Posts Tagged ‘2012 WSOP’

November 2, 2012

WSOP Champ Embarks on New Poker Journey with $8.5M Win

Merson says he knows the gamble, dead ends of fast poker living

Greg Merson cried.

He stood at the poker table at center stage of the Rio’s Penn & Teller Theater, behind stacks of bundled $100 bills that simulated his first-place prize of more than $8.53 million, and let the tears flow.

At age 24, Merson, a professional poker player from Laurel, Md., was at the top of the poker world early Wednesday. He captured the Main Event of the 2012 World Series of Poker, topping a field of 6,598 players.

The final table of nine was a strenuous three-day stretch of poker that began Monday afternoon and included almost 11 straight hours of three-handed, back-and-forth, high-stakes, no-limit hold’em competition from 6 p.m. Tuesday to nearly 5 a.m. Wednesday.

Merson was supported by several hundred family members and friends, including poker standouts Phil Ivey and Jennifer Harmon, as well as text messages and tweets from his close friend, Olympic gold medal-winning swimmer Michael Phelps. Baltimore Orioles outfielder Adam Jones also expressed his support for Merson via Twitter. Merson wore Jones’ orange-and-black replica jerseys during the poker competition.

More…


October 31, 2012

Instapoker

Greg Merson wins WSOP Main Event

Greg Merson wins the 2012 WSOP Main Event
Photo: WSOP.com

Greg Merson from Laurel, MD became the lastest WSOP Main Event Champion after a marathon poker session in the Penn & Teller Theater. The popular east coast grinder began 3-handed play with the chiplead, endured a few beats along the way, but eventually knocked out Jesse Sylvia to earn the title after 13 hours at the table. It was an exhausting evening for all involved but Merson and his supporters were not thinking about it as the final hand played out in the early morning.

WSOP staff changed the November Nine final day format from heads up to 3-handed play a few years ago to insure a decent amount of play on ESPN. Both were probably unprepared for an affair which started in primetime on the east coast but lasted until most other cable channels were well into infomercial time. The chiplead swapped several times throughout, bad beats happened, fortunes change. There were enthusiastic supporters (including his parents) and sleeping observers and class in the end when Merson held back his crowd until he could shake Sylvia’s hand.

Merson is the first player since Chris Ferguson in 2000 to win the WSOP Main Event after winning a bracelet earlier in the same year. He won the $10,000 NLH 6-Handed tournament just a few days before the Main Event kicked off and stayed hot through the Main. Merson picked up $8,531,853 and a pretty sweet bracelet for his efforts. This result also pushed him ahead of WSOP Europe champion Phil Hellmuth to top the 2012 WSOP Player of the Year leaderboard. Not too shabby.

1st Greg Merson – $8,531,853
2nd Jesse Sylvia – $5,295,149
3rd Jake Balsiger – $3,799,073
4th Russell Thomas – $2,851,537
5th Jeremy Ausmus – $2,155,313
6th Andras Koroknai – $1,640,902
7th Michael Esposito – $1,258,040
8th Robert Salaburu – $971,360
9th Steven Gee – $754,798

Link Dump

Tweet(s) of the Day – There were plenty of Tweets hitting the internet following the crazy long match from congrats to snark.

A Clean Getaway – Lance Bradley wrote this piece about Merson this summer about his recovery from substance abuse and his plans for the future.

Passion for poker ‘saved my life,’ Greg Merson says – Merson’s story is also being told by the mainstream media, this time by his hometown Baltimore Sun this weekend.

Greg Merson: Epic Comeback Spurs World Series of Poker Victory – Even popular, high traffic sports blogs picked up on the story. Most of them because it blasted through ESPN’s scheduled programming but this is a decent article by Bleacher Report.

WSOP 2012: Main Event Champion Greg Merson – Even though ESPN didn’t bother having a decent interview by Kara Scott, PokerNews was able to grab an interview by Kristy Arnett

Posted by at 10:00 am

October 29, 2012

The WSOP Final Nine – Player Profiles

8 Americans + 1 Hungarian or 2 middle agers vs. 7 youngsters

Jesse Sylvia
Age 24
Las Vegas

43.875 million in chips

Sylvia was down his last 4 million chips on Day 7 when he rallied back into contention. By the time the field was cut from 27 to the final nine, Sylvia, who is originally from Martha’s Vineyard, Mass., jumped into the chip lead. Sylvia will be seated five seats away at the final table from his closest friend and one-time roommate Russell Thomas. The pair sharpened each other’s poker skills. A victory might propel Sylvia in another career; he aspires to move to Los Angeles and get involved in movie making.

