Archive for Mike Sexton

WSOP: Players Shut Out of Main Event Day 1d

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on July 7, 2009 by mikewebb82

Approximately 500 players arrived at the Rio today with USD 10,000 in their pocket and the dream of winning untold millions and fame as



2009’s World Champion. But their dreams were shattered at the cashier’s cage, when they were told that the World Series of Poker Main Event had sold out.

Day 1d of the Main Event had reached capacity with every available table being used in the Amazon, Brasilia and Miranda rooms. There were even 13 tables set up all the way back towards the casino in the area by Buzio’s Seafood restaurant.

At the beginning of Level 1 a semi-angry mob assembled outside the 7 Star & Diamond registration office. A line of nearly 100 people snaked around a hallway at the general registration office. Notable pros, amateurs and every type of player in between started to gather. It seemed that Mickey Appleman, Minh Ly and Capt. Tom Franklin would be shut out of the biggest tournament of the year.

Tension in the hallway grew as one player said, “I have USD 10,000 that I won in satellite chips that are now completely useless. Is the WSOP going to give me a refund?”

Josh Sorenson, an amateur, said, “I don’t understand why there is no communication between the players and WSOP staff. We’re not being told anything, apart from the message that tournament is closed.” He continued, “Sometimes we need a gray area in life. Nothing is ever simply black and white.”

As players gathered and griped, somehow Mike Sexton found his way into the middle of the group. Several members of the shutout group asked Sexton if he would talk to WSOP Commissioner Jeffrey Pollack or WSOP Tournament Director Jack Effel. Having already played on Day 1a, Sexton was a reluctant spokesperson, but he held true to his “Ambassador of Poker” title and agreed to speak for the crowd.

At issue was the fact that players believed that 3,000 entrants had been advertised for Day 1d to play.  Sexton invited Franklin to accompany him to meet with Effel. The three found a quiet spot near the feature table to discuss the matter. With a large crowd of disgruntled players building by the rail, the three moved into a back hallway for privacy.

After about 30 minutes Sexton and Franklin emerged and told the growing group that Pollack had agreed to meet them. All concerned players who were shutout were to go to the Pavillion in the Rio, and Pollack had a prepared statement.

About 100, mostly angry, players gathered to see if their Main Event dreams would come true. Pollack and the senior staff of the WSOP all gathered for the explanation.

Pollack opened his statement, “We are sorry, I am sorry. The last thing we wanted to do is deny entry to any player for the Main Event. But we are unable to accommodate any more people.”

“We pledge this won’t happen again and will be the first topic we discuss for next year. This is the biggest challenge we have faced in four years,” he continued.

The crowd was clearly displeased with Pollack’s statements. One requested if they could start at midnight and play all night to join Day 2a. Another asked why they couldn’t be accommodated and play ten-handed at some tables or allow alternates.

Pollack said, “We have not had alternates for the 56 previous events and the first three days of the Main Event and we’re not going to start now. We’ve had sellouts already this series.”

The hostile crowd grew louder as each player wanted Pollack to hear their complaints. Melissa Hayden grew impatient with the crowd and urged them to quiet down and speak gentlemanly to Pollack.

Pollack dismissed the rumor that two very high profile players were allowed entry after registration had been closed. He furthered his point saying,”The decision has been made. Operationally, we cannot accommodate any more players.”

Pollack answered questions for several minutes and the crowd seemed unwilling to accept anything he had to say. Pollack stepped away from the podium and exited the room. One very angry Australian player shouted “Shameful!” as Pollack left.

The players who were officially told they would not be able to play lingered upset. None of them appeared to be happy with the explanation. The previously mentioned Aussie even suggested that they could sue the WSOP.


WPT Bares Season 8 Schedule

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on June 25, 2009 by mikewebb82
World Poker Tour (WPT)

World Poker Tour (WPT)

With the Bellagio Cup V only three weeks away, World Poker Tour (WPT) officials have released the schedule for Season VIII. A dozen tournaments will be held, including the brand new Hollywood Poker Open, which will debut from the Hollywood Casino in Lawrenceburg, Indiana.

