antes?  I know Senti and Nguyen are short, but it'd be good to calculate how many "dans" they have left.

    OK I did a little research and they're 250k/500k/50k at level 36, and it appears they're about 30 minutes from level 37?

  2. unfollowing your for the next few days to try and not know  who wins :) don't forget Zenyatta/Classic at 3:45 Pacific.

  3. willythewise2:43 PM

    Oh I am ready for antoher prime performance by the Doc.. Lets get ready......

  4. DJ Ocean3:06 PM

    "you know about those long dead periods of inaction that mostly make you want to waterboard the closest moron within walking distance"


  5. Loukrieger@aol.com3:11 PM

    Hey, Paulie ... Thanks for blogging for all of us, even under Draconian conditions.  This past Thursday I asked listeners on my radio show to predict the first and second place finishers. The popular choices were Dolan first and Racener second.

    Those were my choices too ... so we'll see how successfully we can look into the future.

  6. parkervb@yahoo.com6:59 PM

    didnt Duhamel open and Grinder flatted before Jarvis shove?

  7. Pauly, Thanks for the great updates as usual. Also, I have been featuring Lost Vegas on my site for the past month and it is outstanding. Good luck with your wagers on the NFL today and with your fantasy football league. I am trying to get above .500 in my league and stay alive for the playoffs. I will be following you again on Monday for the Final Table. You are always my first stop for WSOP info. Also, if I come across as too much of a suck up and a groupie, I blame the booze, lol. Time for a wake up shot. CYA

  8. noops9:14 AM

    There does seem like a bit of sympathy for Cheong, who donked off a massive stack in the 2nd biggest live tournament ever with a weak ace, for all those pros that think online players are LAG donks, they will have loved that moment. If he looked shocked, maybe he should fold A7o when he gets 5 betted in the future.

  9. Did you get the hands wrong in the cheong elimination hand?

  10. The olé olé olé thing is also done at Habs games, which is why Duhamel's supporters were chanting it.

  11. Pauly2:39 PM

    Thanks Ryan -- typo! Q-10 not A-10.