Wednesday, November 16, 2005

WPT Foxwoods Day 4: Busting Out the Porn Funk
"I guess I'll go home and fuck my dog." - Young Phan after a bad beat
Wednesday is hump day which means that it's time to discuss the importance of porn funk and poker. Everyone has a porn funk phase in their lives. Even me, which I'll get into in a few moments.

Some of the best eras of my favorite bands and artists were during their porn funk experiments. The two best years of Phish were 1997 and 1998. That's when they introduced cow-porn-funk to a gaggle of spun out neo-hippies. Since four white guys from Vermont could not properly play funk, the guys in Phish dubbed it "cow funk." Even most recently, Beck had his porn funk phase. And those are the songs I listen to over and over again.

So what is porn funk? It's the kind of music you hear in porno movies back in the 1970s. As soon as that bass line kicked in, you knew someone was going to get fucked. Turn on some porn funk at a party, and your guests, especially the ladies, will get down and start shakin' their asses. It's the combination of subtle brainwashing and Pavlov's dog that when you hear a heavy bass line, you anticipate a gratuitous sex scene.

The WPT should mix porn funk into their soundtracks, just before someone suffers a bad beat. If you've experienced any sort of ugly two-outer suckout, you know the awful feeling of getting fucked... in a bad way. Just ask Young Phan about his bead beat yesterday. He was so disgusted from a bad beat that the second most humiliating thing for him to do was to go home and have intercourse with his dog. Yeah, Young Phan gets my vote for Best Poker Quote of the Year.

Somedays you get to hump the dog. Other days, the dog humps you.

So, my porn funk phase? When I first left my job on Wall Street, I began a series of menial, dead-end, service related jobs. One of which was managing a porn shop on Long Island called The Booty Shack. Yes, and that's when my porn funk phase began. Most of the clients were well-to-do professionals like Mercedes driving doctors and lawyers who loved German bondage pissing videos or bored housewives that were addicted to odd fetishes like midget porn or gonzo-lesbian-gangbangs. Although I was never in an actual film, I've acted as a cameraman on more than one occasion when my Iranian boss wanted me to film his internet conquests with desperate women he plucked out of AOL chat rooms. Some of them were downright nasty and I still have nightmares of one photo shoot in particular. But hey that was the mid-1990s, when sex and the internet collided and everyone's inner sex freak sprinted out of the closet. Hence, the porn funk revival began.

Right now, poker is gaining more and more popularity everyday. The boom is overwhelming and after finding myself in the middle of the poker scene for the past six months traveling all over the country and the world covering poker tournaments, I am sensing the beginning of poker's porn funk phase. We are witnessing the collision of gambling addictions and sexual aggression. Throw in celebrity status and insane amount of money, then mix it up with the underbelly of American society and culture with a pinch of Las Vegas weirdness along with degenerate gamblers and white trash strippers... you have an unhealthy mix of deviant sex, designer drugs, and old-fashioned rock and roll. I am swimming in a sea of poker-porn-funk.

Welcome to Foxwoods, the largest casino in the world and the birthplace of poker-porn-funk.

Moving on...

I wish I could ramble on incessantly about porn and my days at The Booty Shack. But if I did, then you wouldn't buy any of my books (if and when they are ever published). Alas, I'm here to cover a poker tournament so let's get with it.

We are on Day 4 of the WPT World Poker Finals in the Sunset Ballroom at Foxwoods casino. We are not going to stop playing until there 6 players left. Here's some interesting stats:
Entrants: 783
Remaining Players: 31
Chipleader: Lenny Cortellino $589K
Prize Pool: $7.855 million
First Place: $2.167 million
Money Winners: Top 120
Current Level: Level 15 blinds $3K/6K with $1K antes
Average Stack: $252,581

***** Live BLogging Updates *****

11:56am... After playing catch with Senor's kid this morning, I came to the conclusion that he's got one wicked arm. I told Senor to start having him throw lefty. I ate breakfast at Denny's on the way to Foxwoods. Same thing as yesterday except I got cheese on my hash browns. The price was $1 more than Cracker Barrel and my waitress was 312 times better looking.

