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July 2005

Time to Discuss the State of Gambling in America

Maybe a site that has a founder named “The Addict” isn’t qualified to comment on Time Magazine’s recent take on the rise of gambling addiction in America.  But then again, it is our site.  And we like commenting. 

While the article tackles what may cause gambling addiction (an area of the brain “known to be involved in processing dopamine, a pleasure-inducing chemical released during drug and alcohol use”), the only real gambling recreation it discusses is…of course…poker. 

According to a recent study, apparently an area of our so-called “brain” lights up, “when test subjects gambled, becoming active not only when they won but also when they merely expected to win...”  What the article fails to discuss are effective ways to determine “tells” on people when this occurs.  But then again, we guess that wasn’t their intended focus.  Still, they could’ve thrown us a bone here.   

Ew Wicked Chops Poker does wonder though if that same area of your brain lights up when viewing some of the pics we post regularly on the site (for example, like the one of recent Bodog celebrity poker winner Estella Warren on the right).  Maryann Guberman of casinogambling.com probably isn’t one of those people, as she writes that she could, “do without the girlie pictures.”  Then again, we suppose it’s OK, so long as you keep enjoying the content. 

Getting back on point, the Time article does provide some interesting stats, such as: 1) yet another reference that “50 million people” are at least occasional poker players; 2) that 1 million people will tune in to ESPN's broadcast of this year's World Series of Poker (although we think it’ll be much more); 3) for those addicted to gambling, we now have 247 Native American casinos in 22 states; 4) and if that’s not enough, 84 riverboat or dockside casinos in six states can quench our gaming thirst.

Further, to illustrate the hypocrisy (and lost revenue opportunities) by states that find poker to be “illegal,” there are 48 states now that do “have some form of legalized gambling.” In other words, lotteries that take advantage of the poor and are purely luck = yes.  But a game of skill and advanced thinking = no. 

If you ask us, that’s the true travesty of the state of gambling in America.  And it's about time that changed.

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Looking for Good NLH Advice?

Hey, we all need to get better.  Here's some different takes on NLH strategy to consider (or re-consider).  Either way, worth the read:

Getting the Most from Your Hand (Double As, July 28) - Double As was chip leader deep into WSOP event #43.  He presents some great perspective on getting value for your hands. 

NLTH Wisdom - Von Sandman has won a handsome bundle of $$$ online and qualified for this year's WSOP Main Event not once, but twice. He also won the 4th Street Poker Tour game that Wicked Chops participated in--so he's clearly a force. This is a good primer and reminder on the foundation of solid NLH play.

Empty Seats - A thought-provoking method of dealing with huge tournament fields - Typically Scott Fischman's poker acumen far exceeds that of his writing.  He manages to make his hand on this one though.

Coming next week we'll have a piece from Bull, a WCP tournament regular.  He's a dominant online tournament player and will share some of his tips.  Keep an eye out for it. 

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Scarlett Johansson Doesn't Play Poker

:: snake

ScarlettjohanssonAs far as we know, our favorite actress we'd love to meet in a hotel lounge in Tokyo, or a crappy motor inn in Topeka for that matter, doesn't play poker. But she was in a movie with that Gopher Trace guy (well, that's his name for our dyslexic readers, and his 6th-grade bullies). And he stars in that 70's show on tv, the title of which eludes me right now, and also on that show is Laura Prepon and Danny Masterson and they play poker. So Scarlett is somehow connected to poker in a 6DoKB kind of way.

Anyway, Scarlett's cleavage is the size of a brontosaurus.

Well, that's according to her . . . and anyone with eyes.

As reported by Sky TV in London, and which we came across at Adrants, the Lost in Translation star almost crashed her car in LA when she came across an enormous billboard of herself promoting her new movie The Island (side note: the movie sucks, but go see it anyway 'cause Scarlett still looks hot in movies that suck).

Here's how Scarlett tells the story, which is better than the story told in The Island by the way:

"I was driving through Los Angeles and I look up and see the biggest photo of me I have ever seen in my life on a massive ad space. I screamed and slammed on the brakes. I couldn't believe it. It's very strange to see my cleavage the size of a brontosaurus. My breasts were huge. I had long hair and my goodness, I couldn't get past the cleavage."

Told you it was a great story...I mean someone should make a movie about this. Here's the pitch to big shot movie producer: "Think beautiful starlet, she's driving in LA, and then . . . she comes across her own cleavage that is the size of a brontosuarus."

Genius. It's got that whole Jurassic Park meets whatever spanktravision movie that was that I paid $9 for in that motor inn in Topeka thing to it.

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Book Preview: Tales from the Tiltboys

Visitors to rec.gambling.poker back in the mid-to-late 90's first became aware of a group of gonzo gamblers (and Roshambo masters) known as the Tiltboys (Phil Gordon, Rafe Furst, and Perry Friedman to name a few).  Their legend has grown over the years, and now the "who they ares and what they dids" that are ingrained in the fabric of poker lore have found their way to published pulp. 

Tales from the Tiltboys is an Oceans 11-esque romp that makes you want to grab your best friends and hightale it to Vegas for a week of degenerate gambling.  Wicked Chops Poker has a Heads-Up coming up with some of the Tiltboys, and we'll review the book in full next week.  If you can't wait that long, then buy the book now.  If you're not gambling, then it's the next best way to spend a weekend day.

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God, Nipples and Poker

What's the meaning of life?

Is there a God?

Are we alone in this universe?

Why do guys have nipples?

These are just some of the age old questions that have challenged great minds since the beginning of time. Now it seems people are asking: Is Poker A Sport?

While we here at Wicked Chops Poker don't pretend to have all the answers, we do want to offer the exhibit on the following page as perhaps bringing us a bit closer to the truth.

Continue reading "God, Nipples and Poker" »

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Player Profile: Deadbeat Dayne Baverman

:: snake

Deadbeat_dadTwo years ago on day two of the Jack Binion World Poker Open, Dayne Baverman was playing the best poker of his life. After starting off with just $12,200 in chips, the Cincinatti, Ohio resident went on an impressive run to finish the day as the chip leader, outstacking the final 27 remaining, including heavyweights like Ivey, Hellmuth, Devilfish, Grimes and McEvoy.

The next day he was out quickly in 20th place.

It seems Baverman just didn't know what to do with the money when he had it.

Flash forward to this past week, Baverman, who has racked up more than $50,000 in tournament winnings since 2003 including a cash at last year's WSOP main event, still doesn't know what to do with the money when he has it, like paying child support to 6 of his 8 children. Apparently the 51-year-old hasn't paid a dime over the past year or so and now owes $31,221 for six of his eight children. He finally got the bad beat he deserved though when he was arrested in the middle of a hand at the Gold Strike Casino in Tunica, Miss. and now faces up to three years in jail for failing to pay child support.

Baverman was able to shirk his duties thanks to cash winnings that didn't show up anywhere . . . except all over the Internet. Yes, Google his name or just click here to see how he's been doing. Kathy Hayes, Baverman's former wife and mother of their children, had been keeping track of her deadbeat ex over the Internet for the past 2 years, watching his winnings pile up month after month as her bills piled up at home. With the help of tournament reports published online at Hendon Mob, Poker Player and elsewhere, a grand jury finally indicted the donkey and authorities tracked him down in Tunica.

