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June 2005

2005 WSOP Player of the Year Standings

PokerWire.com just published the latest 2005 WSOP/ESPN/Toyota Player of the Year standings.  With two bracelets, Mark Seif sits atop the board.  But not far beyond (as always) is Chris "Jesus" Ferguson.  And with his victory in Event #2 and other solid finishes, Allen Cunningham is in 3rd.  Here's the top 50:

1.  Mark Seif - 428
2.  Chris 'Jesus' Ferguson - 397
3.  Allen Cunningham - 386
4.  Minh Nguyen - 329
5.  Cyndy Violette - 317
6.  Jennifer Harman - 316
7.  Toto Leonidas - 290
8.  Erik Seidel - 270
9.  Devilfish Ulliott - 266
10. Phil Ivey - 262
11. Kenny Robbins - 244
12. Marco Traniello - 238
13. Chad Brown - 234
14. Scott Fischman - 233
15. CT Law - 232
16. Michael Mizrachi - 230
17. Harry Demetriou - 225
18. Phil Gordon - 221
19. Tony Ma - 221
20. Jason Steinhorn - 218
21. Todd Brunson - 218
22. Bill Gazes - 214
23. Quinn Do - 207
24. David Pham - 205

  25. (tie) Thom Werthmann - 200
  25. Farzad Bonyadi - 200
  25. Eric Froelick - 200
  25. Edward Moncada - 200
  29. Tony Cousineau - 196
  30. Morgan Machina - 193
  31. John Bonetti - 190
  32. Barry Greenstein - 188
  33. Dave Cossio - 187
  34. Joe Awada - 186
  35. Can Kim Hua - 183
  36. Steve Hohn - 182
  37. (tie) Antonio Esfardiani - 181
  37. Mimi Tran - 181
  39. Maceik 'Mike' Gracz - 180
  40. T.J. Cloutier - 179
  41. (tie) Mike Wattel - 178
  41. Reza Payvar - 178
  41. Keith Sexton - 178
  41. Robert WIlliamson III - 178
  45. Rodeen Talebi - 176
  46. Phil Hellmuth - 172
  47. (tie) Jeff Lisandro - 170
  47. Anthony Reategui - 170
  49. (tie) AJ Kelsall - 168
  49. Doug Lee - 168

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Thank You Schmiech

Congratulations to Dan Schmiech for winning Event #28 ($5,000 Limit Hold'em)--but more importantly, thank you, as we now do not have to come up with any more Mr. Kotter jokes.  Yes, the well had run dry in that joke basin.

Dan managed to beat out Mr. Kotter (Gabe Kaplan) heads-up for his first WSOP bracelet, paying out a hefty sum of $404,585.  Kaplan is getting dangerously close to having "Gabe Kaplan, chasing his ever-elusive first bracelet..." as the suffix to his name.  This second place finish goes along with two 3rds and one 5th place finish.  Granted, we'd take a 2nd, two 3rds, and one 5th place WSOP final table finishes (not to mention two 8ths as well) over what we're doing any day of the week, so we'll just stop typing about it riiiiiigggghttt...now.

Other notable finishes include: 4th: Annie Duke - $88,500, 5th: Joe Sebok - $75,860, 7th: Jeff Shulman - $50,570, 8th: Young Phan - $37,930, 10th: Amir Vahedi - $15,170, 19th: Nick Frangos - $7,585, 21st: Men "the Master" Nguyen - $7,585, 22nd: Phil Laak - $7,585, and 24th: Chau Giang - $7,585.

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Mr. Kah-tair

Kotter3 The final table of Event #28 ($5,000 Limit Hold'em) will surprise some people, as one of the chip leaders is none other than Gabe Kaplan (or Mr. Kotter, to you). 

Gabe finds himself with the third largest stack after: 1) check-raising Freddy "Boom Boom" Washington all-in after hitting a boat on 5th street, 2) coming over the top on Arnold Horshack so many times that poor Arnie went on tilt and pushed his remaining chips in the pot with a 7-2o, 3) slowplaying Aces on the button to Juan Luis Pedro Phillipo de Huevos Epstein (who was the big blind) and taking all of his chips after Epstein flopped top pair, and 4) enduring a Hellmuthian-rant from Vincent "Vinnie" Barborino (I believe it went something like, "Up your nose with a muthaf*&^in rubber hose!") after catching a gut-shot straight on the turn. 

Ok, so maybe the Sweat Hogs didn't play this event.  Lots of formidable pros did, and that includes Gabe Kaplan.  Mr. Kotter is a very respected "celebrity" player (and the best one of the lot, in our opinion).  He's got nine WSOP cashes and a 3rd place finish on the World Poker Tour.  We'd take him heads-up over Spidey, Jennifer Tilly, Bennifer (I or II), or any one of the kids from That 70's Show

The chip count going into final table play today (kicking up at 3pm Vegas time) stands at: 1) James Kwon - 227,000, 2) Dan Schmiech - 219,000, 3) Gabe Kaplan - 209,000,
4) Joe Sebok - 184,000, 5) Annie Duke - 150,000, 6) Young Phan - 144,000, 7) Luke Neely - 94,000, 8) Greg 'FBT' Mueller - 89,000, and 9) Jeff Shulman - 38,000.

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Updated WSOP Bracelet and Cash Finish List

Updated: 10/04/05.  With Phil Ivey, T.J. Cloutier, Doyle Brunson, and Johnny Chan's recent wins, it's time to update the all-time WSOP bracelet list. 


1st: Doyle Brunson, Johnny Chan (10).
2nd: Phil Hellmuth (9).
3rd: Johnny Moss (8).
4th: Erik Seidel, Billy Baxter (7).
5th: T.J. Cloutier, Jay Heimowitz, Men "The Master" (6).
6th: Phil Ivey, Bones Berland, Chris "Jesus" Ferguson, Layne Flack, Ted Forrest, Berry Johnston, Stu Ungar (5).

As for cash finishes, with the completion of Event #27, Phil Hellmuth (49) moves ahead of Berry Johnston (48).  Men the Master has four this year, pushing his total to 48 as well. T.J. Cloutier has 47.  Keep in mind there is some dispute, even acknowledged by Hellmuth, as to the actual cash finishes among those top guys.

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Ivey Leaguer

Ivey1Poker prodigy Phil Ivey won his 5th WSOP bracelet last night, defeating Robert Williamson III in Event #27 ($5,000 Omaha Hi w/ re-buy).  At just 28, he now owns five bracelets, moving him up with some of poker's greatest names on the all-time WSOP bracelet list

Ivey took the title on hand 290 of the final table. Ivey limped in on the button and and Williamson checked. The flop came up 8-7-4, and Williamson bet out $40,000.  With typical aggression, Ivey raised Williamson, who called the raise, putting himself all in. Ivey flipped his cards to reveal a ten-high straight (10d-6c-5s-4c).  Williamson had two pair, holding Ac-8c-2c-2h.  The turn and river do not help Williamson, and Ivey claimed the victory, earning $635,603.

