What to watch today at the WSOP – Melanie Weisner looking for one for the ladies
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, and the drunk Brits made it a lot more exciting to boot. He creates this circus atmosphere and captures the attention of the Poker Globe like no other player right now, so it’s hard not to root for the guy. I mean, the story alone is great. Maybe he’ll run up another stack in another event. Because if the WSOP is hosting the game, we know that Dwan will have an entry receipt for it…somewhere.
BTW – my favorite tweet from the day comes from Ali Eslami who was playing cash at the Aria last night. Allen Bari and Barry Greenstein were both at the table and this conversation came from it: Allen Bari “I have a friend at the final table and I’m buried here.” Barry Greenstein “Is that a sick brag you have a friend?” TY Ali for that gem.
There’s an awful lot of action in store today, so here’s what to watch for at the WSOP:
Event #36 – $2,500 No-Limit Hold’em
The hard stop ceased action with just 5 players left, but with Dwyte Pilgrim finding the rail in 15th place, this event lost virtually all of its luster. Matthew Berkey could have been a decent story (I got to know him a little from his deep run in the Main Event last year), but he too found the exit door in 6th. So there are now 5 players left, and I know none of them. I’ll skip this event completely know. Thanks .
Event #37 – $10,000 H.O.R.S.E. Championship
This is where the hard stop really blows chunks. The guys are heads up, Fabrice Soulier holds a 6.2 million to 900k chip advantage over Shawn Buchanan, and (yawn…stretch), “the kids are getting tired…so lets call it a night.” I don’t really get how you can just end the tournament in this spot and ask the players to bag up their chips and return the next day. It takes a lot of the fireworks out of the tournament, and for that reason alone, I don’t really care who wins now. It’ll likely be Soulier anyway. I mean, that’s a pretty big deficit to overcome.
Event #38 – $2,500 No-Limit Hold’em
My Sam Trickett prediction went up in smoke when he shipped his last 54k in with AJ against his opponents K9. And ace hit the flop, but so did two more 9’s and the trips turned out to be good in the end to bust Trickett in 57th. That’s not to say that there aren’t stories still left, but they’re not exactly “A-Rated” stories either. Melanie Weisner already has 4 cashes this WSOP, though she’s never really been in contention for a bracelet (her best finish was a 61st place finish back in Event #10). But she bagged up 555,000 chips at the close of the day, good for 6th of the remaining 23 players, and could be the 5th woman to make a WSOP Final Table in an open event. She’s also hoping to place one place higher than Maria Ho and Kim Nguyen who finished runners up in their respective deep runs this year. She’s still got a long way to go, but should she climb the mountain, it would be the first bracelet awarded to a lady in an open event since Vanessa Selbst took down the $1,500 PLO Bracelet in 2008. I guess that sort of makes her the default one to watch for on the day.
Another smaller story of people still alive is Hoai Pham. As I surveyed the chip counts I noticed the guy that called himself “Duke” (which I later found out was spelled Duc) in an interview that I did with him and Nolan Dolla moments after he won the Casino Employees event at last year’s WSOP. He’s a nice guy and seems like a poor man’s version of Scotty Nguyen, just with a worse English accent and without all the “Baby’s” being dropped in every sentence. He’s short on chips though with just 208k,and will have to catch cards to get something going.
Event #39 – $2,500 Pot-Limit Hold’em/Omaha (Mixed Event)
2005 Main Event Champion Joe Hachem could save this event from the throngs of the obsolete should he manage a way to get off the short stack and make a run at the bracelet. With 22 players, he currently sits 16th in chips with a workable stack 153k (about 30 BB’s), but a far cry from the chip leader (some guy named David Lestock who bagged 452k). A bracelet for the former WSOP Champ would mean the first WSOP win for any of the people who share the name “Former Main Event Champ” title since I think Chris Ferguson who has one a couple since he became Main Event champ in 2000. So he’s definitely one to watch today. Other’s still in contention and worth watching are Scott Clements, Carter Gill, and David “ODB” Baker. Other than that, it’s a virtual sea of unknowns.
Event #40 played its day 1 and the $5k NLHE 6-max drew an impressive 732 entries and a $3.4 million prize pool. First will take home an $808,538 prize as a result, which would be the third largest of the Series so far. November Niner Matt Jarvis finished the day as the chip leader as the only player over 300k chips, Randy Dorfman is second with 280k, and Daniel Negreanu is looking for his first real deep run after a frustrating WSOP, ending day one with 162k, 5th in chips. But with 175 players still left, this story has a long way to go before being written.
Two more events kick off today as well, Event #41 ($1,500 Limit Hold’em Shootout) and Event #42 ($10,000 Pot-Limit Omaha Championship) meaning that at some point 7 different events will be running simultaneously at the Rio. So basically, wherever you end up at the WSOP today, you’re going to see some action.