Quote: “I always want to be involved in the game. But I am not sure I want to be grinding it out every day 10 years from now. I told myself I will play in the World Series of Poker every year that I can, because it’s so different.”

Andras Koroknai
Age 30
Debrecen, Hungary

29.375 million in chips

Koroknai is the non-American at the final table, and hopes to be the first Hungarian to win the Main Event. He has nearly $2 million in career poker earnings, including a World Poker Tour title in 2010. Koroknai’s road to the final table almost ended early in the tournament when he mistakenly mucked his hand. A ruling from the floor cost him 60,000 in chips but he was able to continue. Koroknai eliminated both the 10th and 11th place finishers, who also happened to be the tournament’s last women.

Quote: “When I sit down at the table, I don’t care if it’s a male or female player. Everybody is equal and everybody wants to win.”

Greg Merson
Age 24
Laurel, Md.

28.275 million in chips

Merson will be playing for more than just the Main Event’s gold bracelet and $8.5 million payday. A victory will also ensure Merson of the 2012 World Series of Poker Player of the Year crown. Merson cashed in four events at this year’s tournament, earning his first gold bracelet when he won the $10,000 buy-in No Limit Hold’em/Six Handed event. He collected $1.1 million for the win and affirmed that his life was back on track. Merson said he struggled with addiction over the past few years but is now clean and sober.

Quote: “I thought I had my s**t together. I let the poker lifestyle get the best of me. I worked really hard to get all the way back to the highest games again. I definitely have a way more positive mindset about everything.”

Russell Thomas
Age 24
Hartford, Conn.

24.8 million in chips

Thomas began playing poker while attending Temple University. After earning a degree in actuary science, he went to work as an actuary at Aetna Insurance, a job he is now on leave from until the Main Event concludes. Poker may soon become his full time profession. Prior to the Main Event, Thomas had earned $126,796 at the World Series of Poker, finishing as high as fifth in a six-handed no-limit hold’em event in 2010.

Quote: “To be an actuary, you have to pass a bunch of exams. One of them was called probability. I have studied probability pretty intensively. The math helps, but it doesn’t correlate as much as people think. Playing poker makes you better at poker.”

Steven Gee
Age 57
Sacramento, Calif.

16.86 million in chips

Gee is the only member of the final table who won an individual event championship bracelet before this year. In 2010, Gee won a $1,000 buy-in No Limit Hold’em event to earn $472,479, topping a field of more than 3,000 players. Before the 2012 Main Event, Gee had cashed in three other World Series of Poker events, finishing no higher than 201st. Gee left his job as a manager of software projects for the California Public Employees Retirement System a few years ago to play poker full time.

Quote: “Every single day (during the Main Event), I never thought I’d make it to the next day. This summer, I don’t think I played as well as I did in the past. But I just got more lucky breaks.”

Michael Esposito
Age 44
Seaford, N.Y.

16.26 million in chips

Esposito calls himself “a true amateur,” someone who only plays poker a few times a year. He’s cashed twice at the World Series of Poker, in 2006 and 2009, earning $24,934. His best finish was 540th place at the Main Event in 2006. A New York-based commodity broker, Esposito competes in triathlons. He said discipline is a character trait that helps him compete in both triathlons and poker.

Quote: “The money is more important than the bracelet. I’m hoping this (winning the Main Event) can get me in the Ironman World Championship (triathlon).”

Robert Salaburu
Age 27
San Antonio

15.155 million in chips

Salaburu has playing professionally since graduating high school, although the 2012 Main Event will be his first cash at the World Series of Poker. Salaburu found early success in online poker and cash game on the Southern poker circuit. Before this year, Salaburu would attend the World Series of Poker, but limited events, favoring the cash game tables. Salaburu sought advice from British poker player Stephen Chidwick, who was on hand to rail Salaburu during the late stages of the Main Event.

Quote: “I have never been good at reporting to people and taking orders from people, so I had to figure out something in a hurry. I guess I just kind of stuck with what I knew.”

Jacob Balsiger
Age 21
Tempe, Ariz.

13.115 million in chips

A victory by Balsiger means he would eclipse 2009 champion Joe Cada as the youngest Main Event champion in World Series of Poker history. Balsiger is a senior majoring in political science at Arizona State University and used to play online poker to supplement his income. He cashed in a $1,500 buy-in no limit hold’em event early at the World Series, finishing 100th and earning $3,531.

Quote: “To be honest, I entered the Main Event expecting to hopefully get some kind of cash. I end up at the final table. Unbelievable.”

