Tuesday, August 08, 2006

WSOP Main Event Day 7 (and Liz Lieu Tuesdays)

Poker is big business. Just look at all the numerous ads on the poker tables. Televised poker is even bigger business. Online poker is such a tremendous cash cow that our Government is threatening to shut it down unless they get a fat cut. And the slanted wealth at the WSOP is both enticing and sickening in the same breath.

partypokerad.gifToday is the 11th day of action at the WSOP Championship. There are 27 men left trying to position themselves for a shot at $12 million. Greg Raymer won $5M in 2004. Joe Hachem won $7.5M last year. This year's winner will take home almost as much as the last two champions combined. In fact, when Texas Doyle took down back-to-back championships in the 1970s, he won a combined $560K. Whoever makes the final two table will get more than Brunson won for both his world titles.

Whoever wins the $12 million first place prize is going to discover that the title is both a blessing and a curse. The rabid poker fans want every second of your time. The other jealous-ridden poker players will do anything to take down a champion. And the unsympathetic media will rummage through your garbage and call up your ex-wife and ask how small your penis is.

The vultures are already circling the Rio, looking to pick apart the poker carcasses. Immoral agents, slick managers, shady online poker sites, scumbag lawyers, and gold digging pieces of ass are trying to chummy-up to the money winners during the breaks. While broke family members, old coworkers, former highschool chemistry lab partners, and every scam artist on the West Coast are all crawling out from under the rocks where they live trying their best shot to grab a piece of the remaining players. These are the world's angle shooters. The lazy fucktards who will try to cash in on the celebrity and financial success of their family, friends, or strangers. I feel bad for the remaining 27 players... because a handful are gonna get played by people they thought they could trust.

My advice to the new crop of WSOP millionaires? Trust nobody. Especially a suit or someone you meet roaming the halls. It reminds me of how Hunter Thompson described Hollyweird as, "a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There's also a negative side."

There's one guy who's been hanging on the rail. He wears a cheap off-the-rack suit from JC Penny and has that $40 used car salesman smile. He's been promising players that he'll become their manager and make them a huge star.

There's one smoking-hot blonde who's been keeping her eye on the action. She'll suck and fuck and anal lube her way into the lonely life of one of the big money winners. She's sell out her depraved soul to get her hands on a big wad of cash.

Then there's the long lost out-of-work cousin who had been following the action online. He jumped in his car last night and drove 15 hours to Vegas to "sweat" his family member. He's just here for a handout and a chance of getting in the background shot when ESPN airs the WSOP.

The biggest pitfall at the WSOP is not getting trapped for all your chips... it's falling prey to the dark side of this town. While the media and ESPN are over-hyping the tournament, the dregs of society are on the rail ready to beg, borrow, lie, or cheat their way into getting a cut.

But you already knew that.

Moving on...

There are 27 players left after one of the fastest days at the history of the WSOP. The biggest name pro left in the mix is Allen Cunningham (along with Jeff Lisandro), while online legends Eric "Rizen" Lynch and Parhlad Friedman are trying to make the jump from online-stud to live poker mega-star.

Jamie Gold doubled his stack two days in a row and sits at the top with over $13M. He'll be fighting off the wave of Scandis in Erik Friberg and William Thorsson, while the karma seems to be going to David Einhorn who pledged all of his winnings to the Michael J. Fox foundation. Allen Cunningham is in the middle of the pack in 13th place. I think he's in perfect position to make the final table.
Quick Links and Stats:
Flipchip's 2006 WSOP Photos
PokerStars Blog

Remaining Players: 27
Chipleader: Jamie "Ari" Gold $13M
Avg. Stack: $3.2M
Number of Entries: 8,773
Total Prize Money: $82,512,162
Harrah's Cut: $5,217,838

Money Payouts:
1 - $12,000,000
2 - $6,102,499
3 - $4,123,310
4 - $3,628,513
5 - $3,216,182
6 - $2,803,851
7 - $2,391,520
8 - $1,979,189
9 - $1,566,858
10-12 - $1,154,527
13-15 - $907,128
16-18 - $659,730
19-27 - $494,797

