Las Vegas, NV
This is the day we have all been waiting for...
* * * * *
10:15am... Step Into the Freezer
I met the guys who were first in line to watch the November Nine. Jack and Brian. Super fans. They drove down from Montana to watch the conclusion of the WSOP Main Event and arrived at 6am to get a front row seat to the circus. They were shocked that they were the first ones in line. That's dedication.
They also mentioned that they bumped into Darvin Moon. The Luddite Logger was up before the dawn and ate a quiet breakfast with his wife in the Sao Paolo cafe. That was his last moment of calm before the impending storm.
The narrow hallway in front of the Penn & Teller Theatre was packed with fans, November Nine supporters, media, and casual observers. Joe Cada's agent assembled an entire table with yellow t-shirts stacked a couple of feet high. 150 friends and family flew in from Michigan to cheer on the youngest player at the final table. All of them sported yellow t-shirts and hats with "The Kid" on it. Ah, that's such an obvious nickname. That's why I like Joey Tonsils instead. Oh, and how could I forget to mention the Michigan-yellow shirts contained a PokerStars.net logo.
A sports memorabilia stand flanked the wall in the hallway. Joe Stapleton from Poker Road suggested that they played huge bucks to get that spot. Long lines at Starbucks angered the caffeine freaks, while hungover media reps patiently waited in line for their press badges.
I needed a shoe shine and walked over to the stand near the Hooker Bar. Cowboys were in town for some sort of cowboy event and they were getting their dusty boots cleaned. As I patiently waited, I noticed that I stood in the prime spot to see November Niners walking towards the Penn & Teller Theatre before they were mobbed by frenzied fans.
James "The Limey" Akenhead walked by with a cigarette in hand. He nodded to me as he walked out to the pool to finish his smoke. Antoine "Pierre Fromage" Saout chomped down on a banana as he walked past me. His Everest Poker hat included a French flag patch on the back. He looked like he did not have a care in the world. As Benjo said, he's extremely relaxed.
11:15am... Almost Game Time; Here Come the Scarves
The line to get in was a bit of a clusterfuck but they allowed the media to enter the Penn & Teller Theatre. The security lines resembled an airport. I told my fellow media colleagues to stash their weed and get rid of any liquids over 3 ounces otherwise they'd be taken into the backroom and beaten to a bloody pulp.
I took my seat in the orchestra section in between Bernard Lee from ESPN and Lance Bradley (aka the editor of Bluff) as the crowd slowly filled in. I shook hands and exchanged hugs with friends from different media outlets that I have not seen in months.
The crowd slowly filled in. They were loud. Rowdy. And most of them had been drinking since sun up. Pierre Fromage's fans were sporting blue soccer jerseys with the French colors and an Everest Poker logo. His online sponsor also handed 50 soccer scarves to his devoted fans who flew in from France to sweat their native son. I asked Benjo about the scarves and here's what he said...
12:15pm... The Fluff Before the Poker
TD Jack Effel, wearing a tuxedo (it's gotta be rented, no way a Harrah's exec can actually afford to buy a tux because they don't get paid enough), took center stage and whipped the crowd up in a frenzy before he introduced Commissioner Jeffrey Pollack. Pollack doesn't need a tuxedo to look good. He simply wore one of his trademarked pinstripe suits.
Commish Pollack asked everyone to pause for a moment of silence for Hans "Tuna" Lund who passed away yesterday.
"Go TUNA!" screamed one of Joe Cada's drunken fans who had been spotted drinking at the Hooker Bar since sun up.
When the Frenchies started chanting for their hero, Antonie Saout. Joe Cada's quickly retaliated and his fans started chanting, "USA! USA!"
"Now I'm remembered why I don't like Michigan fans," said Vin.
WSOP-E Main Event champion Barry Shulman was introduced to the crowd with just a smattering of applause. His son was sporting a Phish shirt at the final table.
12:50pm... The Introductions
Lacey Jones interviewed last year's champion Peter Eastgate. He seemed distracted by her massive boobular area.
The introductions were over the top and lathered in cheese and then deep fried in more cheese. Jesus, Jack, just announce the fuckin' players and save the cliches that are better suited for a bad poetry reading!
The room exploded when Phil Ivey's name was introduced. The room shook. I popped a woody. It felt like one of the Beatles walked into the room. Shit, for the poker world, Phil Ivey is John Lennon, Paul McCartney, Ringo, and George Harrison all rolled into one. That moment is why I fuckin' love the Main Event. This is what it is supposed to feel like... the chills running up and down your spine and the goosebumps popping up all over your arms. More than half the room is here to see Phil Ivey come from behind to win the Main Event.