Ivey has been on fire in tournament play this year, with five final table appearances in major events, including his two on the World Poker Tour.  Ivey won his first bracelet in Omaha Hi in 2000 (against Phil Hellmuth and Amarillo Slim).  What's most amazing about his recent tournament play is that he has been focusing so much--and with great success--on cash games.  His winnings in the Big Game (played against Greenstein, Chip Reese, Brunson, etc.) are reportedly astronomical the past two years.  Now with his 5th bracelet, Ivey continues to show why nearly every pro considers him the best in the game.

Also of note in this event, Allen Cunningham finished 4th, earning $141,245 and pushing his 2005 WSOP earnings to nearly $1 million.  Phil Hellmuth also cashed, finishing 8th and earning $70,625.  With this final table finish, Hellmuth re-claims the all-time WSOP cashes lead (49) over Berry Johnston (48).  Men the Master has 47.

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One Happy Dikshit

PartypokerpageAnurag Dikshit (A. Dikshit, for short), the 30-something reclusive operating officer for online gambling company PartyGaming, ___________ (fill in the blank with a gambling metaphor for receiving money - i.e. "cashed out," "raked in," "scooped") more than $700 million yesterday when the controversial business he founded, along with phone-sex/internet porn princess Ruth Parasol, went public on the London Stock Exchange. Even better, A. Dikshit still has a stake in the company worth almost $3 billion. Investors apparently weren't swayed by the fact that 90% of PartyGaming's business is coming from the U.S., where internet gambling remains illegal, and it looks as if some American fund managers participated in the opening round of buying despite A. Hole's like Eliot Spitzer out there who may try to bust things up for some media face time as he pursues political goals.

At the end of the day, PartyGaming's market value was assessed at about $9.1 billion (that's 5 billion quid UK, which makes the company valued higher than British Airways). PartyGaming runs three online properties -- PartyPoker, StarluckCasino and PartyBingo -- and now has more than 50% of the global online poker market. Not too shabby for A. Dikshit.

So just who is A. Dikshit? Well, Tom Cruise is A. Dikshit . . . ok, sorry . . . had to work that in at least once. Dikshit is a graduate of the prestigious Indian Institute of Technology in Delhi and had previosuly worked as a software developer in the United States in the 1990s B.O. (Before Outsourcing). In 1998, he met Ruth Parasol, who had just started StarluckCasino after ditching the perv business, and A. Dikshit went on to develop online poker software that would eventually become the platform for everyone's famous online poker site to curse, PartyPoker.com.

Yep, it takes on a whole new meaning the next time your flopped set of Aces get sucked out on the river by some donkey, and you yell out "You FXXXin' Dikshit."

By the way, Dikshit is unfortunately pronounced "DIX-sit".

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No Doyle, But No Donkeys

ESPN halted play in Event #27 ($5,000 Pot Limit Omaha Hi with re-buys) with 10 rounders left (although only 9 get paid in this 134 entrant field).  While Doyle was eliminated before play was collapsed into two tables, other top pros and Omaha specialists are thriving.

Phil Ivey has been running over the field though and currently has the chip lead (494,000).  Phil looks like he's on a mission here, eliminating players left and right.  The rest of the final table includes: 2nd Sigi Stockinger (213,000), 3rd Allen Cunningham (202,000), 4th Richard St. Peter (162,000), 5th Robert Williamson III (153,000), 6th Eddy Scharf (150,000), 7th Davood Mehrmand (125,000), 8th Phil Hellmuth (114,000), 9th Claude Cohen (110,000), 10th Surinder Sunar (96,000).    

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Event #27 Could Be A Classic

Maybe Doyle isn't quite ready to give up the all-time WSOP bracelet lead

Event #27 ($5,000 Pot Limit Omaha Hi) is shaping up to be a classic. 

Right now, Doyle Brunson is second in chips with 135,000.  Leading is Ram Vaswani with 218,000.  But check out the list of notables in contention: 4th Toto Leonidas, 6th Robert Williamson III, 7th Phil Hellmuth, 9th Phil Ivey 93,000, 10th Allen Cunningham, 18th Tony Cousineau, 20th Blair Rodman, 23rd Tony G, 26th Mickey Appleman, and 27th Cyndy Violette. 

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Just In Case You Actually Care...

Jtill2_2"Ms. Unabomber" Jennifer Tilly won Event #26 ($1,000 NLH).  Thing is, this isn't some flukey, gimmicky, "Oh did I have top pair?" kind of spectacle.  She actually dominated play and beat out 601 other (all female, including Mrs. Carlos Mortensen in 4th) rounders for the title.

So yes, Jennifer Tilly now officially has more gold bracelets than all of Wicked Chops Poker combined.  Sure, we haven't "officially" played in an event yet (that will change before this WSOP is over), but there you have it.  She will now forever be known as "Jennifer Tilly, owner of a WSOP gold bracelet..." instead of "Jennifer Tilly, star of Bride of Chucky and Seed of Chucky..."  Not a bad upgrade on her part. 

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Johnny Chan, The Master


Johnny Chan won a record 10th gold bracelet at the WSOP yesterday. 

Event #25 ($2,500 Pot Limit Hold’em) had an entertaining final table that included two over-the-top (read: annoying) personas of World Poker Tour fame: Phil “the Unabomber” Laak and Humberto Brenes.  Alas, Brenes’s stay was brief, as he bowed out in 9th place (earning $19,550).   Talent eventually trumped luck though at this table, as two of the world’s best hold’em players, Chan and Laak, maneuvered their way to heads-up action for the title. 

Till_copyChan began with the chip lead, out-stacking Laak 658,000 to 403,000.  Originally, Event #25 was not in the ESPN film docket, but with Chan gunning for the record-breaking bracelet, a break was called until the women’s event (inexplicably being filmed over this) wrapped for the day.  Ironically enough, Jennifer Tilly (yes, the actress, and as fate has it, Phil Laak’s girlfriend) is dominating the women’s tournament, owning the chip lead as the final four females finish up today.

Eventually, ESPN got the table lit and set, and cameras started rolling for the Chan-Laak mono-e-mono battle.

Those hoping to see Chan prevail while watching Laak “be wacky” did not walk away disappointed. 

For the purposes of this wrap-up, we’ll call any wacky Phil Laak behavior “typical-Unabomber,” or TU.  And TU reared its wacky head no sooner than Hand 1 of heads-up play.  Chan had the button, reached for chips, and before he even touched the chips, TU folds.   Chan may have only been calling, but TU mucked anyway...

Continue reading "Johnny Chan, The Master" »

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From Massage Parlors to Michael Jackson & A. Dikshit


In today’s Sunday Business section of The Old Grey Lady, journalist Kurt Eichenwald writes about the sensational porn-to-poker tale behind PartyGaming PLC, the Gibraltar-based company that operates online poker behemoth PartyPoker.com. This week PartyGaming will go public on the London Stock Exchange in what analysts anticipate to be the largest offering in years and, as Eichenwald explains, Americans can’t get in on the action . . . well, at least not legally. While 90% of PartyGaming’s profits in 2004 came from stateside gamblers, no shares will be offered in the U.S., and the company’s officers and directors, including the female founder who’s originally from San Francisco, could risk being served with an arrest warrant if they ever set foot on U.S. soil.