Top 10 Chipcounts (courtesy of PokerWire):
1 Jamie Gold 13M
2 Erik Friberg 7.735M
3 David Einhorn 6.905M
4 Rhett Butler 6.4M
5 Dan Nassif 5.43M
6 Richard Lee 5.275M
6 Michael Binger 5.275M
8 William Thorsson 3.765M
9 Jeffrey Lisandro 3.75M
10 Kevin Aaronson 3.67M

The Rest:
11 Doug Kim 3.595M
12 John Magill 3.275M
13 Allen Cunningham 2.65M
14 Leif Force 2.265M
15 Kevin O'Donnell 2.13M
16 Prahlad Friedman 1.85M
17 Eric Lynch 1.785M
18 Lee Kort 1.7M
19 Rob Roseman 1.685M
20 Fred Goldberg 1.611M
21 Dustin Holmes 1.21M
22 Sirious Jamshidi 1.19M
23 Luke Chung 1.1M
24 Paul Wasicka 700K
25 Siddharth Jain 675K
26 Mark Garner 635K
27 Richard Wyrick 570K
Yeah, I caved into the demands of Liz Lieu Tuesdays. Here's a token pic of Liz on her birthday.

* * * * * Semi-Live Blogging Updates * * * * *

11:00am... According to Snake at Wicked Chops Poker, he took a look at the Tao of Poker's coverage of the 2005 WSOP and figured out that it took 12.5 hours to go from 27 to 9 players last year at the Horseshoe.

11:30am... Poker Books: Buy these books written by some friends of mine:
1. Take Me to the River
2. Hunting Fish: A Cross-Country Search for America's Worst Poker Players
3. All In: The (Almost) Entirely True Story of the World Series of Poker
4. Secrets the Pros Won't Tell You About Winning Hold'em Poker
5. Pressure Poker
6. The Professor, the Banker, and the Suicide King: Inside the Richest Poker Game of All Time
One of the cool things about being around the WSOP is that whoever has a book out usually hands me a signed copy. Peter Alston wandered into the media room a few weeks ago. He's the author of One of a Kind (with Nolan Dalla) and Confessions of an Ivy League Bookie. I like Peter because he's from Brooklyn and he's an exceptional writer. We had a chat about his latest book Take Me to the River, which chronicles his attempt to raise money for his wedding by playing in the WSOP. I haven't finished it yet, but as soon as I do, I'll post a complete review.

Another Brooklyn guy, Jay Greenspan also gave me a copy of his book Hunting Fish: A Cross-Country Search for America's Worst Poker Players. I met Jay at last year's WSOP and he's one of the better writers in the poker community. Jay hit the road and played in games all over the country in search of the largest fish. It's highly entertaining and one of the best poker books I read in a while. Michalski suggested I write a book called Hunting Phish.

I had gotten a copy of Storms Reback's book All In: The (Almost) Entirely True Story of the World Series of Poker a couple of months ago. I recall picking it up and not putting it down until I finsihed it. Another perk for me is getting to talk to these writers everyday. Storms had been writing for Full Tilt over the last few weeks and we've sat next to each other frequently in the media room.

Lou Krieger (who also grew up in Brooklyn... can you sense a theme here between poker writers and Brooklyn?) has a book out called Secrets the Pros Won't Tell You About Winning Hold'em Poker. Take a peek at his latest book especially the chapter on money management.

And if you don't know, DoubleAs finally released his book Pressure Poker. Take a peek at the book that some of your favorite bloggers like Pauly, Otis, and Grubby helped write.

I've gotten to know Michael Craig over the past few weeks and he's got some of the most amazing stories in poker that I've ever heard. His book came Professor, the Banker, and the Suicide King: Inside the Richest Poker Game of All Time came out at last year's WSOP. If you haven't read it... you should.

11:50am... WSOP Photo Dump: Click on the photos to see an enlarged view.

JJ Liu and Jeff Pulver playing in the "other" WSOP event

Setting up the final three tables

11:55am... Michael Craig devoted an entire journal entry about me. Yikes. He spelled my last name wrong, but it's OK. Check out... The Doctor is In.

12:10pm... Play will start shortly.