As much as Joe Cada's crew unleashed a raucous applause when his name was announced, it was the French contingent who was the loudest in the room. They are about one-third the size of Cada's yellow-clad crew from Michigan yet their intense chanting impressed the folks in press row.
I screamed, "Wilson!" when they introduced Happy Shulman.
The "Shuffle up and deal honors" went to defending champion Peter Eastgate and Doyle Brunson.
"It's looking like a football game," remarked Texas Dolly before he uttered the most famous line in poker aside from "loldonkaments".
Seat 1: Darvin Moon - 58,930,000
Seat 2: James Akenhead - 6,800,000
Seat 3: Phil Ivey - 9,765,000
Seat 4: Kevin Schaffel - 12,390,000
Seat 5: Steven Begleiter - 29,885,000
Seat 6: Eric Buchman - 34,800,000
Seat 7: Joseph Cada - 13,215,000
Seat 8: Antoine Saout - 9,500,000
Seat 9: Jeff Shulman - 19,580,000
1:20pm.... Party Time
Cards went in the air at 12:56pm local time. Of course, what would be a televised final table without a tape delay? They delayed the start for a few minutes. When action finally resumed at Level 33 with 7 minutes and 16 seconds remaining. The blinds were 120K/240K with a 30K ante.
Happy Shulman won the first pot and the crowd settled down. For the first time, there was actual silence in the room. For some of these fans, this is the first time that they are watching a poker tournament. They better conserve their energy otherwise they'll fizzle out by the 4:20pm smoke break.
I wandered around during the first ten hands. No one would bust early on so I took advantage of that situation and checked out the different parts of the Penn & Teller Theatre.
Begs and Cada fans were lined up at the bar. Padraig Parkison wandered by while Greg Raymer conducted an interview. A bunch of wine guys with a stand in the hallway tried to get me to buy their poker-themed swill of a wine. I asked for a free sample and got rejected so I told them to piss off and I followed one of the Cada fans who was holding a grey tub filled with cans of Milwaukee's Beast and ice. He needed 24 cans to take up to the upper level and I followed them up the escalator. Shit, once I saw that sort of liquid fire power, my first instinct was to follow the booze. No wonder all of his fans were rowdy. The booze is flowing freely in the upper deck. Up there, it's party time.
1:50pm.... No Action for Ivey
On the 14th hand on the final table... everyone in the Penn & Teller were on the edges of their seat. Happy over-raised to 1.25 million, something he did on two other hands. Action folded to Ivey who shoved for 8.6M. Joe Cada asked for a count in the big blind and he evntually folded. It was Happy's turn to head into the tank before he folded to Ivey. Ivey'ss fans jumped to their feet to applaud their hero.
Ivey is up to $8.4 million and one of the few players who has more than he started with.
2:00pm... Change100's Fashion Report: Meet the November Nine
My lovely girlfriend penned a fashion report for your personal amusement. Here you go...
Darvin Moon - Everyone's favorite Maryland logger chose a black polo, jeans, and his beloved New Orleans Saints hat for his final table outfit. No logos. No patches. Nada. Personally, I was hoping for him to play up his country-bumpkin image with a plaid shirt (totally hot this fall) and overalls, his supporters all carrying mini-chainsaws that they'd rev up each time their man won a pot. Instead, Moon's rural brethren are all sporting Wheeling Casino T-shirts that say "Bad Moon Rising" on the front. Eh. Points do go to those "Moonies" who brought heads-on-sticks, featuring their man's image.Thanks to Change100. Follow Change100 on Twitter for her fabulous updates.
James Akenhead - "The Limey" might very well be wearing the same clothes he played Day 8 in-- a black button-down shirt and a matching black Full Tilt hat. He has fans here but they are not in costume. FAIL.
Phil Ivey - Pauly tried to get Otis to bet on the color of Ivey's Full Tilt hat, offering him the field against baby blue. Otis wisely told my beloved to go fuck himself, knowing that's the biggest sucker bet he'd be offered all day. Indeed, Ivey chose his trademark sky-blue cap, pairing it with a black button-down. His superstar entourage, including Daniel Negreanu, Barry Greenstein, Jen Harman, and sorta-freakish but totally adorable superfans Mel & Pat Humphries all have prime spots onstage.
Kevin Schaffel - Schaffel is wearing the standard PokerStars sponsored player uniform of a black Stars shirt and matching hat, paired with smart tan trousers. He's not exactly lighting the fashion world on fire with that outfit, but at least he didn't take his ninth-place money and hit up Versace for some vertigo-inducing silk shirts. Schaffel's 80 supporters are all decked out in "Schaffel Up and Deal' shirts with a cartoonish rendition of their man on the front-- the weakest of the group fan costumes, IMO.
