LA Poker Classic

WPT Bay 101 Shooting Star: Blair Hinkle, Clonie Gowen (a Woman), and Paul Wasicka Lead Day 1B

Blair Hinkle leads WPT Bay 101 Shooting Star Day 1b play.The so-called "shooting stars" fared much better in Day 1b play at the WPT Bay 101 main event, as 11 survived the action (compared with 5 for Day 1a).

Day 1b ended with Blair Hinkle as chip leader, stacked at 170,800. You may remember Hinkle as the man who briefly led the WPT LAPC last month.

Hinkle is followed by Clonie Gowen, a woman, with 163,300. And following the woman Clonie Gowen is 2007 NBC National Heads-Up Poker champ Paul Wasicka with 140,600.

Of the so-called "shooting stars" that survived Day 1b, last year's WPT Bay 101 champ Ted Forrest leads the way with 118,600. Other so-called "shooting stars" include Isabelle Mercier (61,200), "Salty" Joe Hachem (aka Adnan Ghalib) (52,600), Phil Laak (47,000), Erick Lindgren (42,700), Jennifer Harman (40,800), Barry Greenstein (38,900), Mike "The Mouth" Matusow (33,500), Cyndy Violette, a woman (29,300), Allen Cunningham (19,700), and Scotty Nguyen (7,200).

Also remaining at the WPT Bay 101 is our pick to win it, 2008 Canadian Open Poker Championship champ Huck Seed (28,200).

As of "press time," the Blue Diamond Almonds Bold Player of the Day had not yet been named.

Get full chip counts here.

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Eighth Time's a Charm: Phil Ivey Wins WPT LA Poker Classic

Phil Ivey Wins WPT LA Poker Classic

This one kind of felt inevitable.

Phil Ivey finally won his first WPT title.

Although it didn't look good at first. Ivey lost a big pot early in final table action, telling Kimberly Lansing:

"I was just really frustrated, the seven other times I've made [a WPT final table]...I actually felt when I first sat down and lost that big hand [against Charles 'no chance' Moore], I thought, 'Here we go again.'"

But Ivey tightened up and started building his stack again. After Phil Hellmuth and Scott Montgomery were eliminated, Ivey won a 3.14 million dollar pot off Nam Le, gaining back the chip lead. He later knocked Nam out when he spiked a three on the river to make a set and crack Nam's aces.

When it got to heads-up play, Ivey had a near 5-to-1 chip advantage over eventual runner-up Quinn Do. Ivey busted Quinn with a full house (aces full of eights), banking $1,596,100 for the win, which should pad his FTP bankroll nicely.

Get the full final table recap here.

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WPT LAPC: Phil Ivey, Phil Hellmuth, Nam Le Battle for Title

Poker pro Phil Ivey leads final table at WPT LA Poker ClassicIt would be hard to reasonably ask for a better WPT final table than this.

The 2008 WPT LAPC has three of poker's toughest tournament players gunning for the title. Leading the way as big stack is Phil Ivey with 4,100,000. This is Ivey's record-setting eigth WPT final table. However, he has yet to win a WPT title. However however, even if he doesn't win this one, he did manage to capture yesterday's Blue Diamond Almonds Bold Player of the Day. And that's a year's supply of almonds right there.

Ivey is followed by Scott "r_a_y" Montgomery with 2,680,000.

In third overall is 11-time WSOP bracelet winner Phil Hellmuth (2,380,000). This is Hellmuth's third WPT final table.

Rounding out the final six are Charles "no chance" Moore (1,510,000), Quinn Do (1,450,000), and three-time WPT final table-ist (and one-time winner) Nam Le (1,180,000).

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Jennifer Tilly Can Join Us at the Beach Now, Phil Hellmuth Can't, He's Leading at LAPC

Jennifer Tilly at the WPT LA Poker Classic
Jennifer Tilly, a woman, has busted from the WPT LA Poker Classic in 12th place, good enough for a $61,610 cash. On the final hand, the barely stacked but big racked Tilly reraised Phil Hellmuth all in and then this and that happened on the board and she lost all her chips. Yeh, great story we know.

Phil Hellmuth is now the chip leader with 2,750,000 and his counter-Phil, Ivey, is second with 1,920,000. Scott Montgomery, an ice manufacturer rep or something from Canada, is in third with 1,415,000.