The article gives great background on the legal clash of words between PartyGaming and the justice department as well as an overview of political plays being made both in the U.S. and abroad, but the fascinating read here is how PartyGaming came to be. While I won’t attempt to retell the story, as Eichenwald does an excellent job in doing so, basically it begins with a massage parlor owner in San Francisco who’s daughter grows up to be a lawyer-turned-phone-sex princess (on the business side with her dad not the "breathing heavy into the phone while doing the laundry" side).

Continue reading "From Massage Parlors to Michael Jackson & A. Dikshit" »

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Weeked WSOP Updates

Lots of weekend WSOP action to report.

Event #23:  Jan Sorensen wins the $5,000 7 Card Stud tournament, besting a field of 192 for the bracelet.  Jan takes $293,275 for the victory.  Other notables include: 2nd: Keith Sexton - $162,430, 3rd: Chip Jett - $99,265, 4th: John Phan - $72,190, and 5th Yehia 'Joe' Awada - $58,655. 

Event #24: The final table is set for the $2,500 NLH game.  Still gunning for the bracelet are: Joe Zappia (247,000),  Larry Watson (59,000), Glynn Beebe (242,000), Mayen Grigorian (112,000), KJ Jordan (368,000), Lars Bonding (818,000), Jason Tate (315,000), Farzad Bonyadi  (315,000), and Robert Doyle (87,000). 

Event #25:  20 of the original 425 remain in the $2,500 Pot Limit Hold'em game.  The chip leader is currently Ashok Surapaneni with 139,000.  Other notables include: 4th: Phil Laak (84,500), 8th: Mimi Tran (53,000), 10th: Humberto Brenes (50,000), and 12th: Johnny Chan (45,500). 

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UPDATE:  Noble just won't allow it to happen.  Management wouldn't approve it (or lift the "private" status of the tournament).  Very frustrating.  Thanks for all who registered.  We will not be attempting another game before the WSOP.  We appreciate your support.

UPDATE:  Working w/ Noble to see if game will go through regardless of minimum number.  Will keep you posted.

Game is at 2pm today.  Get registered.  Password is 76off.  See you there.

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Rock On With Your Bad Seif

Mark Seif claimed his second bracelet of the 2005 WSOP by winning Event #22 ($1,500 NLH).  Mark out-lasted the third largest field ever for a NLH tournament (only last year's main event and Event #2 of this year were larger) and one helluva final table to earn the victory.

On the final hand, Mark flopped a set of Kings against Minh Nguyen, netting him $611,145 for the win.  Other notables include: The Devilfish (9th), Greg Raymer (7th), and Bill Gazes (3rd).

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The Apple Doesn't Fall Very Far...

Todd Brunson earned his first WSOP bracelet last night by besting a field of 359 to take Event #21 ($2,500 Omaha Hi-Lo Split).  While sibling tandems own bracelets (most notably Lederer/Duke), no father-son combo had ever boasted duel bracelets until now. 

Todd has been respected by his peers for a long time, but many outsiders considered him to be just another Jack Nicklaus Jr., Jakob Dylan, Pete Rose Jr., Jason Bonham, or Blanket Jackson.  Hopefully this victory will erase those doubts.

Brunson was at or near the chip lead for a majority of play, and eventually out-lasted Allen Kessler for the crown.  On the final hand, Kessler was is all-in preflop, holding Ac-Jh-10c-5d. Brunson called him with the 9d-6c-2c-2d. The flop produced Ks-10h-3c, giving Kessler the lead (tens against ducks). A 4d hit on the turn, giving Brunson a gut-shot straight draw.  He could've also split the pot with an Ace, or scoop it all with a 5.  Well, the river produced a 5c, giving Brunson a six-high straight that scooped the pot.  In the end, the chip off the old block ended up with all of the chips, his first WSOP bracelet, and $255,945. 

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Raymer Gunning for Second Bracelet


The final table is set for WSOP Event #22 ($1,500 NLH), and last year's world champ Greg Raymer has the chip lead with 613,000.  Joining him at the final table are Minh Nguyen (3rd, 375,000), David "Devil Fish" Ulliott (4th, 338,000), Mark Seif (6th, 305,000) and Bill Gazes (9th, 181,000). 

Play picks up again this afternoon.

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WCP WSOP Reminder

Reminder to register for the WCP WSOP this Sunday.  Also, on Saturday evening, Noble Poker will be holding a WSOP main event tournament qualifier (total package worth $13,000).  Entries are capped at 250, so get in early. 

Details for the Wicked Chops Poker Game:

When: Sunday, June 26th, 2pm (EST).
Where: Noble Poker...register by hitting that icon--->    
Then go to the Tournaments tab, and find WCP WSOP Q#2. 
Entry: $30+3.
Password: 76off
Prize: 1st place wins $1200 for a seat to Event #44 or 45 ($1000 No Limit Hold'em) or a satellite into the main event.  The extra cash helps cover your travel.  We will register you for the event.  A second seat will be given if enough people register.

Click here to play!

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Champs, Nguyens, and Mizrachis

A 2005 bracelet winner, a 2004 WSOP world champ, and a laundry list of big names remain in Event #22 ($1,500 NLH).  Action picks up again shortly with the 77 players who made it through yesterday's action.  Some of your notable remaining rounders include:

1st: Mark Seif - 286,800, 3rd: Greg 'Fossilman' Raymer - 82,100, 10th: Minh Nguyen (not the Master, but still very good) - 63,400, 11th: Devilfish Ulliot - 62,500, 12th: Toto Leonidas - 62,200, 15th: John Kabbaj - 59,900, 16th: Michael 'The Grinder' Mizrachi (is it just us, or are there as many Mizrachis as Nguyens?)- 58,000, 26th: Long Nguyen (case in point) - 43,700, 44th: Bill Gazes - 27,600, 46th Evelyn Ng - 26,900, 51st Chris 'Jesus' Ferguson - 23,000, 62nd Brad Daugherty - 16,800, and 65th: Tim Martz $ 16,000.

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Insert Witty Beach Boys Reference Here

Wilsonwins1 Brian Wilson (no, not that Brian Wilson) won Event #20 ($5,000 Pot-Limit Hold'em) yesterday, and we’re not even going to bother making a reference to the Beach Boys, to Bare Naked Ladies (i.e. “…lying in bed, just like Brian Wilson did…”), to Wilson Phillips, or to Charles Manson

No, that would do injustice to the latest WSOP winner.  Sure, we’d like to win a WSOP bracelet, just like Brian Wilson did.  But obvious pop-culture-ish jokes about some guy who shares the same name as one of music’s greatest icons is entirely too easy, and quite frankly, beneath Wicked Chops Poker.

So on to the action.  To win the coveted bracelet, Wilson battled heads-up with John Gale, who at one time held a 5-1 chip advantage.  But twice Wilson won huge pots (once going all-in with pocket 6’s and making a straight after Gale called with A-J and had hit a Jack, and another time making trip 4’s to best Gale’s pocket 10’s).  In the end, Gale was unable to hold on for one more day.  No, things did not go his way

On the final hand, Wilson had the button and raised to $34,000.  Gale re-raised it to $94,000.  Wilson re-re-raised to $276,000.  Gale re-re-re-raised it, pushing all of his chips into the pot.  Apparently, they both liked their hands.