12:00pm... Cards (or Cahhhh-zzz as they say it up in New England) are in the air.

12:01pm... Here's the end of Day 3 chipcount and the list of players who started today:
1 Lenny Cortellino $ 589K
2 Allen Cunningham $ 573K
3 Lyle Berman $ 562K
4 Samir Shakhtoor $ 519K
5 Bill Gazes $ 501K
6 Josh "Don't call me Patrick" Ewing $ 491K
7 Bryan Veach $ 369K
8 Eric Haber $ 347K
9 Loi Phan $ 347K
10 Tony Licastro $ 284K
11 Steve Fiorentini $ 261K
12 Nick Schulman $ 253K
13 Alex Jacob $ 221K
14 Jim Pechac $ 208K
15 Anthony Santich $ 188K
16 Paco Fabian $ 187K
17 Joseph Cappello $ 175K
18 Benjamin Kim $ 174K
19 Feming Chan $ 162K
20 Minh Nguyen $ 158K
21 Abraham 'Avi' Gray $ 156K
22 Steve Jacobs $ 151K
23 Mark Zulkiewicz $ 151K
24 Larry Barns AKA Ken Selby $ 142K
25 Tom Schreiber $ 122K
26 Erik Seidel $ 120K
27 Pete Giordano $ 119K
28 Vinny Curry $ 101K
29 Eric Sonnenstuhl $ 95K
30 Felton Raphael $ 58K
31 Avdo Djokovic $ 50K
12:55pm... Shortstack Avdo Djokovi doubled up two times in a row. He now has $195K after he beat A-Q wih 3-3 and then cracked J-J with A-Q.

1:05pm... Recent Elimination: Erik Seidel feels the funk. He's the first player to go home when his A-2 lost to Loi Phan's 7-7. Seidel took 31st place and won $20,700.

1:30pm... More Eliminations: Bill Gazes and his pocket Kings knocked out Mark Zulkiewicz's A-9 in 30th place. Mark Z. won $20,700. Felton Raphael took 29th place and won $27,600 when his A-Q lost to 8-8. Yeah Eric Haber spiked quads too. Feming Chan was busted in 28th place when his A-K lost to Minh Nguyen's 6-6. Chan won $27,600.

2:01pm... More Eliminations: Alex Jacobs (27th) and Paco Fabian (26th) are both out and won $27,600 each. Jacobs had the Hilton Sisters and lost to Samir Shakhtoor's A-K when Samir turned a King. Paco Fabian A-J lost to Tony Licastro's A-7 when a 7 spiked on the river.

2:20pm... One More Bustout: Cue up the porn funk for Benjamin Kim who has just been bounced in 25th place. Allen Cunningham had 10-10 to Kim's Big Slick. Kim flopped an ace, but Cunningham caught a 10 on the river to send Kim to the rail. He won $34,500.


2:25pm... Bouncin Round the Room: "You fly and I'll buy!" offered Bill Gazes who wanted a sandwich. It was a generous offer, but I had to take photos of some of the players and finish up my thoughts on poker-porn-funk for an article I'm writing for an upcoming issue of Jugs magazine. I chatted with Oklahoma Johnny Hale. Foxwoods hosts his Senior's Event and this year they got a record number. It was maxed out at 420 players and there were over 50 alternates!

2:35pm... More eliminations: Jim Pechac (24th place), Kenneth Selby (23rd), and Abraham "Avi" Gray (22nd). They all won $34,500. Avi's K-Q lost to Bill Gazes A-Q.

2:45pm... One More Bustout: Vinny Curry is out in 20th place. He won $34,500.