There are 11 players left competing for the $1.6 million first place prize. It's 73 degrees where we are right now, still breezy, the sun is going down and reggae is playing.

After the jump, two more photos of J Tilly dressed as a cowboy at the LAPC . . .

Continue reading "Jennifer Tilly Can Join Us at the Beach Now, Phil Hellmuth Can't, He's Leading at LAPC" »

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Blair "blur5f6" Hinkle Leads the Phils after First Break at the WPT LA Poker Classic

Blair Hinkle WPT LAPC
Blair "blur5f6" Hinkle of Kansas City, Missouri went into the first break today at the WPT LA Poker Classic as the chip leader with 1,659,000 in chips. The 22-year-old from Kansas City is apparently a decent online poker player, recently taking down a Full Tilt $216 buy-in tourney for $146,288. He's amassed over $215k from MTTs on the site.

Both Phils, Hellmuth and Ivey, trail close behind with 1,589,000 and 1,457,000, respectively. In fourth is Michael Watson, who has just over a million.

Stacked below average but still among the final 14 players is Quinn Do (855,000), Theo Tran (853,000), Jennifer Tilly, a woman (841,000) and Nam Le (604,000).

Among the busted, David Singer, who finished in 18th for $48,840.

In related news, it's 80 degrees, sunny skies and breezy in Hermosa.

UPDATE: Holy Canuck! Scott Montgomery of Ottawa, Canada, who plays online as "r_a_y" for one reason or another, has taken the chip lead, nearly stacked at 2 million. He's seated right next to Phil Hellmuth, who's second in chips, and the two have been verbally sparring throughout the day. Blair Hinkle, the kid above, took a $500k or so chip dive.

Check out our favorite girl with a web cam Kimberly Lansing interviewing Scott Montgomery here. To say Kimberly looks especially pretty/cute/hot (take your pick) today would be an understatement.

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WPT LAPC: Phil Ivey, Phil Hellmuth, Phil Nam Le Lead the Way

Wptlogo_2A WPT dream final table is shaping up at the LAPC, which probably means that it won't happen [insert Debbie Downer music]. A healthy dose of skepticism is always a good thing, right?

However, if this WPT dream final table does happen, the Entities who comprise Wicked Chops Poker promise you this: a minimum of 2 Entities will be in LA to pseudo-cover it.* That's how big it'll be.

With 18 remaining at the end of Day 4, Phil Ivey is the chip leader, stacked at 1,543,000. He's followed by relatively unknown but solid online pro Blair Hinkle (1,541,000). And he's followed by 11-time WSOP bracelet winner Phil Hellmuth (1,399,000). And he's followed by past WPT champ Nam Le (1,254,000).

Also still in, although not big stacked (however, still very big racked) is Jennifer Tilly (417,000), as well as David Singer (285,000).

Get full chip counts from the WPT site here.

In related news, at press time the Blue Diamond Almonds Bold Player of the Day had not yet been picked. We mention this because we know that you are really, really curious. Not to ruin the surprise, but we're guessing it'll be Phil Hellmuth. If we're right, expect a post bragging about how we were right. If we're wrong, nothing.

*Editor's Note: Already happening regardless. Empty promise.

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Getting Warmer

Jennifer Tilly at WPT LA Poker Classic on Day 4

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Glum Girl Gromenkova Gone

Glum_girl_wpt_lapcWe just got a text that Svetlana Gromenkova (at right) has been eliminated from the WPT LA Poker Classic, courtesy of poker pro David Singer, who was the Day 1 chip leader and is currently stacked near the top of the field at the Commerce today.

Gromenkova finishes in 50th place and takes $26,170 back with her to Brooklyn.

By the way, now is probably a good time to point out that if Gromenkova's family is in any way connected with the Russian mob, and they don't speak English so well, the term "glum girl" is one of endearment. Basically means "sweet" or "precious."

In related WPT LAPC news, Phil Ivey has crossed the million chip mark, Jennifer Tilly is not far behind with 850,000 and unfortunately still just as cold as yesterday, and Phil Hellmuth and his ego have septupled their stack today and now sit in third with 730,000.

In other related news, we kick ass at beach volleyball.

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Someone Please Crank the Heat Up at the LAPC

Jennifer Tilly at the WPT LA Poker Classic

Photo above of Jennifer Tilly, a woman, on Day 3 of the 2008 WPT LA Poker Classic, and not a scene of her from the movie Bound with Gina Gershon.