What's next for Deadbeat Dayne's poker career? Not sure, but we're guessing if he plays his cards right he may be able to win enough smokes in the prison ring games to pay off anyone wanting to toss his salad.

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A Million Dollars, Baby

If you feel winning a million dollars without spending a dime out of your own bankroll, then you might want to check out Paradise Poker.

The site is running qualifying "heats" for a $1.1 million free-entry tournament through August 26th.  There are three qualifying tournaments a day that run at 4:00 p.m., 9:00 p.m., and 1:00 a.m. (EST). Robamber_3

The final $1.1 tournament is on August 27th.  Along with the mill, Paradise Poker will pay out $10k to places 2-10 (or in other words, the final table).

As we learned at the WSOP, rich poker players are the rock stars of the aught 2ks.  So take a swing at the mill, hit the tour, and reap the benefits.

Or pay off your mortgage, debts, and financially take care of your family.  Up to you.  Even better is if you set up a Rob-Amber, million dollar split alliance (of course, if you're a girl, that means marrying a Rob...or even worse, if you're a dude, that means marrying a Rob).  Heck, you might even go heads-up against the Bostonian, who was wearing Paradise gear promoting the freeroll at the WSOP.

Read more about the Paradise Poker million dollar freeroll on Poker News

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Prez Bush: "Be All You Can Bodog"

:: snake

BushaddressKerryandcrow_1While senator/ex-prez candidate/perpetual freeloader John Kerry was trying to make a move on Sheryl Crow this weekend, whose beau Lance Armstrong was off on some bike ride in the French countryside, President George Bush was stirring the nation with the following remarks during his new weekly podcast:

“If we don’t play poker, listen to Snoop Dogg and hang out with Bodog girls, then the terrorists win.”

Snoop_2It was a compelling proclamation, a battle cry if you will, and thanks to the folks at Bodog, our troops stationed in Hawaii were able to combat the enemy right on our home turf at the "Bodog Salutes the Troops: A Tribute to American Heroes,” a charity event featuring a cast of celebrities, musicians, comedians and troops interacting in various activities including a poker tournament that was won by uber-model/actress Estella Warren and a concert last night with Snoop Dogg and Bif Naked.

Bush’s comment served not only as a call to our nation not to cower to the ghastly deeds of jihadists but as a veiled response to the controversy surrounding Bodog’s charity event. Bodog1Apparently the Department of Defense, which greenlighted the event, was questioned on whether it was “proselytizing” Internet gambling by aligning itself with an online casino. As reported by the Las Vegas Sun, Phil Strub, special assistant for entertainment media for the Defense Department (that can’t be a real job title), claimed, “I'm not a legal expert but I would have thought that someone ... would have raised this if we thought it was a radioactive thing . . . you know, like depleted uranium dust."

Strubb did admit that “there was some initial concern that the event could be promoting gambling” but that they just wanted to give troops the opportunity to enjoy a concert and play poker with Shannon Elizabeth, something many just had to pay 10 g’s for the pleasure of doing so.

To head off any legal concerns as well as make obvious the absurdity of our Dept. of Justice and its interpretation of the 1961 (B.C. that is) Wire Act, the event was actually sponsored by Bodog.net, Bodog’s play-money site, which is not linked in anyway, url-wise, to Bodog.com. Genius.

Anyway, the whole purpose of this post is to tell you to support The Fisher House Foundation, the beneficiary of the Bodog event. The program donates "comfort homes" that enable family members to be close to a loved one at the most stressful times - during the hospitalization for an unexpected illness, disease, or injury.

In no way was the purpose of this post to publish photos of Bodog girls, Shannon Elizabeth and Estella Warren like the ones you'll see if you click "Continue reading..." (courtesy of Bodog).

Continue reading "Prez Bush: "Be All You Can Bodog"" »

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Poker and Princess Leia

Chops here.

As Snake reported this weekend, there is rampant slagging of poker going on in the sports media and by some blogs. People are turning on the poker "trend" quicker then they did on The Strokes back in '02, as this great quote illustrates: "Poker fucking sucks the malformed robotic penis of General Grievous.Even sports columnist Steve Czaban is taking stabs at the poker popularity pot, writing that poker players are a "collection of misfits and shut-ins that resemble the human version of the bar scene in Star Wars." 

So yes, apparently much poker venom is being spewed from a sector of society that worships at the altar of Yoda, Mace Windu, and Obi-wan.  Since I'm a former Star Wars fanatic (who grew out of it when I was around 7), 262000_1Snake asked me my thoughts on why this is so, and here they are:

I'll throw it out there and say most Star Wars Geeks (SWGs) aren't playing poker. Why? Because they are: 1) watching Star Wars, or 2) throwing 12-sided dice while dressing up as Merlin and playing D&D. SWGs then aren't going to be in tune with much that doesn't involve some sort of (non-sexual) fantasy or role-playing game. Poker would probably seem "uncool" to SWGs until maybe Bots make a final table...or Clonie Gowen dresses up as “slave Leia” in Episode VI.

Since it's easier to attack something unfamiliar then embrace it, SWGs--under the cloak of anonymity provided by the so-called "Internet"--are more likely to slam poker as yet another cool trend that will be ditched by wannabe celeb worshipers as soon as the next trend comes along. This flies directly in the face of what an SWG is all about...and that is...completely becoming immersed with something greater than you are, even if it means complete social outcasting and only getting laid by your palm while looking at pictures of Princess Leia in that slave outfit from Episode VI.

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Estella Warren or the Robotic Penis of General Grievous? You Choose.

:: snake

Rotssp1grievouspose3_1Estella_warrenWhile American sports writers and Danish bloggers are slagging poker with references to obscure Stars Wars’ scenes and a certain character’s johnson, model/actress Estella Warren (Planet of the Apes, as well as an endless number of photo spreads in both ‘zines you read and ones that girl you’re sleeping with reads and you look at wishing you were sleeping with girls like Estella rather than that girl you’re sleeping with) was being all she could be, along with the equally-as-hot Shannon Elizabeth, at the final table of the Bodog Salutes Our Troops Poker Tournament in Hawaii.

As the always-magniloquent Paris Hilton would say, “That’s so hot.”

Even hotter though is Estella won, beating out Bodog pros like Josh Arieh and David Williams, a battalion of military and online players and a bevy of celebrities that included Grey's Anatomy's resident beauty Katherine Heigl, comedians Colin Quinn, Paul Rodriguez, and Wanda Sykes, TV host Carson Daly, Survivor’s Rob Mariano and Amber Brkich, and Peter Berg, who you know as the director of Friday Night Lights and who you envy/despise as the man sleeping with Estella Warren.

The heads-up match came down to Estella and Army soldier Shane Woods, which confirms to me that we’re winning the war on terrorism. I mean, the Islamo-fascist thugs have to strap on bombs, blow themselves up into bits, all in the hopes of being surrounded by 72 virgins, while all Private Woods had to do was to play some poker for the chance at going all-in with Shannon Elizabeth, Estella Warren and Katherine Heigel.

