Sunday, July 10, 2005

Day 2 World Series of Poker Main Event

I woke up to the sounds of things breaking. My wake up call this morning was a "domestic dispute" and it involved a meth-addicted couple up on the third floor of my unit at the Redneck Riviera. It looked like a scene from a bad romance movie. The skinny guy with bad tattoos was standing outside while his girlfriend threw all his stuff off the balcony and shouted obscenities. The last remains of a VCR were scattered on the walkway while he dodged the heavier items. Dozens of articles of clothing were spread out while several onlooker gawked until Las Vegas metro police showed up. I expected to see a COPS camera crew jump out of a production van.

Just another Sunday morning. Don't any of these people go to church?

I had a weird ride with a cabbie this morning. He looked like Stu Ungar and his name was similar to a friend of mine. Very freaky. If you don't know, the first novel I wrote was about a Brooklyn taxi driver. One of my favorite stories so far at this year's WSOP was my buddy Jeremey running into the chick from Taxi Cab Confessions. He was more geeked out about that then playing with Johnny Chan.

Last night my brother Derek played in a multi on Party Poker. He got his A-A cracked by Q-9o and was eliminated. I've seen quite a few bad beats like that here. Some folks like to gamble. But with $7.5 million on the line, you figure some folks would like to get their money in the pot when they have a slight edge instead of being a serious underdog. Like Mike Matusow said yesterday "Tournament poker is a joke. Whoever gets most lucky is the next superstar."

This morning I grabbed a bite to eat in the deli near the sports book. In front of me on line was the 2002 WSOP champion Robert Varkonyi. He was wearing his winner's bracelet. His wife Olga made it to day 2 but he didn't make it. Yesterday one of his friends was at the TV table and he walked over to give his buddy Starbucks. I heard one of the ESPN crew guys muttered "He used to be the world champion and now he's delivering coffee."

That's poker. Famous one day. Busted the next.

Moving on...

Day 2 is starting and I'm a lot more rested today. I got an extra hour of sleep in due to the Noon starting time. I wacthed as all the tournament directors and floor managers set out all the chips. I expect to be here until 3 or 4am again so I have to pace myself. If you don't see any updates in a while, I'm taking an extended bathroom break or having a Red Stripe at the bar with Otis and his lovely assistant Maddie... who brought me a fruit salad this morning to lift my exhausted spirits. She's a good gal.

Don't forget to stop by to read a mini-recap of yesterday's events. They are the ones who hired me to come out here and they post all of my recaps. If you like my poker writings, you can also stop by Poker Player Newspaper and read that as well. Lastly, almost all of the photos I have been posting are courtesy of Flipchip. He's the best photographer here at the WSOP and you have to check out his 2005 World Series of Poker photo gallery.

****** Live Blogging Updates ******

12:23pm... We are in a slight delay while tournament directors are correcting any mistakes with chip bags. Play will begin shortly.

12:28pm... Featured Table update: Layne Flack (seat 9) and Paul Darden (seat 6) are here today. Layne looks much healthier. I am too. I was "on tilt" most of yesterday and that has been corrected.

12:36pm... Cards are in the air! We're starting (15 minutes into) Level 8. Blinds are $300/$600. Antes are $75. Action will be nine handed today.

12:40pm... Two players with short stacks already out on the first hand.

12:41pm... Chops told me that Gus Hansen was busted. His 9-9 ran into J-J.

12:44pm... Bouncin Round the Room: Dealers were told a few days ago to announce "All in on table (insert table #)...." and not to deal cards until a tournament director or floor person gives them the go ahead. This is for the benefit of the roving ESPN camera crew to come over and catch anyone of note. Players are quiet and tense. You can't hear to much chatter aside fromt he clattering of chips and the random cries of "All in!" from the dealers.

1:06pm... Recent Eliminations: Chris Moneymaker is out. He pushed with 2h-7h against A-K. Yeah the sooted Hammer! He had a flush draw, but it missed.

1:15pm... Recent Eliminations: John Myung and Tony Cousineau are out.

1:25pm... Retraction... Greg Raymer is still in. I apologize for the disinformation. The tournament director made a mistake and incorrectly annoucned over the loudspeaker that "World Champion Greg Raymer" was elimianted. He made an error and meant to say the Moneymaker was busted.

