Vinnie Vinh

Vinnie Vinh's Chair Contemplates Its Next Move

Vinnie Vinh's chair at 2008 WSOP

Vinnie Vinh must've been in limbo on whether or not to let his chair take over for him in the $1,500 Limit Hold'em event, which he ended Day 2 as the chip leader. With Vinh failing to show up during the first 30 or 40 minutes of play today, his chair took over and outlasted three players before Vinh eventually showed up. He is currently fifth overall in chips. Erick Lindgren has climbed up the leaderboard and is currently sixth overall. Get full chip counts here.

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2008 WSOP Update: Vinnie Vinh!!! + Some Other Stuff

Unfortunately for the aesthetics of this post, we have no news to report on the spectacularly-breasted J.C. Tran. However, we've received a number of questions the past few days on what exactly is up with that nickname, along with a few others ("Salty" Joe Hachem, for example). So sometime in the next day or so we'll review the origins of some of those names. Now on to the recaps as there were six tourney in action yesterday.

Event #9 ($1,500 NLH 6-Handed) - Unless you're friends and family, you probably don't care about that Rep Porter won this, banking $372,929. Read the final table recap here.

Event #10 ($2,500 Omaha/Seven Card Stud Hi-Low-8 or Better) - With Erick Lindgren's bracelet win (Video: Lindgren discuss WSOP bracelet), Michael "The Grinder" Mizrachi is among the leaders for the title "Best Without Bracelet" now. He had a chance to shed that monkey off his back in Event #10, but was the first out at the final table. Farzad Rouhani took the title, besting a field of 388 to bank $232,911. Get full tourney results here.

Event #11 ($5,000 NLH Shoot-Out) - Only one of the "big names" from the remaining 36 made it down to the final 6, as Greg "FBT" Mueller will gun for his first WSOP bracelet. Joining him at the final table are Sirous Jamshidi, Thomas Roupe, newly elected Davidson Matthew Club member Phil Tom, Tim West, and Leo Wolpert.

Vinnie Vinh oranges at WSOPEvent #12 ($1,500 Limit Hold'em) - In a grueling day that tourney officials decided to halt at 18 since there was no way of getting to 9...wait for it...Vinnie Vinh!!! is the chip leader, stacked at 345,000. Vinnie Vinh!!! The potential for something awesome happening here is a full 14 on a scale of 1-10. Also still in contention is Erick Lindgren, stacked at 90,000. Get full chip counts here.

Event #13 ($2,500 NLH) - Huge turn-out of 1,397, creating a spectacularly evil-and-lucky first place prize of $666,777. Edwin James Olmos Eli Elezra ended the day as chip leader, stacked at 147,500. The absolutely red-hot Theo Tran continues his run at 2008 WSOP Player of the Year and is in second overall with 134,900. Other notables among the 137 remaining include Lee Watkinson/Markholt, Vanessa Selbst, Chris "Jesus" Ferguson, and Liz Lieu, a woman. Get full chip counts here.

Event #14 ($10,000 7CS) - A total of 158 bought in to this marquee event, creating a first place prize of $415,856. 80 remain after Day 1. Leading the way is Alexander Kostritsyn with 121,100. Other big name big stacks include Lorenzo Lamas (89,100), Daniel Negreanu (watch Daniel's vlog on the event below) (79,700), Ralph Perry (76,100), and Cyndi Violette, a woman (70,300). Plenty of notables remain, get the chip counts here.

VIDEO: Daniel Negreanu discusses Seven Card Stud Championship

2008 WSOP Band of Bloggers: Get full recaps and payouts from here. Get Dr. Pauly's take on WSOP happenings here. Gary Wise has some thoughts here. Please please don't forget Pokerati here. And get Poker Prof's recap and more photos here.

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Vinnie Vinh Considers Letting Chair Take Over at 2008 WSOP


It was bound to happen.

Vinnie Vinh would eventually face this difficult decision at the 2008 World Series of Poker: play it through, or let the chair take over.

Last year, Vinh's chair set a record for most cashes by an inanimate object (two, breaking Rhett Butler's previous record of one).

After much contemplation, Vinh decided that he was in better shape to pull this one out than his chair, and he cruelly rubbed his chair's face in it by sitting on him.