Cav_estellaSpeaking of going all-in with Estella, that’s how it ended for Woods, who went in with A-4 against Estella’s K-Q. A flop of Q-J-7 and blanks on the turn and river gave Estella the win.

Asked how she did it and how she became such a hot poker player, Estella almost slipped up when she said, "Snake from Wicked Chops PoI mean, uh, my boyfriend Peter Berg taught me how to play."

Luckily no one, other than my imagination, caught on to that first part.

On a serious note, the Bodog Salutes Our Troops: A Tribute to American Heroes event is raising money for the Fisher House Foundation, a charity that annually houses and supports 8,500 military families. If you’re like me and often feel like an indolent slouch compared to the men and women fighting overseas and defending our homeland, check out the Fisher House and throw them a few SnG buy-ins. You’ll feel like a budding Barry Greenstein.

CalvandshanSo next up for the Be All You Can Bodog event is a concert tonight featuring Snoop Dogg and Estella Warren Naked . . . oh sorry, I read that wrong, it’s Bif Naked. Damn. Over 10,000 troops will be there along with the celebs and Bodog Founder & CEO Calvin Ayre, who we’re in talks with right now to have Wicked Chops be the official judges for the 2006 Bodog Girls competition. He just hasn't had the chance to get back to us yet, seems to be always "in an important meeting" or "currently hanging with Shannon Elizabeth."

Anywho, back to the question posed above, for all those who choose Estella Warren go here and here. For all those who prefer the robotic penis of General Grievous, try here.

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Poker Haters, Mull-Hawks and Whiny Sports Writers

:: snake


“Poker fucking sucks the malformed robotic penis of General Grievous.”

So apparently not everyone is enamored with the game of poker.

Particularly Copenhagen, Denmark-based blogger Snorre, who stated the above in a rant he unleashed on Destroy All Celebrities, a moderately amusing yet generally worth checking out pop culture blog.

Snorre, who's also the artist of the illustration above, went on to say:

“Although people here in Denmark generally follow American pop-culture like a three-legged puppy dog with a bad case of worms, Poker hasn't quite caught on yet. Oh, I'm sure you can find your fair share of idiotic Danes who think it's cool as shit to look serious and play poker, but then again there are also a lot of mother fuckers around here who proudly sport faux-hawks and quasi-mullets.”

They definitely do. When I was in Denmark last summer the faux-hawk, or as I called them Mull-Hawks, were everywhere, along with an entire population of perfectly gorgeous womenMohawk_1 who are forced to date wearers of this funny lil’ do that incorporates the best, or really the worst of the mullet, and topping it with a mohawk (sorta like what's pictured here but think more of a Beckham-do than Clash-style). The trick to the mull-hawk, apparently, is getting the mohawk to stick up just a bit in the front and along its ridge and then flow to the back just right so it blends into a full-on mullet "spray", if you can imagine. Unlike a mohawk the head is not shaved on the sides at all so the 'bizness in the front’ look is somewhat preserved. Remarkable.

Am I really talking about hairstyles?

Moving on . . .

Continue reading "Poker Haters, Mull-Hawks and Whiny Sports Writers" »

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Amnon Filippi Wins Bellagio Challenge Cup

For those of you constantly refreshing your browser in eager anticipation of discovering the winner of the Bellagio Challenge Cup (kidding), here you have it...Amnon Filippi.

Ok so Filippi, in our best consultant-speak, wasn't the "sexiest" name in the field.  While he has cashed in a number of WPT events (and one WSOP event this year), he's no Phil Ivey, Scotty Nguyen, T.J. Cloutier, Cyndy Violette...heck he's not even a Tobey Maguire.  But you know what he is?  About $364,200 richer than we are (not to mention proud owner of an actual Bellagio crystal cup). 

Quinn Do finished second, earning $228,850.

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“Just What the Doctor Ordered”

131It’s hard to believe it was less than a week ago that a relatively unknown Australian named Joseph Hachem took the 7.5 million dollar prize in the 2005 World Series of Poker. It was an amazing thing seeing a virtual, and actual, Average Joe outlasting a field of more than 5,600 players.

It was also a painful thing, watching from the rails, not being one of those 5,600 competing for top honors in the game we play each and every day. In fact, it almost made us ill.

Well, in Tunica this August, we have just what the doctor ordered as Harrah's has announced the schedule for the 2005/2006 WSOP circuit tournament schedule and it all gets underway at the Grand Casino Tunica from August 10 through August 25.

So, if you're already tired of watching the WSOP on ESPN or any other poker on TV; if you want to stop watching or reading about someone else winning tons of cash playing poker; or if you’re getting bored of grinding the tables online, it’s time to get off your arse, put on your pants, set aside a few bills and meet us in Tunica next month and be part of the 2005/2006 World Series of Poker.

Tunica is a great poker town. Indeed, poker’s really the only thing worth doing there, unless of course the Hawaiian Tropic Pageant is in town, which was the case the last time we stayed at the Grand Casino Tunica (hence the obligatory pic). It was rather impressive, like a Bodog in Bikinis Convention, with a bit of a stripper-look slant (but in the $30 cover charge range). And while it doesn’t look it will be going on this August during the Circuit event, you do have Ted “Wildman” Nugent in town as a distraction on August 20. He’ll surely be slinging out hits like “Motor City Madhouse,” “Cat Scratch Fever,” and yes, the apropos “Just What the Doctor Ordered.”

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Two Remain at Bellagio Challenge Cup

Play stopped for the night at the Bellagio Challenge Cup (a title that could've easily been the output of a random tournament name generator) with only two players remaining, Annon Filippi and Quinn Do.  They'll wrap it up later today and compete for the $364,200 first prize and entry into the WPT Championship next year.

Here's the prize breakdown for those sent packing, courtesy of cardplayer.com: 3rd: Fuat Can ($119,000), 4th: Jeff Shulman ($64,075), 5th: Mimi Tran ($50,345), 6th Sam Grizzle ($41,195), 7th: Scotty Nguyen ($32,040), 8th: Tobey Maguire ($22,885), 9th Chad Layne ($18,310).

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Man vs. Machine

Grinder_1Lots on bots in the news this week.  Both Wired Magazine and Fox Sports discuss the latest on bot technology (as unveiled at Binion's last week). 

This raises a more important issue though...which is this...is Michael "The Grinder" Mizrachi a bot?  According to his cap, he is "a machine." Next time you're on Poker Stars and some a$$hole is calling your two-pair down to the river with pocket 2's and hits a set on 5th street, it could very well be a bot.  Or the Grinder. Because, according to his cap, he is a machine.  This officially bumps Chops and his "Chops here" cap off the top of the "Is he really wearing that cap?" list.

Even more scary, if the Grinder is some sort of hybrid of man and machine, we could all be in trouble.  Judging by his recent tournament results, he very well could be.  Be afraid.  Be very afraid. 

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Can Quinn Do Scotty Nguyen In?

On the heels of a grueling 90+ hour, eight-day slugfest that capped off a six-week card playing bonanza known as the World Series of Poker, the Bellagio decided, "You know what?  Let's host another $10k buy-in tournament two days after the Main Event wraps!"