1:26pm... Sharing info can be helpful. Otis and Team Pokerstars have been helpful with info on Poker Stars players. James & Maddie covers European players from Stars and Otis covers the rest of them. I get updates on Irish players from the Irish Twins: Mike Lucky Blind and Tom via Antes Up. I get great scoops on British players from Jennifer at Blonde Poker. Of course BJ at Card Player hooks me up along with Jen & Heather from Poker Wire.

1:35pm... Recent eliminations: Gentleman John Gale was busted. Also going home are Toto Leonidas, Marcel Luske, and David Sklansky. My buddy Ace from sports radio in Calgary told me "You're not the only one who busted Shannon ELizabeth." Yeah, she's gone.

1:45pm... Jennifer from Blonde Poker wrote this funny tid-bit:
Stuart Forsyth just out with cracked AA in about 5 hands, losing 12,000 when he raised to 1500 preflop and was called by an overexcited KJ who said "You want action?" Action indeed followed when the flop came K 10 8 and he got it all-in only for the third K to pop up on the river, earning him a nice unsubtle American rub-down: "Slowplaying Aces, huh?" Some people just don't know when to get it quietly...
2:00pm... I got a few updates from the Irish Twins. My new favorite Irish player Paddy "The Dentist" O' Connor was busted by a fellow Irishman Peter Roche. Paddy's Hilton Sisters were busted by Roche's A-J. Joe "The Show" O'Neill is a player I was told to keep an eye on. He's a chatty fellow and has his table in stitches laughing.

2:15pm... Players are on a break. And dealers are racing off the green $25 chips. Otis got the most hilarious email. "Your coverage sucks," the idiot wrote. Otis wrote back, "Thanks for writing and telling me that I suck."

2:30pm... Bouncin Round the Room: It's hot and humid in here. Been so the last few days. I almost wore shorts and a muscle shirt. But I don't have guns like Bad Blood, so I won't show off my girly-man arms.

3:05pm... Featured Table update: Layne Flack's table broke up, but they retained him and added 8 new players. So Paul Darden is gone. Layne walked over to press row to chat and he's not wearing any shoes, but with socks. I wonder if I play in a future main event if I can sit at a table without pants? oooh, the hot girls in short skirts and "Bluff" t-shirts are back sitting in the front row.

3:10pm... We are on level 9. Antes are $100 and blinds are $400/$800. Jack Binion got to annouce "Shuffle up and deal!"

3:15pm... Bouncin Round the Room: There are a lot of jubilant people after they win all ins today. Can you get an penalty for excessive celebration like in the NFL? One fellow shouted, "Oh yeah! Oh yeah! That's a full house!" and he was on the other side of the room. I think some folks have small penises and want to get on TV. I caught one horrible bad beat on table 127. A-A versus A-A. Yeah the fat guy with a shirt made for a ballerina caught a flush on the river.

3:25pm... Recent Eliminations: Jose Rosencrantz and Tilt Boy Rafe Furst are both gone.

3:35pm... Recent Eliminations: Two Dans gone. Action Dan Harrington was busted. His 5-5 lost a race to A-Q. Dan Heimiller is also busted. 1368 players remain.

3:50pm... Bouncin Round the Room: I was watching Chip Reese play at Peter Alston's table. Peter is hanging in there. He doubled up with A-A against Chip and then on the next hand found J-J. He put out a big raise. One guy moved all in and then Chip, to his right, also moved all in. Peter folded even though he felt he had the best hand. Then just before I came back to media row, I watched another crazy hand with Chip Reese. On a board with King high a guy moved all in on him. With Ac-7c and a flush draw, Chip called. The guy had top pair with a middle kicker and Chip spiked a club on the river to double up.

3:58pm... Bouncin Round the Room: This is the "Bad Beats" version... I caught three wicked bad beats during my rounds. A-K lost to K-10 when a 10 spiked on the river. A-K lost to A-Q when a guy hit a four flush. A-A lost to K-K when a K fell on the turn.

4:05pm... Recent Eliminations: Liz Lieu missed a heart flush draw and was booted. I watched her table for a few minutes. Even when she mucks her cards, it's sexy. Johnny Bax and Cecilia Mortensen are out.