Seeing Tilly, who ended up 3rd in chips overall yesterday, buried under multiple layers of clothing just ain't right. Did we lose a war or something? Is the Taliban in control? Are these rhetorical questions or real ones?

Day 4 of the LAPC is about to get underway, and they're down to 58 players and in the money, with the bottom rung getting paid a paltry $22,020 and everyone gunning for the $1,596,100 first place prize.

Stay tuned to WCP for more WPT LA Poker Classic reports today, as reported from the entities' official media center at the WPT LA Poker Classic, which is situated adajacent to the tournament room at the Commerce, 25 miles away.

Our view of the LAPC today after the jump . . .

Continue reading "Someone Please Crank the Heat Up at the LAPC" »

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WPT LAPC: Ivey, Tilly, Singer, and Glum Girl Svetlana Among Chip Leaders

WptlogoWhile other early chip leaders have rode the proverbial rollercoaster, Phil Ivey has managed to remain at or near the chip lead for yet another day at the 2008 WPT LA Poker Classic.

Ivey ended Day 3 play stacked at 656,000. He trails only Kyle Burnside, who ended the day at 781,000.

Only 58 players remain from the starting field of 665. Following Ivey as the third overall big stack is big racked Jennifer Tilly with 569,000. She's followed by Day 1 chip leader David Singer with 561,000.

Other notables include but are surely not limited to: Glum Girl Svetlana Gromenkova (292,000), 2006 LAPC winner Alan Goehring - 284,000, Nam Le - 180,000, Toto Leonidas - 146,000, Phil Hellmuth - 100,000, and last year's LAPC champ Eric Hershler - 90,000.

2004 LAPC winner Antonio Esfandiari was eliminated three from the money.

With so many big names remaining, and with the WPT's recent history of big name flame-outs as we get to the TV table, we're sure to see a final table consisting of Yury Parad, Mike Hamparsomian, Pete de Best, Hassan Kamoei, David Stroj, and Jeff Chotikul. No offense to Yury Parad, Mike Hamparsomian, Pete de Best, Hassan Kamoei, David Stroj, and Jeff Chotikul.

Get full chip counts from the WPT site here.

And in honor of Ben Affleck, who once won the California State Poker Championship in Commerce Casino where the LAPC is held, here's the surprisingly very funny I'm F*cking Ben Affleck video.

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Holy Crap, Glum Girl Smiled

Svetlana Gromenkova

In what may be the biggest story at the 2008 WPT LA Poker Classic today, Svetlana Gromenkova has cracked a smile.

Perhaps it's because she's still in on Day 3 with 79 players left and sitting above average in chips.

In related big news at the LAPC, although nowhere near as big, Phil Ivey has been at or near the top of the chip count all day and last we checked is stacked at 550,000. Antonio Esfandiari, the new face of the World Poker Tour and the 2004 LAPC champion, is also among the leaders with 395,000 (scratch that...he just took a $238k hit). Others near the top of the chip count include Daniel Fuhs (352,000), Theo Tran (274,000) and the insufferably annoying Humberto Brenes (231,000). Of note, both last year's LAPC champion, Eric Hershler, and the 2006 LAPC champion, Alan Goehring, are still in, with 94,000 and 88,000, respectively.

Be sure to check out BJ Nemeth's comment to this post, which gives some great Nemethian insight on Ivey's WPT successes and failures over the years.

By the way, rumors that we aren't actually at the LA Poker Classic today and are instead playing beach volleyball with the McMurray sisters from Birmingham who are visiting their cousins in Hermosa for the week are categorically untrue, if categorically somehow means "partially."

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Dancing With the Stars Shannon Elizabeth is Officially Famous Again, Talks on the Phone

Shannon Elizabeth Dancing with the StarsPoker playing actress Shannon Elizabeth is not here at the WPT LA Poker Classic this week but she is officially back in the mainstream spotlight thanks to being tapped as this season's hot girl on Dancing With the Stars, which, as we mentioned before, is great for our site's SEO. It's also good for our photo-induced libidos once her sure-to-come Stuff, Maxim and/or FHM photos spreads are out.

