Monday, November 14, 2005

WPT Foxwoods: World Poker Finals Day 1B

Well I made it to Foxwoods in one piece. I arrived in Rhode Island yesterday afternoon. The rental car agency did not have any compact/econcomy cars so they gave me a sporty convertible. And the fucker is fast. So fast in fact that I arrived outside of Providence in record time. I was whizzing down the Hutch at 90 mph as the colorful leaves flew right by.

We're currently on Day 1B. I skipped Day 1A of the event. The other day Jen Leo told me, "Pauly, you work too hard!" I took her advice and blew off Day 1A and hung out with Senor and his two-year old. We watched football and cartoons on a lazy Rhode Island afternoon. Late night, I downloaded a few poker sites to Senor's computer and played micro NL with Jaxia, Eva, April (TX), Scott McM, and Change100. I didn't do so hot overall. Maybe I should let Senor's kids play my hands for me in the future.

This morning I ate several donuts for breakfast and took a stroll through the poker room at Foxwoods to find a copy of Poker Player Newspaper. And I didn't even take five steps into the room when I was recognized. A surly guy wearing sunglasses and a Boston Red Sox hat stood up from a few tables away and shouted in a thick New England accent, "Doc-tah Pauly, yah Yankees suck! But I love yah pok-ah blog!"

Welcome back to Foxwoods.

Man, I missed this place. There is no other casino in the world like Foxwoods. First of all it's ginormous. My grandmother stopped going to Foxwoods because she kept getting lost. This used to be my "home casino" so I'm lucky I know my way around. Two years ago, way before I ever considered playing online poker, I found myself renting cars or hopping on buses to Foxwoods to play poker at least once a week. The past two years I've tried dozens of times trying to win a seat in the World Poker Final main event. I never made it. I came was a second place finish in an Act II (I flopped trip 9s with A-9 and K-9 called and turned a boat on me). I also took second another time when my K-K ran into A-A. Now I'm here as an official media member. I even had to check in with Foxwoods security, who issued me a special badge. I hope to sneak off to play some cards later today.

If you would like to read a recap of Day 1, Card Player has one up which was compiled by BJ and Scott. Stop by Poker Wire to hear some audio clips of your favorite pros and to get up to the minute chip counts.

Here are some noteworthy bustouts from Day 1A: Liz Lieu, Mike Caro, Evelyn Ng, John Phan, Mike Gracz, Brad Daugherty, Lee Watkinson, Denis Ethier, Olga Varkonyi, Robert Varkonyi, Alan Goehring, Jim McManus, David Singer, Tony Ma, Brian Haveson, Amnon Filippi, Jean-Robert Bellande, Joe Sebok, Ted Lawson, Melissa Hayden, J.C. Tran, and Johnny World Hennigan. Last year's WPT FOxwoods champ Tuan Le wa sbusted early on Day 1.

