Sunday, February 19, 2006

WPT LA Poker Classic - Day 4

"I hope you all get anal herpes!" - James Woods in Salvador
A movie star is on the verge of making a final table in the biggest poker tournament in California. This isn't an overbudgeted blockbuster in Hollywierd, it's just another day in my life as I get to document another stop on the WPT. Can the two-time Oscar nominee James Woods survive one more day an achieve immortality by coming from behind to book the biggest poker win of his career? Or will he be one of the hundreds of players that were sent to the rail and had their brains and guts smashed to bits, like roadkill on a late night interstate.

We're back for day four of action at the LA Poker Classic at Commerce Casino. Yesterday ended with the field losing even more players and having the money bubble burst. We're going to try to get down to six players tonight and get a rare day off. I could use the sleep after five straight nights of staying up until dawn and partying with drug-addled blondes, neurotic actors, and strung out studio execs.

There are some tough questions that I am going to try to figure out today:
1. Can James Woods make a WPT final table?
2. Will I come from behind and even up the prop bets with BJ?
3. Can a European player like John Gale, Chris Bigler, Per Ummer and Juha Helppi take it down?
4. Will anyone at Commerce get anal herpes?
Jon Luu ended day three as the chipleader. Day two's chipleader Fabrice Soulier was booted yesterday, so Luu hopes he can hold off the pack and make his first WPT final table. I'll be rooting for Gentleman John Gale from London today, along with James Woods.

Here's some notable names who busted out on Day 3: Chip Reese, Chip Jett, Mark Gregorich, Shawn Sheikhan, Eric "Rizen" Lynch, Phil Laak, Blair Rodman, Hasan Habib, Paul Darden, Ben Roberts, Jason Lester, Matt Matros, Fabrcie Soulier, Scotty Nguyen, Brad Berman , TJ Cloutier, David Plastik, Gabe Thaler, Ed Moncada, Allen Cunningham, Jim Bechtel, Mike Carson, Can Kim Hua, Danny Alaei, Jim Miller, and Amir Vahedi.

Here's an updated end of day three chipcount courtesy of Jen, Heather, & Amanda at Poker Wire:
1 Jon Luu $1.111M
2 Per Ummer $1,022M
3 Brian McCann $939M
4 Alan Goehring $916M
5 Juha Helppi $804M
6 Jon Kelley $751K
7 David Chiu $749K
8 Daniel Quach $739K
9 Michael McClain $737K
10 Kevan Casey $685K
11 Michael Woo $670K
12 John Gale $549K
13 Steven Simmons $494K
14 Anahit Galajian $458K
15 J.C. Tran $441K
16 James Woods $438K
17 Rodeen Talebi $414K
18 Chris Bigler $413K
19 Mark Weidmann $327K
20 Bill Gazes $258K
21 Danny Noam $253K
22 Tom Macey $242K
23 Kelly Kim $173K
24 Damon Ahmadi $135K
25 Bruce Parker $106K
26 Genefredo Legaspi $68K
27 Roy Winston $45K

Here's a payout list:
1st: $2,391,550
2nd: $1,162,560
3rd: $571,315
4th: $338,803
5th: $265,728
6th: $199,296
7th: $166,080
8th: $132,864
9th: $99,648
10th-12th: $73,075
13th-15th: $59,789
16th-18th: $46,502
19th-27th: $39,859
***** Live Blogging Updates *****

3:15pm... It's a cluster fuck here at Commerce as the media row was collapsed and we got sent down to the floor. I'm sitting in between Landon, BJ, and Spaceman and we're actually closer to the action instead of being stuck in the far corner of the stage. We have limited access to the tables and I'll do my best to snap a few photos. I got some horrible news. We're going to be playing down to 10 today and then we will play down to six on Monday. It's pretty silly if you ask me but why the hell would a prestigious organization like the WPT heed my advice on matters like tournament reporting? But maybe I'll get out of here earlier. That's what I'm hoping for... loose play.