Wilson called with an Ac-Qd. Gale had the Kc-Js.  God only knows that Wilson was now a big favorite to win the hand, as Gale only had six outs. 

The flop comes up 9d-6s-3c, and Gale starts thinking to himself, “Help me, Rhonda!” (a common Gale expression…well, as far as you know). The turn produces a 7h, and Gales thinks to himself (as far as you know), “Wouldn’t it be nice for a King or Jack to spike the board.”  But the river is the 2c, and Brian Wilson’s A-Q shuts down John Gale.  Let’s just say that Brian Wilson was picking up good vibrations at that point.

Along with the bracelet, Wilson earned $370,685 (Kokomo here I come!).  Gale pockets $204,440 for second.  Other notables included: 4th: Allen Cunningham - $89,685, 7: Cyndy Violette - $44,930, 14th: David 'Devil Fish' Ulliott - $13,480, 16th:  Erik Seidel - $11,235, and 18th: Ted “Yah Man I have a straight” Lawson - $11,235.

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Poking Around the Poker Players

:: snake

Lovinger_logoJackpot Jay Lovinger briefly turned Page 2 into Page Six today with his post over at ESPN.com. After discussing the spiritual bond between stiletto-wearing hos and card-playing pros, Jay, who’s been chronicling his year-long stint as a poker pro, drops the latest gossip at the 2005 WSOP:

"Another fascinating topic of these off-the-record talkfests is the star who the public believes is a no-worries millionaire, who is actually so deeply in debt he can't even see the desert sky anymore. (The big rumor floating around the WSOP from Day One was about the World Poker Tour supernova who is said to be $4 million in the red, despite TV winnings of millions during the past two seasons.)" click

After attempting to decipher Jay’s comments by scrutinizing word choices, then googling for info on which players have hit the “millions” mark in televised tournaments and finally having a half hour email discussion with Chops on who it could be, I came to the conclusion that . . .

Continue reading "Poking Around the Poker Players" »

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No Opie

Making his way to another 2005 WSOP final table (Event #20, $5,000 Pot Limit Hold'em), often-overlooked Allen Cunningham will soon find himself as recognizable as any of poker's heavyweights.

Final table play begins within the hour for Event #20, and with the 5th largest stack (131,500 in chips...Cyndy Violette is the leader with 206,000), Cunningham is in fine position for another bracelet. 


So who is this guy?

The basics: Cunningham was born in 1977 and now resides in Marina del Rey (where you can find many a pro these days).  He studied Civil Engineering at UCLA.  But most importantly, he began playing poker in 1998 at California Indian casinos at the age of 18.

With his victory in the 2005 WSOP Event #2 (the record-setting 2,200+ players, $1,500 NLH tournament), Cunningham cemented his status as a star of the game.  But it's not like he didn't have plenty of notches in his card marker before that. 

His WSOP victory this year was his third total (he won the $5,000 7 Stud event in 2001 and $5,000 Deuce to Seven game in 2002).  Last year, he raked in the 2nd Annual Five-Star World Poker Classic (NLH) title.  He's placed in a number of other major events, and depending on what Poker Rankings system you look at, he's somewhere in the top 20 in all of them. 

A member of the Full Tilt poker crew, Cunningham is making this year's WSOP his very own ATM machine, churning out cashes and big time finishes one after another.  If Cunningham keeps it up, the only thing he'll be over-looking is a 2005 POY trophy.

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Bad Actor, Great Rounder

CbChad Brown (you know, the actor who played the bartender in 1996's Miami Hustle or maybe you don't remember him as the news man in 1990's Basket Case 2) came up just short from winning his first WSOP bracelet . . . again. Last year, Brown finished runner up in 7CS, impressively knocking out Men "The Master" Nguyen when it was 3-handed but then done in masterfully by Ted Forrest during a four hour heads-up match.  This year, he was bridesmaid again as relative unknown Denis Ethier won Event #18, $2,000 Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo

But it's time to remove "Actor" as a pre-fix to his name and just call him a bonafide poker pro, 'cause his list of accomplishments at the felt far exceed those on celluloid.  Over the past few years, Brown has had some remarkable finishes, including third place at the 2002 WSOP for Omaha Hi-Lo, first at the 2004 L.A. Poker Classic for seven-card stud, and the aforementioned second at last year's WSOP seven-card stud game. 

At the final table of Event #18, Brown began heads-up as the chip leader, even after Ethier had just knocked out Jen Harman Traniello in 3rd.  But Ethier turned the heat up on Brown, and Brown continued to miss his low and high, surrendering pot after pot.  In  the end, Ethier won by hitting a boat on 7th street.

RunawaybrideClearly Brown has the game, and a gold bracelet can't be far away.  Now as far as a starring role in the next Spielberg blockbuster...eh...we'd put better odds on Atlanta's very own Runaway Bride making it to the altar this go-around with her dough-headed fiance. Speaking of which, the two crazies will be interviewed tonight on Dateline NBC. So much for Must See TV.

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Greenstein Having Twice the Fun

ExcitedgreensteinWe have a hard enough time playing two mid-level online SNGs (Sit N' Go's) at once.  So competing in two simultaneous WSOP events with hundreds of thousands of dollars at stake is a reach, even with our ample collective imagination.

But then again, we're no Barry Greenstein.

The Robin Hood of Poker won his second gold bracelet yesterday (Event #19, $1,500 Pot Limit), and with his cash placing already secure in the $5,000 Pot Limit tournament, he is positioning himself nicely for WSOP POY status (won last year by Daniel Negreanu). 

When final table play began for Event 19, Greenstein had the chip lead.  When it ended, he had everyone's chips.  And in between breaks, he would sit down at the $5,000 Pot Limit game, hit a straight (really happened) and collect enough chips to not only survive, but thrive. 

Maybe we should just download his iPod song shuffle.  There must be some uncanny ability to focus, read opponents, and calculate pot odds hidden in those tracks. 

Other notable finishes for the $1,500 Pot Limit event include: 7th: Chris "Jesus" Ferguson - $16,065, 5th: Tim "I Survived Hellmuth's Tirade and I'll I Got Was This Lousy Fifth Place Finish" Martz - $24,110, and 4th: Toto Leonidas - $28,110.

Play resumes shortly in the $5,000 Pot Limit event, where 45 rounders remain.  Notable stacks include: 41) Clonie Gowen - 8,100, 40) Devilfish Ulliot - 9,500, 33) Gavin Griffen - 13,500, 31) Tony Ma - 13,900, 24) Barry Greenstein - 23,900, 22) Thom Werthman - 24,200, 19) Al Krux - 25,000, 16) Ted Lawson - 30,400, 11) Hasan Habib - 37,500, 10) Cyndy Violette - 40,500, 6) Allen Cunningham (this year's WSOP money leader so far) - 48,800, 4) Erik Seidel (chip leader for awhile) - 54,800, 3) Amir Vahedi - 60,600, and 1) Joe Sebok - 65,100.