WPT big wig Lyle Berman is the chipleader after Day 1A. Mark Seif, who won two WSOP bracelets in 2005) is in second place Here's the end of Day 1A chip count according to and courtesy of the hard work from Heather & Jen at Poker Wire:
1 Lyle Berman $ 153,300
2 Mark Seif $ 107,600
3 Benjamin Kim $ 95,400
4 Ralph Porter $ 90,700
5 Alex Jacob $ 85,600
6 Willie Tran $ 84,800
7 Ilya Liviz $ 81,200
8 Michael Pascullo $ 80,900
9 Joanne Liu $ 77,900
10 Andrew Black $ 77,200
11 Eugene Ji $ 73,100
12 Jeffrey Paquette $ 71,900
13 Barry Berger $ 70,600
14 Michael Menard $ 70,000
15 Abraham Gray $ 69,400
16 Adam White $ 61,600
17 Eugene Leader $ 61,300
18 David Scharf $ 58,500
19 Sam Haddam $ 58,200
20 Michael Mella $ 54,100
21 Nicholas Laudano $ 53,700
22 Anthony Nader $ 53,700
23 Vincents Curry $ 51,100
24 Samir Shakhtoor $ 50,400
25 Anthony Camillery $ 50,300
26 Paul Fisher $ 48,500
27 Brian Batt $ 48,200
28 Howard Elfant $ 45,900
29 Chad Moore $ 45,600
30 Thomas Coan $ 45,200
31 Stafford Woodley $ 42,700
32 Allen Cunningham $ 41,900
33 Young Phan $ 41,800
34 Peter Campo $ 39,400
35 Joseph Peruti $ 39,000
36 Temp Hutter $ 38,500
37 Keith Block $ 38,100
38 Patrick White $ 37,900
39 Scott Wilson $ 37,900
40 James Frangoulidis $ 37,700
41 Joseph Cappello $ 35,900
42 Chris Karagulleyan $ 34,900
43 Robert Miller $ 34,600
44 Roy Thung $ 32,700
45 Daniel Yanofski $ 32,300
46 Mark Awalt $ 32,300
47 Andrew Wallach $ 31,100
48 Mona Montal $ 30,600
49 David Levi $ 30,500
50 Timothy McDonald $ 30,300
51 Edward Pelham $ 29,900
52 Steve Zolotow $ 29,900
53 Christopher Loveland $ 29,700
54 Jesse Martin $ 29,500
55 Arnold Spee $ 29,300
56 Mike Meskin $ 29,100
57 John DiSandro $ 28,400
58 Jing Tian $ 28,100
59 Timothy Anders $ 27,800
60 Ryan Powell $ 27,300
61 Bradley Berman $ 27,200
62 Richard Cairo $ 26,800
63 Stephen Diamantas $ 26,400
64 Walter Osband $ 26,300
65 Steve Brecher $ 25,500
66 Matthew Sahagian $ 25,100
67 Craig Hartman $ 24,500
68 Bernard Lee $ 24,300
69 Hilbert Shirley $ 24,200
70 Robert Wisiak $ 24,100
71 Matthew Milliken $ 24,000
72 Rod Kannon $ 23,900
73 James Pechac $ 23,800
74 Julian Gardner $ 23,100
75 Kenneth Selby $ 22,900
76 Kathy Liebert $ 22,500
77 Dennis Elder $ 22,200
78 Gregory Alston $ 22,000
79 Thomas McCormick $ 21,800
80 John Lakatosh $ 21,500
81 Von Kachittavong $ 21,200
82 Jared Davis $ 21,000
83 Stephen Crockett $ 21,000
84 David Fox $ 19,400
85 Mark Tenner $ 18,900
86 Walter Williams $ 18,100
87 Ronald Kirk $ 17,900
88 Richard Stoeckmann $ 17,200
89 Michael Appel $ 16,200
90 Vu Ly $ 16,000
91 Marcus Vesterlin $ 15,800
92 Haym Suissa $ 15,800
93 John Womack $ 14,500
94 Chan Feming $ 14,200
95 Kenneth Sinkiewicz $ 13,800
96 Harold Burnham $ 13,300
97 Todd Bourgault $ 12,900
98 Michael Ripka $ 12,700
99 David Benyamine $ 12,200
100 Wooyang Lin $ 11,900
101 James Campbell $ 11,800
102 Christopher Renaudette $ 11,600
103 Farzad Bonyadi $ 11,300
104 Concetta Rinaldi $ 11,000
105 Jeff Calkins $ 10,800
106 Kevin Adam $ 10,800
107 Bill Rothstein $ 10,200
108 Jerry Young $ 10,100
109 Richardo Festejo $ 9,800
110 Donna Blevins $ 8,500
111 Denis Lisica $ 8,500
112 Jerry Rich $ 8,300
113 Jose Sanches $ 7,600
114 Arthur Tamasi $ 7,500
115 David Duncan $ 7,300
116 Hampton Watson $ 7,300
117 Ping Lok Chan $ 7,100
118 Vadim Trincher $ 6,600
***** Live Blogging Updates *****

12:31pm... Players begin with $10K in chips. 783 players bought in.

12:41pm... I have arrived in press row. I'm sitting next to Sharla from Poker Pages and Jen from Poker Wire. We are set up out front of Sunset Ballroom, which is also the smoking section so a nice flow of second hand smoke is hovering over my head.

12:5opm... John Juanda is one of the first players eliminated today. He flpped a set of Jacks and was busted by a guy who had a set of Aces.

1:12pm... OK, here's who I spotted here today: Chip Jett, David "The Dragon" Pham, Andy Bloch, Paul Darden, Paul McKinney, Fossilman, Mark Gregorich, Minneapolis Jim Meehan, Men the Master, Clonie Gowan, Marsha Waggoner, Richard Brodie, Tony Cousineau, Ted Forrest, Victor Ramdin, Matt Matros, Chris Fargis, Johnny Bax, Jean Gaspard, Gavin Smith, Gavin Griffin, Martin DeKnijff, Minh Nguyen, Tab Duchateau, Dan Heimiller, Bill Gazes, Pat Poels, Jason Lester, Vinny Vinh, Tex Barch, Hasan Habib, Joe Cassidy, Dewey Tomko, Amir Vahedi, Erik Seidel, and John Myung.