The entire series will be filmed in high-definition, providing a unique experience for viewers watching the action unfold on Fox Sports Net. The cable station returns as the television outlet for Mike Sexton, Vince Van Patten, and the rest of the WPT broadcast crew for the second straight season. The first five seasons of the WPT aired on The Travel Channel, while Season VI could be seen on GSN. After a management change at GSN, WPT officials were left scrambling for a new media partner.

“As this great game has evolved over the years, we have seen the tour grow and develop into something truly incredible. Each year seems to top the last, from stops in exciting new venues to historical moments to breakout players to unbelievable action. We’re looking forward to seeing what the eighth season brings and then watching it broadcast in HD!,” WPT Founder and CEO Steve Lipscomb commented in a press release Wednesday.

Hollywood Casino was formerly known as Argosy and is housed outside Cincinnati. The 270,000 square foot riverboat casino on the Ohio River will host four WPT events, including the brand’s first televised tournament in the Midwest. Blue Diamond Almonds will once again sponsor WPT Live Updates, which Amanda Leatherman delivered last season.

Here’s a look at the schedule of events for WPT Season VIII, which kicks off in three weeks from Las Vegas, Nevada:

Bellagio Cup V
Bellagio (Las Vegas, NV)
July 13th to 19th, 2009
USD 15,000 + USD 400 buy-in

Legends of Poker
The Bicycle Casino (Los Angeles, CA)
August 22nd to 26th, 2009
USD 9,800 + USD 200 buy-in

Borgata Poker Open
Borgata Hotel, Casino, and Spa (Atlantic City, NJ)
September 19th to 24th, 2009
Buy-in To Be Determined

Festa al Lago
Bellagio (Las Vegas, NV)
October 20th to 26th, 2009
USD 15,000 + USD 400 buy-in

Foxwoods World Poker Finals
Foxwoods Resort Casino (Mashantucket, CT)
November 5th to 10th, 2009
USD 9,700 + USD 300 buy-in

Doyle Brunson Five Diamond World Poker Classic
Bellagio (Las Vegas, NV)
December 13th to 19th, 2009
USD 15,000 + USD 400 buy-in

Southern Poker Championship
Beau Rivage (Biloxi, MS)
January 24th to 27th, 2010
USD 9,700 + USD 300 buy-in

L.A. Poker Classic
Commerce Casino (Los Angeles, CA)
February 20th to 25th, 2010
USD 9,600 + USD 400 buy-in

WPT Invitational
Commerce Casino (Los Angeles, CA)
February 27th to March 1st, 2010
Invitation Only

Bay 101 Shooting Star
Bay 101 (San Jose, CA)
March 8th to 12th, 2010
USD 9,600 + USD 400 buy-in

Hollywood Poker Open
Hollywood Casino (Lawrenceburg, IN)
March 20th to 24th, 2010
USD 9,600 + USD 400 buy-in

WPT Championship
Bellagio (Las Vegas, NV)
April 17th to 24th, 2010
USD 25,000 + USD 500 buy-in

In addition, the WPT will host two tournaments outside the United States in coming months. From August 26th through September 5th, the WPT Slovakia will take place at the Golden Vegas Casino in Brataslava. The Main Event has a price tag of GBP 4,400 and follows a deep stack structure. WPT officials are estimating a total prize pool of GBP 2.8 million, with players receiving 30,000 in starting chips and blinds of 25-50.

From September 6th to 12th, the tournament series heads to Cyprus for the WPT Merit Cyprus Classic. The event is expected to be televised regionally and carries a USD 10,300 buy-in. In June, the WPT Spanish Championship played out from Casino Barcelona. In the end, Markus Lehmann banked GBP 537,000 for his win in the annual overseas tournament, which attracted 226 entrants to the Spanish city.

2009 WSOP: Simmons Caps Final 27 in NLHE #28; Tran, Kurtzman Lead in PLO #30 and HORSE #31

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 16, 2009 by mikewebb82

Day 2 of Event #28, USD 1500 No-Limit Hold’em, concluded with the field narrowing from the original 2,638 who signed up for Day 1 to the final 27 who will return for Day 3. As play concluded in the evening, the chip leader was Joe Simmons on a stack of 1,120,000, followed by Jason Potter with 929,000, and Rico Ramirez with 789,000.