(photo credit: Erik Harkins/Printroom.com Photography)

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Poker Brat Packs a Wallop

Ph2 Can't wait to see this one on ESPN's WSOP coverage.

With 11 players left in Event #19, $1,500 Pot Limit Omaha, Tim Martz busted out two of the WSOP's all-time greats, Jay Heimowitz (6 bracelets) and Phil Hellmuth (9).  But not before Hellmuth showed why he's known as the "Poker Brat." 

Here's how it shook down:
Short-stacked, Heimowitz moves all-in pre-flop.  Hellmuth re-raises and is called by Tim Martz.  The flop produces Kc-7h-8d, and Hellmuth moves all-in with his remaining chips.  He's quickly called by Martz.  Hellmuth shows: As-7s-Kh-8c.  Martz: Kd-Jh-Jc-9d. 

The turn is a 10d, the river a Jd, and Martz makes a King-high flush, sending Hellmuth to the rail.  But before he gets there, Hellmuth goes George Carlin on the table with a torrent of f-bombs and chair kicking.  Earmuffs children, earmuffs. 

Heimowitz takes $5,080 for his 11th place finish.  Hellmuth grabs $5,080 for 10th, but also will likely grab an obscene amount of camera time on ESPN for his obscenity-laden tirade. 

Action picks up again this morning.  Chip count for the final table is: 1) Barry Greenstein - 92,500, 2) Tim Martz - 72,500, 3) Paul Maxfield - 67,000, 4)  Paul Vinci - 54,000, 5) Toto Leonidas - 45,000, 6) Sam Silverman - 39,000, 7) Chris Lindenmayer - 35,500, 8)Eric Bloore - 16,000, 9) Chris 'Jesus' Ferguson - 16,000.

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One Small State, One Small Step

D Showing that they're no South Carolina, the first state to ratify our Constitution is at the forefront of a just as important cause: Legalizing Poker.

While it's no giant leap, Delaware has made a small step towards recognizing that poker is not a crime as its State Senate has passed a bill that makes charitable poker tourneys kosher

Read the article in full, and if any of you Wicked Chops Poker readers are denizens of Delaware, write your State Senator and tell him "NH."

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Last Chance WSOP Qualifier!

We're doing it again.

Time to win your WSOP seat through Wicked Chops Poker.  The details:

When: Sunday, June 26th, 2pm (EST).
Where: Noble Poker...hit that icon right there--->    
Go to the Tournaments tab, and find WCP WSOP Q#2. 
Entry: $30+3.
Password: 76off
Prize: 1st place wins $1200 for a seat to Event #44 or 45 ($1000 No Limit Hold'em) or a satellite into the main event.  The extra cash helps cover your travel.  We will register you for the event.  A second seat will be given if enough people register.
How: After you register through Noble Poker, just find the WCP WSOP Q#2 listing under the Tournament tab and enter the 76off password to register.

Click here to play!

If you want to play in the 2005 WSOP, this could be your chance.  So take a seat at your computer, and win a seat to the WSOP.  See you there.

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2005 WSOP Weekend Recaps

Three more events have wrapped up.  Winners include:

Hohn_1_1Steve Hohn - Event #14, $1,000 Seven Card Stud High-Low 8/OB.  Steve bested a final table that included Men the Master and John D'Agostino to win the bracelet.  When Hohn began heads-up play against Mike Wattel, he was out-stacked 2-to-1, and at one time was down 7-to-1.  But he battled back, and on the final hand scooped both the high and low to earn the victory and $156,985.  This pushes his career WSOP earnings to nearly $500,000.

SeifMark Seif - Event #15, $1,500 Limit Hold'em Shootout.  450 players entered this event, where you must beat your table to move on and play the winners of other tables.  The win brought Mark his first WSOP bracelet and $181,330.  Mark is no stranger to WSOP success though, as he's earned nearly $1,000,000 during the course of his career.

Reategui Anthony Reategui - Event #16, 1,500 No Limit Hold'em Shootout.  Another first-time bracelet winner, Anthony conquered a field of 780 players and a final table that included Erick Lindgren (9th), Young Phan (4th), and Phil Gordon (3rd).  Anthony pockets $269,100 for the win.

For other notable finishes, keep on reading...

Continue reading "2005 WSOP Weekend Recaps" »

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Cloutier Shows His Clout


Looks like it’s time to turn back the clock to the ‘80’s.  Poker legend T.J. Cloutier won his 6th WSOP gold bracelet by besting a field of 466 and capturing the Event #13 ($5,000 NLH) title. 

Last year the story of the WSOP was all about the Young Guns, but so far this year it’s Revenge of the Pros. 

In the most talent-laden final table of the 2005 WSOP, T.J. Cloutier showed why he’s regarded as one of the all-time best tournament players…and why it doesn’t hurt to have a little luck on your side too.

Continue reading "Cloutier Shows His Clout" »

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Finally, A Final Table Pros Can Be Proud Of...


Wouldn't want to be the amateur at this final table.

The 10 remaining players in Event #13 of the WSOP ($5,000 No Limit Hold'em) are almost all brand-name, seasoned pros.  What are the odds of that?  Rounders include: TJ Cloutier (5 WSOP bracelets), Johnny  "World" Hennigan (2 bracelets), Todd Brunson (think his dad is someone important or something, can't remember), Tony Ma (2 bracelets), John Bonetti (3 bracelets), Gavin Smith (WPT winner), Jason Berilgen (cashed in two major events), and Dustin Woolf (cashed in Event #7). 

Of course, a relative unknown named Neal Wang (tempted to make the obvious Wang Chung joke...too easy...can't...but will just allude to it...with that beaut of a picture above) is the chip leader, with $630,500.  Henningen is second with $363,500, and fan-fave Cloutier is not far behind with $281,500. 

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Atlanta, Where the Players Play

Atlantan Josh Arieh won his 2nd gold bracelet yesterday, claiming Event #12 of the WSOP ($2,000 Pot Limit Omaha).  Josh held off Chris "Jesus" Ferguson, who was vying for his 6th bracelet, to win the title and $381,600.  Jesus gets $210,460.  Joshariehwsop

On the final hand, Ferguson raises to $36,000 on the button.  Arieh calls. With a flop of 7h-5h-2c, Arieh bets out $50,000, and Ferguson re-raises it to $200,000.  Maybe because he was truly perplexed, or maybe because it'll make great TV, Arieh stands up to think about this for a minute...then...he re-raises (seriously, doesn't that just sound like great TV?).  This puts Ferguson all-in.  Ferguson calls. Arieh flips over his Kh-9d-3h-2d (giving him a pair of twos and a king-high flush draw.  Ferguson's Kd-10h-9h-3d doesn't look too good now, because he's drawing dead to a ten, unless he catches a runner-runner straight to split the pot. You can see where this is going.  The turn (Ac) and the river (Js) do not produce a straight, and Jesus is knocked out.  A great read and play by Josh gives him the title.