Just a few weeks ago, Shannon was as far removed from the major media spotlight as that chick from Boy Meets World who turned Lance Bass gay. Now the paparazzi is following the American Pie top-dropper's every move, like she's Britney or Lindsay or something, except walking around in jeans while talking on the phone and not panties-less getting out of a car or banging random Italian dudes.

The most recent photos of Shannon Elizabeth, which you can see below, are pretty lame and nowhere near as great as seeing a photo of Barack Obama looking all terrorist-y but they're a start. Expect to see even more photos this weekend when she is in Las Vegas for the NBC Heads-Up Poker Championship, which Wicked Chops Poker will be at covering, or whatever you call what we do.

After the jump, photos of Shannon Elizabeth rehearsing for Dancing with the Stars with some 12-year-old boy . . .


Continue reading "Dancing With the Stars Shannon Elizabeth is Officially Famous Again, Talks on the Phone" »

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Glum Girl Gromenkova is Not Like Other Russian Girls

Svetlana Grumenkova at WPT LA Poker ClassicSince we first reported the other day that Svetlana Gromenkova, aka Glum Girl, was here at the WPT LA Poker Classic, we've been hearing from a bunch of people who've had run ins with her over the years.

One story is from someone who was reporting on the Legends of Poker at the Bike last August. Apparently Svetlana was heads up with Tony Tan in a Limit Hold'em event when the two discussed a chop.

According to this reporter:

"Once they settled on the deal, my job was to get a bio and a pic of Tony WITH the ring he got for first place. She glanced over to see the pic I was taking and went into a russian mafioso fit!

"I did not know about the ring! I would not take the deal if I did not know there was a trophy. We must play for the ring! American men are hot because they are good providers!" (fuzzy about the last one)

They tell her that the deal is made and Tony gets the ring and she began crying and throwing a huge fit. Mind you, we can't understand one word that she is saying, but we try to calm her down so she'll leave. She finally does, but tells everyone that 'You are evil people.'"

This is pretty much exactly how we'd expect Svetlana to act just by looks alone. The girl just seems bitter, which is exactly the opposite of all the other Russian girls we know and when we say "we know" we mean we just found a second ago on YouTube after searching "hot Russian girls dancing."   Our two favorite videos after the jump . . .

Continue reading "Glum Girl Gromenkova is Not Like Other Russian Girls " »

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WPT LAPC: Ivey, Esfandiari, Tilly Among Day 2 Chip Leaders

Phil_ivey_day_la_pokerMaybe allegedly blowing his entire Full Tilt Poker bankroll was exactly the motivation Phil Ivey needed to start dominating tournament play again.

Or maybe not. But Ivey has pwned the early stages of many-a-tournament over the past year and hasn't captured a victory, much to the dismay of his many fans.

After two days, Ivey has put himself in position again to make a run at that elusive first WPT title, ending play stacked at 279,000 (fourth overall). Having made six seven WPT final tables (BJ Nemeth, please confirm), Ivey is certainly deserving of a WPT crown. Kind of like how Tilda Swinton was deserving of that Best Supporting Actress win last night for her role in Michael Clayton. Seriously, a Ginger playing a non-Ginger? Someone without a soul playing someone who has a soul? That, our friends, is some serious acting.

Moving on, all LAPC'ers are chasing Daniel Fuhs, who brings the big stack of 397,100 to Day 3 play.

Among the chip leaders include recently named face of the WPT Antonio "The Magician" Esfandiari (do people still call him that?), with 245,000. Other big stacks included the big racked Jennifery Tilly (218,700), Haralabos Voulgaris (203,900), Theo Tran (177,500), Mark Seif (145,800), last year's LAPC winner Eric Hershler (129,600), Svetlana Gromenkova, a woman (128,000), Action Dan Harrington (122,700), Anna Wroblewski, a woman (115,000), Toto Leonidas (112,300), David Singer (109,500), Kenna James (104,300), and Mark Newhouse (99,300).

Get full chip counts here.
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Kimberly Lansing and Jean-Robert Bellande Go Heads Up at WPT LA Poker Classic

Kimberley_lansing_jean_robert_bellaWCP fave Kimberly Lansing and new Bodog pro Jean-Robert Bellande, that guy with the French sounding name who was on Survivor China, are playing a heads-up match backstage at the WPT LA Poker Classic right now. On the line is a dose of humility with the winner getting to pick a costume for the other to wear at some future event.

Bellande is thinking Wonder Woman or Snow White for Lansing.

