Friday, July 13, 2007

WSOP Day 42: Main Event Day 3 - Bubblicious

By Pauly

"The bubble is my favorite time," Otis has said to me more than once.

He's right. After covering enough poker tournaments over the last three years and getting to experience the bubble in the $1,500 NL event that I played a couple of weeks ago, the bubble is indeed one of the most exhilarating moments during a poker tournament. The bubble time of the main event is the most stressful moment in poker.

The majority of most tournaments are boring affairs with 99% of unaction. However, the bubble happens to be packed with excitement and drama. The future of the tournament is played out in a slow and methodical pace. Players are literally hanging on for their lives. The short stacks are hoping to squeeze into the money while other players are not even looking at their hands during the Hand-for-Hand period before the money bust. I heard about how a few players folded big hands like Aces and Kings. That's also the time when the savvy pros and uber-aggressive players make moves. Lee Watkinson had everyone at his table covered with a big stack. No one had more than 140K in chips. He raised every single hand on the bubble to 150K. He dared anyone to play for all their chips. And no one wanted his action. His stack got bigger and bigger before the bubble burst.

The room was only half-full with an ofd configuration of a rail surrounding the tables. There was a mixture of media and spectators milling around the ropes. Some unauthorized media snuck inside the ropes, while plenty of spectators managed to bypass security and slip through the cracks. ESPN cameras rumbled through the aisles as other media fought for space around a table with a significant hand.

Most of the cameras were focused on Table #67 right in front of the media desk where I sat.
Seat 2: David Wells
Seat 3: Josh Evans
Seat 4: Jeff "Mr. Rain" Banghart
Seat 7: Humberto Brenes
Seat 8: Tobey Maguire
Seat 9: Jared "WacoKidd" Hamby
The ESPN suits were coming in their pants as were most of the other photographers who could have not asked for a better table to shoot. They had one of the top online players in the WacoKidd. Evans was a just 22-year old kid. Tobey Maguire gave them the star-power that could fill an entire episode. Mr. Rain held the chiplead for part of the day and was the monster stack at the table. And Humberto was... Humberto. He was up to his usual antics, pulling out his toy sharks and yelling at the top of his lungs for the cameras.

Tobey Maguire at Table #67
(Photo courtesy of Flipchip)

During the 2006 WSOP, the Irish media referred to Brenes as the "asshat of sombreros." Phil Gordon can't stand his antics along with other players who have no love for Humberto Brenes. On the other hand, there are hundreds of other players who adore Brenes and admire what he's accomplished for himself and for representing poker for Central and South America. He's a true ambassador of poker and a valuable asset for PokerStars in Spanish speaking markets.

Brenes went deep at the 2006 WSOP main event. I know because he was one of my assignments for two days when I worked for PokerStars blog. He was one of the Team PokerStars players that I had to sweat along with Greg Raymer and Tom McEvoy. If you see reruns of last year's main event, you'll find me standing behind Brenes during his bustout hand. That's when he first introduced The Shark.

Anyway, Brenes was up to his old tricks and mugging for the cameras, busting out the shark and pretending to talk to it. Ed from Gutshot asked Tobey Maguire if he thought Brenes was annoying or a distraction.

"I kind of like it," Spidey said.

The cameras loved every minute of it. I really thought that they should have been on ESPN's feature table. The day started off with three heavy hitters under the bright lights. Chipleader Gus Hansen, Gavin Smith, and Carlos Mortensen were began the day on the stage. Their table eventually broke up and you would have thunk ESPN's suits would have snagged the Spiderman vs. Shark table with special guests. Change100 suggested that Tobey Maguire asked not to be on a feature table. Perhaps he had some pre-arranged deal with the Upper Mouse Suits which excluded him from intense media scrutiny.

Maguire had been ducking photographers all day. He sat next to the lead singer of Godsmack Sully Erna for most of the afternoon. He did his best to get out of way of cameras and would turn his head. Flipchip had to go all ninja on Spiderman and sneak around without being detected. Flipchip would shoot him using a sick lens from three or four tables away.

When Day 4 was over Porsche Boy... aka Dario Minieri was in first place with a 2.4M chiplead. He's an online guru who cashed in 3 million in PokerStars FPP for a firggin' Porsche. Lucky fucker. And he looks like he's in 8th grade. I first came across Minieri during last year's main event when I worked for PokerStars. He was one of their qualifiers. At some point during the main event, he had built up a massive lead. All I could think was, "Who's the little kid with the monster stack?"