2:46pm... Players are on a break and when they come back they will redraw for seats. Here are some quick stats:
Entrants: 783
Day 4 Starting Players: 31
Remaining Players: 20
Chipleader: Samir Shakhtoor $860K
Current Level: Level 17 blinds are $6K/$12K with $1K antes.
Average Stack: $391,500

Top 5 Chipleaders:
1 Samir Shakhtoor $860K
2 Bill Gazes $760K
3 Allen Cunningham $710K
4 Nick Schulman $660K
5 Lenny Cortellino $600K
3:00pm... Random Day 4 picture dump:


Media Row: Melissa, BJ, Scott, Sharla, and Heather


Allen Cunningham


Lyle Berman with Oklahoma Johnny Hale


Our current chipleader: Samir Shakhtoor


Action on Day 4 with Josh "Don't call me Patrick" Ewing and Joseph Cappello


Minh Nguyen and his Golden Buddha


Jen from Poker Wire's huge turkey sandwich

3:30pm... Recent Eliminations: Eric Sonnenstuhl went out in 20th place. He won $41,300. Sonnenstuhl had the Hilton Sisters against Avdo Djokovic's 6-6. The flop is all diamonds and only Djokovic had one. The turn and river were both diamonds. Sonnenstuhl played the board, but Djokovic's played and he eliminated Sonnenstuhl.

Steve Fiorentini's 10-10 knocked out Joseph Cappello's A-J in 19th place. Cappello won $48,300 for 19th place.

Allen Cunningham sent Loi Phan to the rail in 18th place. Cunningham had the Hilton Sisters and Phan had 7-7, which did not improve. He won $55,200 for 18th.

3:55pm... Two players were knocked out at the same time. We now have 15 players left. Anthony Santich & Pete Giordano both tied for 16th place. They both won $65,550. Lyle Berman's K-2 busted Anthony Santich's Q-10. Minh Nguyen's A-Q cracked Pete Giordano's Big Slick when he flopped a queen.

4:17pm... Recent Eliminations: Steven Fiorentini was busted in 15th place when his Jack hammer (J-4) lost to Samir Shakhtoor's 8d-7d when Samir turned a flush. Steven Fiorentini won 75,900 for 15th place.


4:20pm... Time for my mid-afternoon smoke break.

4:45pm... Players are on a the break. Here are some quick stats:
Entrants: 783
Day 4 Starting Players: 31
Remaining Players: 14
Chipleader: Samir Shakhtoor $1.296M
Current Level: Level 18 blinds are $8K/$16K with $3K antes
Average Stack: $559,285

Top 5 Chipleaders:
1 Samir Shakhtoor $1.296M
2 Nick Schulman $1.025M
3 Bill Gazes $837K
4 Allen Cunningham $812K
5 Minh Nguyen $710K
5:05pm... Recent Elimination: Tom Schreiber moved all in with 9-7o and lost to Allen Cunningham's 10-2o when Allen flopped two pair with "The Brunson." Tom Schreiber won $82,800 for 14th place.

5:30pm... Dinner break! Time to get drunk and use my food comps!

6:32pm... Back from dinner. I went to Amy Ruth's which is southern style cooking with BJ & Scott from Card Player, Heather & Jen from Poker Wire, Larry Kang from Bluff and Andy Bloch. I got today's special... Jerk Chicken with a side of mashed potatoes and macaroni & cheese.


6:34pm... Recent Elimination: We're playing hand-to-hand. Eric Haber's A-3 was just knocked out by Tony Licastro A-J in 13th place. He won $89,700. BJ insists that we'll be home by Midnight at this pace. "You can quote me on that," he added.

7:10pm... Recent Bustout: We're down to 11 players after Bryan Veach was just eliminated in 12th place. Veach had K-J and Minh Nguyen knocked him out with A-A. Veach flopped a great draw when he caught top pair and three cards to a flush but he didn't improve his hand and he finished in 12th. He won $96,600.


7:40pm... Players just returned from a break. We're now on Level 19 with $10K/$20K blinds and a $3K ante.

