Sunday, July 13, 2008

WSOP Day 45: Main Event Day 6 - Live Blog

By Pauly
Las Vegas, NV

Sunday is funday at the WSOP. 79 players remaining. They will slug it out until 27 players are remaining. Will the "shorted days" come back to bite WSOP officials in the ass when play drags on until sunrise? Or will the casualties happen at a rapid pace?

I spoke to someone at ESPN and they told me that ESPN had nothing to do with the Hellmuth TV table conspiracy theories that have been popping up on the web. As I speculated, ESPN would prefer to have those two stay as far as way as possible. When Jeffrey Pollack heard about the rumors, he did a thorough and quick investigation of the floor staff which he found that there was nothing wrong. Total confidence. More tin foil hats crushed.

Stat time...
Runners: 6,844
Players Remaining: 79
Prize Pool: $64,333,600
Chipleader: Mark Ketteringham with 5.8M
Big Dogs: Mike Matusow at 1.169M and Phil Hellmuth at 721K

* * * * *


Cards in the air at 12:15pm.

Tiffany Michelle and Mike Matusow are at the same table... but not on one of the features. Brandon Cantu is on the secondary table.

Hellmuth was supposed to begin day at the featured table and sit out for the first orbit. But he was dealt in. According to Brooks he said the the penalty was overruled.

... more on the Hellmuth saga. According to one dealer, they told me that Hellmuth's excuse for his douchebaggery was all an act for ESPN cameras. He used the old "acting for ESPN" excuse. And the powers to be may have bought it and took back the penalty.

Change100 reported that... "The penalty has been overturned, and we will be issuing a formal statement shortly."

Still waiting to hear it from the horse's mouth.

* * * * *


Big Stacks: David 'Chino' Rheem with 5M, Dennis Phillips, Nikolay Losev, Mark Ketteringham, and Andrew Brokos

Players Remaining: 73

Recent Bustouts: Matt Matros 78th, The Camel in 75th

New chipleader. Hello Chino. He and Dennis Phillips both have about 5M a piece.

Six bustouts in the first 55 minutes of play.

The major online poker sites were represented at the featured TV table to start the day. McManus qualified on Party Poker so he was sporting Party colors. Hellmuth is UB. PokerStars had a couple of guys and the rest were branded in Full Tilt hats.

"Is it so sad?" said Gloria as I pointed out the empty spaces in the Amazon Room? One corner is the poker table graveyard where the dead carcasses of broken down poker tables are tossed and stashed sway until next year.

The Hellmuth saga continues...

I got confirmation that Hellmuth's appeal was based on two things...

1. It was an act for ESPN cameras.
2. He said that although he was given a warning many times before, it was always an idle threat and nothing every happened beyond that warning. He felt as though the timing of the penalty and that the lack of enforcement of previous warning was also justification for it to be overruled.

Jeffrey Pollack will be issuing a statement shortly.

I think it's bullshit about the reversal on the original ruling made by Steve Frezer. One orbit? It was peanuts. Hellmuth should have taken it like a man. And Harrah's should not have gotten involved. Why stir the pot on such a minor thing in an almost flawless WSOP main event? Talk about stepping in dogshit one block before you walk into church.

Harrah's dropped the ball there. Double standard? Hell yes. If that incident did not have a named pro or a celebrity like Hellmuth involved, the obnoxious out of line player would have been tossed much earlier. Guys like Scotty Nguyen and Hellmuth get away with being jackoffs for the cameras. By not enforcing the "excessive celebration" rule which they added this year, Harrah's is abiding by a double standard. They are pretty much saying that it's perfectly OK to do what you want. Act like an ass. As long as it is for the entertainment purposes.

Ah I forgot to write about the faux apology that Hellmuth made. He left the featured TV table and went to the outer tables to talk to Cristian Dragomir. They shook hands as ESPN cameras captured the moment. PR stunt? Or sincerity? If we could only peek into Hellmuth's mind to find out...

Lisa Parsons went out. Tiffany Michelle is the last woman standing.

