Monday, June 20, 2011

2011 WSOP - Day 20: The Egregious Case of the $9 Pizza and Stein Shines

By Pauly
Las Vegas, NV

Another wild, busy, hectic day at the Rio with six total tournaments and three final tables, which meant three guys walked away with a bag of cash and some bling to slap around their wrist.

I was gearing up for a potential showdown at the Senior's Event between the two best names left in the tournament -- Hans Pfister and Dick Harwood. Insert your own porn jokes here ____.

As you can imagine, I was utterly devastated when I discovered the Pfister was among the first players to bust out. That left Dick Harwood as my only shot to use horrendous porn puns for a potential winner's headline. Alas, Harwood didn't win and instead a guy named James Hess took down the Seniors' event. He was 50 years old, which is part of the reason why pro golfers in their early 50s dominated the PGA Seniors Tour. Those younger whippersnappers dominate and crush the Senior's game.

A couple of my colleagues had funny things to say about the Seniors' final table....
Change100 mentioned: "The final table was set at around 9:30 in the evening, or as these guys call it, 'past their bedtime'..."

Snoopy cracked me up with: "50-year old won the Seniors. God damn young, Internet kids running over the game. Poker's about 'feel', not raising and reraising."
By the way, everyone loves to bitch and moan about how Ladies Events are sexist and exclusionary. How come there was not a single article written chastising Seniors' events? Or where were the online kids using fake IDs to try to play in a Seniors event? Not to fear, the Ladies Event is coming soon, so if you love cyclical controversy just wait a week or so before that drama bubbles up to the surfaces and explodes. Personally, I'm going to take a day off or three when the Ladies Event is played (not that I dislike Ladies Events -- I don't have an opinion either way because I got two balls and a micro-penis swinging belong the belt -- so as long as the WSOP has them, so be it) because I'm going to a Phish festival for just before the Main Event. Besides, Phish shows have waaaaaaaaaay better drugs than a Ladies Event (unless I want to score hot flashes medication, which doesn't get me fucked up like mushooms). Anyway, I'm also skipping Vegas during the Ladies Event so I don't have to sit though the same fucking drama that happens every year and hear everyone whining and moaning.

Moving on...

The first final table on Day 20 to find a conclusion was 10-game Mixed, which included Badugi. The inaugural 10-mixed event and received positive reviews. I hope the WSOP alteres the $50,000 Players' Championship to a 10-game format -- because it will truly test overall skill in poker.

The final table of the 10-game was suspended on Saturday and everyone had to come back on Sunday to play down the final three -- which progressed rather fast. Yep, that result was another example of why stopping final tables is incredibly stupid and should be played out. If you start a final table -- then finish it out. If the final table is set past 8pm, then don't play it out until noon the next day.

Anyway, Chris "genius28" Lee proved his moniker to be true by displaying his deft skills in different variations of poker. Lee shipped his first bracelet.

The one final table I was excited to watch was the 3K PLO. If you don't know, the final table included several top young players in Sam Stein, Christian Harder, Adam Junglen, Ben Lamb, and Brock Parker. Junglen had been running well this year and made a final table last week. He was seeking his first bracelet but had to wait another day to snag a title after busting in 5th place.

I rarely root for players because you're supposed to be objective as a member of the media, but I was secretly puling for Christian Harder. He lost his father a few months ago and this was the first Father's Day without him, so I can only imagine the internal emotional turmoil he must have been dealing with -- and then have to play poker on top of it. Harder entered the final table as the leader by a small margin over Ben Lamb.

In the end, it was Sam Stein's world and his chance to be blessed by the poker gods. Stein won the tournament and his first bracelet. He had gotten close to winning major events over the last year -- but always fell short of the mark -- including a final table in the 10K PLH earlier this WSOP. Stein has been running good in the last 12 months includes final tables at the PCA Main Event, the 25K Bounty Shootout, and the NAPT Venetian. Stein has almost $3 million in career earnings in the last two years. Rather impressive if you ask me. He can now add a bracelet to enjoy with a padded bankroll.

In addition to those final tables, I was nearly stampeded by another Running of the Donks. The $1,000 NL Donkuli went off in the Pavilion, which I avoided at all costs because I don't want to get drenched in donkey blood and have to step in donkey shit in the aisles. The Donkulis and Donkaments are like printing money for Harrah's/Caesar's. I haven't seen a more profitable scheme since Ben Bernanke starting printing worthless fiat money out of the basement of the Federal Reserve.

Speaking of atrocities at the WSOP, I haven't blasted them yet this year because everything has been going rather smooth, so there's not much for me to complain about. I know players bitch about everything, but this year's vitriol has been directed at the dealers. With an expanded schedule of events, satellites, second chance tournaments, and cash games -- there's too many things going on and not enough quality dealers to go around. Add to the fact that dealers are getting paid shit wages and rely on tips (pros have not been tipping well this year -- I have no opinion on the matter aside from understanding what it's like to bartend and live on wages, but I also don't believe in tipping for shitty service either). Yep, no shocker the quality of dealing is going to be spread thin with paltry pay and so many events and side action going on. But, this isn't new news. Players have been complaining about dealers since the inception of poker.