Steve Begleiter - Begs must be at least a little superstitious because he too is in the same clothes he wore when he made the November Nine back in July-- a navy polo and a red Full Tilt hat. ESPN's continuity peeps must be happy about that choice. His fans, however, get top marks from me for their blue "BEGS, BEGS BEGS!" shirts.
Eric Buchman - Black PokerStars hat. Black PokerStars shirt. No group costumes. Moving on...
Joe Cada - While Cada is in his black PokerStars uniform, his fans went for neon with garish yellow sweatshirts that made my eyes bleed after looking at them for five minutes in the hallway. The pullovers say "Cada" on the back. Just like that, in quotes. Like it's his nickname. But it's his actual name. I'm confused.
Antoine Saout - As much as I'd have loved to see him in a beret, Saout is dressed in head-to-toe Everest swag. Snooze. His fans are packed into the stage left balcony, all wearing royal blue soccer jerseys that say "Saout" on the back (and "Everest Poker" on the front, of course). Their nationalistic pride is showing, as a number of French flags have been spotted in their section. Personally I'd have gone for baguettes-- they're easily visible on-camera and can double as snacks.
Jeff Shulman - I saw Happy sauntering down the hallway earlier in a maroon Phish T-shirt (points for that), which he has now unfortunately covered with a ratty navy CardPlayer hoodie (booooo). It doesn't look like he's been to the barber (or bought a razor) since play finished up last July. Dude...even Pauly cleaned up after Festival 8 and lost the tour beard. In the immortal words of the joker-- "Get your shit together, man!"
2:30pm... New Episodes of Tao of Pokerati
Michalski and I were back with two brand spanking new episodes of Tao of Pokerati...
Episode 1: Pre-action ActionIf you don't know, the Tao of Pokerati is the shortest podcast on the intertubes.
Episode 2: Homme-team Advantage
2:40pm... Updated Chip Counts
The players went on their first break. Darvin Moon is still the chipleader and he added more chips to his monster stack...
Darvin Moon: 61,535,000
Eric Buchman: 39,820,000
Steve Begleiter: 31,175,000
Jeff Shulman: 15,510,000
Joe Cada: 11,835,000
Kevin Schaffel: 10,890,000
Antoine Saout: 10,620,000
Phil Ivey: 10,035,000
James Akenhead: 3,445,000
3:01pm.... Hurlement d'un Chien
One of the Frenchies unleashes a deep moan to root on Antoine "Pierre Fromage" Saout. Every time that the howl echos throughout the Penn & Teller Theatre, I immediately think of "Soul Train." Anyway, sometimes the howls resemble cats being drowned or two raccoons fucking in the alley.
Saout took down a pot which fired up his crew. Kevin Schaffel opened for a raise and Saout three-bet him. The uber-tight Schaffel surrendered. Saout dragged the pot and his fans went berserk and fervently waved their scarves while chanting en francais.
TD Jack Effel hushed the crowd during one hand. Eric Buchman's fans started the "Er-ic Buch-man.... (clap, clap, clap). Er-ic Buch-man.... (clap, clap, clap). Er-ic Buch-man.... (clap, clap, clap)." Joe Cada's fans retaliated with their own chant. The room got loud and rowdy with Akenheads rowdy hooligans getting into it. Effel tried to quiet down the crowd since there was a hand in progress.
Come on, Jack. You can't bill the November Nine as a sporting spectacle, willingly serve booze, and then try to contain the crowd from going ape shit. Let them scream, man!
3:20pm.... God Save the Queen; Akenhead Triples Up
Fireworks. Finally. James Akenhead open-shoved. Steve Beglieter called. Eric Buchman re-raised. Begleiter folded. It was heads up between Buchman and Akenhead with Akenhead's Main Event life on the line.
Akenhead: Kc-QhThe flop was not important. The turn was the Kh and Akenhead was down to three outs. The river was the Queen of spades and the entire room erupted. Akenhead's hooligans went ape sit and jumped up and down like little kids. Akenhead sucked out and kicked Buchman in the junk in the process.
"Oh my Akenhead!" screamed one of the drunks from Michigan.
Aching head? How about a an aching crotch? Akenhead should get arrested for sexual assault after he violated Buchman on that hand.
Buchman looks like someone microwaved his favorite kitten. Someone give him some Amyl Nitrate. Stat.
3:45pm.... Moon Gumps Off Chips
Antoine Saout doubled up against a questionable call from Darvin Moon. On a flop of K-J-2, Moon fired out 2.3M. Saout raised to 6.75. Moon moved all in and Saout quickly called for 3 more million. Saout was ahead with Jacks up... J-2 against Moon's... A-4.
Wait. A-rag? Yes, that's not a typo.
"One of the worst plays I have ever seen," said Phil Gordon sitting two seats down in orchestra row.
The hand was not without any drama. The turn was a trey and the room unleashed a collective, "Ohhhhhhhhhhhhh!"