* * * * *


Big Stacks: Gert Andersen, Albert Kim, Brandon Cantu, Aaron Gordon, Nikolay Losev

Players Remaining: 59

Recent Bustouts: Voictor Ramdin 64th, Jim McManud 71st, and David Benefield 73rd

Rapid fire bustouts. 20 in the first 1:55 of play. 32 more to go and I get to go home.

Money jump. The next payout is $115K.

Gert Andersen was one of the first players to pass the 7M mark.

I guess the no smoking rule is no longer in effect in the hallways, even inside the Amazon Room. One guy fired up a cigarette. Someone is smoking a cigar in the hallway, probably one of the random conventioneers occupying the old spaces that used to house the poker expo or the online poker lounges. The hallways are nearly bare with the exception of a few booths. Even the parking lots are empty.

Pokerati was on the ball with the massive UB logo on Hellmuth's hockey jersey for the entire WSOP. It was clearly in violation of the logo policy. Today? It has been covered up in black tape.

The Poker Shrink is sweating Mike Matusow. 'He's fine today. He loves his table. Finally happy with his starting table. He' looking to try to get to 2M by the end of the day. That will really make him happy. He currently has about 1.5M.

Tiffany Michelle was moved to a new table... which will be the next one to break. She still has over 3M. Ali Nejad called her a "fan favorite."

The Beast Girls are on the rail... looking bloated and beastly. Too much time at the buffet, gals...

* * * * *


Big Stacks: Gert Andersen at 9.5M, Brandon Cantu, Nikolay Losev, Albert Kim, Chris Klodnicki

Players Remaining: 52

Recent Bustouts: Alex Othred 54th, Jeremy Joseph 57th, Thunder Keller 61st

Money jump. Up to 135K.

Players returned from a break and as soon as the security guards opened the doors, a group of about thirty or forty spectators sprinted through the empty room and headed right to the featured TV table. They wanted to get a great spot in the crowd.

"No running!" warned one of the Harrahs staff. "Release the hounds!" screamed Ali Nejad.

"Wow, I have never seen that before," remarked Jack Effel. In four years, that was a a first to me. People so excited to watch poker that it was an all out mad dash. It's not running of the bulls, just a poker tournament.

In one of the first hands after the break, Tiffany Michelle is catching up to 5M. I saw one hand where she dragged a pot with Q-9 and crippled Rafael Caiaffa in the process.

Matusow is up to 2.3M. He hung out with Andy Bloch and the Poker Shrink on the break. The Shrink mentioned that Matusow is the best he's been all main event. Might even be in better head space than the night he won the bracelet. Matusow was amazed that Gert Andersen had over 9M in chips.

"That's the luckiest fuck in the tournament or the biggest donkey in the room," he said before he took his seat.

* * * * *


Big Stacks: Gert Andersen, Nikolay Losev, Albert Kim, Brandon Cantu, Ivan Demidov

Players Remaining: 44

Recent Bustouts: Phil Hellmuth 45th, Adam 'Roothlus' Levy 48th

Action slowed down a bit, considering there were 29 bustours in the first two hours of play. But in the last three minutes? Three bustouts. Less than 20 to go before the day is over.

Tiffany Michelle is still on a roll. She's back in the top 10 in chips. As I scouted out her table, Adam Levy busted out when his A-10 could not improve against Queens.

Matusow is a vacuum claener today. He's sucking up chips. Up to 3.3M.

Hellmuth has been the shortstack for most of the day. It got really bad for him over the last level. He was on death watch when he slipped under 500K considering the average stack was well over 2.5M. He was all in at the featured TV table with Ah-Qd versus Jh-Jc. The flop was Kd-4h-3h. Hellmuth picked up a sweet redraw when the 10h fell on the turn. Gutshot. Two overs. Flush draw. The result? Nadda. Out in 45th place.

Courtesy of

With Hellmuth's departure, the featured TV table cleared out. Fast. All eye are on Matusow and Tiffany.

* * * * *


Today's smoke break is sponsored by PokerStars!