Other notables placing in the event include: Erick Seidel (9th), Jim Bechtel (10th), Michael "The Grinder" Mizrachi (15th...and this guy is primed to win a bracelet), and John Juanda (17th). 

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Well, apparently 12 hours isn't enough time to get the word out. 

Our apologies.  Due to some technical glitches, we didn't get the game up in time for solid registration.  We will schedule a new WSOP qualifier with ample time to register soon.  Thanks for those of you who signed up.  Especially our friends at 4th Street Poker

And to our regular gamers who didn't sign up, you are now officially banned from playing. 


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Noble Poker took care of the application glitch and you can now view (and register) for our tournament.  If you haven't already, click the icon below, download the software, and sign up for WCP WSOP Q #1 (under the scheduled Tournaments tab).  Password is: 76off.  See you at 9pm.

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Win Your WSOP Seat: 6/15, 9PM, Noble Poker

It’s on. Tomorrow night. Let's go.

The good folks at Noble Poker have set up our Wicked Chops Poker WSOP Qualifier.  Here are the details:

What: Wicked Chops Poker WSOP Qualifier for Event #44 or #45 ($1,000 buy-in) or main event 1-table satellite.
When: Wednesday, June 15, 9pm (EST)
Where: Noble Poker (click on any of the Noble Poker links to register, and take advantage of their great sign-up bonus deals).
How Much: $30+3.

So click on a Noble Poker icon (below) now to download the software and register. 

If you encounter any problems depositing money or locating the tournament, click the customer support button.  Noble has very good support and will instantly respond to you.

Be sure to give yourself enough time to download, install, and deposit (it doesn't take long, but no need to go down to the wire). You can deposit money via credit cards, Firepay, Netteller, or a number of other options. 

You can locate our game under the Tournaments section.  The game name is: WCP WSOP Q #1.  The password is: 76off.

Be sure to register early, as participation is capped for this event.  The earnings will be paid directly into your account, and we will then help you register for the WSOP event of your choice (highly recommended, as those events will also be capped).  2nd place will receive what ever money is left over after the winner gets his share ($1,050).  If you have any questions, email us at [email protected]

This event is open to all Wicked Chops Poker readers and players.  Again, registration is capped, so sign up early.  See you at the virtual table and good luck.

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Man With Funny Name Wins WSOP Event 10

In what is sure to go down as the heads-up battle with the two craziest names, Reza Payvar bested Toto Leonidas for the $2,000 Limit Hold'em (Event #10) crown.  Rezatoto_2 

Toto has received some big-time TV exposure over the years, particularly driving Phil Hellmuth insane at the 2003 US Poker Championship in Atlantic City.  While no Toto, Reza Payvar is no stranger to success either, placing in high profile tournaments over the past few years.  For his win, Reza rakes $303,610.  Toto takes $160,185. 

The best part of this final though is the two final combatant's names.  If we wrote a poker movie, we would have players with names like Reza Payvar and Toto Leonidas.  In fact, our faux-final table might also include names such as: Ang Dong, Papa Pestone, Skipper Paraguay, Hank Gams, Barzi Nicolitus, and Phil "Philip" Peppers.  If you have any other made-up great poker names, please comment below.  Really, poker names are like Soap Opera characters, just less porno-sounding.  Well, except maybe Ang Dong.

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Most All-Time WSOP Bracelets and Cash Finishes


With Erik Seidel winning his 7th WSOP bracelet, it's a good time to look at the all-time WSOP winner's list.  Considering the size of WSOP fields now, it's hard to imagine any of the newcomers--no matter how good they are--catching up with the likes of Brunson, Hellmuth, and Chan for bracelets in the near future.  Here are players with 5 or more WSOP bracelets:

1st: Doyle Brunson, Johnny Chan, Phil Hellmuth (9).
2nd: Johnny Moss (8).
3rd: Erik Seidel, Billy Baxter (7).
4th: Jay Heimowitz, Men "The Master" (6).
5th: Bones Berland, T.J. Cloutier, Chris "Jesus" Ferguson, Layne Flack, Ted Forrest, Berry Johnston, Stu Ungar (5).

As for cash finishes, with the completion of Event #9 in this year's WSOP, Phil Hellmuth and Berry Johnston are tied with 47.  Men the Master has already has two this year and now comes in with 46 total.  T.J. Cloutier has cashed 45 times, and Brent Carter has 40. 

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Seidel Wins 7th WSOP Bracelet

EseidelNo witty headlines for this one.  Just big time props to Erik Seidel for winning his 7th WSOP bracelet in the $2,000 NL Hold'em tournament (the never-ending Event #9).

Seidel outdueled Cyndy Violette for the title.  Heads up, Seidel kept pounding on Violette, continually raising on the button, forcing her to fold.  You wouldn't expect this type of aggression from someone who looks like an extra from Revenge on the Nerds, but don't let his looks or his 1988 WSOP loss to Johnny Chan, forever memorialized in the movie Rounders, fool you. Seidel's been one of the world's best poker players for almost two decades now, and his win here proves he's still at the top of his game.

As Seidel kept raising, Violette folded over and over again.  Finally, on the last hand of the tournament, Seidel raised $85,000 on the button, and Violette reraised all-in for $700,000.  Seidel thought about it for some time, and decides to call with pocket eights (8s-8h).  Much to his chagrin, Violette shows pocket nines (9s-9h). But the flop came up 8c-5c-5h, giving Seidel the full house. Violette does not catch a 9 on the turn or river, and settles for second place and $295,970.

Seidel grabs $611,795 for winning Event #9, but more importantly, moves up the charts of all-time greats with his 7th WSOP bracelet (tying him with Billy Baxter).  Only Doyle Brunson, Phil Hellmuth, Johnny Moss, and Johnny Chan have more.

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No Limit, No End In Sight

The $2,000 buy-in No Limit event is into Day 3...and we still have no winner. 

This game had a number of notables in the money, include: Men the Master (131st), 'Minneapolis' Jim Meehan (93rd), Matt Matros (83rd), Tobey Freaking Maguire (54th, nice work Spidey), Michael "the Grinder/unabashed shiller of Nutz Chips" Mizrachi (40th), Dutch Boyd (37th), Bill Gazes (31st), Chau Giang (27th), Joe Awada (24th), Marcel Luske (21st), and Harry' Demetrio (6th).

Still in the running are Perry Friedman, Cyndy Violette, and Erik Seidel.  Check back tomorrow A.M. to (hopefully) find out the winner of this marathon.

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5-Minutes to 7-Card Studdom

Thirty-nine-year old Cliff "Bax" Josephy came to the 2005 WSOP to play some hold'em, but it was the $1,500 seven-card stud event that made him $200,000 richer. Nolan Dalla, the WSOP's Media Director, tells Bax's remarkable story over at Poker Player, and it's worth the read to hear how this semi-retired stockbroker received a crash course in seven-card stud from Scott Fischman and Brett Jungblut moments before the event and went on to outlast 472 players and a final table that included the likes of Men "The Master" Nguyen.

