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WSOP: Cada Tops Field at USD 10k NLHE Main Event Day 1c

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

With the holiday over, the fireworks were confined to the inside of the Rio as Day 1c of the 2009 World Series of Poker Main Event drew the biggest field yet of the Day 1 flights. 1,697 players signed up for Day 1c, prompting tournament officials to shift the schedule to five levels on Days 1c and 1d, as opposed to the four levels played on Days 1a and 1b. Among the poker superstars taking the field on Day 1c were Scotty Nguyen, Jamie Gold, Dennis Phillips, Joe Hachem, Matt Savage, Daniel Negreanu, and John Juanda. Antonio “Magic Man” Tarver brought out the athletic star power, as the former light heavyweight champ took to the felt. At the close of play, Joe Cada led Day 1c survivors.

Phil Hellmuth made his customary Main Event grand entrance, coming in on a Roman sedan chair as multitudes of toga-wearing and body-painted models escorted the 11-time bracelet winner to his seat. Also in the field was “Miami” John Cernuto, who returned to WSOP action, after collapsing during a preliminary event this summer.

The larger field meant more big names busting out, and some of the early eliminations included David Saab, David “Chino” Rheem, Evelyn Ng, and Daniel Negreanu. Negreanu’s stay at the featured table was much shorter than he had hoped, as he was sent home well before dinner break. All the money went in on the    flop, and Negreanu opened   for two pair. He was in deep trouble when his opponent made the call and tabled   for the bigger two pair, and when the turn brought the  Negreanu was left with only two outs. The  on the river wasn’t one of them, and Kid Poker was finished.

Jamie Gold was another Day 1c casualty, busting later in the afternoon when he got it all in with   to an opponent’s pocket jacks. Gold missed the    flop entirely, and when the turn brought the  , he was drawing dead. Other Day 1c eliminations included John Caldwell, Al “Sugar Bear” Barbieri, and Annie Duke.

One thing players didn’t want to see at their table at any point during this WSOP was the trademark fedora of triple bracelet winner Jeff Lisandro. Lisandro’s winning ways continued all through Day 1c, as he racked up an impressive stack to finish the day among chip leaders. In an early pot, Lisandro checked his big blind to see the flop. Lisandro bet out and the small blind called. The   hit the turn, and both players checked. The small blind fired a bet when the   hit the river, and Lisandro quickly raised. After a moment’s hesitation the small blind called and showed   for eights full of aces. Lisandro tabled   for jacks full of eights, and scooped yet another big pot.

1983 Main Event champ Tom McEvoy won the Champions’ Invitational event earlier this summer, but couldn’t make it through the minefield of Day 1c. He made his exit after the dinner break and was soon joined on the rail by late eliminations Brandon Cantu, David Singer, and recent “Rumble Nowhere Near the Rio” winner, Liv Boeree.

Joe Cada

Joe Cada

As play drew to a close, WSOP Media Director Nolan Dalla took a moment to recognize one player in particular who would move on to Day 2. Kent Senter was diagnosed in March with multiple myleoma, a rare cancer of the plasma cells, and given anywhere from six months to two years to live. Senter, a father of four, had always dreamed of playing in the WSOP Main Event, and with his diagnosis and the expensive treatments, that dream seemed unlikely to ever come true until Bluff Magazine publisher Eric Morris contacted PokerStars, who put up the USD 10,000 entry fee, so that Senter could live out his dream. Senter made it through Day 1c with a medium stack and received an ovation from the entire room when Dalla introduced him.

Joe Cada was the man sitting with the most chips when the final pot was pushed, his stack of 187,225 establishing him as the overall chip leader of all the Day 1 flights so far. Tyler Patterson, Sebastian Stier, and Chance Kornuth also finished with hefty stacks. Other notable Day 1c survivors included Phil Hellmuth, Joe Hachem, Terrence “Not Johnny” Chan, Marc Naalden, Justin Bonomo, Hevad Khan, Isabelle Mercier, Dennis Phillips, and Howard Lederer.


Phil Hellmuth enters dressed up as Caesar

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

The latest amusing anecdote comes straight from the WSOP in Las Vegas. It is about the no-limit Texas Hold ‘em champion, Phil Hellmuth who

Phillip J. Hellmuth AKA “Poker Brat”

Phillip J. Hellmuth AKA “Poker Brat”

dressed up as Julius Caesar and paraded through the entrance to the World Series of Poker last Sunday. He arrived in a car outside the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, and was accompanied by dozens of women and trumpeters, which drove the fans into frenzy.

11-time gold bracelet winner Hellmuth had won the WSOP main event 20 years ago and now appears again at the event’s poker table. Female gladiators with body paint and muses carrying rose petals in bags accompanied him throughout. “When you dress as Caesar you actually feel more powerful. Kiss my ring!” Hellmuth’s said while speaking to the AP, and continued “Hail Caesar!”

The television cameras showed how Phil was rolled in, greeted Jeffrey Pollack, the World Series of Poker Commissioner, and then had a quick change into standard attire for the tournament start.