When I asked him his name, Minieri spoke to me in broken English. He said he was from Italy and,"I am the sorry. I don't speak your English good."

That's why he could not answer some of the random questions I asked him. Cardplayer fucked up his name and called him Dario Milan for a while. PokerStars had him by his real name until they read our chipcounts and corrected their mistake. Minieri could not maintain his lead and finished up in 543rd place.

Flash forward to April 2007. I stood in the lobby of the Sports Complex behind the Monte Carlo Bay Casino. That's where the EPT Championships were behind held. As soon as you walk into the lobby, a huge banner with a PokerStars logo greeted you. On that particular banner had Dario Minieri's photo. He had made the final table of the EPT Baden and finished in 3rd place.

When I first saw him at the 2007 WSOP, he sported a scarf. Only one other player I knew of wore scarves and that was Scarf Boy George Danzer from Germany. It seems like his trend is catching on with the European players. Anyway, the Italian guy with the scarf with the funny accent who looked like he was 15 years old also owned a Porsche courtesy of PokerStars and had an online bankroll can choke a fuckin' giraffe was leading the WSOP.

(Photo courtesy of Flipchip)

Poker is an international game. Denmark's Gus Hansen held the lead at the start of Day 3. Italy's Dario Minieri took it over by Midnight. Can Porsche Boy hold onto the lead or will a Scandi come out of nowhere and jump out to a huge lead? Or can Mr. Rain picked up his game or will a former champion like Huck Seed or Scotty Nguyen make a run? Those questions will be answered in less than 24 hours.

Moving on...

There are 337 players left. They all made the money and advanced to Day 4. They will return to the Rio on Friday at noon. The final table is set for Tuesday.

Players advancing to Day 4 include... Dario Minieri, Jeff Weiss, Kenny Tran, Robert Nehorayan, Jeff "Mr. Rain" Banghart, Hevad Khan, Rep Porter, Gus Hansen, Brock "Tsoprano" Parker, Isaac Haxton, Lars Bonding, Bart Hanson, Kirk Morrison, Conor Tate, Bill Edler, Josh Evans, Huck Seed, Darrell Dicken, Cory Carroll, Lee Watkinson, Maria Ho, Matt Keikoan, Hal Lubarsky, Julian Gardner, John Spadavecchia, Peter "Nordberg" Feldman, Chad Brown, Brandon Adams, Randy Holland, Robert Varkonyi , Alex Kravchenko, Carlos Mortensen, Thor Hansen, Danny Smith, David Wells, Willie Tann, Jared "WacoKidd" Hamby, Warren Karp, Ayaz Mahmood, Matthew Hilger, Ut Nguyen, Sorel Mizzi, David Levi, Mickey Seagle, Scotty Nguyen, Mark Muchnik, Daniel Quach, Mickey "Mouse" Mills, Amanda Baker, Humberto Brenes, Daniel Alaei, Hasan Habib, Terry Magill, Nick Binger, Mimi Tran, Sully Erna, Hans "Tuna" Lund, Billy Baxter, Mike Laing, Tobey Maguire, Berry Johnston, Carl Olson, Don O'Dea, Gary Benson, Vandy Krouch, and Sam Khouiss.

In case you were wondering who cashed. Here's a list of Day 3 money winners...
2007 WSOP Main Event Day 3 Money Winners:
338 Santiago Terrazas $39,445
339 Simone Rossi $39,445
340 Camillo Calabrese $39,445
341 Thomas Burandt $39,445
342 Brian Hearn $39,445
343 Dolph Arnold $39,445
344 Steven Khun $39,445
345 Jose Severino $39,445
346 Jared Okun $39,445
347 Dennis Marcum $39,445
348 Wing Tso $39,445
349 John Doucet $39,445
350 Alexander Johnoff $39,445
351 Kevin Chan $39,445

