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Archive for June, 2011

What to watch today at the WSOP – November Niner’s eyeing bracelets

June 25th, 2011 No comments

November Niners Matt Jarvis and Champion Jonathan Duhamel headline the $5k NLHE 6-max event.

The two tournaments affected by the hard stops yesterday completed in relatively short time, and within about an hour of each other.  Fabrice Soulier polished off Shawn Buchanan (who came into the day with just 4 big bets) in just a few hands to claim the $10,000 H.O.R.S.E. Championship bracelet and collect $609,130 for the win.  And in the $2,500 No-Limit Hold’em, Mikhail Lakhitov started out on fire, and blitz-Krieged his way through his final 4 opponents, knocking out all but one of them.  Lakhitov scored his first career bracelet as well and won $749,610 in the process.

One other tournament complete yesterday as well as Mitch Schock completed the quest for his first WSOP Gold Bracelet and winning the $310,225 first place prize by winning the $2,500 Pot-Limit Hold’em/Omaha mixed event.  So, congratulations to Soulier, Lakhitov, and Schock.  Not exactly the names that make great headlines, but that happens in poker sometimes.

Here’s the action that will be underway at the Rio today: Read more…

What to watch today at the WSOP – Melanie Weisner looking for one for the ladies

June 24th, 2011 No comments

Melanie Weisner has a shot at a bracelet for the ladies when action resumes today at the Rio.

Hard Stops prevented any bracelets from being awarded from yesterday’s action at the Rio.  Probably the biggest story of the day was that of Tom Dwan making yet another WSOP Final Table and giving all those bracelet prop bettors of his a nice little sweat in the process.  With 6 players left in the $10,000 H.O.R.S.E. Championship, Durrrr held the chip lead after surging from the short stack earlier in the day.  But it seemed that Razz really became his undoing as he donated basically half of his chips late in the evening at that discipline, and eventually was bumped out in 6th when Shawn caught running diamonds on 6th and 7th street in Stud to flush Dwan and send him to the rail.  This was Durrr’s 4th career WSOP Final Table (most people forget that he made two of them in 2008), and his second largest WSOP score ever (he took down $134k after winning the $381k from the runner up finish last year).  It’s also his 3rd cash at this year’s WSOP, and who knows…maybe Dwan is heating up.  Lord knows that he’s had more opportunities than anyone else at the Rio having entered into around 2,432 events already (even more impressive considering that event #40 just started).

The reality is, whenever Dwan runs deep in a tournament, he’s the story.  His tables rail was a reported 3 people deep, Read more…

What to watch today at the WSOP – Dwyte Pilgrim looks for a 2nd Career WSOP Final Table, and eyes a bracelet

June 23rd, 2011 No comments

Dwyte Pilgrim has 3 WSOP-Circuit Championship Rings and a WPT Title on his resume, but today he has his eyes firmly fixed on a bracelet.

In the game of poker, there are great runs, heaters, and just simply skillful players.  To me, Jason Mercier has eclipsed all of those titles.  People that sit at a poker table with Jason have to consider themselves both the most fortunate and least fortunate of the players in any tournament.  Most fortunate because the reality is, you’re going to get a performance by one of the greatest players in the history of the game.  That may be a bold statement, and perhaps premature, but I really don’t think that’s too much of a stretch.  Just ask anyone at the table who has counted themselves unfortunate for sitting at Merciers table, because in the end, he’s stacking all of their chips.

Jason will turn 25 this November and has already accomplished the unthinkable.  My article on Mercier’s first three years of hitting $1 million in his first three years of playing live poker (found here) needs an update.  I gave myself some room at the end of the article saying “But $1 million in earnings in your first 3 years of live poker play is a truly unique title that Mercier can lay claim to, and it begs the question, can he make it 4 in a row next year? And is there anyone who doubts that he can?”  And he has. Read more…

Spiderman gets sued for playing poker

June 23rd, 2011 No comments

Spiderman now looks to battle the forces of evil...who are suing him for winning at poker.