12:20pm... Cards are in the air.

12:30pm... Recent Eliminations: Three in the first 10 minutes. Mark Garner's 5-5 ran into Dustin Holmes A-A. Garner finished in 25th place. Richard Wyrick took 27th place when his A-7 lost to Jamie Gold's A-K. Siddharth Jain's 8-8 ran into K-K. He finished in 26th. There are 25 players left.

12:50pm... WSOP Photo Dump: Click on the photos to see an enlarged view.

Allen Cunningham

John Magill (green shirt) and Willam Thorson

1:00pm... Recent Elimination: Rizen is out in 24th place. Eric "Rizen" Lynch took a hit when his A-6 lost to Jamie Gold's 10-10.

1:25pm... Recent Elimination: Rob Roseman busted out in 23rd place when his A-J ran into Leif Force's A-A.

1:35pm... Recent Elimination: Lee Kort, who's budies with Jamie Gold, busted out in 22nd place. There are 21 players left. Players are on a 30 minute break while they race off chips.
The following players won $494,797:
22 Lee Kort
23 Rob Roseman
24 Eric "Rizen" Lynch
25 Mark Garner
26 Siddharth Jain
27 Richard Wyrick
1:36pm... In the last hand before the break Allen Cunningham doubled up with a set of 5s against Erik Friberg who had 9-9. That pot put Cunningham over 6M in chips. Flipchip's pick to win the entire 2006 WSOP is making a legit run for the final table.

2:05pm... We're on Level 28. Blinds are $30K/$60K with $10K antes.

2:35pm.... Recent Elimination: Kevin O'Donnell is out when his K-K ran into Allen Cunningham's A-A. O'Donnell is out in 21st place. 20 players remain. Cunningham is now second in chips with 11M or so.

2:43pm... Recent Elimination: Online cash game guru Parhlad Friedman became another victim of Jamie Gold's lucky streak. Friedman was all in with A-3 against Gold's 7-8. "Wow, I'm not as far behind as I thought!" he said. The flop was 4-5-6 as the crowd went nuts. Gold's cheering section led by his mother, let out shreiks of joy. The turn was a Jack and Friedman was drawing dead. He finished in 20th place. Gold is up to over $20M.
Top 5 in Chips:
1 Jamie Gold 20.1M
2 Allen Cunningham 11.75M
3 Dan Nassif 6M
4 Rhett Butler 5.9M
5 David Einhorn 5.7M
3:20pm... Recent Elimination: Dustin Holmes is out in 19th place. Luke Chung is on a rush. Down to 18th place.
The following players won $494,797:
19 Dustin Holmes
20 Parhlad Friedman
21 Kevin O'Donnell

Updated Chipcount (courtesy of Poker Wire):
1 Jamie Gold 18.2M
2 Allen Cunningham 13.4M
3 Dan Nassif 6.2M
4 David Einhorn 5.94M
5 Rhett Butler 5.7M
6 John Magill 5.3M
7 Erik Friberg 5.2M
8 Doug Kim 4.9M
9 Michael Binger 4.68M
10 Sirious Jamshidi 3.65M
11 Leif Force 3.15M
12 William Thorsson 2.92M
13 Jeffrey Lisandro 2.82M
14 Luke Chung 2.145M
15 Kevin Aaronson 1.8M
16 Fred Goldberg 1.7M
17 Richard Lee 950K
18 Paul Wasicka 950K

Gold with Hellmuth lurking in the shadows

3:50pm... Play resumes. Here's the new table and seat assignments:
Feature Table:
1. William Thorson
2. Michael Binger
3. David Einhorn
4. Leif Force
5. Rhett Butler
6. Jeff Lisandro
7. Jamie Gold
8. Allen Cunningham
9. Luke Chung

Table 2:
1. Richard Lee
2. Paul Wasicka
3. Dan Nassif
4. John Magill
5. Doug Kim
6. Kevin Aaronson
7. Erik Friberg
8. Fred Goldburg
9. Sirous Jamshidi
4:45pm... Recent Eliminations: David Einhorn is out 18th place. He was felted by Jamie Gold who called a 250K preflop raised with Q-6s. The flop was Q-J-6, and Einhorn thought he was good with K-Q and bet out 1M. Gold came over the top for another 2M for 3M total. Einhorn pushed all in and Gold quickly called. Turn and river was 3 and an 8 and Gold's hand held up.