During last year’s WSOP, Hellmuth surprised everyone with his Gen. George S. Patton attire, and this year it’s Caesar, and so the guess is that this annual dress up will become a tradition. “It’s a kind of fun. I think it’s great for poker” were his words.

Compared to Hellmuth, the other players had everyday attire without a bombastic entry but some players did have some gimmicks up their sleeve during the tournament of 2008, trying to draw attention to themselves and may be distract competition. Such as last year’s number three, Dennis Phillips, who won USD 4.5 million at the series’ final table and had a dozen supporters dressed in a white collared shirt and a St. Louis Cardinals hat.

Meanwhile, the WSOP sell-outs are looking great this year with almost 1,700 players entering this year’s tournament last Sunday. Many are expecting a bigger sale by today, one to reach a record of 2,600 players. In fact, July 6 is the last day and entries to the tournament are accepted with hopefuls guessing on an additional 800 new tournament applicants. Last year it was the turn of Peter Eastgate to win the event with a prize of USD 9.15 million. Eastgate had entered the event through a USD 10,000 buy-in tournament contested by another 6,844 players.

WSOP: Lisandro Dominates Main Event Day 1c

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

Only days ago Jeffrey Lisandro became the fifth player ever to win three bracelets in a single World Series of Poker. Following his third win he

Jeffrey Lisandro

Jeffrey Lisandro

commented that he wanted to win a fourth. Anybody you thought he was kidding you should have been in the Amazon Room at the Rio on Sunday afternoon.

From the start of the day the man currently leading the WSOP Player of the Year race was at the top of the chip counts, and when play wrapped for the night Lisandro had bagged 147,000 chips, good enough for a sixth on the day. After winning his three bracelets in Seven-card Stud events Lisandro found the action in Hold’em to be just to his liking.

“(In one pretty big pot) I had two aces and someone flopped a set and I got a bit lucky — I made runner-runner straight. Most of the other time I was just grinding down small pots, stealing a few antes,” said Lisandro. “It was a slow, slow grind. I think I finished in front at almost every stage. I was just grinding. I didn’t want to risk any chips.”

“A couple of people tried to bluff me. I wasn’t playing that fast, and I was expecting them to try and bluff me because I was playing pretty weak. They were all easy calls.”

The five players to eclipse Lisandro on Sunday were Joe Cada, Tyler Patterson, Sebastien Stier, Chance Kornuth and Ariel “Da_Evils” Schneller. Cada holds the unofficial overnight chip lead with an astonishing 187,000 but right on his heels is Tyler Patterson with 179,500. Patterson, a professional poker player from Everett, Washington found a rush of cards in the last level after coming back from the break with 42,000.

“I just went on a massive rush. I flopped a set against ace-king and an overpair. The ace-king kind of went crazy and the overpair was just stuck,” said Patterson, who stacked both players on that hand. ”Nobody goes wire-to-wire though, there’s going to be bumps in the road. Hopefully I’m still there in the end.”

The day marked the return of a majority of the inaugural November 9 as six of the nine started their quest for another final table appearance. Craig Marquis, Darus Suharto, Ylon Schwartz, Dennis Phillips, Chino Rheem and Kelly Kim all returned to the scene of last summer’s glory, and with the exception of Rheem all will return on Day 2a with chips.

The field for Day 1c was the largest of the Main Event so far with 1,696 players taking to the felt. A near capacity field is expected for Day 1d with 2,500 players registered as Day 1c wrapped up for the night. Action resumes at 12 Noon PT.

Frank Visits WSOP, Discusses Legislation Drive

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

American political heavyweights are becoming familiar faces at the World Series of Poker. In 2008, former New York Senator and current PPA Chairman Alfonse D’Amato visited the WSOP with online poker supporter Rep. Robert Wexler.

The 2009 Series saw Rep. Shelley Berkley accompany D’Amato for his second annual trip to the Rio. But on July 5, poker’s staunchest supporter in Congress, Rep. Barney Frank, took time out of his busy schedule as Chairman of the Financial Services Committee to become more familiar with the WSOP with a first-hand perspective.

After being escorted to the Amazon Room at the Rio in Las Vegas just before noon by WSOP Commissioner Jeffrey Pollack, Frank was introduced to the room full of poker players and fans. He spoke to the crowd with enthusiasm about current poker legislation and the importance of people getting involved by contacting their representatives in Congress to demand action on the issue of online poker. He then issued the “shuffle up and deal” command, toured the Rio Convention Center, and proceeded to hold a scheduled press conference early afternoon.

Frank was one of the many in the Congress appalled by the passage of the UIGEA in 2006 and almost immediately went to work on legislation to repeal the law. While his first attempt was unsuccessful due to the Republican-controlled Congress and promise of the Bush Administration to veto any such efforts, Frank continued to pursue change and introduced the Internet Gambling Regulation Consumer Protection & Enforcement Act of 2009. In addition, he added a second piece of legislation to delay enforcement of the UIGEA until December 2010, and Rep. Jim McDermott followed up with a companion bill to add taxation to the legalization and regulation of internet gaming.