Lance from Bluff called for a 5c to fill in the Wheel. Moon has been running that good, we expected him to runner-runner Pierre Fromage. Alas, the river was a deuce and Saout won the pot with a full house.
Benjo shed a tear as the rest of the Frenchies jizzed in their pants.
4:20pm.... "Smoke 'em if you got 'em!"
By the way, I'm pretty sure that I took a piss next to Jah Rule. Here's here sweating Phil Ivey.
Today's smoke break is brought to you by PokerStars!
* * * * *
4:25pm.... Noonan 1, Limey 0
On a flop of J-9-4, James "Limey" Akenhead and Kevin "Noonan" Schaffel got it all in. Akenhead was behind with K-K versus Schaffel's pocket Aces. Schaffel doubled to over 14M, while Akenhead slipped back into the cellar.
Chipleader is still Moon with 59M. Ivey has 11M and Akenhead is down to under 5M.
4:38pm... James Akenhead Eliminated in 9th Place ($1,263,602)
We're down to 8 after 3+ hours of play. James Akenhead's pocket treys were no match for Kevin Schaffel's pocket nines. Schaffel crippled Akenhead a five hands earlier and mugged him for the rest of his chips. Schaffel, who I bet at 12-1, is a tad under 20M.
Akenhead was the favorite to bust first until his timely suckout/double up with K-Q versus Big Slick. Alas, all of Akenhead's "run good" karma was flush down the toilet.
The sun hath set upon the British Empire.
Change100 said it best, "Someone tell the Hooker Bar that the British are coming."
4:50pm... Twitter Hijinks and Unruly Joe Cada Fan Gets Booted
Feldman from ESPN stepped out to interview James Akenhead and Phil Gordon took his seat in orchestra row to check his email. Gordon noticed that Feldman left his Twitter feed open and there were so many possibilities to punk Feldman.
Gordon took it easy on him and didn't use any of the R-rated suggestions that we offered up... "fight breaking out in the audience amongst moon/cada supporters."
Of course, that was bullshit and Gordon cracked a smile when I nodded my approval. I wish he used the Chip'n'Dales glitter tweet instead.
But there was actually some ruckus in the Joe Cada cheering section. Two guys in yellow shirts were almost at each others' throats. Apparently, one of the drunkards insisted on screaming, "Fuck Ivey! Fuck Ivey!" A few wise and respectful fans argued that the drunk should refrain from using suck low-brow language. A near scuffle ensued and security was called over. One of the drunks was forcibly removed from the Penn & Teller Theatre as the rest of the Joe Cada fans drenched in yellow cheered at their drunken comrade's ejection.
5:08pm... Aces Snapped Off by Quads; Kevin Schaffel Eliminated in 8th Place ($1,300,231)
Kevin Schaffel thought that he was blessed by the Poker Gods over the last hour. He woke up to Aces twice and found himself all in against Kings for a second time. However, there was a twist this time around when he went to battle against Eric Buchman's Kngs. The flop was an astonishing K-Q-J and the crowd erupted in a frenzy after Buchman flopped a set. Schaffel A-A wasn't completely fucked. He had outs for a Broadway and outs for a set of Aces, but the turn was the case King and he was drawing dead.
Noonan was nevermore and Kevin Schaffel headed to the rail in 8th place. Buchman increased his stack to over 50M. He's second in chips to Darvin Moon.
5:48pm... Bouncin Round the Room: The Hallway and Lobby
I got stopped by a security guard because I was trying to sneak in an illegal item into the Penn & Teller Theatre... a bag of Sun Chips. I told him that I paid $3 for the bag and appealed to his fiscal sense. He shot me down and refused me entry.
I walked around the corner and stuffed it in my shirt. The final table will be going to at least to 3am, so I needed a little snack.
Of course, while I stood outside trying to hide my contraband, I spotted a woozy Layne Flack. He tried to gain entry without a ticket or wristband and shrugged his shoulders. He disappeared into the crowd.
While I stood in the lobby of the Penn & Tell Theatre, no less than two people offered me Vicodin.
On the breaks, Joe Cada's yellow-clad crew rushes to the bar to load up on beverages.
5:58pm... Worst Fold Ever
Where's the Comic Book Guy from The Simpsons? I need him to snark, "Worst fold ever!"
Moon opened from UTG for 1.3M. Begleiter thee-bet to 3.9M. Moon smooth called. The flop was 4s-3s-2d. Moon checked. Begleiter bet 5.35M. Moon went for the double-fisted check-raise and pulled out 15M in chips. Begleiter tanked for a minute before he announced "All in" for 21M total or 6M more.
Moon mouthed, "Wow."