352 Christian Toth $34,664
353 George Ramsey $34,664
354 Demetrios Arvanites $34,664
355 Nils Ersson $34,664
356 Jesper Hougaard $34,664
357 Robert Mizrachi $34,664
358 George Vazanellis $34,664
359 Thomas Vinas $34,664
360 Robert Roseman $34,664
361 Andrew Brokis $34,664
362 Sam Ditson $34,664
363 James Dawick $34,664
364 Pamela Brunson $34,664
365 Christopher Hamman $34,664
366 Darin Haddock $34,664
367 Michael Ium $34,664
368 Kyu Cho $34,664
369 Weldon Johnson $34,664
370 Jonathan Goldberg $34,664
371 Kathy Jamison $34,664
372 Brian Darmaniu $34,664
373 Keith Gipson $34,664
374 Brian Collins $34,664
375 Lee Biddulph $34,664
376 Franklin Welca $34,664
377 David Wilson $34,664
378 Ronald Philpot $34,664
379 John Strzemp $34,664
380 Todd Philips $34,664
381 Andrew Bartou $34,664
382 William Davidson $34,664
383 Grege Jaffy $34,664
384 Charles Anderson $34,664
385 Stuart Spear $34,664
386 Dennis Lane $34,664
387 Pat Datillo $34,664
388 Michael Cooper $34,664
389 Daniel Prevettegoldstein $34,664
390 Andre Wagner $34,664
391 Brent Sheirbon $34,664
392 Leif Force $34,664
393 Chris Collins $34,664
394 Jong O $34,664
395 Gregory Hobson $34,664
396 Casey Childress $34,664
397 Oliver Maingay $34,664
398 Steven Ettenger $34,664
399 Jay Perkins $34,664
400 Wenlong Jin $34,664
401 Edward Anselmo $34,664
402 Pierre Bounahra $34,664
403 Daniel Heimiller $34,664
404 Davidi Kitai $34,664
405 Daniel Showden $34,664
406 Marcous Naalden $34,664
407 Henry McMillan $34,664
408 Charles Jett $34,664
409 Gregory Liang $34,664
410 Tobias Christensen $34,664
411 Brian Hollywood $34,664
412 Nicholas Nicolaou $34,664
413 Michael Tureniec $34,664
414 Robert Donnino $34,664

415 Eduardo Santi $29,883
416 James Capone $29,883
417 Jefferson James $29,883
418 Scott Epstein $29,883
419 Eugene Foukshan $29,883
420 Diana Hakopian $29,883
421 Fabrice Soulier $29,883
422 Sam Khouiss $29,883
423 Christiane Klecz $29,883
424 Phillip Lowery $29,883
425 Ronald Stubing $29,883
426 Chris Grigorian $29,883
427 Bradley Ellis $29,883
428 Mathew Ciezki $29,883
429 Joseph Fallows $29,883
430 Robert Lipkin $29,883
431 Curtis Vangilder $29,883
432 George Alex $29,883
433 Huyen Nguyen $29,883
434 Andre Boyer $29,883
435 Tony Lee $29,883
436 Yuan Hsleh $29,883
437 William Orvis $29,883
438 Yoeqi Zhu $29,883
439 Louis Merola $29,883
440 Thomas Nielsen $29,883
441 Redmond Lee $29,883
442 Robert Ford $29,883
443 Le Hun G $29,883
444 Hien Tran $29,883
445 Daniel Gelowitz $29,883
446 Cliff "JohnnyBax" Josephy $29,883
447 Goalter Santos $29,883
448 Jonathan Kemsley $29,883
449 Minh Ly $29,883
450 Aditya Agarwal $29,883
451 Wade Chow $29,883
452 Nicholas Cunnane $29,883
453 Ian McDonald $29,883
454 Lance Allred $29,883
455 Jeffrey Weil $29,883
456 Anthony Newman $29,883
457 Alan Hance $29,883
458 Eric Kurtzman $29,883
459 Todd Brunson $29,883
460 Ricardo Nuno $29,883
461 Bruno Fitoussi $29,883
462 Jeppe Nielsen $29,883
463 Bryan Veach $29,883
464 Robby Rose $29,883
465 Shirley Williams $29,883
466 Andrew Grimason $29,883
467 Sara Stohler $29,883
468 Mark Owens $29,883
469 Lloyd Rees $29,883
470 Player Brian de Bruijn $29,883
471 Paul Nero $29,883
472 Phil Lifschitz $29,883
473 Jason Tikijian $29,883
474 Vandy Krouch $29,883
475 Suleiman Aboeid $29,883
476 Eris Staton $29,883
477 Eugene Ji $29,883