In Dalla's piece, Bax confesses:Donkey

“I never would have dreamed I could win this event. Stud is made up of good players. It’s not like hold’em where you raise with all your chips and some donkey calls you down with a 10-3 of diamonds. People who enter stud tournaments – most of them know how to play…..except me, of course."

I guess it's true . . . ignorance is bliss, especially when it puts $200,000 in your wallet.

The $1,500 event was this year’s first seven-card stud tournament.

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No Joke, Gracz is a World Champion

It’s a good thing Mike “The Kid” Gracz has a degree in finance from NC State, because he has some serious wealth to manage. The 24-year-old poker whiz born in Poland and now residing in North Carolina recently cruised to a remarkable $1.5 million at the PartyPoker Million IV, and last night at the Rio Pavilion, The Kid padded his bankroll with an additional $594,460 by winning the $1,000 No-limit Hold’em with rebuys tournament at the 2005 WSOP. Gracz’s cash prize is the second biggest of this year’s WSOP thanks to a bountiful and record-setting rebuy-enhanced total purse of more than $2 million. Relative tournament newbie CT Law, from London, finished runner-up for $311,555.

Gracz started the final table with the 6th largest chip stack in front of him ($173,000), which looked even smaller considering he was sharing the table with Phil Gordon, David “The Dragon” Pham and the venerable Chuck Thompson, who was chip leader with $549,000. Gracz though held on early, and when it was down to 7 and he fell to the bottom of the count, Gracz was able to slash his deficit with aggressive raises that were answered by folds. Then, when it was down to 5, Gracz took out shortstack Shane Schleger to move ahead of Pham, who eventually was eliminated in 4th place ($154,125).

Continue reading "No Joke, Gracz is a World Champion" »

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Get Your "Phil" on WSOP's Event #7

PhiltvIt’s 2:30p Vegas time and the final table of the $1,000 No-limit Hold’em event with rebuys is getting underway. This event, the 7th of this year’s WSOP, began on Wednesday with 867 players, and like any rebuy tournament, an unrelenting chorus of All-ins and Rebuys could be heard across the Rio Pavilion almost immediately and all the way up until the last second of the rebuy period. Word has it Daniel Negreanu didn’t break his record of 30 plus rebuys from last year, this time only going to his wallet a mere 12 times. Annie Duke likewise reloaded numerous times, but only about half of Kid Poker’s dozen. Once the rebuy period ended, tournament officials counted up the money and announced a total prize purse of $2,201,650, with close to 1500 rebuys from the field of 867.

For this update, we were planning on writing about a favorite player of ours, Atlanta area native Phil Gordon, who made his way to this year’s final table with some nice double-ups and tight-aggressive play. Instead, we think you should hear from Phil himself. Gordon is podcasting from this year’s WSOP directly from the floor of the tournament, done mostly during breaks and as the action happens. His podcasts are available over at Expert Insight for free and definitely worth the listen.

Continue reading "Get Your "Phil" on WSOP's Event #7" »

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29E: A Seat Position Crappier than 1 and 10

(Mark this under the category of posts that aren’t about poker but we’’ll manage to somehow relate it to poker because it's funny enough to share)

29e1_1When you're playing a tournament in a casino, you can never be happy starting off in seat 1 or seat 10. Besides rubbing up against the dealer and his toke box or not being able to coolly toss your cards into the muck, when you're seated in 1 or 10 you simply can't eye about a third of your opponents as well as you'd like...and that's to your disadvantage as you try to assess early on the tells of the players at your table. Well, at Wicked Chops Poker, we try to always see the glass half full instead of half empty (yeah right, we're actually pretty bitter most of the time), and we’d like to share a seat situation a reader came across that seems way worse than those on either side of the dealer.

29e2_2Disgruntled by his seat location, a passenger on a Continental flight to Houston handwrote a complaint while still in the air, giving a graphic and humurous play-by-play of his grievances as they happened. And better yet, in order to help paint the picture of his plight, the passenger went ahead and sketched out the scenario, which you see here. The letter is downright hilarious and we’ve placed it on our server as a pdf document that is well worth the read.

We think you'll agree with us that the crap this guy was dealt in Seat 29E was far worse than a steady stream of 8-3o in seats 1 or 10.

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A quick update: the WCP WSOP qualifier is still scheduled for Wednesday, June 15th at 8pm (EST).   We will email our user lists as soon as all details are finalized. 

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The Crew has The Nuts


As Brett "Gank" Jungblut might ask: "Who are the Crew, and why do they keep following me?"

To the horror or delight of rounders everywhere, the Crew has officially reached the pinnacle of pop icon status with a recent write-up in Rolling Stone magazine

That's right, they're everywhere.  The Crew is the omnipresent force in the poker world for all young, aspiring players.

Which is odd, because the Crew might not even really exist anymore.

Continue reading "The Crew has The Nuts" »

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Short-Handed, Big Aggression

Galazan_2 Patience isn't much of a virtue when playing short-handed. With more hands dealt, the blinds moving rapidly around the table, and players aggressively raising and reraising with much weaker hands, you simply can't sit back and wait. You're forced to play.

Just ask Isaac Galazan.

In what we can tell is the first WSOP tournament of its kind, Isaac outlasted 548 players to take down Event # 6, the $2,500 Short-Handed (6/table) No-Limit Hold-em championship. Isaac, an ex-pat nightclub owner living in Bangkok, mixed it up with some big names at the final table, including Antonio "The Magician" Esfandiari (5th, $63,000) and Harry Demetriou (2nd, $163,850), and ultimately cashed a $315,125 prize and his first gold bracelet.

Galazan got off to a great final table start by knocking out New Yorker David Barnes (6th, $50,415), who went all-in with A-Jo after Galazan reraised to $50,000. Galazan called, and his pocket 10's held as Barnes drew blanks.

While it was no surprise to see the likes of Esfandiari at this final table, as aggressive play is key when you're facing just 6, the Magician was neutralized by his short-stack arrival, and was gone quickly in 5th place as Harry Demetriou's pocket 8's held up against his K-J.

Continue reading "Short-Handed, Big Aggression" »

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Only One 'Meehan' Drunk at $1500 O8B Final Table

CoronabikiniThe final table of the $1,500 Omaha Hi/Lo event wrapped up at about 3:30 am Vegas time, and the two things I wanted to happen didn’t. First, I was hoping the heads-up play would come down to an "intoxicating" match-up between Men "the Master" Nguyen and "Minneapolis" Jim Meehan, simply for pure entertainment value and to force ESPN to change their broadcast plans (this is not on their schedule), as this would have been must-see TV. If you haven’t had the chance to see the always irreverent and conspicuously inebriated Minneapolis Meehan play before, it’s quite the spectacle. My guess is it’s about 75% an act that works to rile his opponents about 99% of the time. He has a WSOP bracelet to show for it as well as numerous final table appearances in major tournaments, including the WSOP. The Master, likewise, knows how to put them away, downing an average of 10 to 15 Coronas per tournament. When asked about his penchant for the piss-colored beer from south of the border, Men claimed it doesn't give him a headache like other beers and that he especially likes it because yellow is his favorite color (I'd have say that the photo to the right is a much better reason to drink something yellow). When Men gets literally "piss drunk" at the table, it's always a treat to see him badger his opponents with playful yet calculated comments about how poorly they’re playing their hands. And while Men doesn’t need this edge to take down players, it certainly works for him and makes him one of the most colorful characters at the table.