Then the worst fold in the history of tournament poker ensued. Moon folded. Begleieter fans jumped to their feet and shrieked, "Begs! Begs! Begs!"
"I didn't think it would be possible for Moon to play a hand worse than before," said Phil Gordon in the Orchestra Row, "But he just did."
Moon just Gumped-off more chips as he imploded and lost the lead. According to Bernard Lee at ESPN, before the hand with Begleiter, Moon had won 11 out of the 12 hands that he played. The only one he had lost was that A-4 hand against Saout.
Dumbfounded. That's how I described the atmosphere among the press. According to Kevin Mathers, the 2+2 forums were blowing up. I can only imagine the venom being spewed over there right now.
I love poker.
By the way... Buchman is the chipleader with Begleiter in second. Moon slipped to third. Ivey and Cada are the short stacks.
6:48pm... Let Sleeping Dogs Lie
Phil Ivey has woken up.
Heads up between Ivey and Begleiter. The flop was Kd-Qh-Jd. Begs bet 1.7M and Ivey smooth called. Both players checked when the Jc fell on the turn. The river was the 3h. Ivey bet 2.5M and Begleiter tanked as the room grew silent except for the pecking sounds of keyboards in the orchestra row. Begleiter tried to get a read on Ivey. Laughable to such a daunting task. Begs folded and Ivey's fan let loose their enthusiasm.
I'm pretty sure Ivey had a boat. Check the broadcast on Tuesday.
Ivey 1, Gekko 0.
7:00pm... Dinner Break; Action Resumes at 9pm Local Time
The final seven players are heading on a two-hour dinner break. I'm off to the Hall of Fame Dinner.
Eric Buchman is the chipleader. Ivey is 5th in chips. Happy is the short stack.
9:00pm... Action Will Resume Shortly; Hall of Fame Dinner Rocked
I gotta say... I was impressed with the Hall of Fame dinner. I had a great time and sat at a table with my date, the lovely Change100 and Michalski and his lovely date Karen. (And in case you were wondering, he did not bring a Craigslist hooker although I pretty sure Stapes from Poker Road did).
A couple of pros and industry figures said a few words including Doyle Brunson, Jeffrey Pollack, Jack Binion, TJ Cloutier, and Tom McEvoy. Tom Sexton, Mike's older brother (we worked together at Poker News in 2007), gave a touching speech before he introduced his brother.
Sexton spoke for over twenty minutes and touched on numerous subjects. I'll definitely write up the entire dinner for a future post. But for now, it's official...Mike Sexton is your newest member of the Hall of Fame. I was fortunate enough to get one of the 15 media votes and I was one of the many people who voted for Mike Sexton... the true poker ambassador.
Cards will be in the air shortly and Mike Sexton will be doing the re-start "Shuffle up and deal" honors.
Updated Chip Count:When action resumes, they will be playing 250K/500K blinds with 50K antes.
Eric Buchman - 54.725M
Darvin Moon - 41.25M
Steve Begleiter - 38.1M
Antoine Saout - 28.725M
Phil Ivey - 14.9M
Joe Cada - 10.7M
Jeff Shulman - 7.175M
9:30pm... New Tao of Pokerati Episode with Benjo
Moments after Antoine Saout doubled up against Darvin Moon in that crazy A-4 hand, I spoke with Benjo about his fellow countryman taking advantage of the inexperienced Moon.
Episode 3: For Those about to Rock, We Saout You
9:47pm... Happy Doubles Through Cada
All in preflop. Cada took A-J to an alley fight against Happy's A-K. Cada's faithful clad in yellow rose to their feet. They collectively screamed, "Jack! Jack! Jack!" in between swigs of beer. They desperately wanted their hero to come from behind to crack Happy Shulman's Big Slick.
The flop was innocuous, but the turn gave Cada some life when he picked up a gutshot. He whiffed on the river. Happy won the pot and doubled up, while Cada was crippled and hovering around 2M.
9:55pm... "Alligator blood babbbbbbbbbbbbbbby!"
Joe Cada doubled up with Jd-4d against Eric Buchman's 5c-4c and his friends lost their shit. "Three more double ups baby!" screamed one of Cada's drunk fans.
"Alligator blood babbbbbbbbbbbbbbby!" howled another.
They have been drinking heavily for 12 hours. I wonder what will happen when the Rio eventually cuts them off? Mayhem. That's what. They will riot and revolt. Keep feeding those poor fuckers booze or they'll tear the Penn & Tell Theatre to shreds.
9:55pm... "Let's go, Cada!"
It's the Joe Cada show. He just dodged a huge bullet (like the size of a cruise missile) when he doubled up with pocket fours against Ivey's A-8. Ivey lost the foot race and Cada doubled up. His boisterous fans were already rowdy after a full day of drinking and getting sloshed on the dinner break, but that hand against Ivey jacked them up even more so. Moments before the hand, a glass bottle fell to the ground and shattered in Cada's cheering section. Not only are they shitfaced, they can't even hold onto their bottles of beer.
