Wednesday, July 27, 2005

UPC Final Table Update

We're back! Live at the Plaza for the final table of the UPC. Flipchip is out taking photos of the final table as we speak. He told me plenty of Vietnam stories on our ride downtown today. I hope he doesn't "flip" out and start having flashbacks about his time in the jungle. I'm gonna need to tap into his extensive knowledge of survival skills, if I want to avoid confrontations with urine-stained-pants wearing whinos, skinny speed freaks, and other sullen degenerates who roam the streets of downtown Las Vegas.

Here's the Final Table Seating & Chip Counts:
Seat 1: Andy Bloch $305K
Seat 2: Blair Rodman $169K
Seat 3: Scott Fischman $139K
Seat 4: Senthil Kumar $331K
Seat 5: Mike Wattel $351K
Seat 6: Chau Giang $234K
Seat 7: Ted Forrest $124K
Anyway, there were 55 players who forked over $10K for a chance at the first place prize of $167,500 and the coveted gold bracelet.

****** Live BLogging Updates ******

2:00pm... Ooops. Action started earlier than I expected. Thank God for Jen and Heather at Poker Wire! They were already here and caught me up on the action. The blinds started at $4K/$8K and antes were $1K.

2:01pm... Ted Forrest was the first player knocked out by Chau Giang. Ted had AQ and Chau showed AK. Ted Forrest won $21,500 for 7th place. And Jason from Full Tilt joked with me about Chau Giang's infamous quote from last year's WSOP while he rubbed his nipples and admitted, "I love poker." He supposedly plays 85 hours a week!

2:20pm... Scott Fischman's pocket Kings ran into Blair Rodman's A-A. Fischman won $27,100 for 6th place.

2:25pm... Bouncin Round the Room: Tanya stopped by to say hello. She's headed for an Alaskan cruise. The media area is not as nice as the Rio, but the food is much better. Yesterday they had turkey wraps with fresh mozzarella. Today they have fruit and freshly baked cookies. I'm drinking some OJ right now.

2:30pm... Levels are now 90 minutes long. The blinds are $6K and $12K. Antes are $2K. Sentil Kumar was the next player busted in 5th place. He won $32,500. Sentil's A-9 lost to Blair Rodman's A-Q.

2:35pm.... Players took a quick break. I chatted with Andy Bloch who's the chipleader. I asked him about the structure, which he liked a lot. "Seven-handed is great. I prefer short-handed events. You get to play more hands and the action is faster. More tournaments should be short-handed."

2:40pm... Bouncin Round the Room: The stage is set up only a few feet away from the cashier cage and the poker room here at the Plaza. I'm sitting at the table where I made the final table of a NL Plaza tourney with Maudie, Mrs. Blood, and Bad Blood. The stands for spectators is just a few feet from the craps table where I shot with Obie, Halverson, and the Fat Guy two months ago. Speaking of craps....
Last 5 Poker Pros I Saw Shooting Craps...
1. Phil Ivey
2. Gavin Smith
3. The Grinder
4. John Juanda
5. Erick Lindgren
3:25pm... A few minutes after Cyndy Violette arrived to sweat her guy friend Mike Wattel, he was eliminated by Andy Bloch. On a flop of 7s-6s-6c, Wattel check raised Andy Bloch. Andy thought for a second and moved all in. Wattel called. Andy had A-7 and Mike had As-8s and the nut flush draw. Wattel picked up a straight draw on the turn but the river was a blank. Mike Wattel was busted in 4th place taking home $44,300. Tree players remain and Andy Bloch has a commanding chip lead with over $1.1M. Chau is second with $307K and Blair Rodman has $205K.

3:30pm... I talked to William Rockwell for a few minutes. He's the guy who lost the use of his arms in a motorcycle accident and he became a world class putter in golf. He's now focusing on poker. He's an inspiring person to talk to and we're gonna do a future interview with him on Las Vegas and Poker Blog.

3:40pm... Chau Giang and his pocket Kings doubled up against Blair Rodman's A-8.

3:51pm... We're on Level 17. Antes are $2K. Blinds are $8K and $16K. I'm sitting in makeshift press row. Steve Hall is here now. Anyway, the producers came over and asked Jen from Poker Wire to sit in the audience since because Andy Bloch is her fiance and they want to show a few shots of her there. Yeah, I'm secrectly rooting for Andy... he's really a great guy and I got to know him during the WSOP.

4:04pm... Andy Bloch just knocked out Chau Giang. Shortstacked, Chau moved all inw ith K-J and Andy flipped over A-J. Chau wins $54,600 for 3rd place. Andy has $1.4M in chips to Blair Rodman's $206K.

4:20pm... I'm jonesin for a smoke break!

4:28pm... Andy Bloch just won the UPC Main Event! His J-4 was better than Blair Rodman's 9-4. Rodman wins $100,750. Andy won $167,500.

4:30pm... Here are some of the photos that Flipchip took today! You can click on them to enlarge.

Cyndy on the rail

My view from press row

Blair in his Kill Phil hat

Behind the scenes at the Plaza

Jen and Andy at the bracelet presentation

The Winner's bracelet

Go visit Las Vegas and Poker Blog to read my recap of today's events and to see some more of Flipchip's photos.

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