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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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WPT LA Poker Classic: Vinnie Vinh Still Alive, Glum Girl is Here, Benyamine Looking Slim(mer), Negreanu Backing Barack

Svetlana WPT Poker Classic David Benyamine WPT LA Poker Classic Daniel Negreanu WPT LA Poker Classic

So we made it to the Commerce today after a night of relatively moderate bedlam that kicked off at the Library Alehouse in Santa Monica and somehow ended up with us at a Laurel Canyon mansion this morning with a group of Venice Beach trust fund hippies who graffiti'd are SUV rental with Obama stickers.

We'll save that story however for our forthcoming 4-part series entitled "How We Spent the Friday Night Before the WPT LA Poker Classic."

For now, the word from the Commerce is that the action got underway almost 3 5 7 plus hours ago and we're finally getting around to writing something and we don't have much to say besides that pretty much every poker player you know this side of the Atlantic is here including Phil Hellmuth, Phil Ivey, Jamie Gold, John Phan, Carlos Mortensen, Are You Really Reading this List?, Paul Wasicka, Vannessa "Went to Duke" Rousso, Grover Cleveland, Layne Flack, Phil Laak, Josh Arieh, Rhahaeid Skaoodo, David Plastik, Barry Greenstein, Dan Harrington, Erick Lindgren, Mother Teresa, Eric Mizrachi, Scott Clements, Haralabos Voulgaris, Still Reading This?, David Williams, Freddy Deeb, We Wonder What We Should Eat for Dinner, Gavin Smith, David Singer, Lee Watkinson, Perhaps We'll Go to Panchos Tonight, Tom Schneider, Mark Seif, This Is Getting Tiring, Chau Giang, Tim Phan and Erick Seidel.

In total, 665 players started today, down considerably from last year's 791, and the total prize pool is $6,374,400, with first place set to take home $1,596,100. In 2007, Eric Hershler walked away with $2,429,970.

Of note . . .

Continue reading "WPT LA Poker Classic: Vinnie Vinh Still Alive, Glum Girl is Here, Benyamine Looking Slim(mer), Negreanu Backing Barack" »

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The Ten Most Wicked Stories of 2007 - Part IV

Winding down the top stories, entries four and three deal with poker playing immigrants who had difficult years in 2007, although for completely different reasons.

4) Shawn Sheikhan Arrested For Some Reason, Threatened With Deportation, Then Not Deported. In late August, the Feds showed up at Shawn Sheikhan's Las Vegas residence and arrested him for a sexual assault charge he already served time for over 10 years ago. He spent a week in jail and faced deportation to Iran due to a new Homeland Security law that looks to oust convicted foreign national sex criminals. However, deportation hearings were halted in November, and Sheiky now appears set to stay in U.S. America for a long time. Good news for golfers everywhere. Read more about Sheikhan here.

3) Vinnie Vinh's Chair Makes History. Six months later, we still don't know what to make of Vinnie Vinh disappearing not once, not twice, but thrice at the 2007 WSOP. Just hands down the funniest story of the year involving poker playing immigrant drug addicts. Even more remarkable, after "account selling" his um, seat to his Chair, said Chair managed to cash twice. As we noted at the time, "This is Vinh's chair's second cash in the 2007 WSOP (it finished 20th in Event 8), establishing a new WSOP record for a chair in a non-chair-only event." Fortunately, Vinh did survive the WSOP, and managed a non-chair cash at the Bellagio Five-Diamond at the end of the year. Read more on Vinh here, see an impromptu interview with Vinh here (we were filming Phil Hellmuth's entry to the Main Event with the 11 models and spotted Vinh smoking outside, so we ran out to talk to him...typically don't wear caps backwards...), and watch an interview with Vinh's chair below.

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Vinnie Vinh Still Alive, Has Non-Chair Cash at Five Diamond

Vinnie Vinh has non-chair cash at the Bellagio Five Diamond.If we did shit like have polls for "Best Story of the Year," we'd be willing to bet that Vinnie Vinh's chair cashing twice at the 2007 WSOP would win that award, along with "Funniest Story of the Year," and "Best Story Involving Crack-Cocaine of the Year," which would slightly edge out any story about Elix Powers if there were any.