One member of the foreign press called Cada's cheering section "a disgrace" which is partially true. After a while, the drunken antics get old real fast. But it's hardly a disgrace. Sophomoric would be a better term.
At any rate, Cada is back into contention and no longer one of the short stacks and is over 12 million while Ivey slipped to around 10 million.
10:35pm... Still at Seven; Get Ready for the Long Haul
Seriously. Seven players remain. There really hasn't been too much action - especially for Antoine Saout who just woke up to Aces but did not get any callers.
Begleiter snagged the chiplead from Eric Buchman, but the two are neck and neck around 45-46M. Ivey is the short stack, but Cada and Happy are both under 15M.
If you are watching this at home, time to cut up some lines of _____ (insert your upper of choice). If you're a straight person, then take a nap because this will go into the wee hours. And if you have an Adderrall, come down to the Penn & Teller Theatre. You will make a killing selling your extra pills to deranged and sleep deprived media reps.
Otherwise, a few tips that will keep you awake include... non-drowsy cold medicine, Red Bull, 5 Hour Energy, and shoving an ice popsicle up your ass.
11:01pm... Here Come the Frenchies: Pierre Fromage 1, Gekko 0
"Allez Antoine!" they shouted from the corner of the Penn & Teller ballroom.
Antoine Saout doubled up and seized the chip lead when he butted heads with Begleiter. Begs opened with a raise and Saout trois-bet him. Begs smooth called. On a flop of 9h-8h-3c, Begs fired out 6M and Saout moved all in. Begs tanked for a few minutes before he called.
Begleieter was ahead, but barely. Saout had a nut flush draw and two overs. The turn was the 10h and the Fenchies woke up after a long slumber and jubilantly cheered on Saout as leap-frogged into the chip lead with over 52M. Buchman quietly remained second in chips under 50M, while Ivey was bringing up the rear with 8M. Begs slipped to under 20M.
Hey Obama, expect a call from Begs soon. He's seeking a bailout...
11:31pm... New Tao of Pokerati Episodes - The Hall of Fame Dinner
Michalski and I recorded two episodes of the shortest podcast in poker while we hung out at the Hall of Fame Dinner.
Episode 4: Voter HesitationEnjoy our shtick.
Episode 5: Touched by Sexton
11:41pm... Cada Dodges Four Flush
It was all in preflop with Eric Buchman and Joe Cada. Both players had A-K soooooted. Cada had the hearts while Buchman had the clubs. The flop had one club and no hearts. The turn was a club and things got very interesting. The river was a blank and Cada dodged a bullet. He avoided elimination and chopped the pot.
11:41pm... Phil Ivey Eliminated in 7th Place ($1,404,014)
Phil Ivey was all in with A-K against Darvin Moon's A-Q. The crowd rose to their feet and Ivey's faithful contigent unleashed their loudest "Ivey! Ivey! Ivey!" chant.
That screaming was not heard by the poker gods. They scoffed at Ivey and dropped a Queen on the flop as all of his supporters winced in pain. The turn did not help Ivey and he was down to three possible cards to help him. The river did not help Ivey and his run was over.
A steady stream of fans headed to the rail. The king is dead.
And yes, right now Andy Bloch just let out a sigh of relief along with a cabal of British bookies who took Ivey's action on his own wagers betting on himself.
Oh, and to rub it in... Joe Cada's drunken fans chanted "Ivey! Ivey!" Stay classy Michigan.
In case you were wondering, Ivey did not stick around to do an interview in the lobby -- that all of the players are supposed to do when they bust out. I don't blame him from skipping out. He busted on a sick beat from the worst player at the final table and who knows how much money he lost in side prop bets. Regardless, Ivey's snub pissed off a lot of people.
11:51pm... Steve Begelieter Eliminated in 6th Place ($1,587,160)
All in preflop. Darvin Moon's A-Q trailed Steve Begleiter's pocket Queens. The faction of supporters screamed and yelled and screamed some more. Moonheads were screeching for an Ace, while chants of "Begs! Begs! Begs!" echoed around the theatre.
The flop was nothing special. The turn was another blank. Then it happened. Ace spiked on the river. The crowd let out a louder reaction than when Akenhead sucked out earlier in the day. The theatre shook.
Gekko the Great was slayed by the Luddite Logger. Chalk one up for the blue collared guys.
Moon is back in the chiplead with 63M. Cada is the shortstack with 10M and five players to go.
1:20am... Happy Crippled By Treys
All in preflop. Joe Cada was way behind with 3-3 against Happy's J-J. The door card was a trey and Cada's crew lost their collective mud. Happy could not re-suck on the turn or river and Cada doubled up.