4:12pm... Bad news. There was an annoucnement by tournament directors, "Media members are no longer allowed to sweat players." Which means that I cannot go out an watch tables. Only from the rail with the ralbirds. I guess some of the ESPN crews were getting pissy that they had to rush over other media types (from smaller shill sites and organziations I never heard of). You can take photos and get chip counts and walk through the tournament area. But you can't seat players anymore. This kinda sucks for me and you guys. But I'll do my best.

4:20pm... Bouncin Round the Room: I've been taking a peek at some interesting card cappers... There are two guys who use fake dog shit. One of them is Joe "The Show" O'Neill who uses fake dog shit. One player had a blue match box car. Another dude had a dradle. Someone had a pyramid. One dude had a tin of Coppenhagen to cap his cards.

4:30pm... More props. A guy walked over to me. His name is Brian. He told me, "Been reading your blog for the last month. Thanks! And keep up the good work." Pretty cool. Yesterday, Greg Go asked to take a picture with me.

4:45pm... It's official. I am in the Card Player database for taking 6th in the media/charity event.

4:50pm... Players are on a break. Layne Flack has $227,500 in chips. He might be one of the chip leaders.

5:00pm... Jen Leo posted a hilarious picture of us at the Full Tilt party last week.

5:04pm... Recent Eliminations: Sad day in the Shulman household. Barry and Jeff have both been busted. Also out are Adam Schoenfeld and Ayaz Mahmood.

5:10pm... Play resumes. Level 10 starts with $200 antes. Blinds are $500/$1000. 126 tables remain.

5:15pm... Featured Table update: This is the Layne Flack show. He just busted another guy. His stack is getting bigger.

5:25pm... Featured Table update: Layne Flack is en fuego! Layne went up against A-A with pocket sixes. Layne flopped a 6 and the crowd let out a deep "Oohhh!" He knocked out his second player inside of ten minutes. He might have almost a $250,000.

5:40pm... Featured Table update: Layne Flack's table has been broken up. Phil Ivey is now at the feature table.

5:45pm... Flipchip is on the floor taking some photos. He was kind of enough to snap a few of Carmel. I love how are silky hair cascades down her shoulders.

Ah, Carmel!

BG and I were chatting on the phone a few minutes ago. Here's a snippet of our conversation:
BG: What does Carmel smell like today?
Pauly: Like buttercups and a fresh mountain spring.
5:57pm... Recent Eliminations: Amir Vahedi is out. Noah Boeken was busted. He used to be "Exclusive" on Poker Stars. But yesterday he was wearing Full Tilt gear and today he's sporting BoDog. Oh I just talked to Peter Alston (co-author of One of a Kind with Nolan Dalla) and he was busted when he lost a coinflip. Jd-10d to pocket 8s. There are less than 950 players remaining.

6:15pm... Steve Rosenbloom told me that he thinks Chip Reese has about $250K. Phil Ivey has around $65K at the featured table. I saw Lee Watkinson's stack and it's not as big as it once was. Rocco Mediate has abour $25,000 and holding on.

6:27pm... BJ posted some good info on the action and start times over the next few days. Here it is:
Day 3: Monday, July 11th, 12:00 pm
Day 4: Tuesday, July 12th, 12:00 pm
Day 5: Wednesday, July 13th, 12:00 pm

That will end action at the Rio Casino. The remaining days will be played at Binion's Horseshoe in downtown Las Vegas. If there are 36 or fewer players left, expect the final table to play out on Day 7. If there are more than 36 players, Harrah's will consider playing the final table on Day 8.

Day 6: Thursday, July 14th, 3:00 pm
Day 7: Friday, July 15th, 2:00 pm
Day 8: Saturday, July 16th, 2:00 pm (if necessary)
6:34pm... Recent Eliminations: I spotted Mimi Tran in the hallway. She said she was out.

6:40pm... Gavin Griffin might be second in chips with over $320K. According to BJ, he doubled up after catching a four flush with 10-10 after someone flopped trips. The chipleader is Graeme Harrison from Scotland is the chipleader with $370K. According to Otis, he's been banned from every casino in Scotland, England, and Europe for card counting. But Jay Greensapn mentioned that some guy named Tom Phan has over $420K.

6:49pm... Recent Eliminations: Reza Payvar and Randy Holland are out.