The current status of the bills is that they are awaiting committee hearings, which were recently pushed back to September due to financial regulatory priorities ordered to the top of the hearing schedule by the Obama Administration. Frank discussed the process and his own ideas with regard to the forward movement of the legislation at the July 5 press conference.

“I plan to move this bill,” he said. “As Chairman of the Financial Services Committee, I am now pretty vigilant to adopt a set of rules that will keep us from getting in trouble again… The committee could be done with that by September, so it is my intention this fall to bring up, in the committee, the bills I’m sponsoring, one to suspend the [UIGEA] regulations, the other to repeal the whole ban and substitute a sensible regulatory scheme. I think they’re going to pass.”

Frank did add that although he hopes to get both of his bills passed right away, he is aware of the potential obstacles and understands the need for priorities. If it looks as if the repeal effort will be delayed whatsoever, he will work on “getting the regulations suspended while we work on the other bill.”

During the waiting period for committee hearings, Frank hopes to obtain as many co-sponsors for the bill as necessary. With Ron Paul as the bill’s primary co-sponsor and the number of supporters growing consistently, one name was floated as to her support, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi. Frank responded that he hadn’t spoken to her about it as of yet, but noted, “I would be surprised if she wasn’t supportive.”

On another topic, a member of the press asked Frank about the recent seizure of online poker funds by the Southern District of New York’s assistant U.S. attorney. Specifically, in response to the notion that the Obama Administration ordered the actions, he responded, “I hope the Obama Administration and Justice Department wouldn’t be part of it. I’m pretty sure that’s the case… But the bottom line is that you can’t have the Justice Department order a subordinate to overlook things. I do intend to pursue with them clarification of what the policy is here.”

Frank’s visit to the World Series of Poker indicated, as does his movement on pro-gaming legislation, that his pursuit of change to the current law is serious and without reservation. 

His commitment to the passage of his bills to regulate online gaming in order to keep it safe and legal is a priority as a powerful member of Congress, and his advocacy on the issue will continue.

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.

‘Ante up for Africa’ draws big stars, lots of money

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

The Third Annual ‘Ante up for Africa’ tournament was held in Las Vegas amid the 2009 World Series of Poker last week. The tournament was the brainchild of poker pro Annie Duke and actor Don Cheadle. The proceeds, normally donated by players, goes to the people of Darfur.

On a good note this year was the amount of entries compared to last year. There were a total of 138 players who ‘anted up’ the USD 5,000 to play in the No Limit Hold’em game this year. With a price pool of over USD 670Million, the first place winner would receive USD 177,730.

Alex Bolotin

Alex Bolotin

Alex Bolotin was the lucky player to win this year’s Ante up for Africa event. Bolotin donated half of his winnings to the ENOUGH Project and International Rescue Committee, the charity that has benefited from this poker event. Other celebrites and poker players raised USD 362,000 for the Crisis in Darfur. Of the 18 players who finished in the money, 17 donated at least a portion of their winnings to the cause.

The tournament lasted 10 hours this year and was held in the Rio Pavilion’s Amazon room, with hundreds of spectators trying to get a glimpse of all the celebrities in attendance.

Former Boxing Champ Winky Wright Takes a Shot at Poker

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

The World Series of Poker Main Event attracts all poker players with a dream, and celebrities who want to dip their toes in the proverbial poker waters. On Saturday former middleweight champion Winky Wright spoke to the media just before he busted out of Day 1b.

How long have you been playing poker?

Winky Wright

Winky Wright

Well, I’ve known how to play for a while, I just don’t play in tournaments. I’m friends with Phil Ivey and I’ve been watching him play, so I though I’d get in here and try my luck.

Is this your first WSOP tournament?

This is my first poker tournament. But I like it, there’s a lot of game going on.

Did you win a qualifier for this event?

No. I bought straight in.

What similarities do you see between boxing and poker?

No similarities. There’s no bluffing in boxing, either you got it or you don’t. In poker you can bluff, check-raise, there’s things you can’t do in boxing. Poker’s a lot easier on your body than boxing.

Can you tell me a little bit about your charity work?

I’m involved with the Winky Wright Foundation. We try to help educate our youth and community to learn how to live healthier lives. The urban community has a lot of people suffering from diabetes, so we’re trying to educate our kids how to eat right.

What other boxers do you think would make good poker players?

My man Antonio Carver is playing Day 1c, he’s a good poker player. It’s just that you can’t be scared. Phil (Ivey) told me one day when I first started watching him play “You can’t count the money, you just have to play your hand. The chips are what they are.” So I think anyone without fear would be a good poker player.

Should your opponents be scared of your jab if they beat you in a big pot?

They better be scared of my jab. (Laughing) No, I’m playing with some great poker players, I’m sitting right beside Doyle Brunson. It’s ridiculous.