So we were very, very happy to see Vinnie Vinh not "account selling" to his chair and actually cashing in his own right at the Bellagio Five-Diamond Classic early this morning.

Vinh finished 15th in Event #7, banking $6,770. Also cashing include Ryan Daut, "Miami" John Cernuto, Joe Sebok, and Men Nguyen. The final table is today, and includes chip leader Roy Winston, Dan Alspach, Jared Hamby, and Michael "The Grinder" Mizrachi.

More on Vinh from the 2007 WSOP here, here, here (the infamous "chair" interview), here and here.

View full Five-Diamond results here.

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Vinnie Vinh Showed Up Today . . . And Is Gone

Vinnievinhwsopday27Thanks to Lance at for the heads-up on this one: Vinnie Vinh, who we interviewed two days ago before he bailed at the Day 1d dinner break and saw his stack whittled down to 3,200, has decided to show up and play Day 2b today at the 2007 WSOP.

UPDATE: Vinnie Vinh was eliminated on the second hand of Day 2b. Pushing all-in with 5-9 off, his opponent called with K-8 off. The flop came 8h-5d-Qd to give each a pair. The turn was 9s putting Vinh ahead but the Ks came on the river to send Vinh home, or more likely, into hiding if what says is true. Head over there for some of the strange things Vinh said before play started today, including how he would be whacked if he won this year.

Photos of Vinnie Vinh today at the 2007 WSOP, including his final hand and exit, coming shortly . . .

UPDATE II: Photos of Vinh after the jump . . .

Continue reading "Vinnie Vinh Showed Up Today . . . And Is Gone" »

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Vinnie Vinh Video Interview on

Yesterday WCP co-entity Chops, who moonlights as President of, chatted with Vinnie Vinh outside the Rio for our latest Webisode of The Toke with Wicked Chops Poker on Vinh avoided as best as he could questions about his disappearances saying it's something between him and his sponsor. He also repeatedly thanked the folks at the World Series of Poker for allowing him to play on Day 1d after being a no show on Day 1a due to being "sick."

Watch the video for all Vinh has to say as well as news on how his backer planned to ensure Vinh's appearance on Day 2.

Or watch the Vinnie Vinh interview at

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Vinnie Vinh's Chair is Back and Stacked on Day 1d of the Main Event

Vinnie Vinh's chair showing its formula for success during Day 1d of the 2007 WSOP.
Sticking with what works, a tired, itchy and anxious Vinnie Vinh decided to call it a day during the dinner break and turn the action over to his WSOP record-breaking chair for the rest of the night. Although the chair has already cashed twice for Vinh during the 2007 World Series of Poker, it has its work cut out for it in the Main Event as its tight play is being taken advantage of by the more aggressive players at the table, so aggressive they're taking the chips right from his stack every time the blinds come around. Vinh's chair, which it's worth noting has outlasted Phil Hellmuth and Jamie Gold today, has gone from about 35,000 in chips after the dinner break to 16,900 around 30 minutes ago.

In related news, infomercial weirdo, WSOP event runner up and Vinnie Vinh friend, Tommy Vu, is in a wheel chair for some apparent reason. See photos of Vinh doing his "Taco-flavored Kisses" hand-puppet routine for Vu after the jump.

Also, stay tuned for our exclusive video interview with Vinnie Vinh himself from the World Series of Poker today.

Continue reading "Vinnie Vinh's Chair is Back and Stacked on Day 1d of the Main Event" »

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From Around the Rio During Day 1d of the 2007 WSOP...


Chops of interviews Vinnie Vinh outside the Rio on Day 1d of the 2007 World Series of Poker.

Some things we've heard/seen:

:: It was discussed today that Bernard Lee will have a picture of the Entities that comprise Wicked Chops Poker (instead of his kids) on Day 2 of the WSOP that he will kiss for good luck. It was discussed.

:: Reports have ranged regarding Phil Hellmuth's car crash that the 11-time WSOP bracelet winner is suffering whiplash, severe back strain, light back strain, and hardly anything. Having seen him enter the WSOP with 11 super hot models earlier today (pictures coming), if anything on Hellmuth is feeling stiff, it's probably not his back.

:: Gavin Smith DID wear his jester outfit today...but only for about 20 minutes. He called Joe Sebok early on and bought out of the bet.