1:30pm... Bouncin Round the Room: I spent the last twenty or so minutes walking through the Sunset Ballroom. Clonie Gowan has a flock of horny railbirds. I think one huge Clonie fan was rubbing one out in the corner after he caught a glimpse of his favorite female pro. I got stopped by two not-so-famous players who stopped me to tell me their bad beat stories. I told them they each owed me $5. Usually I charge $1, but when I'm covering a WPT event, m time is priceless so my rate goes up. Now here' everyone's favorite installment of....
Last 5 Pros I Took a Piss Next To...
1. Neverwin
2. Paul Darden
3. John D'Agastino
4. John Myung
5. Men the Master
1:40pm... Chris from 21 Outs came over to shoot the shit during the break. "I got $10,025. Blog that!" he joked. He's sitting at the same table as John D'Agastino. When I asked him if he'd rather sit at a table fileld with pros or no-names, he said, "No-names."

1:45pm... Random picture dump!

Men the Master

John Myung

2005 WSOP Senior's Champ Paul McKinney shows me his bracelet

Spying on Clonie

One of the hot chicks from Absolute Poker

2:15pm... I forgot to mention that Ted Forrest doubled up early with A-K against A-J.

2:30pm... Bouncin Round the Room: In the back of the Sunset Ballroom, there is a buffet set up with chicken wings and cookies and chips and green bananas. I was hanging out there listeing to the railbirds talk smack. One lady fell asleep and Gavin Smith told me to take a photo. The Absolute Poker girls are dispersed throughout the room. I took a picture of Richard Brodie and he joked that he was still in. I incorrectly said he was busted from the Bellagio event last month when he was still around.

2:45pm... Here's parts of an email exchange that one of my readers Erik B. from Connecticut sent me. He played in Day 1A. Here you go:
How about an article about Foxwoods incompetence vs. Vegas rooms?

BTW, I am fully responsible for my play and the results of this tournament. I am not blaming them, but people should be aware. I was playing in the 10K event today and I had a nut flush draw in the face of some horrible players, and it comes down like this... I have Ks-10s, the flop comes 3s-5s-blank. First to act bets the min., I raise, next player raises, and the original bettor raises, and I go all-in. With the best draw (these 2 were re-raising each other with crap for the first 2 hours of the tourney) and 2 overs and 2 over aggressive players. Well the dealer says "you can't raise, it's capped."

I said, "This is no-limit hold'em, the NO implies that there is NO limit to the raises or amount of the raise."

We debate for a moment and I ask the floor to be called over. The floor comes over and agrees with the dealer. I was embarrassed that there was a rule that I was not aware of, and so fundamental to the game, but I can't recall ever seeing this come up and I was just astonished. So I ask if I can take my money back and fold. They allow this and I do it. About 10 minutes later the floor guy comes to our table and says that unlimited raises are allowed, "no shit" I said. Well as it turns out I was against a set of 3s and set of 5s, and a spade hit on the end. I decided to gamble with my last chips at this point I would have tripled up to about 15,000 but instead I was left with about 4,000. This was a big swing, I assumed that the floor was authoritative in matters like this, but instead of asking someone he gives mis-information and it changed everything for me. I knew I was right and I guess that I should have had the tournament director called over.

You ever hear of things like this at other casinos? Every other place I've been, has been much better. How does the dealer AND the floor get this call wrong?

This was a million dollar decision that this floor person made based on no knowledge whatsoever. Another Issue were the hotties hired by to pimp some party that they were having in room 823. There was a gaggle of these things standing directly behind me, and they would not stop talking, it was like having Paris Hilton stand behind you for an hour talking about the rich guy that she fucked the night before. They are nice to look at, but stupid women shouldn't talk, especially behind me and during the biggest tournament I have every played. They just let these ladies mill around like they belong there, kick these bitches out, the tournament room is no place for people to be pimping their shit. I don't care about out in the lobby, but in the actual room, is just not appropriate, I complained to the tournament director after an hour and they didn't come back after the break. I hope they keep them out today.

BTW, I subscribed to your blog after hearing you on the Lord Admiral podcast, and my friend Dan and I contribute to Sean's show once in a while. I enjoy reading your stuff, keep it up.
3:30pm... Players are on a break. Syracuse Chris Tsiprailidis and Nam Le have both been eliminated.

4:15pm... Tim Pham is out.