3:25pm... We're a few minutes away from action. I can hear the clatter of chips start as the players unbagged their chips. When I walked into Commerce an hour ago, I spotted James Woods nervously talking on his cellphone and pacing the hallways like a caged lion.

3:35pm... We're still on Level 18 with about 30 minutes remaining. Blinds are $5K/$10K with $1K antes. Cards are officially in the air.

3:40pm... Recent Eliminations: Two quick bustouts. Tom Macey (27th place) and Genefredo Legaspi (26th place) are out within the first few minutes. Tom Macey's A-K lost a coinflip to Per Ummer's 10-10. The both won $38,859.

3:55pm... We have a new chipleader. Say hello to Per Ummer, who has $1.3M. James Woods still has around $300K which is below the average.

4:00pm... We're now on Level 19. Blinds are $6K/12K with a $2K ante.

4:05pm... Recent Elimination: Chris Bigler took a big hit when JC Tran doubled through him. A few hands later, he was busted in 25th place by Bruce Parker when his A-2 lost to A-8. He won $39,859.
Top 5 Chipcount:
1 Per Ummer $1.275M
2 Brian McCann $1.05M
3 Alan Goehring $970K
4 Kevan Casey $970K
5 Jon Kelley $770K
4:15pm... Recent Elimination: James Woods loses with the Hiltons. James Woods is out in 24th place when his Q-Q lost to Michael Woo's pocket Aces. James Woods won $39,859 and failed to make the final table. When he pushed his chair in and left the table, the crowd gave him a warm ovation.

4:15pm... Picture dump. I snappped these today.

Gentleman John Gale and James Woods

Sweden's Per Ummer

Chris Bigler

Finland's Juha Helppi

Bill Gazes flashes the evil eye at his opponent

4:20pm... Today's smoke break is brought to you by the letter E.

4:32pm... How about an updated chipcount?
Top 5:
1 Michael Woo $1.3M
2 Brian McCann $1.2M
3 Per Ummer $1.2M
4 Alan Goehring $840K
5 JC Tran $820K
4:37pm... Recent Elimination: Roy Winston took 23rd place when he was busted by JC Tran's A-K. He won $39,859. Down to 22.

4:53pm... Prop Bet Update: BJ and I have a double last longer bet. BJ has Bill Gazes & Alan Goehring. I'm going with Team Europe: Juha Helppi and John Gale. Yesterday BJ went 2-1 and I'm hoping to even the score.

4:56pm... Recent Elimination: Bruce Parker is out in 22nd place when his Q-J lost to JC Tran, who scooped the pot with King high. Parker won $39,859. Down to 21.

5:10pm... Recent Elimination: John Luu is out in 21st place when his A-Q lost to David Chiu's 9-9. Luu won $39,859. 20 players left.

5:22pm... Recent Elimination: Damon Ahmadi took 20th place when he was sent home by Michael McClain's 10-10. Ahmadi's overcards could not hold up and he won $39,859 for his efforts. 19 players left on three tables. We're on hand-for-hand. As soon as one more player busts out, action will consolidate to two tables.

5:30pm... Players are on a break. When action resumes we'll be Level 20 with $8K/16K blinds and a $2K ante.
Updated Chipcount:
1 Per Ummer $1.626M
2 Brian McCann $1.4M
3 Michael Woo $1.233M
4 JC Tran $982K
5 David Chiu $964K
6 Steven Simmons $940K
7 John Gale $924K
8 Kevan Casey $845K
9 Alan Goehring $786K
10 Daniel Quach $733K
11 Michael McClain $660K
12 Juha Helppi $620K
13 Jon Kelley $600K
14 Rodeen Talebi $451K
15 Kelly Kim $349K
16 Mark Weidmann $261K
17 Bill Gazes $219K
18 Danny Noam $182K
19 Anahit Galajian $125K
5:45pm... Players have returned and we're still hand-for-hand.