Play started at 2:00 p.m., and the money bubble was burst about 90 minutes later, with the remaining 270 players all earning at least USD 2,808. Cody Slaubaugh was among the 56 bustees who failed to make the cut. He opened the pot to 3,000 from middle position before Kyle Hegeman made it 9,000 total from the big blind. Slaubaugh reraised to 20,000. Hegeman moved all in over the top for his last 42,900 and Slaubaugh called, only to discover that he was dominated by Hegeman. The board ran out, and Slaubaugh was crippled with 4,200. After doubling a few hands later, Slaubaugh got the rest of chips into the middle against an opponent. The opponent turned a set to send Slaubaugh to the rail.

Once the bubble passed, the shorter stacks busted out rapidly, 65 in the first hour. 2008 Main Event runner-up Ivan Demidov was one of three contestants eliminated simultaneously when four players at one table were dealt pocket pairs, and all four decided to make a stand before the flop. Champie Douglas’s pair of kings was best, and they held up against a pair of queens, Demidov’s tens, and another player’s sixes. About an hour later, Douglas pulled off an only slightly less dramatic double-elimination when he was best from beginning to end against and on the board. Douglas would eventually succumb though, in 69th place, worth USD 6,121.

One of the largest pots Joe Simmons collected on his way to the end-of-day chip lead came at the expense of Neil Channing. Both had big pocket pairs –Channing and Simmons and together they put 300,000 chips into the middle on the safe-looking flop. Neither the turn nor the river helped Channing. Not even God could save the queens.

Liv Boeree was running hot for awhile. She check-called all in on the flop, made a flush on the turn, and the river dream card was just the icing on the double-up cake. Less than an hour later she doubled again with pocket aces besting A-K. Her luck couldn’t hold out, though, and she exited the tournament in the 57th place (USD 7,237) after running    into an opponent’s pair of red aces.

The notables who collected a check before heading home were Thor Hansen, Kelly Kim, Mats Gavatin, Clark Hamagami, Tony Cousineau, and overnight chip leader Van Dung Nguyen.

The remaining 27 players will reassemble Monday at 1:00 p.m. PDT and play to the end. All are now guaranteed a minimum payout of USD 18688, and the winner will be getting USD 639,331 and a nice piece of WSOP jewelry.

$2,500 Pot-Limit Omaha Event #30, Day 1 – J.C. Tran Seizes Early Lead

It was a killing field for Day 1 of Event #30, $2,500 Pot-Limit Omaha, a new WSOP event for 2009. The starting field of 436 was squeezed down to just 61 by the time tournament officials stopped the mayhem. On the top of the heap stood J.C. Tran with 176,900. Len Ashby finished in the second chip position with 123,500, followed by Jesse Rios with 109,200. John Juanda, Theo Jorgensen, Eli Elezra, David Chiu, Andy Bloch, and Phil Ivey are also still in the fight.

Players started at noon with 2,500 in tournament chips, plus two add-on chips, redeemable during the first three levels of play for another 2,500 each. A “table of death” was formed early with C.K. Hua, Jeffrey Lisandro, David “Devilfish” Ulliott, Rob Hollink, Jesper Hougaard, Kirill Gerasimov, and Gavin Smith all seated at the same table. Not surprisingly, this table saw a disproportionate share of action.

Smith and Lisandro managed to get all their chips into contention on the board, with Smith. On the river meant that Lisandro doubled up with his set of deuces. A short time later, it was Hua and Ulliott who put it all at risk, this time on the flop. Ulliott was ahead, but Hua had the draws. When the turn and river fell, Hua had two pairs to Ulliott’s one, and the Devilfish had to use his last add-on chip.

Phil Hellmuth may have gotten a little too eager in a heads-up pot against Mike Stoltz. Stoltz was first to act after the flop and he was contemplating his action when Hellmuth said, “All right, I call you,” and pushed his chips into the middle before Stoltz had bet. Stoltz then put his chips into the pot, and the hands were turned over. It was Stoltz’s wheel draw that rolled in when the board completed.