The poker world has been talking about this one most of the day today, and it’s kind of interesting….I guess.  Let me set the stage first: Back in 2009 a guy named Bradley Ruderman who was a Beverly Hills hedge fund manage was criminally charged in a federal court in Los Angeles for bilking investors out of about $44 million in a wire fraud scheme.  His hedge funds were shut down by the federal judge and the company Ruderman Capital Partners.  Basically Ruderman had raised the money claiming that he’d yield returns as high as 60% through stakes in high-profile companies such as Apple Inc., Microsoft, and Walmart.

Well it turns out that Ruderman was just a scam artist as he spent somewhere in the neighborhood of $8.7 million of the investor money on things like a summer rental on Malibu’s Carbon Beach and few Porsches.  Then, he dropped a reported $5.2 million of investor money at the high stakes Hollywood Poker games that were very popular between 2007-2009.  Well it turns out that $5.2 million is actually closer to $25 million and the investors are pissed, and want it back…deservedly so. Read more…

What to watch today at the WSOP – Jason Mercier highlights the $5k PLO

June 22nd, 2011 No comments

Jason Mercier ran like...well...Jason Mercier and is near the tops of the chip counts with 15 players left in the $5k PLO

Only one bracelet was awarded yesterday as Mark Schmid overcame the 3,144 player field to take home the Event #34 championship, shipping $488,283 in first place prize money and the jewelry.  The online player known as “pimpindonks” has roughly $1 million in online tournament earnings, and now has a prize even better than one of those Gold Jerseys (which have decreased significantly in value as we’re now on day 67 without hearing a word from Full Tilt Poker about where our deposits are – another post…another time).  Anyhow, I know little about Schmid other than this is his first bracelet, so congrats to him.

There will be 5 events in action today, and one in particular will continue to be a doozy.  Here’s what to watch for today: Read more…

Reason number 1,500 that I hate cancer – There’s no such thing as “Cancer Free.”

June 21st, 2011 No comments

The endless medications that are taken daily and the relegation to a wheelchair for the rest of her life make it so that Traci and I will never be "Cancer Free." We're reminded of it daily in everything that we do, and will be every day for as long we live.

Traci has been “cancer free” since October 2002 when she completed a successful Bone Marrow Transplant, but just because her medical chart lists her as no longer having cancer, doesn’t mean that she’s free of it.  I laugh when I hear the term “cancer free” because the reality is, she’ll never really be free of cancer.  Every day, we’re reminded of the cancer that once was, and the impact that it’s taken on her body, and subsequently the difference that it’s made in both of our lives. Read more…

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What to watch today at the WSOP – Great action at the $5k PLO

June 21st, 2011 No comments

Vanessa Selbst leads a very impressive field in the $5k Pot-Limit Omaha (6-max) event.

Well it turns out that yesterdays $10k Stud-8 event was the big highlight after all, as we say Phil Hellmuth heads up for the second time in this World Series of Poker.  He got there through a loaded final table, but got there short stacked as well.  Eric Rodawig, a Cardrunners instructor ran away with the chip lead, and while Hellmuth was able to narrow the chip margin to about 3 to 1 at one point, he just simply couldn’t run well enough to overtake the chip disadvantage and settled for 2nd a second time this summer.  Congrats to Eric Rodawig for shipping the bracelet and a $442,183 payday.

The runner up finish does have a small consolation prize for Hellmuth who fell one spot shy of record setting bracelet number 12.  Hellmuth has now overtaken Sam Stein in the WSOP Player of the Year leaderboard, although I think that for Phil, that’s probably the last thing on his mind.  He wants number 12, and he wants it bad.  This was career cash number 81 (also a WSOP record), and 44th Final Table (also a record).  Hellmuth also now has a total of 8 Second Place finished now for his career, so he’s painfully familiar with the title of “Bridesmaid.”  But he is still in search of at least one more title as he hasn’t won a WSOP event since 2007.

There was another event that completed in the Rio yesterday as Kirk Caldwell survived the blood-bath that was the $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em event.  It’s his first bracelet and a $668,292 payday, so congrats to Caldwell.

There will be four events running at the WSOP today, and here’s what to watch for among them:

Event #34 – $1,000 No Limit Hold’em

27 players remain in the $1k Donkament, and that’s kind of what it’s turned into.  Once Dwyte Pilgrim went busto in 70th, the field turned into a basic sea of unknowns, so I’m not watching this one anymore.