Happy slipped to under 10M and is now the short stack.
1:30am... Missing Donkey
Darvin Moon raised. Joe Cada three-bet. Moon four-bet-shoved. Cada snap called with Aces. Moon sheepishly tabled K-9.
"Somewhere in Maryland, a petting zoo missing a donkey," mentioned a member of the foregin press.
I had to rub my eyes and make sure that one of my michevious colleagues did not slip a hit of acid into my bottled water. Yep... it's Aces versus K-9.
"Joey! Joey! Joey!" shouted Cada's crew.
Moon flopped a nine to make Cada sweat out the rest of the hand. Moon whiffed in the turn and the river and Cada's Aces held up.
"Let's go Cada! Let's go Cada! Let's go Cada!" howled his supporters.
1:40am... Happy 1, France 0
Happy Shulman doubled up when his A-5 held up against Antoine Saout's K-Q. Happy flopped an Ace and took down the pot to increase his stack to 11M. The Frenchies were pissed. I was worried about the safety of the CardPlayer reporters. They are sitting only a few feet in front of the Saout's cheering section. They are lucky that the Frenchies are not throwing stale baguettes at them.
1:20pm... Nothing to Report
Since Ivey's bustout, the theatre lacks the excitement that filled the room for most of the day and evening. Since then, it's been a slow crawl to the finish. Down to 5.
3:10am... Happy Shulman Eliminated in 5th Place
On the second hand after the break, Happy Shulman found himself all in with 7-7 against Antoine Saout's A-9. Ah, the classic race between a chain-smoking Frenchman and the malcontent publisher. Who would win? Ah, a nine of the flop tipped the scales in Saout's favor as his fellow countrymen where the only ones screaming in the sparsely populated Penn & Teller Theatre. The turn and the river did not help Happy and his magical run ended. Meanwhile, Saout leap-frogged into the chip lead.
Happy was trying to become only the second father/son duo to win bracelets. Brunson and his son Todd won bracelets in the same year... 2005. Alas, the Shulmans were trying to pull off an even greater feat -- the WSOP Main Event and the WSOP-E Main Event.
Down to the final four. The Luddite Logger. Pierre Fromage. Joey Tonsils and Eric Buchman who has not played a hand since sunset.
Updated Chip Counts:
Antoine Saout - 62.925M
Eric Buchman - 55.85M
Joseph Cada - 45.45M
Darvin Moon - 31.575M
3:33am... The Freaks Come Out at Night
I saw a hooker at Starbucks with fake boobs. I know, it's a Vegas cliche, but sort of the norm on a Saturday night in Sin City where the working girls rule the Valley.
At the three o'clock hour, the freaks are the only ones wandering around. The degenerate gamblers are glued to their vices -- craps, clots, Let It Ride -- while the hardcore drunks are slumped at the end of a bar somewhere. But it's the freaks who wander around casinos in the hours before sun up - like the chick dressed up like a Queen. She grabbed the attention of a few media members who said, "What the fuck?" I hoped that she was on a tab of face-melting acid. I hate to think that she willinging painted spades, diamonds, clubs, and hearts on her face for shits and giggles.
Oh and not to be outdone... some of the more creative members of the press are writing November Nine-themed haikus. Gloria Balding is the haiku master. Change100 wrote one about a dapper Commisoner Pollack. Me? I prefer to stick to lengthy rambling sentences with as little punctuation as possible that seem to go on and on and on with endless metaphors that don't work and obscure pop culture references.
3:50am... Another Episode of Tao of Pokerati
Dan and I chatted about his escapades with Padraig Parkinson.
Episode 6: Not-so-Last Call
4:03am... Moon Top
Darvin Moon is back in the chiplead with 54M .He shifted gears and has been shoving all in so he doesn't get out played on post-flop.
4:20am.... "Smoke 'em if you got 'em!"
Dude, you know it's a long poker tournament when you have not one, but two 4:20 smoke breaks!
Today's second smoke break is brought to you by PokerStars.
* * * * *
4:30am... Buchman Takes Chip Lead in Longest Hand of the Final Table
Lance fell asleep once. I fell asleep at least three times (for period lasting no longer than 20 seconds and thanks to Marty for the "Pauly wake up" nudges) during the snoozer of a hand. I saw so many tanks that I thought it was watching the re0enactment of the Battle of the Bulge, expect there were no Nazis and everyone is punchdrunk.
Here's what happened... Saout opened for almost 2M. Buchman tanked from the small blind and finally called. Big blind bailed. The flop was 10h-3c-2s. Buchman checked. Frenchie fired out 2.3M and Buchman check-raised to 5M. Saout deliberated for several minutes before he re-raised to 11M. Buchman raised. Again. Saout tanked. Again. Then he..... folded.