:: And is true...we did talk to Vinnie Vinh. He is playing Day 1d. Expect video footage of our conversation tomorrow.

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Vinnie Vinh's Chair Removed From Play

Wsopchair_2As first reported on thepokerbiz, Vinnie Vinh's chair has been removed from Day 1a play.

Vinh was registered for Day 1a action, but with rumors circulating that he is in the hospital, tournament director Jack Effel decided to remove his stack and refund Vinh's money.

Said Effel:

“I’d do it for any player in this situation. I don’t think it’s an angle, but I want to do what’s in his best interest of the player here.”

Read the full story here.

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WCP Exclusive with Vinnie Vinh's Chair (We Have a Show on

Sure, Poker News just dropped an exclusive about Vinnie Vinh today. And typically, this would be the biggest news of the day.

But today isn't a typical day.

Cause we are breaking an exclusive with Vinnie Vinh's chair. No...freaking...comparison.

Wicked Chops Poker has a show coming soon to On it, you'll get poker news you won't find anywhere else. Our first teaser vid explores the search for Vinnie Vinh, followed by an exclusive with twice-over 2007 WSOP casher, Vinnie Vinh's chair.

More to come in the next few days...

Watch Vinnie Vinh's chair interview on
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Vinnie Vinh's Chair Finishes 22nd in the $2,500 Short-Handed Event at the 2007 WSOP

Wsopchair_2Due to prior commitments that likely involved foaming at the mouth and delusions of insects crawling on his skin, Vinnie Vinh was unable to make Day 2 of Event 30 yesterday at the 2007 WSOP.

But his chair was there in his place, starting the day with 73,800 in chips with 42 players remaining. Saddled with a tight table image and unable to really get anything going throughout the day, Vinh's chair still managed to outlast 20 other players to finish 22nd, good enough for a cash of $12,468.

This is Vinh's chair's second cash in the 2007 WSOP (it finished 20th in Event 8), establishing a new WSOP record for a chair in a non-chair-only event.

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WSOP Update: Vinnie Vinh Missing Again, Hellmuth Ties Cloutier's Final Table Record


The Vinh has gone missin' again, this time on Day 2 of the $2,500 No Limit Hold'em short-handed event. We don't want to speculate but we're guessing Vinh has found God, paid off all his debts, got clean and sober and is in a A.A. meeting right now saying, "My name is Vinnie Vinh!!! And I'm fucked up!!!"

We could be wrong on this though.

Meanwhile, Phil Hellmuth's ego can be easily found at the ESPN featured final table as it celebrates matching T.J. Cloutier's record 39 WSOP final tables. Hellmuth and his ego have now completed the triple crown of WSOP records with the most bracelets, most cashes and now (tied for the) most final tables.

In related news, Katharine McPhee looks good.

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Vinnie Vinh is Alive and Twitching at the 2007 WSOP

VinnyvinhwsopVinnie Vinh, the all-but-dead poker player who went missing after being among the chipleaders on Day 1 of the $1000 Rebuy NLHE event, was seen yesterday playing the $2,500 short-handed NLHE event at the 2007 WSOP. Looking like a Vietnamese meth-jacked Shane MacGowan on a very, very bad day but with better teeth, Vinh has managed to outlast more than 800 players to make it into Day 2 with 73,800 in chips. Hoyt Corkin, at 270,800, is the chip leader with 42 players left. Other big names still in include Steve Wong (233,300), Mimi Tran (121,500), Erick Lindgren (101,400), Terrence "You're Not Johnny" Chan (80,100) and Erik Seidel (43,900).

We didn't get to see much of Vinnie Vinh playing yesterday until the end of the day but we heard he was in top form.'s Martin Derbyshire reported the following about Vinh after officials told him to remove his iPod when play was down to 15 tables:

Vinh spent the entire night arguing with the dealers, WSOP staff and other players around him every chance he had about anything he could think of at the time. Players from other tables even got up to ask him to shut up, but nothing worked. Many felt the best decision might be to give Vinh an exception to the no electronic devices under 15 tables rule and give him his iPod back. At one point he picked up a hand and was screaming "Shoot it up," grabbing his arm, making a needle like motion and pumping chips into the pot.