7:45pm... SirFwalgman called and we're gonna try to meet up for cards during my day off tomorrow!

7:55pm... We're down to 10 players and action was paused while players redraw for the final table. 4 more bustouts to go before I get to go home. Nick Schulman found A-A and busted Josh Ewing's 8-8. Ewing won $103,500 for 11th place. Nick Schulman took over the chiplead with $1.59 million.

8:01pm... We have reached the final 10 players and the final table. Here are chipcounts:
1 Nick Schulman $1,59M
2 Samir Shakhtoor $ 1.57M
3 Bill Gazes $ 928K
4 Minh Nguyen $ 778K
5 Allen Cunningham $ 769K
6 Steve Jacobs $ 583K
7 Lyle Berman $ 542K
8 Lenny Cortellino $ 497K
9 Tony Licastro $ 491K
10 Avdo Djokovic $ 194K


And here are the payouts for the final 10:
1st $2,142,000 + $25K Seat in the WPT CHampionships at the Bellagio
2nd $1,035,000
3rd $759,000
4th $483,000
5th $345,000
6th $276,000
7th $207,000
8th $172,800
9th $138,000
10th $117,300
8:13pm... Bouncin Round the Room: The railbirds are 6 and 7 people deep here in the Sunset Ballroom as they are catching a glimpse of the final table. All of the Absolute Poker girls have left the reservation, so I have no fake breats to ogle at during the down time. I assume they returned to their local strip clubs and porn shoots. Skanky girls in slutty outfits are the best way to sell any product... from Viagra to online poker... tits and ass sells.

8:38pm... Recent Elimination: Steve Jacobs' A-K ran into Lenny Cortellino's A-A and he was knocked out in 10th place. He won $117,300.

9:00pm... Play has slowed down. Still have 9 players left. Samir Shakhtoor moved back into the chip lead with $1.6M to Nick Schulman's $1.5M.

9:30pm... Recent Eliminations: Avdo Djokovic was just knocked out in 9th place by Nick Schulman. Avdo Djokovic's Q-J did not hold up against Nick Schulman's 3-3. Avdo Djokovic won $138,000 for 9th place. 8 remain with Nick Schulman as teh chipleader with $1.85M.

9:45pm... During the break, Lyle Berman handed me a copy of his new book I'm All In. He signed it and it read, "Pauly, Good luck. Enjoy the light reading." Book review pending!

9:46pm... Venerable writer Jay Greenspan stopped by to say hello! I haven't seen him since Vegas. It's funny, I have never seen Jay outside of a casino... well once we went to lunch outside the Rio last summer. Aside fromt hat, all our conversations have taken place on a casino floor.

9:47pm... Cards are back in the air. We're on Level 20. The blinds are $12K/$24K with $4K antes.

9:50pm... Mike Sexton came over to the media table to shoot the breeze.

10:04pm... Recent Bustout: We've reached the TV bubble. 7 players remain after Minh Nguyen was knocked out by Nick Schulman in 8th place. Nguyen had 10-10 to Schulman's 8-8, but Schulman turned a set to bust Nguyen. He won $172,800.

10:20pm... I almost thought I was going home! Anthony Licastro doubled up against Samir Shakhtoor when he won a race with K-Q against 8-8.

10:28pm... We're down to 6! Nick Schulman knocked out Samir Shakhtoor in 6th place when his 10-10 held up against Samir's A-Q. Samir won $207,000 for 7th place. He went from 2nd in chips (with 7 remaining) to the bubble. Ouch. Nick Schulman is the chipleader.

10:45pm... Here's who made the final table including seat assignments and chip counts:
Seat 1: Lyle Berman $659K
Seat 2: Nick Schulman $3.502M
Seat 3: Anthony Licastro $1.412M
Seat 4: Lenny Cortellino $773K
Seat 5: Allen Cunningham $795K
Seat 6: Bill Gazes $693K
Play will resume at 4pm on Friday. See you then for live blogging update.

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