478 Nhut Minh Tran $25,101
479 Antonio Salorio $25,101
480 James Campbell $25,101
481 Scott Yeates $25,101
482 William Stocker $25,101
483 Joseph Reichenberger $25,101
484 Peter Valente $25,101
485 Robert Van Hsia $25,101
486 Lee Klosty $25,101
487 Peter Gould $25,101
488 William Cheeseman $25,101
489 Shayan Salehi $25,101
490 Geoffrey Herzoe $25,101
491 David Riley $25,101
492 Irvin Hoffman $25,101
493 Justin Tran $25,101
494 Jonathan Krela $25,101
495 Nikzad Hooman $25,101
496 Jose Barbero $25,101
497 Daniel Fisher $25,101
498 Anmom Filippi $25,101
499 Victor Rooney $25,101
500 Jeffrey Norman $25,101
501 Terrence Magill $25,101
502 David Gurevich $25,101
503 Michael Ward $25,101
504 Wei Yan Chan $25,101
505 Andrew Evans $25,101
506 Nicholas Carrillo $25,101
507 Mark Bryan $25,101
508 Leo Boxell $25,101
509 Joshua Bauer $25,101
510 Steven Wilk $25,101
511 Rahol Maitra $25,101
512 Farrell Hinkle $25,101
513 Richard Wild $25,101
514 Isaac Galazan $25,101
515 Ronald Crosswell $25,101
516 Robert De Forge $25,101
517 Arthur Rhea $25,101
518 Daniel Palmer $25,101
519 Ten Bokkel $25,101
520 Blair Hinkle $25,101
521 Allen Davis $25,101
522 Ziad Alaheddine $25,101
523 Randall Brueckner $25,101
524 Howard Mann $25,101
525 Aaron Eokhart $25,101
526 Robert Blaeser $25,101
527 Gerald Kim $25,101
528 Russell Kamer $25,101
529 Wilson Tien $25,101
530 Ned Griffis $25,101
531 James Tolley $25,101
532 Jeffrey Lewis $25,101
533 Daniel Attie $25,101
534 Jeffrey Nairih $25,101
535 Mitch Ivey $25,101
536 Jules Dreamell $25,101
537 Christian Abele $25,101
538 Per Linus Johansson $25,101
539 Richard Marshall $25,101
540 Kyle Morris $25,101
541 James Lewis $25,101
542 Kevan Casey $25,101
543 Shawn Chang $25,101
544 Samie Zoudo $25,101
545 Montgomery Cole $25,101
546 Aaron Coulthard $25,101
547 Matthew Traudt $25,101
548 Randall Ameil $25,101
549 Michael Puskarich $25,101

550 Marc Friedmann $20,320
551 Ken Webster $20,320
552 Tony Hachem $20,320
553 Joshua Van Dyke $20,320
554 Thomas Laviano $20,320
555 Roger Brooks $20,320
556 Randy McKay $20,320
557 Edson Esquio $20,320
558 Dale Michael $20,320
559 Rolf Slotboom $20,320
560 Tom McCormick $20,320
561 Deric Senne $20,320
562 Ethan Steinberg $20,320
563 Kizirian Armenak $20,320
564 Patrik Petersson $20,320
565 Shawn Chaconas $20,320
566 Glen Questroo $20,320
567 Jason Stern $20,320
568 Jonathon Tare $20,320
569 ????????? - $20,320
570 Paul Kemp $20,320
571 Bernard Strauss $20,320
572 Desmond Portano $20,320
573 Benjamin Gold $20,320
574 Nikolas Liakos $20,320
575 Bette Carswell $20,320
576 Kevin Lake $20,320
577 Richard Salle $20,320
578 Angela Giannino $20,320
579 Darren Woods $20,320
580 Kyle Wilson $20,320
581 Jeff Dumas $20,320
582 Cal Namihira $20,320
583 Andrew Sheperd $20,320
584 Jonas Jerlstrom $20,320
585 Duane Van Keulen $20,320
586 Penh Lo $20,320
587 Wai "Lucky" Liu $20,320
588 Chris Crilly $20,320
589 Robert Daily $20,320
590 Johnathan Stanton $20,320
591 Eddie Gravalese $20,320
592 Gavin Smith $20,320
593 Ryan Osborne $20,320
594 Joe Graziano $20,320
595 Richard Barbino $20,320
596 Frank Holloway $20,320
597 Mohammed Zahour $20,320
598 Juan Fernandezi $20,320
599 Dean Hamrick $20,320
600 Patric Martensson $20,320
601 Michael Quist $20,320
602 Jan Sorensen $20,320
603 Jeremy Joseph $20,320
604 Loi Khuon Tran $20,320
605 Richard Warburg $20,320
606 Ole Bergan $20,320
607 Jeffrey Lowenhar $20,320
608 George Dolofan $20,320
609 Takeo Oishi $20,320
610 Joseph Cutler $20,320
611 John Michael $20,320
612 Christopher Perry $20,320
613 Artur Szczupak $20,320
614 Anders Solheim $20,320
615 Sheldon Saul $20,320
616 Thong Tran $20,320
617 Kiarasa Hamadani $20,320
618 Carsten Jakobsen $20,320
619 Brian Senie $20,320
620 Jorge Albalat $20,320
621 Gregory Treger $20,320
Action resumes at noon. I'll be live blogging Day 4 for

