Friday, June 20, 2008


Day 21…

Oh, Almost Forgot

The achievements of Samuel Singer captivated me so much that I forgot to report that I played my first hand of poker on day 20 since being in Vegas. I see so many hands throughout the week that I tend to veer away from playing cash games and tournaments in my free time, but in order to obtain my hotel player’s discount, I made an exception and played the nightly $340 event in the Brasilia room.

While I was queuing to buy in, who should hobble in and join the back of the queue but none other than Doyle Brunson. It was strange, as if Michael Jackson had moon walked into the room, everyone just turned around and stared. Personally, I was just amazed that someone like Doyle still had to queue for anything poker related, reminded me of when Phil Ivey came up behind me in the hotdog stand two years back.

I won’t bore you with the details, but I departed right at the death of level three, and thus didn’t even make it to the break in one piece. I did feel this was a potentially lucrative tournament though, and if I had the roll I’d happily play these every night rather than the bracelet events. With a 5,000 starting stack, it might even be better than some of the smaller WSOP comps.

So That’s How He Does It

The day after was day one of my fourth live update, the six-handed $2,500 No Limit Hold’Em Freezeout. I was glad to be covering this event more than others because I thought there’d be more pros playing, more hands to report and, god willing, shorter days. All three of these premonitions emerged true by the end of play.

I don’t normally like to litter my blog with hands, but one in particular caught my eye during this event. Near the end of the opening day, Dario Minieri raised it up to 3,2000 from early position, mateyboy made it 10,000, Dario repopped to 22,000 and mateyboy pushed all in.

Dario paused momentarily before announcing “Well, I guess I’m committed” and making the call. Whilst Dario could only muster pocket deuces, his opponent had him dominated with kings. A king on the flop looked to have it sewn up, but running clubs gave Dario the flush.

Ooooh, nasty, as Knightmare’s Tregar would say. Even Dario was taken aback, running his little legs over to fellow countryman Max Pescaroti to share his tale of anal buggery. They use the term ‘backdoor’ for a reason you know.

Bjorin Again

As you may already know, I publish all WSOP results on the blonde poker homepage and always highlight ‘top names’, ‘Brits’ and ‘Europeans’, but Harrah’s don’t make it an easy task when Chris Bjorin is down as coming from England, David Benyamine from Las Vegas and Gus Hansen from Monaco. Why they go by their current residence rather than their nationality, I have no idea, no one cares where they live, but we may be interested to hear if a fellow countryman is running well.

I guess we can’t complain, we had two Brits on the final table last year - yes, Philip Hilm is as English as Big Ben… apparently.

Day 22…

Control V

Fuck me, there are some big names in poker, but Michael Chrisanthopoulos at a mammoth 24 letters has to be one of the biggest. If it’s not the biggest, then it’s certainly the most fucking awkward to write, so awkward in fact that we nicknamed him ‘control v’.

When you’re tired, seeing two flops instead of one, and trying to rid your vision of patches of green from staring at the felt for too long, writing down names with more than three or four consonants suddenly becomes a military operation. If those consonants are consecutive, you’re officially screwed. Every time our field reporters gave us a hand with this dude on (I refuse to repeat his name to spare myself of arthritis), he was written as Michael Chrisalphabet and, eventually, MC.

I should always remain unbiased, but I was mighty relieved when he fell short of the final table. Hand-for-hand with Michael Chrisalphabet is the stuff of nightmares. I dream of a final with Smith, Jones, Brown and so on, but as long as Greeks and Scandinavians are in the game, I think I’ll have to get used to using that ‘control v’ button on a regular basis.

Speaking of player’s names, one of our reporters has rather suspect handwriting, so I had to ask him for confirmation of a player’s name. “Is this Chen or Chiu?” I asked. “Chau,” he replied. Christ, why don’t they throw a Chan into the comp too and really test me.

Fins Don't Come Cheap

Obviously, I can’t reveal my source, but I was told today that as Patrik Antonius’s Martins Poker contract was drawing to a close, he was approached by Ray Bitar and encouraged to join the rest of the poker world on the Full Tilt bandwagon. “How much will it cost?” he was asked. Patrik’s reply? “You can’t afford me.” Gotta love his confidence. It’s probably for the best though, I mean, how the fuck could they squeeze another player into one of those posters?

On a sidenote, I was also informed that Patrick isn't quite as arrogant and pompous as one might initially think. Apparently, he's actually a timid guy, and when he first shot to fame, his English was severely limited. Instead of communicating, he therefore decided to keep stum and say as little as possible, which sometimes made him appear unfriendly. Often when poker players are thrust into the spotlight, we can make character assassinations. Maybe this is one that some people got wrong.

Beam Me Up Scotty

As we approached the final table bubble with the likes of Dario Minieri and Scotty Nguyen still in tact, I was looking forward to a fun-filled last day. However, the latter of those two players would sadly snap up the unwanted seventh spot and hit the deck on the last hand of the day.

I say sadly, because Scotty Nguyen is without doubt one of the most entertaining players in the game, and also my favourite poker player period. Although it’s considerably easier when you’re as affluent as he is, Scotty is always smiling, enjoying himself and doing whatever he can to have a good time. At one point during day one of this event, he event bought his table a round of beers. This gathering of players became by far the loudest of any of the tables as Scotty’s infectuous good vibes spread.

With players like Annie Duke and Phil Hellmuth, a lot of what they do is for the cameras, but Scotty is different, he remains his happy-go-lucky self whether the cameras are in view or not. I don’t think there is anyone in the game who appreciates, and even tolerates, the fans as much as he does. With two tables left, one moron approached him as they were colouring up and asked for a photo, and even though it was past midnight with the big money looming, Scotty happily obliged.

What I love the most about Scotty, however, isn’t that he calls even the butchest of opponents “baby”, but the simple fact that he looks like a cross between Mr T and the Fonz with a smidgen of Jimmy Saville thrown in for good measure. I mean, is there any other player in the game who could successfully pull off a vest, white trousers and multiple medallions combo, not to mention a hairdo that borders on the mullet? Seriously, just picture the Devilfish walking in dressed like that. Actually, I wouldn’t put it past him.


At 8:09 PM, Blogger PokerGuy said...

Great article man. I'd actually like to buy a link box on your site can you pm me prices to ?


At 5:06 PM, Blogger cheer_dad said...

I'd like to chime in on your praise of Scotty Nguyen as well! He's a CLASS ACT! I was fortunate enough to be in Vegas last year during the series and spotted Scotty as he stepped outside to grab a smoke. It was hot, he looked tired, and had a million other things on his mind. I decided I'd just snap a candid shot and not bother him. But he happened to glance over and immediately turned on the charm and gave me this shot He even said "It's me baby!" Ever since I've been a big fan!

Thanks for all the great reports from Vegas. Looking forward to more.



At 2:45 PM, Blogger snoopy1239 said...

Thanks for that cheer_dad, great story. You really can't make assumptions about these folk until you meet them in the flesh or observed them away from the camera.


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