Saturday, June 11, 2011

2011 WSOP Day 11: Social Media in Poker and Tex Dolly Blows Chunks

By Pauly
Las Vegas, NV

I love the fact that Doyle Brunson, aka old Texas Dolly, uses Twitter. And he's not one of these clueless celebs who has a staff do everything for him -- like driving a car, wiping asses, or tweeting chip counts. What makes Texas Dolly unique is he tweets his own stuff -- the good, the bad, and the ugly.

Case in point: On Day 11, Tex Dolly ate some bad food in the poker kitchen. As a result, he blew chunks and had to leave the tournament.

If it weren't for Twitter (and Lance Bradley catching it at the moment Dolly tweet'd it), I would have been running around the Rio trying to verify the rumor that Dolly was sick. As is, Dolly confirmed it to everyone who followed him via Twitter.

And how could we forget about Phil Ivey's bizarre "press release" on his intentions to sue Tiltware? He posted it on his "wall" via Facebook. His crack PR team suggested he inform his loyal fans first, which is why he went with Facebook. Full Tilt responded with a traditional press release, albeit the angriest poker press release I've seen in some time.

Social media and poker have been going hand-in-hand ever since I dove head first into the fracas. The progression or time line of social media's integration into poker looks something like this:
blog > MySpace > podcast > videoblog > Facebook > Twitter > live streaming
Technology and bandwidth have both vastly improved over the last few years, which made video blogs and live streaming possible. Long-form writing in blog form has been replaced by podcasts, video blogs, and Hemingway-esque tweeting in 140 character or less. Some pros actually still have a MySpace page, which at this point is just a bastion for depressed, suicidal singer/songwriters, creepy stalkers and potential child molesters. MySpace was hip for a year or so before the backlash swallowed it up and all the cool kids fled to Facebook, and the sheeple followed.

I resisted FB for the longest time because 1) FB doesn't give a shit about your privacy, 2) at some point FB was going to become obsolete like MySpace, so I wanted to wait until the "next big" social media site popped up and I could become an early adopter, and 3) I dig Twitter much better.

Integrating something like Twitter and the WSOP seems almost perfect because as a pro, Twitter is the perfect vehicle to deliver small, yet instant nuggets of information like chip counts so pros can inform their friends, fans, and fantasy poker nerds.

In the bigger picture of social media, Twitter allows the public to glimpse into the daily life of friends, celebrities, and total strangers. In the poker realm, Twitter usually falls into a few categories: 1) what you see is what you get, 2) Self-masturbatory and self-indulgent praise, or 3) PR arm of said poker pro.

Texas Dolly falls into the first category, which is extremely entertaining at times, but we also get inside his raunchy, chauvinist, old-school head a little bit. Dolly also tweets off-color jokes and snide remarks, something that would make PR people's collective heads spin. Instead of the thuggish Godfather image projected by poker media (I'm to blame), at other times you see a loving, cuddly, grandfatherly persona. If you follow @TexDolly, you also see a great man dealing with the grips of aging and health issues. That's something the public never would have been able to discover five years ago unless an investigative reporter or journalist write a scathing expose, thereby knocking said god off its pedestal.

These days, we info straight from the horse's mouth. On Day 11 of the WSOP, the horse's mouth puked up something from the Poker Kitchen.

I'm not going to lie...I don't eat in the Poker Kitchen. I've been boycotting them because of the ridiculous prices. Sure, they can bilk pros or tourists with disposable income, but as a working member of the press, we don't make enough money to afford lukewarm pizza that tastes like cardboard. But, I've also heard plenty of horror stories from friends and colleagues. If you eat at the Poker Kitchen, you run the risk of getting sick. Last year, some of the salads made people ill. This year, the trend continues. Proof is Texas Dolly's pukefst.

And, I won't mention my colleague's name, but he almost shit himself from eating something foul. As I tweeted, "No one wants to shit themselves at the WSOP." That tweet applies to life. Unless you're filming some sort of fecal fetish video, no one wants to deal with a spontaneous ass explosion.

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The most stacked event since the 25K had to be Event #16 $10,000 Deuce to Seven Lowball. This was often considered one of the events where you could try to "buy" a bracelet, but I completely disagree because of the high-caliber talent in the field.

