Saturday, June 14, 2008


Day 15…

The night before, I managed just four hours sleep and woke up feeling shit and looking like I’d done twelve rounds with Tyson. On my way down to the cardroom, I ran into JJ Hazan who was dining alone at the breakfast diner. He told me that Sam Trickett had won $85k the night prior on Full Tilt even though he’d been disconnected heads up. He then ran through the history of tournament, but I blanked out and nodded my head at regular intervals.

Again, the final table of the shootout was on the outer tables, which meant that we couldn’t just do a robotic hand-for-hand update, sitting on our asses listening to the announcer announce the hands. Instead, we had to run back and forth like maniacs, simultaneously trying to add some colour that we were simply too tired to add, whilst also receiving abuse in the shoutbox as to how we made a typo back on page three.

After the previous night, I didn’t expect this final table to be an eventful one, and until heads-up, it was nothing out of the ordinary. The only saving grace was Mike Schwartz (pictured). There are a handful of players (Hellmuth, Tony G, Matusow to name a few) who make updating easy, and Schwartz is no different. Whenever he was involved in a hand, he would laugh and joke with his opponents, ask them probing questions and generally do his very best to heighten the banter. In a way, these guys write the report for you, all you have to do is echo what they say into your post.

Although heads up proved to be another marathon, it was thankfully an entertaining affair, predominantly because of Schwartz’s monumental comeback. After winning what he believed to be the bracelet winning hand, Jason Young high-fived the hood on the rail, kissed the dealer and even, I believe, picked up the bracelet at one point. However, little did he know that Schwartz was still in with a paltry 150,000, of a possible 10,000,000 chips, with blinds at 60,000 and 120,000.

In what was an incredible sequence of events that sent the rail into a frenzy, Schwartz doubled up not once, not twice, not three times (a lady?), but four consecutive times to almost level in chips. Schwartz was loving it. Young, meanwhile, had a face like a firmly spanked bottom.

As is always the case after a such a gargantuan comeback, Schwartz lost it all in one go to a simple 4-4 vs. A-J coinflip. The relief on Young’s face was there for everyone to see, and I genuinely believe we would have been on suicide watch if he had lost.

The conclusion to this event brought to an end what was a twelve hour final and over thirty hours of play, an incredible feat for a two day tournament. The event basically swallowed my last two days. On the final, there was plenty going on in the Amazon Room, and I frequently wished I were watching the 7-2 lowball event instead, if only for the banter that was being bounced around by the most star-studded of casts.

When I got back to my room, I looked like I’d just done overtime at the 100 Year War. I went to sleep before my head even hit the pillow.

Day 16…

After a two day shootout turned into an epic battle against Father Time, I spent most of yesterday sleeping and didn’t rise until 5pm. Then it was back down to the Amazon Room to finish off some blonde work.

I ran into Roy ‘The Boy’ Rindley on the way, he’s a sick man. Apparently, he landed just a few hours ago, but is heading back home for a meeting before jumping on a plane and returning to Vegas. Crazy. For a man who had trouble at customs and was refused entry a few years back, you think he’d want to limit his transatlantic ventures as much as possible.

Back in the Amazon Room, the big 7-2 deuceball final was inexplicably not on the TV table. Apparently, it has something to do with insurance, but that must have been rectified at some point as they moved it in front of the cameras half way through. No idea what was going on there, but I would have loved to have watched that final on the box.

The Amazon Room is a cesspit of gossip, many of it unrepeatable in my blog without the promise of police protection. However, I was told today by a reliable source that Annie Duke, who once coached Shannon Elizabeth, is now dating Shannon’s ex boyfriend. I wonder if Shannon’s regretting asking for those coaching sessions now.

Speaking of Shannon Elizabeth, I’ve been considering trying my luck and giving her a spin. I think I’m going to have to give up on Kristy Gazes and Jennifer Tilly, but if that American Pie dude can get Shannon, then I should be in with a shot. I’m much cooler than him and have never even considered experimenting sexually with pasty based products.

In other gossip, I also received confirmation that Gus Hansen is a big ladies man, or, in other words, a bit of a slut. That one really didn’t need confirming.

Oh, what the hell, one more slice of gossip pie – I saw Ted Forrest and Anna Wroblewski holding hands and looking all luvvy duvvy. Odd pairing, but I guess they’re courting. Actually, forget I said that, who cares. If Phil Hellmuth is boning Kathy Liebert, Gobboboy shafting Clonie Gowan or Freddie Deeb doing a number on Evelyn Ng - is anyone really interested? Okay, I guess we would be with those pairings.

Max Pescatori has been carrying his arm in a sling throughout the Series. There seems to be a bit of mystery to how he garnered this injury, and he is not keen to reveal its origin. When he was asked, he hesitated momentarily before joking, “I was in the toilet and tried to hold it with one hand instead of two.” That would never happen to me, the guns can withhold the weight of any sized instrument.

I didn’t get to bed until after 5.30am, mainly because I’d risen so late in the morning after catching up on sleep lost from the shootout. With the $2,000 No Limit Hold’Em Freezeout at noon, it meant another night of little sleep. You really do need a minimum of two day’s respite, or you just get caught up in bad sleeping cycles and being even more tired than you were before you had the day off.

Day 17….

The Amazon Room is starting to feel like home, and it’s been a good several days since I’ve left the confinements of the Rio Hotel. I’m worried I may become institutionalised, like those dudes in Shawshank Redemption. Maybe if I buy a Rita Hayworth poster I could gradually dig a hole with one of my sushi chopsticks and escape before the end of the week. Nope, hold on, just checked the Harrah’s rules for meda, and escaping is not allowed.

I’ve suddenly got the sense that the Series is starting to pick up pace now. The corridors are getting busier, the queue for the toilets is longer and they’re even opening up other cardrooms to cater for the demand. It’s amazing how spread out the poker at the Rio can be – you can be playing in the casino cardroom, the linking corridor to the convention centre, the Amazon Room, the Brasilia Room, the event has just expanded to such epic proportions, it’s not just about how many players turn up for the main event any more. One announcement amused me greatly: “For those of you looking for the Omaha/Hold’Em event, it’s behind the pizza factory and the custard creams.” Binion turns in his grave.

I almost got myself into trouble with the updates by accidentally using the title “Another Threesome for Clonie” in describing a three-way pot. Knowing my reputation with puns and gentle mockery, my PokerNews boss would never have believed it was unintentional. I’m just glad I didn’t write “Clonie Comes Over The Top in Threesome” or “Clonie Takes Yet Another Hit.” “Jesus Crucified and Hung Out To Dry” is certainly off the cards too for a Ferguson exit, I don’t think I would have made it back to the room alive.

The $2,000 event was a change of pace for Dana and I who really need to practice the art of drawing straws. For once, we actually finished the day at a relatively early hour, the end of day whistle blowing at 1.30am. When I was a schoolkid, I dreamt of the day that I’d call 1.30am early.


At 3:08 AM, Blogger Unknown said...


Im surely going to be glued to you blog for more updates on WSOP. Im interested in having a link exchange with your blog. Awaiting your reply, so that we could discuss more.



Post a Comment

<< Home