Lansing is thinking Tinker Bell for Bellande.

Please God, please let Bellande win. We promise we won't post anymore photos of hot Danish girls on bikes ever again. Today.

UPDATE: There is a God. Bellande won. Stay tune for some video of the match. In the meantime, any photoshop-ers out there with a Wonder Woman pic and some time to kill?

ANOTHER UPDATE: After the jump, a video of Jean-Robert Bellande giving his prediction for NBC Heads-Up this week.

More Kimberly Lansing:
Kimberly Lansing video interview
Kimberly Lansing in Turks and Caicos, whose capital is Cockburn Town
Kimberly Lansing is fun to watch

Continue reading "Kimberly Lansing and Jean-Robert Bellande Go Heads Up at WPT LA Poker Classic" »

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WPT LAPC: Singer, Esfandiari, and Wroblewski (a Woman), Day 1 Chip Leaders, Vinnie Vinh + Jerry Yang Out...Will We Ever Hear from Them Again?

WptlogoDay 1 of the 2008 WPT LAPC ended with 450 of the original 665 players remaining. Hats off to the WPT for keeping all numbers divisible by "5" this year. As faithful readers of this site know, we hate math, so the more that numbers can be dumbed-down for us the better.

Some big names top the leaderboard. The unofficial* chip count leader at the end of Day 1 is David Singer, stacked at 137,400. He's followed by Antonio Esfandiari, who is stepping up after being named the new face of the WPT. Antonio brings 119,000 to Day 2 play. At third overall is Anna Wroblewski, a woman, with 116,550.

So many big names remain it would take a much more boring site that actually cares about listing them all to list them all, but some highlights include: Justin Bonomo (77,125), Action Dan Harrington (72,500), Montel Williams (59,000), David Williams (57,000), Phil Hellmuth (49,575), Johnny Chan (44,925), Phil Ivey (44,025), Vanessa Rousso who went to Duke (44,000), the insufferably annoying Humberto Brenes (40,300), star of Meerkat Manor Jeff Madsen (39,000), Todd Brunson (38,000), Lakers owner Jerry H. Buss (37,700), Survivor China's Jean-Robert Bellande (34,000), Mike Sexton (33,000), 2007 NBC Heads-Up champ Paul Wasicka (31,875), and that should be more than enough for now.

Not making it to Day 2 include Vinnie Vinh, Vinnie Vinh's chair, Jerry Yang (apparently he wasn't praying hard enough this time), and Obama '08 supporter Daniel Negreanu. Question, would Daniel support celeb favorite Bam Obama if he knew the Presidential hopeful was not only swiping words from Deval Patrick, but was also plagiarizing Rocky Balboa?

And finally, not making an appearance at this year's LAPC is Dancing with the Stars' Shannon Elizabeth, as Shannon Elizabeth is busy getting in super-hot shape for Dancing with the Stars.

Get full chip counts and reporting from the fantastic WPT website.

* Official.

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Wicked Chops Poker Is Your LA Poker Classic News Headquarters

Img_5561Wicked Chops Poker is on the ground in Los Angeles to report on the WPT L.A. Poker Classic Main Event and is gearing up for a week of unprecedented coverage of one of the tour's premier events. Held at the Commerce Casino, a longtime fave of the Entities, this year's LAPC Main Event is anticipated to draw a record field with a prize purse in the $7 million range, which is even a lot by our standards. And we're stupid rich.

Starting tomorrow and through the week, expect countless posts around the clock chronicling all the action at the tables, the gossip away from the felt, up-to-the-minute chip counts, photos from the tournament floor, in-depth interviews with your favorite players and maybe even a video blog or two.

And if we don't deliver any of the above we promise to deliver at least one post a day or maybe one post every other day. Or every other other day. And maybe our reports won't actually be from the Commerce but instead our beach place 25 miles away (photo above), after we wake up from nights of ensued bedlam. At around 4 pm. Because seriously, who do you think we are? That Owen Laukkanen guy?

Nonetheless, we did make it to the Commerce today, where the WPT held a press conference announcing that . . .

Continue reading "Wicked Chops Poker Is Your LA Poker Classic News Headquarters" »

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Girls on the Rail at 2008 WSOP


    Our photog at the 2008 WSOP is having a hard time focusing his lens on the pros at the table. We like him for that. Check out girls on the rail here.

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