At the end of Day 2, nine players remained. You might recognize a few of them...
Event #16 - End of Day 2 Chip Counts:
1. Richard Ashby - 700K
2. Joe Cassidy - 540K
3. David "Bakes" Baker - 492K
4. Steve Sung - 441K
5. Hasan Habib - 437K
6. Greg Raymer - 345K
7. Phil Hellmuth - 339K
8. Nick Schulman - 306K
9. John Juanda - 177K

Ave Maria, gratia plena, Dominus tecum

I'm actually looking forward to Day 3 of this event. Richard "Chufty" Ashby is seeking another bracelet for the Brits. David "Bakes" Baker is attempting to win this event in consecutive years. Phil Hellmuth is chasing for elusive bracelet #12, in a non-hold'em event too. Greg Raymer made a bunch of final tables since he won the 2004 WSOP Main Event, but he has yet to capture bracelet #2. Speaking of the 2004 Main Event, the runner-up -- David Williams -- is also in the mix. And then you have John Juanda, who is trying to become the first Full Tilt red pro to ship a bracelet amidst cash-out controversy. Let's not forget a couple of young guns in Steve Sung, Joe Cassidy, and Nick Schulman.

Lastly, there's Hassan Habib. Hey KevMath, how many Hassan's have shipped a WSOP bracelet?

* * *

Two noobs won bracelets on Day 11. Andrew Badecker shipped Event #13 $1,500 NL Shootout bracelet, much to t he dismay of the Dutch media covering their native son Robbie Verspui. Change100 described the newest champion, Badecker, as "a man who looks like he got lost at the Rio on the way to Comic-Con." Meanwhile in Event #14 $3,000 Limit Hold'em, Happy Shulman advanced to the final table, but bowed out in 9th place. Tyler Bonkowski took down Event #14 for his first bracelet. Too bad his last name wasn't "bong" instead of "bonk," because he'd be getting sponsorships from High Times and Graphix. Then again, "bonk" is great slang for banging hookers or women with loose morals.

Here's a quick list on 2011 WSOP bracelet winners:
Event #1: $500 NL (Casino Employees) - Sean Drake ($82,292)

Event #2: $25,000 Heads-Up NL Championship - Jake Cody ($851,192)

Event #3: $1,500 Omaha 8 - Francesco Barbero ($262,283)

Event #4: $5,000 NL - Allen Bari ($874,116)

Event #5: $1,500 Seven-Card Stud - Gene Katchalov ($122,909)

Event #6: $1,500 Limit Hold'em - Harrison Wilder ($205,065)

Event #7: $10,000 Pot-Limit Hold'em Championship - Amir Lehavot ($573,456)

Event #8: $1,000 NL DONKAMENT - Sean Gertzwiller ($611,185)

Event #9: $1,500 NL 2-7 Draw Lowball - Matt Perrins ($102,105)

Event #10: $1,500 NL 6-Handed - Geffrey Klein ($544,388)

Event #11: $10,000 Omaha 8 Championship - Viacheslav Zhukov ($465,216)

Event #12: $1,500 Triple Chance NL - David Diaz ($352,808)

Event #13: $1,500 NL Shootout - Andrew Badecker ($369,371)

Event #14: $3,000 Limit Hold'em - Tyler Bonkowski ($220,817)

For a complete list of who cashed in every event, head over to
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WSOP Required Reading...

I might have to chance the sub-header to "Required Reading and Viewing", but here's a few items of note that will help you catch up on the daily happenings...
WhoJedi is doing an awesome job with the WSOP Photo Blog. Take a peek. (WSOP)

I'm digging the latest creation by Jess and the gang at Bluff called By the Numbers. Check it out. (Bluff Magazine)

For a run down of all of Day 11's events, don't forget to check out Change100's Day 10 recap Badecker and Bonkowski Make it 14 for First timers. (RISE Poker)
Also, check out the end of day video from the crew at Bluff Live, especially my favorite segment "Where's Ivey?"

* * *

That's it. Follow @taopauly for Twitter updates throughout the day. Also, help support indie writers and buy my books: Lost Vegas and Jack Tripper Stole My Dog.

Photos courtesy of Benjo.

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