Gotta love the Bellagio.  Got to.

Going into Day 3 of the Bellagio Challenge Cup, the field has whittled down from 98 players to 9.  Big names such as Phil Ivey, Scott Fischman, Cyndy Violette, T.J. Cloutier, Erik Seidel, and 2005 WSOP Player of the Year Allen Cunningham all busted out.

But there's still plenty of wattage at the final table today.  2005 bracelet winner Quinn Do has been at or near the chip lead for most of Day 2.  He's stacked with 494,000.  Scotty Nguyen is second with 377,000.  Nguyen is surely throwing out more per capita "babies" then you'd hear during any 10 minute stretch of Swingers.

The rest of the final table includes: Annon Filippi - 362,100,  Sam Grizzle (best remembered for his verbal sparring with Hellmuth during the 2003 WSOP) - 214,200, Card Player magazine's Jeff Shulman - 190,300, Mimi Tran - 146,900,  Tobey Maguire (no shit) - 68,500,  Fuat Can - 47,900, and Chad Layne - 40,800.

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The End of Jackpot Jay - What We Learned

Chops here.

Mailbag_logoHis (slightly over a) year poker odyssey is up.  His book publishing advance is exhausted.  ESPN.com's poker Odysseus, Jackpot Jay, is done. 

Jackpot Jay's journey can best be described as "uneven."  His play and writing started off strong.  When his play faltered, so did his writing.  The two were uniquely intertwined.  He picked it up some about three-quarters through, then ended the journey with a thud.

His final column ran today.  It's Jackpot Jay's 10 Commandments of Poker.  For those who read his column every Tuesday, there will be no new light shining from your monitor with this piece.  For those who never read his column, you may glean a bit or two of useful information.  The best pieces of advice are...

Continue reading "The End of Jackpot Jay - What We Learned" »

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Bow-wow-wow Yippi Yo Yippi Raise

As we learned in Vegas during the 2005 WSOP, Bodog.com knows how to throw an event.

Snoopdogg_vh1newsOn July 22-23, the online gambling site will host "Bodog Salutes the Troops" in Hawaii.   The two-day charity event will raise money for the Fisher House Foundation, a US Military Services charity.  Along with a charity poker tournament, the two-day event also features a concert by Snoop Dogg (pictured right, flashing his favorite poker sign, pocket 3’s), where he will che-zeck rizzaise yo’ ass. 

Also attending/playing will be Survivor's (and 2005 WSOP Main Event entrant) Rob Mariano with Amber Brkich, Dulè Hill, Ben Roethlisberger, Estella Warren, Joshua Malina, Colin Quinn, Wanda Sykes, Katherine Heigl, Carson Daly, Matt Savage, and poker players Josh Arieh and David Williams.   We’ll just throw it out there and say that, personally, those two would be atop the Wicked Chops Poker “most likely to win this charity tournament” favorites list.  July1_1

January1So if you’re one of our Hawaiian readers, or will be in Hawaii this weekend, or watch Hawaii Five-O, say “Aloha” (“hello” context, not “good-bye” context) to this event.  Come for the scenery (both of Hawaii and the Bodog girls, pictured left and right, respectively) and sounds, and stick around to play some poker. 

And support our troops.

U-S-A.  U-S-A.

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Dreaming of Poker Chicks?

Foxnews.com has a photo on its the homepage of tourists huddled together, sleeping in a shelter in Cancun after Hurricane Emily stormed through the island.  It was an awful, terrifying and terrible experience for everyone there. 

Except for the guy with his hand down his shorts.

Is he dreaming of poker chicks?  Is he really even sleeping?  How did the FoxNews editor not notice this slight of hand in the AP photo?  Or maybe the editor did, but just happens to have our sense of humor. 


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Check-Raising Chicks

Although you wouldn't have known it glancing around the final few days at the WSOP Main Event, poker chicks are rapidly filling seats at poker tables and tournaments.

Just look at this year's Women's $1,000 NLH tournament at the WSOP (won by Jennifer Tilly).  In 2004, a record field of 201 participated.  This year, it nearly tripled to 601. 

The Times Online ran a story over the weekend about the rising number (and success) of poker chicks.  It cited a recent study that found "...53% of those gambling online in America were female."

While Wicked Chops Poker doubts the numbers are actually that high, one thing we do know is this: based on our observation, the per capita "hot girl" quotient is significantly higher among poker babes than any other type of sport (including tennis). 

And this is a major advantage for the female of the species (which, according to Kipling, is more deadly than the male).

Continue reading "Check-Raising Chicks" »

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2005 WSOP TV Schedule

ESPN has listed its 2005 WSOP television schedule.  The first airing is this Tuesday at 8pm when the monolithic sports giant begins showing over a month's worth of WSOP circuit events (Las Vegas, Atlantic City, San Diego, Lake Tahoe, New Orleans).  Each week ESPN will air 2 full hours worth of poker.  Poker poker poker. 

So give your girlfriend/wife a kiss and your Tuesday evenings good-bye until November, when Main Event coverage finally wraps. 

On August 23rd ESPN will start showing the actual WSOP tournaments, beginning with Event #2 ($1,500 NLH, won by Allen Cunningham) and Event # 4 ($1,500 Limit Hold'em, captured by Eric “Efro” Froehlich). 

No need to list the whole schedule here.  The WSOP air dates are on ESPN.com.

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Hachem Hatches Raise In WSOP Coverage

There is no shortage of media coverage spotlighting Joseph Hachem today (seen spotlighted in the pic below).  Check out some suggested reads on Hachem and his 2005 WSOP victory.

Aussie Hachem Wins World Series of Poker (CNNSI)
World Series of Poker Decided In Record 14th Hour (ESPN.com)
Black Prince's $10M Poker Win (The Australian News)
Cool-hand Joe Pockets $10M as Poker's World Champion (The Advertiser)
Aussie Grabs Glory, Big Poker Jackpot (Inside Bay Area)


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No Joe Shmoe

HachemwinsThere is a new world champion of poker.  And chances are, you've never heard of him.

But you will soon come to know Joseph Hachem.  His all ins will be all over your television in October, when ESPN begins airing the WSOP Main Event. 

It was the longest final table in the history of the WSOP (something Mike Matusow hinted would be the case after he was knocked out in 9th).  Play began shortly after 4pm (PST) and last waaaaaaaaaay into the morning.  Finally, at 6:44am, Joseph Hachem won Texas Hold'ems biggest prize. 

So, who is Joseph Hachem?

Continue reading "No Joe Shmoe" »

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Oi! Oi! Oi! Joseph Hachem Wins 2005 WSOP!

Joseph Hachem from Melbourne, Australia, has won the 2005 WSOP.

His seven-high straight tops Steve Dannenmann's top pair the title.

After the victory, Hachem did victory laps around the stage as his countrymen (still there and still awake...and rowdy) chant the phrase of the WSOP: "Aussie, Aussie, Aussie! Oi! Oi! Oi!"