An astonishing mass of poker talent could not survive the day, including Greg Raymer, Gavin Griffin, Michael Mizrachi, Barry Greenstein, Max Pescatori, Jimmy Fricke, Burt Boutin, Shannon Shorr, Jason Mercier, Nenad Medic, Daniel Negreanu, Erick Lindgren, Gavin Smith, Robert Mizrachi, David Williams, Mike Sexton, Jesper Hougaard, Jan von Halle, Chau Giang, Sam Farha, Katja Thater, Clonie Gowen, Jared Hamby, Jeffrey Lisandro, Prahlad Friedman, Sabyl Landrum, Adam Junglen, Berry Johnston, Barry Shulman, Kirill Gerasimov, David Ulliott, Chris Bell, Mike Binger, and Dan Heimiller.

Play resumes on Monday at 2:00 p.m. PDT, and will go until either 3:00 a.m. or when a final table has been determined. The last 61 players will be competing for 45 payouts, ranging from USD 4,883 to USD 235,685 – plus the small matter of a gold bracelet for first – taken from a total prize pool of USD 1,002,800.

USD 1500 HORSE Event #31, Day 1 – Kurtzman Out in Front
Day 1 of Event #31, $1,500 HORSE, was slated for the evening shift as 770 participants commenced play at 5:00 p.m. After completion of the eight scheduled levels, the field had been whittled down to 220. Atop the leaderboard was Eric Kurtzman with 57,800, with Marco Traniello (55,000), Jim Silveira (55,000), and Andy Black (54,300) close behind.

The format of this event calls for the games to change every hand. Phil Ivey already has two bracelets in the 2009 WSOP, but even he can stand some luck once in awhile. Ivey was the big blind and called a raise from a player in early position. Ivey called down all the way to the river where, he finally led out. His opponent made the call. But the cowboys were no good against Ivey’s queen-high straight, made with    in the hole.

The pot put Ivey’s stack up to 5,200, after having been blinded off for most of the first two levels while the multi-tabling Ivey played in Event #30, the USD 2500 Pot-Limit Omaha. Ivey was eliminated in absentia near the end of the day, as he focused his attention on the Omaha event, where he is still in contention.

Mike Matusow didn’t share Ivey’s luck. He was eliminated in a hold’em hand, all in before the flop for his last 475 chips from the small blind . He was up against the   of Filipe Pacheco. Matusow estimated his chances at “about 50-50” when he saw the cards. He had to revise it to “about 99.9 percent against” after the flop came. It was zero on the turn card.

After getting crippled in a stud hand, Daniel Negreanu made his exit in hold’em just before the close of the day. He was all in against one opponent on the flop in the hole. The opponent called with a flush draw,that missed the  turn but filled when the river came  .

Others not getting a return-invitation to the party included Gavin Smith, Markus Golser, Billy Argyros, Dutch Boyd, Shirley Rosario, Maria Ho, Chau Giang, Todd Brunson, Mel Judah, Erick Lindgren, and PokerNews Editor-in-Chief, Haley Hintze.

But many familiar faces will return when the field takes off again on Day 2. These include Mickey Appleman, Paul Darden, Barry Greenstein, Anna Wroblewski, Mark Gregorich, Vanessa Rousso, Bryan Micon, Thor Hansen, Shannon Shorr, Archie Karas, Annie Duke, Marcel Luske, Chad Brown, Bryan Devonshire, Lacey Jones, Shannon Elizabeth, Fabrice Soulier, Blair Rodman, David Singer, Mimi Tran, Ming Lee, James Van Alstyne, Toto Leonidas, Perry Friedman, Joe Serock, Matt Savage, Katja Thater, Farzad Bonyadi, Rodney Pardey, and Al Barbieri.

All 220 surviving players will return to the felt when action gets underway at 2:00 p.m. PDT. The prize pool of USD 1,051,050 will be divided among 72 spots, each getting at least USD 2848, with USD 247,033 reserved for the winner.