* * * * *


Big Stacks: Nikolay Losev with 10M, Gert Andersen, Brandon Cantu, Tiffany Michelle, Aaron Gordon

Players Remaining: 44

Players just returned from a break.

Prediction... if Tiffany Michelle advances to Day 7... she'll drop UB and be wearing PokerStars gear. Poor Tiff is getting raked under the coals on 2+2 for selling out her boob to UB.

* * * *


Big Stacks: Brandon Cantu, Gert Andersen, Albert Kim, Nikolay Losev, Joe Bishop

Players Remaining: 37

Recent Bustouts: Kido Pham

Average stack is now over 3.5M.

Mike Matusow was moved to the secondary table with Ylon Schwartz. I sweated that for a bit with the Poker Shrink. Nothing really to report. Tough table for Matusow.

Tiffany Michelle was moved over to the featured TV table with Kido Pham. People are cheering for her but nothing to the sort of rowdiness from the legion of Matusow fans. She took her first real hit of the day and lost about 1M before she got some of her chips back when she check-raised Ivan. She's now past 6M again and in 6th or 7th place in chips.

"ESPN has spiritual people from all over the world praying for Tiffany. It would make for great TV," said Flipchip.

Greg FBT Mueller was in the crowd sweating Tiffany. No massage girls. He told me that he texted two to get their asses over to see him.

Sometimes I forgot about how hungry I am until I'm reminded by food. One spectator put me on food-tilt when I saw his In & Out drink cup. Mmmmmmmmmmm. Must have food now.

Yes, it's nipply in the Amazon Room, especially in random spots where it's simply freezing.

Room has been buzzing about Jack Effel's terrible floor call on a string bet from Nikolay Losev.

Here's how Change100 described the action:
Chip leader Losev had all of his 100,000 denomination chips stacked up into one tall tower. He gripped the tower, slid it out toward where the dealer button sat in front of his chip stack, and then pulled it back. He then took 15 chips off the top of the tower and bet 1.5 million.

Several players at the table were alarmed at this, especially since Losev had made what appeared to be a string bet only a few hands prior. In that incident, Losev had picked up some chips, cut them down in front of his stack, then returned to his main stack two more times for additional chips before stacking them all together and pushing out his bet. Losev's motions on that hand were ruled by the floor not to be a string bet.

Tournament Director Jack Effel was called over to the table to make a ruling. Losev ended up getting a warning about moving his chips that way, but did not receive a penalty. Since Losev does not speak English, his translator relayed the information to him at the end of the hand.
Felipe from Portugal and I have been doing lots of throwing things prop bets. So far? We're even for the day.

* * * * *


Big Stacks: Brandon Cantu, Kelly Kim, Gert Andersen, Albert Kim, David 'Chino' Rheem

Players Remaining: 35

Recent Bustouts: Andrew Rosskamm 37th, Felix Osterland 38th

Tiffany Michelle is 6th in chips with over 7M. Matusow still at 3M.

Your past will come back to haunt you when you go deep at the WSOP main event. I overheard one conversation between a couple of people sweating one of the final 40 players.

"He's a total degenerate. He lost tons of money online. Playing tournaments. He would spend thousands every weekend. He spent his school loan. He borrowed money from me, my brother, and my brother's wife's sister's boyfriend who plays for the Padres. We drove up here to collect our debts. He's owed us. For years."

I just wish I knew who they were talking about. Or does it matter? That's a scenario that has been playing out all summer and the main event is no different. As much as Iggy tried his best to keep his identity a secret, it was tough to remain in the background even with 400 players to go. At this point, there is huge media scrutiny and pictures of every remaining player plastered up on Poker News. If any of those guys are deadbeats and owe money on the street... well you know exactly where they're gonna be.

Players are on a ninety minute dinner break.
* * * * *


Big Stacks: Brandon Cantu, Albert Kim, Kelly Kim, Gert Andersen , and David 'Chino' Rheem

Players Remaining: 35

Players back from dinner break. Tiffany has a shade under 7M. The Mouth is just under average with 3.5M.