With the victory, Hachem wins his first gold bracelet, $7.5M, and becomes the all-time cash earner in WSOP history.  Hatchem is the first foreign-born player to win the WSOP since Carlos Mortensen in 2001.  While Hachem has numerous cashes in tournaments in Europe and Australia, this is his first major states-side finish. 

Steve Dannenmann takes home $4.25M for second place.  Tex Barch banks $2.5M for third. 

More pictures and stories to come...

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It Keeps Going and Going and Going...

Hachem_1We're down to three...and it's only taken 16 hours to get there.

For the first time in the touranment, Joseph Hachem (pictured right) has the chip lead with over 25M.  He's followed by Steve Dannenmann (about 24M) and Tex Barch (about 7M).  Blinds are now 150-300k with 50k antes.  Anyone got a Red Bull?

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The Final Four

It's taken nine hours, but we're now down to four.

Andrew Black's pocket tens (pocket tens being a pivotal hand tonight) were cracked by Steve Dannenmann's A-K (a King hit on the turn), and our former chip leader goes home with $1.75M.  Earlier, Scott Lazar was knocked out in 6th place when his Q-T fell to Andrew Black's Jacks.  Daniel Bergsdorf went home in 7th when his Jacks were busted by Black's trip Tens.

Play is loosening up some.  Aaron Kanter has doubled through Tex Barch.  Both were all in, and Kanter showed A-7.  Barch had A-Q.  The flop though gave Kanter trip 7's, and he took a chunk of Tex's total. 

Approximate chip counts for the remaining four are now: Steve Dannenmann - 26,000,000, Tex Barch - 16,000,000, Aaron Kanter - 8,500,000, and Joe Hachem - 5,000,000.

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Where We're Stacked


After some very loose and aggressive play the past two days, things have tightened up considerable.  Andrew Black and Aaron Kanter did play one big pot before the break (Black threw in a 6M+ re-raise on Kanter after the flop) and is now the significant chip leader with over 18M.  The rest of the chip counts, courtesy of Cardplayer.com are: Aaron Kanter (10,680,000), Tex Barch (10,480,000), Steve Dannenmann (7,130,000), Scott Lazar ($5,370,000), Daniel Bergsdorf (2,940,000), and Joseph Hachem (2,450,000).

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Thank GOD ESPN edits this footage down to an hour.  You are the lucky ones.   

And Matusow wasn't kidding when he said that, with him gone, the rest of the final table would be very tight.

Kondracki Nearly five hours into this, we've only lost two players (Brad Kondracki went out in 8th...that's him on the right, in case you didn't know).  It's pretty much a pre-flop raise and fold fest.  If we're lucky, we see a flop that's raised and folded.  If it's a miracle, we see a showdown.  Given that the remaining field has little to no experience with championship tournament poker, or playing short-handed, expect this trend to continue. 

For more info on who the remaining players are, the official WSOP site posted their bios earlier today

We did find out that they will play down to till there is a winner tonight.  So sometime within the next 47 hours, the 2005 WSOP champion will slip on that gold bracelet.  We promise. 

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Shut Up and Shut Out

Mike "the Mouth" Matusow, the lone true "pro" remaining at the WSOP, is the first to bust out of the final table.

And that is a shame. 

As easy as it is to hate Matusow from you see on TV, he's very funny live, and in this year's Main Event, was very focused and probably the best player.  During his "exit interview" with the media, he told us that "[we] will be amazed to see how well" he played over the past six days.  How it was "perfect poker" (watching it, it was). How many pots he won with nothing.  And in particular, how he increased his stack by 3 million yesterday with basically nothing.  His last statement was very prescient, as you'll find out in our next post.  And that is: without him around, the rest of the table will play "very tight."

Matusow was ultimately done in when his pocket tens didn't hold up against against an A-J that caught a wheel.  Matusow walked off sad, but maintained his composure.  But as true poker fans, we're sad to see the one player that could mix it up get busted so early.  Instead, the Mouth was shut up and shut out of the Main Event in 9th place, taking with him $1M.

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Best of the Worst

With nine players who have (theoretically) played the best in this year's WSOP remaining, it got us thinking of the WORST plays we've seen over the past week.  Here's our list (from least worst to most worstest):

Fbomber_1 9) Brit Barry Paskin wearing the same "Beckham" shirt two days in row...which, from the smell of it, he actually wore something like two years in a row.  How does this qualify as a bad play?  First, the odor of Paskin's "lucky" shirt had to disrupt his concentration.  Had to.  Other-wordly kind of smell.  McDonald's cheeseburger and fries fart in a hot car bad.  Second, when the tournament officials actually made him change shirts, Paskin went on mini-tilt, again, breaking his concentration.  For a man that didn't strike us as having terribly great focus to begin with, this would be tantamount to having the button and checking a straight flush on the river. 

8)  Speaking of checking a straight flush on the river... that actually did happen.  Some Internet clown didn't realize they turned a straight flush and checked it down to the river.  Nope, wasn't trying to trap...just didn't know.  Gotta love Internet players.  The fact that we don't win every single online SNG is depressing.  Spot #8 was almost occupied by James Woods though.  Why?  Woods checked quad 3’s on the river!  Since Woods at least won SOME money for his hand though, we're letting it slide.  Worst part is, Woods set it up perfectly until then.  With pocket 3’s, Woods limps and is in a three-way pot.  Flop comes up A-A-K.  Woods bets, one guy folds, the other calls.  Turn is a 3, giving Woods a boat.  He bets again and is quickly called.  River is another 3.  He acts flustered.  Upset.  What an actor!!! He checks.  The guy quickly checks.  Woods, hoping to set a trap (yet failing, so much for another Oscar nod), flips over his quads.  The other guy just mucks.  Pretty hard to think the guy was calling Woods down with J-10, so Woods missed an opportunity to get more chips out of someone (he called all the way down, so what’s one more call?).  The lesson: never check the nuts on the river.  There’s no guarantee the other guy will bet. 

Poopin 7)  Chops using a men's room stall just seconds after Elix Powers.  Let's just say the chicken sandwiches sold outside the Rio convention center didn't sit well with Chops.  And Chops didn't sit well knowing that, as he rushed to the men's room, the only open stall was just vacated by one Elix "Jack high!" Powers.  You wanna talk about stench?  Paskin ain't got nothing on Powers.

Continue reading "Best of the Worst" »

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Finally, A Final Table

After out-playing (with a few lucky breaks along the way) a field of 5,600+, nine rounders have made their way to the 2005 WSOP Main Event final table.  Leading them all is Aaron Kanter.  After KO'ing Ivey and crippling Raymer, Kanter sits with a mountainous stack of 10,700,000 chips.  Joining him are: Tex Barch - 9,330,000, Andrew Black - 8,140,000, Mike Matusow - 7,410,000, Steven Dannenmann - 5,460,000, Joe Hachem - 5,420,000, Daniel Bergsdorf - 5,270,000, Scott Lazar - 3,370,000, Brad Kondracki - 1,180,000.

Kanter does have one cash in a WPT event (the Ultimate Poker Classic) where he finished 92nd.  But otherwise, he's in personal uncharted poker territory.  Matusow, Black, Hachem, and Lazar have more experience (Matusow raking more career tournament winnings than everyone else combined), but Kanter is not afraid to go heads-up with anyone. 