My next rant is about pizza.

Yes, I grew up in New York City which makes me biased against any pizza out of the city. Much like folks from Chicago, it's hard to please pizza connoisseurs. However, what they sell at the Poker Kitchen is appalling, disgusting, and completely unethical that they are over charging $9 for this piece of utter shit...

I was irked when I used to have to pay $5 for cardboard with bland sauce and burnt cheese on it. But every year, they raise the prize $1. The WSOP cut a deal with Pizza Hut to be the official pizza provider at the WSOP. I'm not the biggest Pizza Hut fan in the world, but Pizza Hut doesn't look anything like that puke-worthy price of shit. A slice from any corner pizza joint in NYC is much larger.

We used to call Pizza Hut the derogatory Pizza Slut when I was in college, but by the looks of this pizza in the above photo, it's more like a skeevy crack whore who has been gangbanged by an entire fraternity house.

I want to meet the guy who decided to set the prize of the pizza for $9 and then turn him into the police for larceny. Where does that money go? It's one thing if they were collecting $9 to feed starving kids, or heck, I'd let it slide if the guy running the pizza kitchen is a huge cokehead or a total degen sportsbettor and had to jack up prices to pay debts. But at this point, the $9 price is nothing short of pure greed.

That's why I'm urging you to boycott the Pizza Hut's detestable product. Also, if you get a shitty piece of pizza, please send a Twitpic to Pizza Hut and the WSOP and let them know you won't be taken advantage of anymore. The reason they charge $9 is because you fucking sheeple allow them to do it. Unless you stand up to their extortion, they will jack the price up to $10 next year.

If you want a proper serving to satisfy your hunger, you have to buy two of these things. Seriously, if they want to fuck you, why not just add friend donkey intestines as a topping. So you gotta fork over $18 to get something decent. For $18 you can get an entire pie somewhere else. I know some awesome pizza joints that will sell you to small pies for the same price.

What we have here is typical collusion of corporate entities to fuck over consumers and take advantage of rich, lazy, inebriated, and desperate people. I know most media reps cannot afford to pay $9 for pizza so they won't buy it. But the masses on the rail and poker players are a whole other ballgame.

The only people who will buy $9 pizza have to be so rich that they don't care about getting fucked for eating a piece of cold cardboard.

The only people who will buy $9 pizza are so lazy to walk across to the sportsbook deli and get a proper slice.

The only people who will buy $9 pizza are so desperate, they have choice due to limited food options or a not enough time to seek out healthier and cheaper alternatives on the break.

Only total potheads with the munchies, or drunkards so shitfaced they have no clue what they are eating will pay $9.

I have been boycotting the Poker Kitchen the last few years, but it's been easy because the food is atrocious. How many people have already gotten sick thus far? Even Texas Dolly was blowing chunks last week after eating horrendous chow.

Seriously, pizza that repulsive for $9 is robbery. I understand corporations are in the business of making money, but if you're gonna charge $9, you have to do a better effort at providing something of substance, instead of passing off heinous fare that alley dogs would ignore.

What baffles me is the apathy and laziness of poker players (and some press) who willingly fork over $9 for unedible pizza. I guess that's the suits at Pizza Hut and the suits running the Poker Kitchen are geniuses, because they figured out how to print money by getting rich, desperate, stoners to pay rendonkulous prices on something that might give you the shits.

Thus begins my push to get food trucks to the WSOP -- like In-N-Out, taco trucks, what have you. Heck, I considered setting up a mini-grill in the parking lot and selling grilled cheese sandwiches like some of my friends do on Grateful Dead or Phish tour. I'd rather eat a Velveeta sandwich from a spunout wook in the lot than risk my life paying for an overpriced piece of repugnant cardboard.

Of course, my rant will go unanswered, because sheeple are sheeple and don't blink when the cashier rings up $9. Baaaaaa.

* * *

Back by popular demand...
Last 5 Pros I Pissed Next to...
1. Jonathan Duhamel
2. James Van Alstyne
3. Miami John Cernuto
4. Joe Tehan
5. Chris Moorman
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WSOP Required Reading...

Here's a few things you should check out...

I wish Jesse May wrote more, but check out his latest blog entry... Graveyard Cash (Poker Farm)

Snoopy has finally arrived in Vegas to cover the WSOP. I'm excited. Check out his first piece... The Beagle Has Landed. (Black Belt Poker)

Tits. Tits. Tits. Tits. (Wicked Chops Poker)

Check out WhoJed's amazing WSOP Photo Blog. (

Jess Welman's WSOP By the Number thingy is my favorite thing to read every day at the WSOP. Check out all them here. (Bluff Magazine)

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That's it. For a quickie wrap, head over to RISE Poker and check out Change100's WSOP Day 20 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 comment:

  1. "Past their bedtime" - that is awesome Change100

    Pauly - you are dead on with the pizza and as a former Chicago South Sider, I am about as a big of a pizza snub as you can get. Henceforth, they shall be named Pizza Slut. Just say no to pizza sluts!