Usually the time after the dinner break is some of the loosest of the night. A flurry of players tend to bust out right after the break. With only eight to go all signs pointed to an earlier night than anticipated. I picked 5am as the stop time. That's eight hours away and I hope I'm not right and it takes one hour of play to bust a player. The consensus pick has been... "by Midnight." I hope so, but you never know.

* * * * *


Big Stacks: Brandon Cantu, Dennis Phillips, Kelly Kim, Tiffany Michelle, Albert Kim

Players Remaining: 33

Um... not much to report. Lots of inaction... only two bustouts in the first hour after the dinner break.

Oh, and Sklansky walked around the Amazon Room with a hooker who trailed ten feet behind him at all times.

* * * * *


Big Stacks: Dennis Phillips, Craig Marquis, Peter Eastgate, Gert Andersen, and Kelly Kim

Players Remaining: 29

Mike Matusow is out. The fate of the entire WSOP rests upon the supple shoulders of Tiffany Michelle. If she makes the final table... everyone will watch it. If she busts out before that... I doubt anyone would watch it without a Hellmuth or Matusow.

A dejected Matusow sulked for several minutes while the Poker Shrink was nearby to give advice if needed.

I glanced at Ylon Schwartz's bio sheet. By far, his was the funniest out of the final 79 players. Big time pros like Mike Matusow and Phil Hellmuth were too cool to fill out bio sheets. Yeah, I understand some of it's total bullshit, that's why Ylon's was hysterical. Here's a sample...
Name: Ylon Schwartz
Occupation: Frisbee Salesman
Nationality: Betazoid
Education: Boodles School for Future Juniper Addicts
Amateur or Pro: Unclear
Hobbies: Laying in Hammocks
What's on your iPod: "It was stolen at the WSOP."
Proudest Poker Accomplishment: Won a badbeat jackpot.
First thing you do after you win the main event? "Go somewhere my friends would never find me."
How could you not root for Ylon? The poker world needs more wisesasses like Ylon instead of dickheads like... insert pro's name here ______ .

* * * * *


Big Stacks: Craig Marquis, Dennis Phillips, Tiffany 'Hot Chips' Michelle, Peter Eastgate, Gert Andersen

Players Remaining: 27

Matusow busted out on one of the last hands before the break. With Matusow and Hellmuth both eliminated, the majority of railbirds cleared out. A few hardcore Tiffany Michelle fans stuck around, but for the most part, once Matusow busted, the crowds slowly dissolved.

Shortly after the break, Cristian Dragomir, aka Phil Hellmuth's nemesis, busted out in 29th place. Nikolay Losev went out n 28th place. With that bustout, action was over for the day.

Lime Tossing Results.... Otis 150, Pauly 150. We played Inside the Limes... two limes each. I threw first and went way left. Otis nailed his toss to go up $150. On his second throw, he missed wide right. I had a chance to tie it. I totally tilted Otis when I skipped my lime into the $150 zone to even the score. Push! Overall I'm up $70 this summer.

Action will resume at noon on Monday where we play down from 27 to 9. Stay tuned for official end of Day 6 chipcounts.
Top 10 Chip Counts:
1. Dennis Phillips (St. Louis, Missouri) - 11,910,000
2. Craig Marquis (Arlington, Texas) - 11,460,000
3. Tiffany Michelle (Los Angeles, California) - 9,755,000
4. Peter Eastgate (Odense, Denmark) - 9,325,000
5. Kelly Kim (Whittier, California) - 8,840,000
6. David "Chino" Rheem (Los Angeles, California) - 8,280,000
7. Gert Andersen (Herning, Denmark) - 6,740,000
8. Paul Snead (Kings Park, New York) - 6,600,000
9. Chris Klodnicki (Voorhees, New Jersey) - 6,245,000
10. Judet Toni Cristian (Bucharest, Romania) - 5,000,000
Thanks for reading. See ya tomorrow.

Original content written and provided by Pauly from Tao of Poker at All rights reserved. RSS feeds are for non-commercial use only.

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