Play is supposed to kick-off today at 4pm (PST).  This still may change, but that's the latest word from WSOP officials.  We'll keep you posted. 

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Ivey Out!

Iveyout_1Shocker of the night: Everyone's pick to win it all, Phil Ivey, has been eliminated from the 2005 WSOP when his pocket Jacks got smacked by Aaron Kanter's pocket Kings.  Ivey goes down in 20th place.

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Phan, Fossilman Flame Out

Tim Phan's run at the WSOP ended after Andrew Black hit a four-outter on the river to fill a full house (Queens over Aces).  Phan flopped a set, but Black busted it with the Queen.  Phan finishes in 24th place, grabbing $304,680.

Also out is the Fossilman.  Raymer lost most of his chips against Aaron Kanter when a river heart flushed his pocket Kings.  Raymer goes out in 25th, earns $304,680, and with this performance, likely earns some long overdue respect as a great no limit hold'em tournament player.

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Mouthing Off

Mike "the Mouth" Matusow is teetering on the brink of having another classic blow-up.  He was hit up during one of the first hands with a 10 minute penalty for telling Shawn Sheikhan to "shut the f-bomb up."  Sheikhan then real smartly repeated Matusow's four-letter no-no to the tournament director, and both got hit up with a 10 minute time-out. 

Shortly after they got back to playing, Sheikhan doubled-up through Matusow, then busted Tom Sartori. 

Sheikhan should drop f-bombs more often.

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Sweden, Sweden, Sweden, Oi! Oi! Oi!

ImswedenThe country that brought us IKEA, Volvo wagons and the smorgasbord is exporting a new commodity: top notch poker players. With just 27 remaining rounders left in the main event, close to a third hail from overseas, and half are from Sweden. It’s a trend that’s been in the making since 2004 when Stockholm’s Martin de Knijff took the WPT Championship and its 2.7 million dollar prize and “Screaming Swede” Mattias Andersson woke up the WSOP main event with his earsplitting shrieks and 8th place finish.

Bergwithivey_1Stepping into Knijff ‘s and Andersson’s shoes here are Daniel Bergdorf ($2,550,000), Oskar Silow ($1,440,000), Per Hildebrand ($645,000) and Ayhan Alsancak ($225,000). While Hildebrand and Alsancak will need miracles to stay in much longer, especially since they’re sharing a table with Phil Ivey and Greg Raymer today, Silow is miraculously still in with a workable stack after doubling up from Ivey on Day Five. Bergdorf (pictured with Ivey) though is the Swede to watch as he sits around the chip average going into today but he’s no average player with a good read on the field and changing gears from solidly tight to Viking-like aggression.

AussieWhile the Swede’s are here in numbers at the tables, it’s the Aussies who are the force to reckon with in the stands, as a dozen or more from Down Under cheer loudly for current national hero Joe Hachem. Hachem’s a top tournament player at home in Melbourne with final table appearances at the Crown Victorian Championship and Australasian Championship, and he’s been making noise at the feature table with a double up here and there that sends his crew into a roar, chanting “Aussie, Aussie, Aussie, Oi! Oi! Oi!”

EnglandThe nationalist pride from the Swedes and the Aussies is giving this World Series an Olympic like feel. You can even sense the generally reserved British media in the room quietly rooting for their country mates Tiffany Williamson ($1,000,000) and John McGrane ($600,000) as they attempt to do what no other Brit has done before, win the main event at the WSOP.

IrelandRounding out the players from abroad is the former monk Andrew Black, who’s broken his vow of silence to amass $2,350,000 going into Day Six. Practicing the Golden Rule of “do onto other as you would have them do on to you,” Black exhibited uncommon sportsmanship on Day Five when he refused to play while Bing Wang wasn’t at the table. The short-stacked Wang had mistakenly thought it was a dinner break instead of a regular break and was being blinded and anted off much to Black’s chagrin. Almost in tears and standing away from the table, Black objected to playing until Wing returned, which he did moments later after someone tracked him down.

It was the sign of a true gentleman, in a game not always known for such, but with 7.5 million dollars now closer in sight, Black will likely toss aside empathy for a shot at victory in the biggest game of all.

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WSOP Final Table May Start on Saturday

We just received word that the WSOP final table may not begin play until Saturday...and that it will run until Sunday.  WSOP officials say this is due to the high interest in the Main Event this year.  We'll keep you posted.

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Full Tilt Fills Pockets

Kristygazes For those not fully consumed by the 2005 WSOP Main Event, Fox Sports Net last night televised the first ever live broadcast of a Las Vegas poker tournament.  The live game, sponsored by FullTiltPoker.net, was won by poker pro and limit specialist Kristy Gazes. 

Kristy beat out 23 other top rounders, including Chris "Jesus" Ferguson, Clonie Gowen, Erik Seidel, Daniel Negreanu, Annie Duke, and Johnny Chan.  Fortunately for her, two of Full Tilt's top no limit players--Mike Matusow and Phil Ivey--are sitting atop the chip lead in the Main Event and couldn't make it.

This total PR-fueled event (it was also hosted at the new Wynn Casino) came down to Gazes, Gowen, and five-time WSOP bracelet winner Ted Forrest.  Gazes out-dueled Forrest heads-up to win the $250,000 first prize.

Amazingly, Wicked Chops Poker was paid absolutely no money to write-up this story.

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Charity for Charlie

Barry Greenstein recently dedicated his 1,500 Pot-Limit Omaha WSOP win to a young poker blogger named Charlie Tuttle. Charlie was a big-time poker enthuasist and blogger who died recently of cancer. 

The poker blogosphere has put together a charity tournament in memory of Charlie.  It takes place on Poker Stars this Sunday at 6pm (EST).  It's a $20 entry fee, all proceeds going to charity.  Just check under the private tournaments table in Poker Stars and look for the WPBT "Charlie" Tournament to register.   

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Full Tilt Fully Stacked

Matusow_feature Full Tilt is representing strong in this year's WSOP Main EventMike "the Mouth" Matusow continued his steady ascension yesterday, and he now sits with the overall chip lead (5,140,000) going into Day 6.  The Mouth appears focused and has avoided one of those "Matusow Moments" that, in the past, has sent him in a downward spiral to the rail.

Right behind Matusow is prohibitive favorite Phil Ivey with 4,635,000.  Steven Dannenmann is third with 4,300,000, followed by Tex Barch (3,900,000) and defending champ, Greg Raymer (3,840,000).  A few spots behind him in eight is Scott Lazar (3,025,000).  Check out Pokerwire.com for full chip counts.

Play was stopped after the field whittled down to 27.  Action moves to Binion's Horseshoe Casino today.  New tables have been assigned, and cards will be dealt at 3pm (PST). 

Matusow is the overwhelming big stack at his new table today.  The closest person to him is Brad Kondracki, who has nearly two million fewer chips (3,160,000).  Tiffany Williamson, the lone female remaining, sits next to Kondracki, but with a significantly smaller clay fortress (1,125,000). 