5:10pm... We're on Level 29. The blinds are $40K/$80K with 10K antes.

5:20pm... Recent Eliminations: Jeff Lisandro took a huge hit when his J-J lost a monster pot to Paul Wasicka's K-K. He was down to about 70K, when Rhett Butker busted him on the very next hand. Lisandro is out in 17th place.

5:35pm... Recent Eliminations: Two more bustouts. Sirous Jamshidi's 7-7 ran into Rchard Lee's J-J. Jamshidi took 16th place. Kevin Aaronson made a move with 10-4 and pushed all in. Erik Friberg called with A-Q. He flopped trips and rivered quad Queens to send Aaronson to the rail in 15th place. 14 players remain. I am the "cooler" today. As soon as I walked over to Table 1, two players busted inside of 5 minutes. Otis said, "Get back out on the floor."

5:55pm... Recent Elimination: Guess what? Jamie Gold busted another player. Luke Chung's A-5 ran into Jamie Gold's A-J after Chung outflopped Gold with A-5-4. All the money went in on the flop and Gold turned a higher two pair when a Jack hit the turn. After the hand, Gold dropped his pants and pulled the golden horseshoe out of his ass as ESPN's camera caught every moment.
The following player won $907,128:
14 Luke Chung
15 Kevin Aaronson

The following players won $659,730:
16 Sirous Jamshidi
17 Jeff Lisandro
18 David Einhorn
6:30pm... Recent Elimination: The Jamie Gold onsluaght continues. Gold's K-K sent Swedish pro William Thorsson and his J-J to the rail in 13th place. Thorsson won $907,128. There are 12 left.

6:55pm... Jamie Gold has 1/3 of the chips in play.

7:00pm... Bouncin Round the Room: The area around the final two tables is packed with media, fans, and suits. Some of the railbids are family members and friends of the final 12 players, while others are interested fans who are drinking heavily. There's very little room to operate with the crush of media both yellow badges (ESPN), green badges ("official media"), red badges (me), black badges (Harrah's), and purple badges (VIPs). ESPN's mobile camera crews run over anything in their path to get the shot. According to Tom Murphy, one camera guy was blatantly being a dick and tried to hit a Mad from PokerStars in the head with his camera. Murphy saved Mad from a head bashing and several stitches as the guy swung around quickly with the intent of hurting the woman standing on the rail just doing her job. The camera guy was unsympathetic and did not apologize. Most of the guys at ESPN are cool guys who bust their ass. But this one guy pissed off the Irish guys. Bad idea. If they see him after the WSOP is over, they'll kick his ass. Tempers are rising due to the arrogance and stupidty of some of the other reps here.

7:15pm... Players are on a dinner break. Here's a chipcount:
1 Jamie Gold 31.17M
2 Allen Cunningham 14.59M
3 Paul Wasicka 8.7M
4 Erik Friberg 7M
5 Fred Goldberg 6.7
6 Rhett Butler 4.5M
7 Dan Nassif 4.33M
8 Doug Kim 4M
9 John Magill 3.96M
10 Richard Lee 3.125M
11 Michael Binger 2.725M
12 Leif Force 1.98M
9:00pm... We're on Level 30. Blinds are $50K/$100K with $10K antes.

9:40pm... After the action slowed down, Erik Friberg doubled through Jamie Gold. Friberg had 10-8 against Gold's Ad-Q. All the money went in on the board of 9d-4d-3h-10d. Friberg had a pair of 10s and Gold had the nut flush draw and two overs. Gold missed and Friberg doubled through Gold.

9:52pm... Recent Elimination: John Magill busted out thanks to Fred Goldberg. Magill's 5-5 ran into Goldberg's 9-9. We're down to 11 players.

10:05pm... Tilt-a-Gold: Jamie Gold lost a 4+ million pot to Allen Cunningham. The river gave Gold a middle flush with 10-8s. Cunningham had A-Ks for the nut flush and Gold paid him off.