4:20pm... Time for another picture dump before I take a "smoke" break:

Vinnie Vinh

Chris from 21 Outs

Action at the World Poker Finals!

Smooth! Clean cut Andy Bloch

BJ from Card Player hard at work in press row

What is wrong with this picture?
(First person to figure it out wins a special prize!!)

4:40pm... Congrats to BJ (not BJ from Card Player) who won the special prize, a deckof WPT playing cards! Great job, buddy! Thanks for all your repsonses.

5:25pm... I chatted and hung out with Brandon Schaefer for the last 45 minutes. He's one of the coolest pros I met and even has been playing in my Saturdays with Dr. Pauly tournaments. He's not playing in this event but sweating his good buddy Carl Olsen when he wasn't playing upstairs in the poker room. Brandon and Carl went 1 and 2 last year at EPT Deauville. Anyway, Brandon said he wanted to play druknen donkey $2-4 poker later. I told him it sounds like fun.

5:30pm... Here are some recent bustouts: Clonie Gowen, Tex Barch, Victor Ramdin, and Fabrice Soulier. Clonie flopped a set of 9s against the Hilton Sisters. Unfortunately, her opponent caught a Queen on the river to knock her out.

5:35pm... Players are on a dinner break until around 6:30ish. Time to hit the bar. See ya later.

6:01pm... I just had a chat with Vinnie Vinh, who is one of my favorite players. Anyway, during the last level, Vinh folded a straight against Bill Gazes. Vinh had the bitch end with 5-7 and he folded after two check raises from Bill Gazes (on the turn and river), the second one for $7K. "He doesn't mess around with me," Vinh said. "I had to fold." Wow, talk about the Lay Down of the Day. The only hand that had Vinh beat was 10-7 and he was positive that's what Gazes had.

6:15pm... Here are the payouts! 783 entrants. Top 120 players win prize money.
1st place $2.142m + a $25K seat in the WPT Championships
2nd place $1.035m
3 $759K
4 $483K
5 $345K
6 $276K
7 $207K
8 $172.8K
9 $138K
10 $117.3K
11 $103.5K
12 $96.6K
13 $89.7K
14 $82.8K
15 $75.9K
16 $69K
17 $62.1K
18 $55.2K
19 $48.3K
20 $41.3K
21-25 $34.5K
26-30 $27.6K
31-35 $20.7K
36-40 $17.2K
41-50 $14K
51-70 $12K
71-120 $11K
7:30pm... I'm back from dinner break and I am sad to report that Rich "The Quiet Lion" Brodie has been eliminated. The players are on a 10 minute break with about 240 tables or roughly less than 240 players remaining. Ted Forrest and Men the Master are among the chipleaders.

8:15pm... I had an excellent conversation with Paul McKinney's daughter. She told me some awesome stories about her father icluding the fact that he had been playing poker since he was 10 and how he cleaned up in games when he was fighting in the Pacific theater during WWII.

8:25pm... Carl Olsen lost a huge pot when his aces were cracked by 6c-3c. The big blind defended and flopped an open ended straight draw on a board of 4-5-8 with two spades. He checked, Carl bet, and the big blind moved all in. Carl thought for a long time and called after he put the guy on a semi-bluff flush draw. Sadly, his opponent caught a 7 on the turn for a staright.

8:30pm... Jason Lester was just knocked out. And Men the Master lost some of his stack when he doubled up Chip Jett. Men had the Hilton Sisters and Chip flopped trip aces with A-K.

9:10pm... Greg Raymer, Vinny Vinh, and Andy Bloch have both been eliminated. Andy had A-Q and flopped a Queen, but Massoud Nikjouian had K-K to send Bloch to the rail. Raymer was busted by Amir Vahedi. Vinny Vinh was busted by Crolan Chinn.

9:15pm... Minneapolis Jim Meehan is on a rush! He was shortstacked with about $600 and moved up to over $10K. BJ called him the best shortstacked player he has ever seen. "Long way from six fuckin' hundred," Jim told BJ.

9:50pm... Paul McKinney doubled up with 6-6 against A-3. Paul Darden was busted.

10:12pm... Two Tales of A-Q vs. K-K. Gavin Smith was busted by Minh Nguyen when his A-Q lost to K-K. Jeff Lazzaris' K-K cracked David The Dragon Pham's A-Q.

10:15pm... I got invited by the skanky girls from Absolute Poker to a party upstairs in a suite. Since Blogger is under going maintenance for a few hours tonight and I won't be able to blog, I'm gonna bail and go drink. See ya guys tomorrow. For updates visit Card Player or Poker Wire!

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