Phil Ivey, Greg Raymer, and Tim Phan (down to 1,575,000) will let chips fly at a sure-fire, fire-away aggressive table.  Raymer has position on Ivey at the table, and it will be interesting to see how these two ultra-competitive pros play their cards. 

Steven Dannenmann and Tex Barch occupy the most evenly stacked table, along with Minh Ly (2,050,000). 

So while the table match-up everyone wants to see, Matusow vs. Raymer, is still on hold, the way both are playing, it appears inevitable.  And if it does, expect one of them to fully go on tilt before it's done.

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Tex and Stevie D Take the Lead, But Not for Long

Tex_1John Derrick Barch is his name, but most just call him Tex. And if the McKinney, Texas native keeps things up he just might finally bring the title back to the state where the game began over a century ago. With $4 million in chips Tex carries the big gun in the field along with Maryland’s Steve Dannenmann who’s also stacking near the quad millions mark. Somewhere online the odds of Barch winning were set at 350-to-1, but with under 30 rounders to go, Tex’s odds have gone from rather slim to pretty darn good.

Elsewhere at the 4 tables left, John Juanda has finally run empty after pushing his last 340k left with 8h-4h and running into two players with wired pairs, one with queens, the other tens. The board hit K-Q-2-5-8, forcing Juanda to hit the exit, with a nice size pay out in tow and a loud applause to boot.

Russellhandjob_1For Russell Salzer, the happy ending was not meant to be, at least in the poker sense (see pic), as the Muscle and his masseuse were sent to the rail courtesy of Swede Oskar Silow, who now has about $1.5 million.

At the featured table, it’s been an all-in fest with big stacks hammering short stacks as well as each other. Tiffany Williamson was the first to take a hit, calling Raymer’s all-in with an A-Jo, which was no match to the champ’s pocket kings. But Tiffany had him outstacked and was still in the game, winning an all-in race herself just a few hands later. Right now she sits just over the million mark but that’s a tough place to be when the average stack is almost twice as much and the blinds $20-40k. Also at the feature is Aussie Joe Hachem, who’s had a crowd cheering him along with soccer hooligan-like chants as he amasses 3.5 million. Phan meanwhile could use some cheering up himself as he took a hit in an all-in against Michael Kessler. Phan had pocket queens but Kessler’s big slick hit its ace on the turn, doubling him up to 2.4 million.

IveymouthAs I type, Cardplayer’s updated their chip count and it looks like Matusow has once again claimed the lead with $4.5 million, while Stevie D. and Tex are close behind (4.2 and 4 respectively). The Mouth’s been doing it all along, hanging in and climbing up, and it’s looking more and more likely that it will be the Mike Matusow Show when ESPN airs the final table later this October. But if Matusow somehow, someway goes down in flames prior to the final nine, well you’d have to imagine that would be must see TV just as well.

If he does make it to final table, Matusow may have a few co-hosts stealing the show, as Raymer and Ivey are still very strong; Raymer with $3,050,000 and Ivey at $3,000,000. Raymer is making big calls and big moves and they’re paying off for the defending champ who isn’t afraid to risk it all. In one particular hand, with the board showing 8d-Js-2s-7d, Radu Butan was all-in with a Queen high flush draw and Raymer called with 5d-6d for a straight flush draw. The river brought a jack of diamonds and Raymer the pot to put him up near the top once again.

Also hanging tough around the two million mark or above are Minh Ly (3,000,000), Scott Lazar (2,800,000), Irishman Andrew Black (2,200,000), Tim Phan (2,050,000), Swede Daneil Bergsdorf (2,000,000), and Cornell grad and a former chip leader Brad Kondracki (1,800,000). For the hometown Atlanta crowd, our very own Joe Connor is still in the mix with 1.3 million in chips.

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The top pros remaining are bustin' up short-stacks and positioning themselves for a final table appearance.  Leading them all right now is Mike Matusow with 4,500,000.  He's followed by Steve Dannenmann (4,200,000), Tex Barch (4,000,000), Greg Raymer (3,100,000), Phil Ivey (3,000,000), Minh Ly (3,000,000), and Scott Lazar (2,800,000).  One bust to go before play stops for the night. 

John Juanda busted, as did Russell Salzer. That loud sigh you hear is from every masseuse at the Rio.

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An Expat and Ex-Monk Make it to Day 5

Tiffandraymer_1And then there was one . . . woman left.

When the UK's Sarah Bliley went out around midnight on Day 4, Tiffany Williamson, a Columbia, SC-born attorney now living and working in London, was the sole remaining woman left in the field. And she was sitting with about $2 million in chips in front of her.

Her story is the kind that has catapulted the WSOP into mainstream consciousness as people around the world dream of getting into the main event on the cheap. For Williamson it was first winning a freeroll at Gutshot.com's live club in London (she did "top-up for a tenner" as they would say which is an add-on for about 20 bucks). That win got her in another satellite and eventually a package to Las Vegas complete with travel accomodations. Once here, she continued her roll by winning a seat in one of the main event satellites just days before the start on July 7.

TiffrayphanSince the main event got underway, Williamson has played a tight-aggressive game modeled after her favorite poker player Dan Harrington, and she has gone on to outlast the Action Man, as well as more than 5,500 players, to guarantee herself no less than $235,390 in earnings and even more importantly, a shot at becoming the first woman and Briton to win the main event.

She is now seated at the ESPN feature table with both Raymer and Tim Phan to her left. In front of her, about 1.3 million.

TheexmonkFrom across the Irish Sea, and here in Vegas, just a few tables aways, is Dubliner Andy Black who was needing some Irish luck yesterday when he was below half a million. Now, the ex-monk (seriously) appears to have had his prayers answered, tripling and doubling up and currently at about 2 million in chips.

Black plays his poker mostly in Dublin and London and now plans to play much bigger events in the UK thanks to his bankroll guaranteed to be at least a quarter of a million. Like a typical Dubliner, Black has been fun spirited the whole way through, but when he drops his shades (upside down, Luske style) he drops the blarney and is all business.A_black

With two-thirds of Wicked Chops Poker team being Irish, we're quietly rooting for the Dubliner Black to at least earn a seat at the final table on Friday, but it will take more than the luck of the Irish and a few prayers to win it all with Ivey, Matusow and Raymer among those still in the game.

By the way, speaking of Guinness (well sort of), call up the world record folks because Russell the Muscle is still getting a massage and an happy ending, NYC style, looks now to be a sure thing.

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Day 5 Play Underway

Ivey4_1From the feedback we're getting, it seems like Phil Ivey is (to the surprise of no one) the overwhelming favorite to win the 2005 WSOP.  Not only do most people expect him to win, but most people want him to win too (like the guy standing behind him in the photo with the Phil Ivey shirt and button).  Ivey is the big stack at his table, and definitely knows how to bully other rounders to control play.

Raymer is back up over a million after starting today under by about 250k, and Mike Matusow is on a tear with around $2.5 million. Tim Phan has once again knocked out a player and looks to have at or close to 3 million now.  Seven  players have already been eliminated since play began.