10:10pm... Tao of Poker's Pothead of the WSOP is Leif Force. Check out his Ultimate Frisbee profile at FSU. This was my favorite line... "Picture a monkey in the woods on a hammock with a banana in his mouth and tofu in his hand. Cut your hair hippy." I think that I bought mushrooms off him in the parking lot of a Phish show in Miami in 2003.

10:55pm... Recent Elimination: Leif Force busted out in 11th place by Sweden's Erik Friberg. Force missed his flush draw. Emma, the Swedish journalist sitting next to me said, "Your weed guy lost to my guy."
Top 10 Chipcounts:
1 Jamie Gold 26.7M
2 Allen Cunningham 17.7M
3 Richard Lee 7.8M
4 Dan Nassif 7.4M
5 Doug Kim 6.54M
6 Paul Wasicka 5.6M
7 Erik Friberg 5.06M
8 Fred Goldberg 3.9M
9 Rhett Butler 3.82M
10 Michael Binger 3.8M

Final Table Seating:
1 Richard Lee
2 Erik Friberg
3 Paul Wasicka
4 Dan Nassif
5 Allen Cunningham
6 Michael Binger
7 Doug Kim
8 Fred Goldberg
9 Jamie Gold
10 Rhett Butler
11:45pm... Boncin Round the Media Room: I lost a $20 prop bet to Wheaton on an empty water bottle toss. A couple of media reps are huddled around the TV monitor in the back of the media room watching the final table.

11:50pm... We have reached Level 31. Blinds are $60K/$120K with a $20K ante. We will end play when one more player busts out.

12:15am... Jamie Gold doubled up Paul Wasicka who flopped a set of 5s. Gold dropped down to $26M. He walked off the set, past Wil, Ryan, and Jay Greenspan with a camera crew and his entourage consisting of two goombas and a random chick.

12:20am... Here's what the guys are playing for:

1:00am... Play is super slow. I'm bored. Wil and I stole an inflated Milwaukee's Best can and brought it into the media room.

1:15am... Jamie Gold has not tightened up at all. He's won two big pots, and lost another one. Gold scooped a $1M plus pot from Mike Binger. Gold lost a $2M plus pot to Rhett Butler. And Gold won a $2M pot off of Doug Kim.
Top 5 Chipcounts:
1 Jamie Gold 26.6M
2 Allen Cunningham 17.3M
3 Richard Lee 9.9M
4 Erik Friberg 8M
5 Paul Wasicka 7.9M
1:45am... Level over. Players are on a break. Smoke break for me.
Updated Chipcount:
1 Jamie Gold 27.97M
2 Allen Cunningham 17.09M
3 Erik Friberg 9.85M
4 Richard Lee 8.68M
5 Paul Wasicka 8.025M
6 Doug Kim 5.490M
7 Rhett Butler 5.135M
8 Michael Binger 3.13M
9 Dan Nassif 2.84M
10 Fred Goldberg 2.755M
2:00am... Bouncin Round the Media Room: Wil bought beers for me and Otis and he had so many with him that he needed Chris Bigler to help him carry them inside the media room. Nlolan Dalla walked in and looked at the big Milwaukee's Beast can and said, "What the fuck is this?"

Michalski and the Can

2:10am... We have reached Level 32. Blinds are $80K/160K with $20K antes.

1:20am... Recent Elimination: Fred Boldberg bubbles off the final table in 10th place when his Q-3 ran into Richard Lee's K-K.
The following players won $1,154,527:
10 Fred Goldberg
11 Leif Force
12 John Magill

The following player won $907,128:
13 William Thorsson
14 Luke Chung
15 Kevin Aaronson

The following players won $659,730:
16 Sirous Jamshidi
17 Jeff Lisandro
18 David Einhorn

The following players won $494,797:
19 Dustin Holmes
20 Parhlad Friedman
21 Kevin O'Donnell
22 Lee Kort
23 Rob Roseman
24 Eric "Rizen" Lynch
25 Mark Garner
26 Siddharth Jain
27 Richard Wyrick
Play will resume on Tuesday at 2pm.

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