5:51pm... We just came up with this gem in Media Row.
Top 5 Things Bored Tournament Reporters Do on Breaks:
1. Surf for German S&M and pissing porn.
2. Masturbate in the first stall of the Men's Room. (Sorry to out you, Spaceman.)
3. Hit on the good looking female railbirds.
4. Smoke cigarettes on the patio and listen to pros bitch about bad beats.
5. Three words: hookers and blow.
6:00pm... Bouncin Round the Room: Courtney Friel is in the ballroom shooting promos and whenever she enters a room, the place lights up. The railbirds have flocked to the corner of the ballroom to sweat the last 19 players. There are definitely more media reps here than players remaining.

6:04pm... Recent Elimination: Rodeen Talebi was elimianted in 19th place by Kevan Casey by a brutal river suckout. Talebi led with A-K to Casey's A-Q, until a Queen spiked on the river. Talebi won $38,859. Hand-for-hand is over and players are redrawing for the final two tables. 18 players remain.

6:35pm... Nothing to report aside from the fact that Per Ummer now has over $2.1M in chips after he took down a huge pot from Brian McCann.
Updated Top 5 Chipcount:
1 Per Ummer $2.17M
2 Michael Woo $1.5M
3 Kevan Casey $1.15M
4 JC Tran $1M
5 Michael McClain $950K
7:20pm... Players are on a break as action has slowed down to a LA freeway standstill. 18 still left.

7:35pm... We're on Level 21. Blinds are $10K/20K with a $3K ante. Per Ummer is the chipleader.
Updated Chipcount:
1 Per Ummer $1.905M
2 Michael Woo $1.800M
3 Kevan Casey $1.392M
4 JC Tran $980K
5 Steven Simmons $927K
6 Daniel Quach $860K
7 David Chiu $840K
8 Brian McCann $692K
9 Juha Helppi $626K
10 Mark Weidmann $575K
11 Michael McClain $575K
12 Alan Goehring $565K
13 John Gale $450K
14 Anahit Galajian $437K
15 Jon Kelley $324K
16 Kelly Kim $305K
17 Bill Gazes $257K
18 Danny Noam $123K
7:40pm... Recent Eliminations: Bill Gazes was knocked out in 18th place by Alan Goehring. Gazes moved all in with 4-4 and a shortstack and Goehring called with A-J. It was a classic race situation and GOehring flopped an ace to send Gazes to the rail. He won $46,502. Down to 17.

7:47pm... Prop Bet Update: BJ and I made one more... I said that we're going to be playing past Midnight and BJ took the under. I'm hoping that I lose that one. In our other bet, one of his guys Bill Gazes was busted by his other player Alan Goehring. Both my two guys, Juha Helppi and John Gale, are still in. Gale doubled up with Q-10 against Kevan Casey's 5-5. But that overall prop bet is still ongoing. We're gonna take the lowest score of both combined players to determine our winner, which means that Alan Goering needs to go pretty far.

7:50pm... Bouncin Round the Room: I wandered over to buy a snack. I got an iced tea, a banana, and a Snickers bar. All sugar for me. I need to perk up since the action is so tediously slow.

8:01pm... Players are on a one hour dinner break. See you in 59 minutes.

9:06pm... Recent Eliminations: Kelly Kim's K-Js was busted by Kevan Casey's A-Qs. Kim won $46,502 for 17th place.
Today's Money Winners:
27. Tom Macey $38,859
26. Genefredo Legaspi
25. Chris Bigler $38,859
24. James Woods $38,859
23. Roy Winston $38,859
22. Bruce Parker $38,859
21. John Luu $38,859
20. Damon Ahmadi $38,859
19. Rodeen Talebi $38,859
18. Bill Gazes $46,502
17. Kelly Kim $46,502
9:20pm... Bouncin Round the Room: Chris "Triple Draw" Fargis, Adam Friedman, and Liz Lieu all were hanging out in media row. The lovely Liz was asking about my brother who wrote an article about her in December. She was busting my balls the entire time about forgetting who she was at the Bellagio. I say it never happened and she was willing to bet me it did and pulled out a wad of Benjamins. Talk about intimidating! We settled on that the loser has to take BJ to dinner. Since I know I'm right in my bet, it was a cheap way to get BJ a free meal with Liz Lieu.