One of those is Rod Pardey, Jr., out in 52nd ($173,880)  So much for our prediction of a final table for him.  After taking huge hits early in Day 4, he came in short today and finally went out when his pocket Tens got whipped by trip Queens. 

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The Real World Series

Globe1 With its ubiquitous presence, the newfound celebrity status of pros, and infiltration into pop culture, the poker phenomenon in the U.S. is second to none.

But some of the most skilled practitioners of the game hail from across our waters.

On Day 4 at the WSOP, the field was a virtual United Nations of poker with more than 30 players representing nations in Europe, Asia, Central America and elsewhere. And of course, a large number of the American rounders here are originally from abroad, including John Juanda (born in Indonesia), Farzad “Freddy” Bonyadi (Iran), a few Eastern Europeans now living in New York and the always strong crew of pros born in Vietnam, including Hung La, Minh Ly and JC Tran.

One of the strongest and most surprising contingents is the Scandinavians...

Continue reading "The Real World Series" »

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No Flash in the Phan

Day 4 of the 2005 WSOP is done.  We have 58 players left fighting for a $7.5 million first place prize.

Timphancutout_1Once again, the chip leader is Tim Phan with 3,244,000.  Phan is wielding a big stack to clubber his opponents.  He's got some other heavy hitters though right behind him.  Mike "the Mouth" Matusow continued his steady climb and is now second with 2,561,000.  Farzad Bonyadi is third with 2,402,000.  Right behind him is Steve Dannenmannenminamenemen (kidding, Dannenmann) with 2,143,000.  The current favorite though has to be Phil Ivey.  He's the fifth highest stack with 2,027,000. 

Other notables include 7th: Tiffany Williamson - 1,992,000, 9th: Scott Lazar - 1,629,000, 13th: Lee Watkinson (finally making a move) - 1,221,000, 17th: Minh Ly - 1,102,000, 24th: Dustin "Never win" Woolf - 968,000, 25th: John Juanda - 841,000, 31st: Greg 'Fossilman' Raymer - 766,000, 37th Russell "The Muscle" Salzer (those massages must be working) - 710,000, and 56th: Rod Pardey Jr. - 187,000. 

Even with over 5,600 entrants, looks like there's a good chance the final table will have some top pros filling the seats. 

Occupying the same table today when play kicks off are Farzad Bonyadi, Dustin Woolf, and Mike Matusow at table 117.  Scott Lazar and Tim Phan will be at table 119.  Salzer, Ivey, and Hung La will be at table 129.  And Lee Watkinson and Tiffany Williamson will be at table 133. 

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Will Salzer Have a Happy Ending?

Russell Salzer has been getting a massage for roughly three straight days.  We're not kidding.

In fact, we can't think of a time where we HAVEN'T seen him getting a rub down on some part of his body.  If that sounds gross, trust us, it is. 

If given the choice though, we're sure he'd take a happy ending at the end of the main event, as opposed to one from this poor girl who is working very hard for her money. 

Salz1_1  Salz3

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Speak Softly, Carry a Big Stack

Raymerwithfan_Greg Raymer is a nice dude.  Very accommodating.  Jokes around with his table.  Takes photos with or gives autographs to anyone.   All in all, this is one decent guy.

But don't fuck with him.

Just like Raymer drops the hammer on unsuspecting short-stacks, he does the same to anyone that comes between what matters to him.  Namely, his family and money. 

Last year, it was two idiots from San Diego who tried to mug him at gunpoint in Vegas.  Tonight, it was some random guy asking creepy questions about his daughter.

Raymer's table is near the main media area.  His wife was sitting in a chair close by.  This random guy, no press badge, no credentials of any kind, struck up a conversation with Raymer's wife.

"So, you have a daughter?" "How old is she?"  "Where's she at right now?"

Raymer overhears this, stands up, turns around and tells the guy, "Fuck with my daughter and you're dead."



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Getting the "Led" Out

JuanlediveySomehow, Phil Ivey, John Juanda, and Howard Lederer (three of the top names left in the field) drew the same table (Lederer was moved there).  Somehow, this was NOT the featured table (that still belongs to Mike Matusow). 

When you have three big guns like Ivey, Juanda, and Lederer, shots will be fired, and hot lead will take someone down. 

LedereroutAnd Howard Lederer was the first to get whacked.  He was done in by Full Tilt buddy John Juanda.  Poor guy, probably never saw it coming.  It's always your good buddy pulling the trigger too. 

Or a pre-flop all in A-K vs. A-J, with a King hitting on the flop. 

Juanda has been moving up in chip count, taking a few hits on Phil Ivey.  With two hyper-aggresive players like Ivey and Juanda fighting over pots, there will be causilities.  Juanda is getting the best of it right now, moving up to 950,000. 

Greg Raymer is still the chip leader, with 1.5 million.  Mike the Mouth is up to 864,000. Phil Ivey is down to a half mill. 

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And the Winner Is...

With 185 players remaining (which is 3% of the original field…amazing), let’s sort out our favorites to win the 2005 WSOP Main Event...

Continue reading "And the Winner Is..." »

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"One Million Dollars"

MillionchipsIt didn't sound like a lot of money when Dr. Evil said it, but here at level 17 of the WSOP, with blinds at $2500-5000 and antes $500 a hand, it's some serious loot for the three players now stacking a million: Greg Raymer (1,064,000), Rod Pardey, Jr. (1,041,000) and Brad Kondracki (962,500).

At the kick off press conference, Raymer gave himself about 1500-to-1 odds to win again this year, something only 4 men have done before, but his chances now are definitely looking much better with less than 200 players left. For Pardey, he's been sitting pretty all day, hitting a million first and still holding on. Kondracki's been at or near the top of the pack since he finished Day One, without much attention, but now that he's over the mark he'll no longer be under the radar.

In the rest of the field, Ivey (722,500), Matusow (454,500), Lederer (496,500), Ly (530,250), and Salzer (512,500) are names that could rise to the top while Watkinson (181,000) and Boyd (92,000) need to do some work before they bottom out.

For the Grinder, the machine finally stopped when his pocket sixes failed to improve against Lucky O'Brien's pocket queens. And joining Mizrachi on the rail not long after was his feature table mate from yesterday, Layne Flack, who played exceptionally all three days. It would be a river suck out that would bring his WSOP to an end. Minneapolis Meehan and Matthew Hilger have also been eliminated.

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  • "Wicked Chops Poker are nobodies, the site is garbage."
    - Anna Benson
  • "A sophisticated and creative blog that pokes rambunctious, irreverent and most of all sexy fun at the game of poker and everyone who is connected with it."
    - PokerMagazine.com
  • "You've made me so angry I wish I could reach into my screen and just pound your scummy worthless head in!!"
    - a Nickelback fan
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  • "...el blog más irreverente de la blogocosa norteamericana..."
    - Poquer Red
  • "Wicked Chops is wickedly funny. And wickedly irreverent. And posts a lot of photos of wickedly attractive women. If that ain't poker, what is?"
    - TypePad

  • Hear what Jamie Gold has to say about WCP here
  • "If Jamie Gold’s a dickhead; Wicked Chops has to be a medusa head full of dicks."
    - Pokerdog.org

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