6:50pm... Nooooooo! Bad news. Carmel Petresco is out. She said that when she had AK, she ran into AA. When She had the Hilton Sisters, she ran into KK. She didn't look too happy on her way out to the parking lot. Oh and Huck Seed and Pascal Perrault were also busted

6:50pm... All Players are on a dinner break. The average stack is about $55K with 871 players remaining. I'm going on break now. Gonna have a few cocktails with Otis at the hooker bar.

8:35pm... Action has resumed. We are at Level 11. Antes are $200. Blinds are $600/$1200.

8:40pm... Featured Table update: Ivey's table has broken up and The Grinder, Joe Beevers, and Layne Flack are now featured. Layne is back! When he walked by me he said, "I'm here again? I guess ESPN likes me."

8:45pm... I had a few Red Stripes at dinner break. Otis and I came up with a great idea for a video poker game.

8:50pm... Otis told me that Brandon Schaefer was busted.

9:23pm... Featured Table update: The Grinder doubled up on Layne Flack. Grinder had K-K and Flack had A-J. The flop was: J-10-10. The turn a 9 and the river was a Q. Yeah, the Grinder was celebrating excessively with his railbirds.

9:33pm... Just now... "Security! Table 120!!" And that happened at the table closest to press row. A railbird who was standing in press row, got into a verbal spat with a Irishman Andy Black at the table. He was hecking Andy Black and they both got into each other's faces. Security came by to escort the drunk rail bird out.

9:46pm... Recent Eliminations: Gavin Griffin, Ben Roberts, and Chris Gregorian are both out.

9:55pm.... Bouncin Round the Room: I've taken note of many of the NFL jerseys that players are wearing. I saw one Curtis Martin one. Go Jets! Along with Michael Vick, Brett Favre, Peyton Manning, and Priest Holmes. This doesn't include the Full Tilt jerseys. like the one Andy Bloch is wearing.

10:10pm... Card Player posted the story about "the smelly guy" which I forgot to tell you about. The guy reeked so bad that no one wanted to play with him. I dunno if he was supersticious or just malodorous. He was a Brit and Gutshot offered to give him a shirt. He busted out 20 minutes later.

10:15pm... It's time for a bunch of Flipchip's photos! Don't forget to check out his 2005 WSOP Photo Gallery located over at

Fossilman (click to enlarge to see his bracelet)

The crowd from the back of the room

Clonie ponders a call

Nice hat

Scotty Nguyen signs an autograph

10:30pm... Recent Eliminations: Paul Wolfe is gone when his K-K ran into A-A.

10:35pm... Phil Ivey cracked Hiltons with A-K when he spiked a King on the turn. Players are currently on a break.

10:50pm... We have reached Level 12. The blinds are$800/$1600 and the antes are $200. There are 684 players left on 76 tables.

11:11pm... 657 players remain.

11:31pm... Greg Raymer has over $200K in chips. 648 players left. 1 hour and 18 minutes to go!

11:45pm... One of my favorite players Paul "Cigar" McKinney doubled up when he cracked the Hilton Sisters with Big Slick. McKinney is the oldest bracelet winner at 80 years old, which he earned during the Seniors event.

12:08am... If you are caught smoking here in the poker room, you will be banned for the rest of the WSOP. That's what Jack Effel annoucned.

12:17am... We're down to 594 players. 34 more players until the money.

12:30am... We're down to 585 on 65 tables. 25 players to the money and 20 minutes to go until this level ends.

12:35am... Rocco Mediate was kncoked out. I forgot to blog it. Barbara Enright is out. Chip Reese was just eliminated. He had a nut flush on the turn and lost to full boat on the river.

12:45am... Featured Table update: Here is more proof that live poker is rigged!

So rigged!

12:52am... Play is done. 569 players survived day two! The avergae stack is over $98K.

12:59am... Here are notable bustouts:
Gus Hansen
Chris Moneymaker
Marcel Luske
Shannon Elizabeth
Dan Harrington
David Sklansky
John Myung
John Gale
Chip Reese
Rocco Mediate
Toto Leonidas
Rafe Furst
Dan Heimiller
Liz Lieu
Cecilia Mortensen
Jeff & Barry Shulman
Amir Vahedi
Carmel Petresco
Huck Seed
Paul Wolfe
Play will resume at Noon on Monday. See ya tomorrow.

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