9:40pm... We're currently hand-for-hand which means that we're rolling along very slow. Michael Woo captured the chiplead and wrestled it away from Per Ummer. It wasn't as exciting as it sounded, but I'm bored shitless over here.
Top 5 Chipcount:
1 Michael Woo $1.71M
2 Kevan Casey $1.7M
3 Per Ummer $1.64K
4 Alan Goehring $1.2K
5 Steven Simmons $965K
9:55pm... Recent Elimination: Jon Kelley, the last celebrity remaining, took 16th place after he was busted by Steven Simmons. Kelly flopped top pair with A-Q against Simmons' J-J. Unfortunately for Kelley, a Jack spiked on the river to send Kelley to the rail. He won $46,502. Down to 15 and we're no longer hand-for-hand.

10:01pm... Recent Elimination: Brian McCann is out after Kevan Casey busted his A-A with the Hilton Sisters. Casey flopped a set of Queens. McCann finished in 15th place and won $59,789 for his efforts. Down to 14 with Kevan Casey as the chipleader.

10:05pm... The 14 remaining players are on a 15 minute break. When they return, we'll be on Level 21. Blinds are $12K/$24K with a $4K ante.
Top 5 Chips:
1 Kevan Casey $2.404M
2 Michael Woo $1.700M
3 Per Ummer $1.603M
4 Steven Simmons $1.153M
5 JC Tran $991K
10:25pm... Recent Elimination: Danny Noam is out in 14th place. Alan Goehring's Q-Q busted his A-Q. Noam won $59,789. And then there were 13 players... and now we're hand-for-hand again.

10:45pm... Still 13 handed. John Gale picked up two pots, one with 10-3o in the little blind when he turned trips.

11:11pm... Nothing exciting to report. Here's a most recent chicpount:
1 Kevan Casey $2.011M
2 Michael Woo $1.8M
3 Per Ummer $1.47M
4 Alan Goehring $1.463M
5 JC Tran $1.4M
6 John Gale $1.37M
7 Michael McClain $1.345M
8 Steven Simmons $660K
9 Daniel Quach $565K
10 Juha Helppi $505K
11 Mark Weidmann $452K
12 David Chiu $430K
13 Ahahit Galajian $320K
11:55pm... Recent Elimination: Good night, Juha... or as they say in Helsinki, "Hyvaa yota." Alan Goehring's Big Slick held up against Juha Helppi's helpless A-J. Helppi won $59,789 for 13th place and misses his chance of making another WPT final table. Alan Gohering springboarded into the chiplead with almost $3.2M.

12:01am... Since Glyph asked, he got it.

JC Tran

Steve Simmons

12:35am... Recent Elimination: Gentleman John Gale is out in 12th place by Daniel Quach. He won $73,075.

12:40am... Prop Bet Update: BJ 1, Pauly 1. It's a push today. I won the final table finish O/U since BJ picked before midnight. And my team of Gale/Helppi lost to BJ's team of Gohering/Gazes.

12:50am... We're bummed in media row that our favorite eye candy is no longer around. When Roy Winston busted, his railbird left with him.

Tao of Poker's Railbird of the Day

12:55am... Recent Elimination: Mark Weidmann was knocked out in 11th place by Per Ummer. Weidmann's K-K lost to A-Q when Ummer flopped an ace. He won $73,075. We're down to 10 and action is complete for the night. We wll be playing down to 6 tomorrow. I know, it's totally retarded but that's how it goes.
End of Day 4 Chipcount:
1 Per Ummer $2.455M
2 Alan Goehring $2.315M
3 Kevan Casey $2.030M
4 Michael Woo $1.665M
5 Daniel Quach $1.425M
6 Steven Simmons $1.270M
7 JC Tran $1.245M
8 Michael McClain $665K
9 Anahit Galajian $480K
10 David Chiu $305K
See ya at 3:30pm on Monday for Day 5. That's it. In the immortal words of James Woods, "I all hope you get anal herpes."

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