When we saw Vinh, he looked pathetically frail, about Nicole Richie size at her thinnest. And while nothing that remarkable happened as he sat in his seat shaking his leg 100 miles an hour and occasionally twitching, he did seem irritable and restless at times, occasionally getting up and walking around the table nervously.

While we don't want to suggest that Vinnie Vinh is a meth head we will say that the symptoms for a meth head include increased alertness, paranoia, decreased appetite, increased physical activity, writhing jerky, irritability, aggression, anger, panic, paranoia, and repetitive behavior patterns.

And this pretty much sums up what Vinh was displaying yesterday.

So yeh, he probably is a meth head.

UPDATE: And he likely smokes it . . . based on what he told late last night (Go here and scroll down to just above the photo of Vinh with Stu Ungar in the background).

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2007 WSOP Updates: Brandi Hawbaker Isn't a Slut; Vinnie Vinh Isn't Dead

Brandihawbakerwsop2:: During a WSOP break, WCP fave Brandi Hawbaker issued a statement on 2+2 pulling a Peter Cetera and defending her honor. In it, Brandi says:

"What troubles me the most is that very few people know me, yet I am continually referred to as being a 'theif' and a 'whore'. This could not be further from the truth."

This is somewhat disappointing to us, cause we kind of dig morally casual thiefy chicks. Probably explains the 147 times one of us has woken up in a Vegas hotel, handcuffed to the bed, with our wallets missing after some girl told us she wanted to knock boots and listen to us talk about ourselves for a few hours. As we've said before, fool us once, shame on you...fool us 147 times, shame on us. Read the full 2+2 thread here.

:: The Vinnie Vinh rumor mill continues to swirl, with the latest grill for the mist (or whatever that fucking phrase is) coming from Shane "Shaniac" Schlegler. In a 2+2 post, Shaniac says:

"I heard from his backer that he's alive and that he's done this before. If I had to guess, I would say his current substance problem is meth not crack. Crack doesn't hasten the physical changes that were evident in Vinnie the way I understand meth does."

We've spoken with numerous pros about this (off the record), all who've lamented they think Vinh is currently "on meth." They all noted how thin Vinh appeared at the start of the WSOP, some not even recognizing him until he referred to himself in third person. Trust us*, meth is bad. And by "bad" we mean "fucking rad."

Read the full 2+2 thread here and view photos of her at the 2007 WSOP here.

* Never trust us.

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WTF Happened to Vinnie Vinh?

Vinnie VinhVinnie Vinh finished Day 1 of the $1000 Rebuy NLHE event at the 2007 WSOP with the second most chips. On Day Two he failed to show up.

The past WSOP Circuit winner and WPT runner-up-er was eventually blinded out in 20th place ($16,212) as family and friends frantically tried to locate him, but to no avail. Now pros and online poker forums are speculating that Vinh may have succumbed to drug usage, possibly the gak or crystal meth.

Shane "Shaniac" Schleger, who was just one table over from Vinh on the first day of the event, had this to say on a 2+2 thread:

"I actually think there's a good chance that the reason VV didnt show up today was because of some kind of incapacitation (whether it be death, hospitalization or whatever). When I saw him yesterday, I couldn't believe how he looked--he was emaciated and appeared like he had aged years in the course of a month. I'm assuming it's the result of some kind of hard-drug problem, but I have no real insight.

Vinnie played one table over from me all day yesterday, seeming to hold onto chips the whole day and not missing any opportunities to refer to himself in the third person ("Don't they know how Vinny Vinh plays?"). It's almost inconceivable to me that he missed day 2 with the chip lead unless something drastic happened. Also, fwiw, his stack outlasted over 60 players."

While we thought all poker playing Asians referred to themselves in the third person, Shaniac's observations of Vinh's possible drug-induced mental state are backed by comments made by Shannon Shorr, who also was playing in the same event. Shorr remarked:

"I saw Vinny Vinh around the tables yesterday and he looked like he was on a different planet from hard drug abuse. I very much dislike playing with Vinny because of the way he treats other players and dealers, but I really hope that he is found to be in ok shape. It, indeed, must've been very serious for a player like Vinh to miss this kind of shot at a bracelet."

Hop over to 2+2 for running commentary on the Vinnie Vinh disappearance or get the NWP perspective with their "Vinny Vinh Prop Bet" thread.

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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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