Unfortunately yesterday though, my wish didn't come to fruition. While Meehan made it to the final table of the $1,500 O8B tournament, the only Nguyen in sight was Minh, not Men.

Continue reading "Only One 'Meehan' Drunk at $1500 O8B Final Table" »

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Barely Legal, Very Rich

No, this is not another April Scott post or about some barely-18 website. You’ll have to wait another day for that. This is about Eric “Efro” Froehlich, who became the youngest world champion in WSOP history when he outlasted a field of 1,049 players to win the $1,500 limit hold’em event at the 2005 WSOP.

Recently turning 21, the legal age for gambling in a casino, Efro finally claimed victory and $361,910 at 4:15 a.m. this morning when he rivered a King-high flush. It was an epic two-and-a-half hour heads-up battle against Jason Steinhorn that set up the winning hand. Efro, who hails from LA and is good friends with last year’s main event runner-up David Williams (they're both Magic: the Gathering pros), originally had a 2-to-1 chip advantage over Steinhorn when it was down to the two and took even more control 30 minutes into heads-up play, outstacking Steinhorn by over a million in chips. Steinhorn charged back however, gaining his first lead over Efro just before 3:00 a.m. after flopping a set of 10s and scooping a pot worth half a million. Maintaining his advantage for the next 30 minutes, Steinhorn then lost steam as Efro rode some nice cards and aggressive betting on flops and turns to take the lead and eventually all of Steinhorn’s chips.

Here's a side note that may be of interest to our college bound readers:

Continue reading "Barely Legal, Very Rich" »

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A Name “Werth” Some Flack ... and $369,535

WerthRelative no-name Thom Werthmann captured the $1500 pot-limit hold’em title after finishing on the high end of a seesaw battle against 5-time WSOP bracelet winner Layne Flack. Werthmann, who hails from Bloomfield Hills, Michigan (although by his name you’d think he was part of some Brit poker posse consisting of guys with names like Pendleton Wickersham, Prentis Hollingsworth, and Lloyd Oliver III), stormed backed after being down to just $30,000 in chips when there were 4 players left and Flack had about $1.4 million. Doubling up and playing super aggressive, Werthmann, who placed 179th in 2004’s main event, eventually outlasted both Tony Ma and Martin Green to go heads up against Back-to-Back Flack, who already owns a pot-limit world championship bracelet as well as one in omaha hi/lo and 3 in no-limit, his specialty. Starting off shortstacked by almost 3-to-1, Werthmann became chip leader about 15 minutes into heads-up, and at 2 in the morning, he finally got the best of Flack, as well as all his chips, in a coin-flip all-in race between his A-2o and Flack’s 5-5. As event #3 champion, Werthmann collects $369,535 with Flack pocketing $185,855.

An update on event #4, the $1,500 limit hold’em championship:

Continue reading "A Name “Werth” Some Flack ... and $369,535" »

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Speaking of April...

April2_1They're down to just three players at the final table of event #2, with Allen Cunningham the big stack at the table with $1,945,000 in chips, followed by Devilfish Ulliott ($845,000) and Scott Fischman ($680,000). Just as Devifish doubled up courtesy of Cunningham when his 8-8 held up against 6-6, we received an email from a Wicked Chops reader sharing with us another connection model/actress April Scott has with poker. Well, it isn't really related to poker directly but it involves a casino. That's good enough right? Anyway, apparently April was a finalist in the "Palms Girl" contest held last year at the Palms Casino in Las Vegas. She made it down to the final 12 out of 500 or so but identical twins Ruth and Ryan were eventually selected as the winners. From the looks of it the competition was fierce and we're left wondering why we're covering event #2 of the WSOP and not equally intriguing and competitive events like the "Palms Girl" contest. While we ponder this and find out the latest over at the final table, we'll go ahead and share another pic of April. See more at AprilScott.com.

Update 1: Just as this was being published, Devilfish was knocked out in third place. We're not sure yet by who but guessing Cunningham who now has about two thirds of all the chips they started with 2 days ago. Devilfish was our pick for this event and we're disappointed he didn't take the bracelet here. But congrats to him for a great start to this year's WSOP. Also, congrats to Atlanta's own Richard Boutwell, who started today in 7th position but went out in 9th place winning $54,075.

Update 2: ALLEN CUNNINGHAM WINS EVENT #2 AT THE 2005 WSOP. Cunningham flopped two pair and Fischman, who won this event last year, found himself with an open-ended straight draw. On the turn, Fischman connected to give himself a pair with his draw and re-raised all-in. Cunningham called and the river gave Fischman no help and Cunningham the title. Cunningham, who has done well in the WSOP circuit events this year, outlasted the second-largest field in poker history to win the $1,500 NLHE world championship bracelet and $725,405. Fischman will take home $352,125.

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Like a Broken Record, Another Record Broken

Today is Day 3 of Event #2 and Day 2 of Event #3. Sounds a little confusing, but get used to it as the sheer size of events at this year’s WSOP is forcing many into three-day tournaments. BrokenrecordYesterday, the $1,500 pot-limit hold’em event got started at noon, with a--everyone say it with me now--“record-setting” field of 1,071 entries, almost tripling last year’s 363. Sooner or later we may just stop saying record-setting and run with the assumption, and in fact, the real news here would be if an event didn’t set a record.

The field for event #3 was just as impressive as the day before with every single pro that was knocked out early yesterday ponying up the $1,500 once again for a chance at some early WSOP winnings and perhaps a bracelet. Not many improved upon their performance however, with only Layne Flack, Jennifer Harman, Al Krux and Hoyt Corkins still at a table when day one finally came to an end at 3:14am. Thirty-six players are now left competing for the $369,535 first place prize with second receiving a measly $185,855.

As for event #2, we’re down to a final table in day 3. Here’s how things will look when they deal the first cards at 2pm:

Continue reading "Like a Broken Record, Another Record Broken" »

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Event #2 Update: Fisch + 'Fish In, Mouth + 'Muth Out

Just before 10:30pm in Las Vegas, and we're down to 11 players. Since our last report, both Phil Hellmuth and Mike Matusow took cliff dives from their massive stacks, landing themselves on the rails. Matusow went from starting the day with the second largest chip stack to losing around $120,000 in less than 30 minutes, bowing out in 44th place with $4,225 in winnings. Hellmuth drained a bit slower, losing about $100,000 in 2 hours and went out in 24th, winning $15,905. Others making it to today but not to the final table include David Pham, out in 22nd place, and Minh Ly who finished 13th. Still in the hunt with 11 left is defending champ in this event, Scott Fischman, as well as Devilfish and An Tran. While Devilfish was our pick to win this event when the day began, from all reports Fischman is on a rush and is going to be tough to beat. But as we all know everything can change when you're down to just 9 players and 1 table. That we'll see tomorrow.

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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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