Event #35 – $5,000 PLO 6-max

This event had tons of promise from just the name, and after day 1, the field of 507 was quickly trimmed to 110 remaining players bagging chips and the list of leaders has some great names.  Vanessa Selbst leads the field with 250k chips, and is followed in order by Erick Lindgren (208k) and Shaun Deeb (194k).  Also in the top 10 is WPT Los Angeles Champ Greg Brooks (147k) and Chris DeMaci who finished runner up at the NAPT Los Angeles.  Tom Dwan led the pack for much of the day but Durrrr got some action and saw his stack dwindle down towards the end of the day, bagging 81k which is still above average.  There are a ton of names still in this thing, and it will continue to be a fantastic watch.

Two more events get underway today as the $2,500 No-Limit Hold’em will be the biggest field of the day, while the $10,000 H.O.R.S.E. event will draw the best names on the day.  It should be a great day down at the Rio.

What to watch today at the WSOP – All of the Action is at the $10k Stud-8

June 20th, 2011 1 comment

Blow ups aside, Hellmuth is playing great this WSOP and has a 2nd chance this series at bracelet number 12, with just 18 left in the $10k Stud-8 Event.

I have to say that I’m impressed that yesterday saw three different events award bracelets.  I expected more than one of the events to be impacted by the hard stop, but the players played more loosely than I gave them credit for and we finished out the tournaments that were scheduled to be done.  So with that, there will only be 4 tournaments in action today, which marks the smallest number of tourney’s in action at the Rio since…well… I think day 1.  That should make it easy to view all the action in place, what with, you know, only having to be 4 places at once instead of 6.

Firstly I have to get the congratulatory paragraphs out to the newest jewelry recipients from yesterday. Read more…

What to watch today at the WSOP – Sam Stein may be the best story, which should tell you something

June 19th, 2011 No comments

The fact that Sam Stein might be the best story entering today, doesn't bode well for those interested in the events of the WSOP.

What a year it’s been for Andy Frankenberger.  In June last year, Frankenberger saw a win in the $2k Venetian Deepstacks event (for $162,110) that catapulted him to a year that many players could only dream of.  He parlayed that win to the $5k NLHE championship at the WPT Legends of Poker in Los Angeles, for a cool $750,000 pay day.  Frankenberger followed that one up by final tabling the WPT Festa Al Lago, finishing in 5th for another $161,200, and a 16th place finish at the $10k World Poker Tour Doyle Brunsons Five Diamond World Poker Classic, Las Vegas (AKA – The longest tournament name ever) for another modest $33,785 pay day.  After the WPT closed out it’s season, Frankenberger was named player of the year thanks to his 3 cashes and 1 title.  Now, he’s added a WSOP Bracelet courtesy of besting the 2,500 Player field in Event #28, the $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em Championship.  Even more impressive is that Frankenberger has only been on the live circuit since 2010.  So yeah…what a year it’s been for Andy Frankenberger, and congratulations on adding more bling to your trophy case, as well as another $599,153 to your booming bankroll.

For the remaining events in play, here’s what to watch at the Rio if you’re at the World Series of Poker Today: Read more…

What to watch today at the WSOP – There’s other stuff to do in Vegas besides poker

June 18th, 2011 No comments

If you're hanging at the Rio today, it might be a good opportunity to see Penn and Teller instead of the WSOP

First let me sleepily get through a congratulatory paragraph for the three bracelet winners of yesterday.  Congratulations to Chris Viox (winner of Event #25 – Seven Card Stud Hi/Low for $200,459), Oleksii Kovalchuk (winner of Event #26 – $2,500 NLHE 6-max for $689.739), and to Daniel Idema (winner of Event #27 – $10k Limit Hold’em Championship for $378,642).  You all have your first bracelet and more money than me.  But honestly, your stories are boring, so I’m moving on.

If you’re at the Rio today, you’re not going to have a lot to see.  So honestly, if you were planning on doing something else with your weekend in Vegas, this would be a good one for that.  Here’s the basic story lines of interest in the events in action today: Read more…