As I said on Twitter, if that hand was online, I would have typed, "ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ" into the chat box.
Oh, and Buchman won the pot and seized the chiplead with 56M. Four to go and Moon is in second, Cada in third, and Saout bringing up the rear. Buchman is clearly in control. He slowed the game down to the pace of a snail on Valium. Someone get those fuckin snails some blow. Ask the valet guys. They know where to score an eight ball.
4:40am... Buchman Loses Chip Lead in Monsterpotten
A-K versus A-Q. Buchman was trailing the Frenchman as the two butted heads once again. Saout flopped a King, but Buchman picked up a Broadway gutshot draw. The turn was another King and the river was a blank. Saout faded the gutshot and his trips held up. He doubled through the chipleader and went from the short stack to the big stack with almost 90M.
Frenchie opened up a huge lead. Players flirted with the 60M mark, but no one had gotten as high as 70M let alone 80 or 90M.
4:50am... Buchman Moons Moon
Short-stacked Buchman moved all in with Kd-10c for his last 10M. Moon called with Ac-7s. My friends call that hand... "the Tourist" because fuckin' tourists on the Strip can't fold A-7.
Anyway, Buchman was fighting for his Main Event life. Buchman flopped a King to take the lead. The turn was a King and Moon was drawing dead. Buchman increased his stack to over 20M.
That hand woke up the last remaining Buchman fans. Still four to go.
4:59am... Moon Moons Buchman; Eric Buchman Eliminated in 4th Place ($2,502,890)
Darvin Moon's K-J was trying to pick off Buchman's A-5. The flop missed both players, but Buchman turned a King to take the lead. The Luddite Logger faded an ace on the river and Moon won the hand. Buchman headed to the rail in fourth place.
I bet heavily on Buchman and an hour or so ago when he had the lead, it looked as though he might be on pace to win the Main Event and ship me a shitload of cashola. Alas, the pro from Valley Stream is busto.
Down to three players. The Frenchie (80M). The Logger (76M). And the Kid (40M).
One more bustout and we get to go home. The final two players will take a break until Monday night when action resumes at 10pm.
5:20am... Loopy Time
A lot of folks just perked up and picked up a second, third, or fourth wind. I've been up for well over 24 hours now and I'm running on vapors, but this is the time where I thrive and keep plugging on. With only one more elimination to go before action is paused for the heads-up match,we're at a point where everyone will be hanging onto every hand. That's tough to do in the middle of the afternoon, let along during the moments before sunrise.
So, we're in the middle of a huge delay. At first they paused the action for a bust out interview, then they decided to color up a few smaller denomination chips. Stay tuned...
5:35am... Deuces Are Good
On the first hand after an extended break, Joe Cada shoved all in with 2-2 against Antoine Saout's Q-Q. All of Cadas fans migrated to the stage area and a gloomy cloud hung over them until the dealer fanned out the flop... the deuce was the second card and Cada took the lead with a set. His fans erupted and jumped up and down in a sea of yellow and screamed and ejaculated in their pants.
Joe Cada is the new chipleader with 78M, while the Frenchie slipped into the deepest depths of despair.
5:50am... Antoine Saout Eliminated in 3rd Place ($3,479,670)
Joe Cada finished off Antoine Saout. It was horrendous enough seeing the Frenchie have his Queens violated by pocket twos, but then Saout had to win a race in order to stay alive and double up. He had 8-8 against Cada's A-K.
"He's an 80% favorite here considering how good he's been running," remarked Matt Showell.
I nodded in agreement with the Canuck journalist. He was right. Everyone in the room knew a King was coming. It was just a matter of when. The flop? The turn? Or how about the river? Yeah, the river is far more dramatic.
"This was so disappointing," said Benjo moments after a King fell on the river to seal Saout's fate.
The Frenchman was eliminated in third place while Joe Cada added more chips to extend his lead (approximately 140M to 60M) over Darvin Moon.
6:01am.... Heads Up Set: Cada vs. Moon
When action resumes on Monday night at 10pm, Moon will try to come from behind to beat the young gun. If Cada wins, he'll also break Peter Eastgate's record for youngest Main Event champion. Wow. Talk about one helluva ride for both Cada and Moon.
Well, that's it for now. I'll be writing a recap shortly. Thanks for following along on the live blog today. It's been a ton of fun. See you on Monday night for the conclusion of the 2009 Main Event.
Will the Luddite Logger win? Or will it be the online kid with the rowdy cheering section? Tune in on Monday to find out. Check out the Tao of Poker and you can always follow me on Twitter.
Original content written and provided by Pauly from Tao of Poker at www.taopoker.com. All rights reserved. RSS feeds are for non-commercial use only.