* * * * *

Bouncin Round the Room on Main Event Day 3...

There were five former WSOP Champions left in the field... Berry Johnston, Scotty Nguyen, Huck Seed, Carlos Mortensen, and Robert Varkonyi.

There's one guy who gets no respect and it's Robert Varkonyi. Storms told me a sad story about how Varkonyi tried to get into the Amazon Ballroom during one of the Day 1s. Only media were allowed inside and spectators had to wait in that insane line to get in. The security guard told Varkonyi to go to the end of the line. Varkonyi argued with the security guard to no avail. Storms stepped in and told the security to walk into the room and look up. Varkonyi's championship portrait happened to be right above the entrance. The security guard apologized and let Varkonyi inside.

Nasser Hamedani was so jacked up with excitement and making the money that he early passed out. He had a panic/anxiety attack and had to be taken to the hospital. The paramedics wanted to make sure he wasn't having a heart attack. Most of his stack was blinded off but his empty chair advanced to Day 4.

I didn't see it, but heard the story about the guy flipping his table over after he busted out. I'm shocked that stuff didn't happen more often. Wish I had seen that and got photos.

Otis picked Mr. Rain to win the main event on Day 2b. I picked Carl Olson. Mr. Rain is a little ahead of Olson, but anything can happy on Day 4.

My sticky fingers smell like limes. After ordering Corona's from the bar in front of the poker kitchen, I had been squeezing limes in order to get enough juice out of them before I'd toss one down a flight of stairs and try to get it in a trash can. I won $20 from Otis on consecutive nights on Throwing Things prop bets. I'm stuck over $200 for the entire WSOP, but I'm slowly chopping away at my debt. We had a group of media watching such as members of the international French and British press who were fascinated with our degeneracy. Even the Pokerati crew of Michalski and the Fresh Princess were curious about our post-Midnight drinking and gambling activities.

24 hours earlier, I sat in the Gold Coast casino at a Pai Gow table with Change100, Otis, and Laurie the Dealer. We unpatiently waited for a waitress to bring us cocktails. She was one of the slowest that I had ever experienced in Las Vegas. Otis was visibly rattled after he won a $250 bonus with a straight flush. All the cracker wanted was a Greyhound. Grapefruit juice and 1/2 a shot of well vodka. Could you blame him? He worked hard all day and was finally able to kick back with friends. He made a rare hand at the Pai Gow tables and nailed a bonus. He wanted to celebrate with a cocktail. But the slow-ass, trailer park, mullet-breeder never stopped by our table. The only solution was to run over to the bar and pay for drinks. It only cost $11 for a beer, a Greyhound, and a White Russian for Nicky. In NYC or in Hollywierd, $11 is the norm for one drink.
Last 5 Pros I Pissed Next to...
1. Lee Watinkinson
2. Danny Alaei
3. Tony Hachem
4. Thor Hansen
5. Minh Ly

* * * * *

Bonus Code: Pauly

Don't forget to check out LasVegasVegas for Flipchip's WSOP photos and there's the Poker Prof's cool 2007 WSOP Info page.

And come back at the Tao of Poker for daily recaps and head over at PokerNews for live coverage and updates including chipcounts.

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