Thursday, June 16, 2011

2011 WSOP Day 16: Le Deux; French Snag 2 Bracelets in 24 Hours

By Pauly
Las Vegas, NV

Call it a coup d'etat.

Never mind the Brits, here come the French. First, it was ElkY. Now, it's Elie Payan. The amateur from France played in his first ever WSOP event, and guess what? He shipped the bracelet in Event #22 PLO. The $1,500 buy-in was the Donkament version of PLO and largest ever PLO tournament in the history of the WSOP.

Le Ship It!
Photo courtesy of

PLO is a dangerous game. It's like being a weekend cocaine user who all of a sudden gets turned onto freebasing. Kids, you don't want to try this at home unless supervised by an adult. PLO is a game that is only for trained professionals and known drug fiends.

Four cards? Let's gamboooooooool.

PLO is an action junkie's wet dream. If you can stomach the mammoth swings, then you have a an outside chance of being a decent PLO player, because at worst, you're never that far behind your opponent. That's the only reason why most people don't play PLO -- they simply can't handle the swings -- both financially and mentally.

PLO tournaments are even more brutal than cash games, because if you get felted (which will happen no matter how optimal you play or how far a horseshoe is wedged up your digestive tract), you can always dig into your pocket for more bullets. The more bullets you have access to, the better your chances of digging yourself out of a hole. That is to say, if you can handle losing substantial chunks of your bankroll in a 24-hour period.

Fortunes have been won and lost at the PLO tables. The premier pros of the game have gone busto and robusto back to busto again all because of the tantalizing aspect of four card bingo. The biggest, baddest, mutherfuckers in poker are (er, were) mostly PLO gurus. Sure everyone played NLH because it's the popular game and kept you in the limelight of the mainstream poker audience and in the poker media. However, if you wanted respect among your peers, then you had to measure your cock (or vagina) against the biggest of the Big Dogs. If you wanted big payday with a side order of notoriety, then sit down in Ivey's Thunderdome and play the Phil Ivey of Poker in heads-up PLO. And not just one table... how about four or more?

If you wanted a chance of winning a half a mil in a session, then you had to go whale hunting in the PLO waters. Just a year or two ago, the biggest sharks in poker lined up to take a shot at sinking their teeth into proverbial white whale -- an elusive Scandi named Isildur1 -- who had no problems giving action to anyone who wanted to play multi-tables.

That's like juggling chainsaws. And I'm not talking about throwing Allen "Chainsaw" Kessler into the air and trying to catch him, although I'd pay good money to see someone try to juggle Chainsaw with two chainsaws. One false move and you lose an arm.

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Bouncin' Round the Room...

I almost got run over by a douchenozzle on a Segway. I've thought about getting a golf cart, Segway, or min-cart to navigate from the Amazon Ballroom to the casino floor, but if I ever got access to a vehicle, I would drive at a safe speed in order to not hurt any pedestrians. Too bad the selfish dickhead that ran me over (along with a half-a-dozen others) in the hallway did not adhere to "safety first" rules. I don't mind older folks on those mini-scooters, because after all, they are in the twilight of their lives or have medical conditions and need a scooter to be mobile. But a Segway? Talk about a self-indulgent. Didn't the inventor of the Segway die after accidentally driving off a cliff?

I watched Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals with Lance. He was rooting for the Bruins and I had a bet on the Canucks. I got my ass stomped. I blame that sieve Luongo. I can win a hockey bet to save my life, but luckily I dominated the NBA playoffs wagering on the Mavs heavy over the last few weeks. I gotta say, after all the money I spent at the Rio covering the WSOP (food and drinks mostly, but when you play inflated rendonkulous casino prices, all of that adds up), it felt good to actually take the Rio for a few grand in the sportsbook. Poker is tough because you're essentially taking money from other gamblers, whereas in the pits or at the sportsbook, you have a shot at bleeding the corporate entity dry.

The single table satellites are as soft as ever. I know horrible players who have been raking in the lammers -- and these are my friends, the majority of whom are horrible players. Either their luckbox powers have been humming due to the close proximity to Planet X, or the quality of play is just that fucking atrocious. Whatever you want to believe, it doesn't matter. They are giving away free money every day inside the tournament area. You'd be a fool not to show up a few days before your intended WSOP event, to play those single table sats. Juicy is an understatement. I know one pro who has yet to buy into a WSOP event because he's simply killing the sats.

So do you want to know the effects of Black Friday? As expected, the numbers at some of the lower buy-in events WSOP are up. The PLO Donkament was the largest on record. According to stats released by the WSOP suits, the cash games are up 11% over the first two weeks. How they figured that number out, I'll never know, but let's just say they are right -- the WSOP is printing money this year.

I don't have any puke stories or tales of old guys jacking off in the bathroom of Binion's, but I did see a guy as old as Vin Scully (I kinda hoped it was the legendary L.A. Dodgers announcer) walk past the craps table with two "rented" girls clinging to each arm. Their combined age had to be anywhere from 36 to 42... and not a year older. I wonder if those working girls foolishly got paid in tournament chips?

I love it when railbirds totally get the names of pros utterly wrong. The other day, two dudes in "Affliction" shirts stood on the rail and pointed at the table in front of them.
Railbird 1: "Is that Jackie Juanda?"
Railbird 2: "No, it's gotta be that Jackie Chan guy?"
Railbird 1: "Are you sure? It's Jackie Juanda."
Railbird 2: "No, it's Jackie Chan...."
(Pause... I got caught catching me eavesdropping and Railbird 1 saw my press credntials dangling around my neck.)
Railbird 1: "Hey you work here, right?"
Your Hero: "Only, for the pure love of the game."
Railbird 2: "Settle an argument for us... is that Jackie Chan or Jackie Juanda."
Your Hero: "Neither. It's Layne Flack."

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That's it. For a quickie wrap, head over to Rise Poker and check out Change100's Day 16 Recap.

Follow @taopauly for Twitter updates throughout the day.

Also, help support indie writers and buy my books: Lost Vegas: The Redneck Riviera, Existentialist Conversations with Strippers and the World Series of Poker, and my recently released novel, Jack Tripper Stole My Dog. Both are also available for Kindles and iPads.


  1. Not the inventor, but the guy who bought the Segway company went over a cliff. The inventor is still out there inventing things like replacement arms for vetrans.

    Hey, you asked.

  2. Thanks Astin...I still think it was a suspicious death, but let's save that discussion for a Tao of Fear post...