Jeremy Ausmus
Age 33
Las Vegas

9.805 million in chips

One issue that Ausmus had lingering before the final table was resolved earlier this month was exactly when his wife would give birth to their second child. Now, Ausmus, who has 13 World Series of Poker career cashes can concentrate in winning his first gold bracelet. Eight of his career cashes came the summer. Ausmus has eight years of experience at the poker tables and holds a bachelor’s degree from Colorado State University.

Quote: “I’m pretty much a full-time player. I’ll probably go to the Bellagio four times a week and play cash games. I have a good balance. My wife gives me a life away from poker and my daughter, too. It’s good to have that break.”

Contact reporter Howard Stutz at hstutz@reviewjournal.com or 702-477-3871. Follow @howardstutz on Twitter.
________________________________________________________________
Copyright 2012 Stephens Media Interactive GamingWire.
All rights reserved.


July 19, 2012

Instapoker

Poker World Moves On and WSOP Final Table Odds

The post-WSOP hangovers are mostly sorted out and the poker world keeps on turning. While everyone turned their attention to the Rio Convention Center for 8 solid weeks, it’s now time to look outside the frozen hallways and rooms at the Rio for more action. Tours will start back up, poker rooms will run more festivals, and non-US citizens can go back home to play online poker.

The Heartland Poker Tour is ready to get back to business with their next stop in New Mexico at the awesomely named Route 66 Casino. The World Poker Tour is running events in beautiful Cyprus and less-so North Philly at the Parx Open Poker Classic to kick of their Season XI. Borgata Poker Open and Legends of Poker also just around the corner.

The WSOP dominated the scene for two months but now it’s time to spread the wealth around the world.


We still some housekeeping to do with the November Octo-Nine gang but there are plenty of good resources for information on the players. Check the Link Dump below for a few examples. For the true degerates, there are even some websites willing to take a wager on the outcome. Ladbrokes and Bavado both released their odds and I believe Ladbrokes set the better lines.

Of course these numbers are purely for entertainment value.

Ladbrokes:

Jesse Sylvia – 3/1
Andras Koroknai – 5/1
Greg Merson – 5/1
Russell Thomas – 6/1
Steven Gee – 8/1
Michael Esposito – 8/1
Robert Salaburu – 9/1
Jacob Balsiger – 12/1
Jeremy Ausmus – 16/1

Bovada:

Jesse Sylvia – 3/1
Andras Koroknai – 9/2
Greg Merson – 5/1
Russell Thomas – 6/1
Steven Gee – 9/1
Michael Esposito – 9/1
Robert Salaburu – 10/1
Jacob Balsiger – 10/1
Jeremy Ausmus – 11/1

Link Dump

Tweet of the Day – Rafa Nadal signs with PokerStars and then pulls out of the 2012 Olympics. Coincidence? (or course it is)

Jesse Sylvia leads the main event final table – Andrew Feldman at ESPN Poker makes my job easier. While I was busy catching up with old friends and the Pai Gow table, he was still in the Amazon Room until the wee hours of the morning writing up information on the November Nine.

2012 World Series of Poker: Retrospective with Nolan Dalla Part I – BLUFF Magazine had a chance to sit down with WSOP Media Director to discuss the the past two months at the Rio. They should milk this interview for all it’s worth, so this is just Part I.

Government Files Fugitive Motion, Seeks Discovery – With Ray Bitar surrounding to the authorities, that leaves Isai Scheinberg sitting by himself with a big target on his chest.

WPT Raw Deal: Tony Dunst on Final Table Dress Codes – Tony Dunst askes whether there should be a dress code for the WPT final tables. As someone who spent the summer watching players wear the same things for days and Sam Trickett show up to a $1,000,000 buy-in tournament wearing a wife-beater and shorts, I would say “hell yes”.


Be sure to check out our new sponsors at Face Up Gaming. Legal, subscription-based online poker with plenty of great prizes including cash, WSOP seats, and poker trips. Sign up with Bonus Code pokerati.

Posted by at 2:42 pm

July 17, 2012

Instapoker

2012 November Octo-Nine, Baumann and Hille Miss Final Table

2012 WSOP Main Event Final Table
Photo: WSOP/Jay “WhoJedi” Newnum

Day 7 of the WSOP Main Event began with a lot of promise. While there was not the big time list of names in the final 27 player, there was the possiblity of two female players making into the November Octo-Nine. With 11 players remaining and both Gaelle Baumann and Elisabeth Hille still alive, it looked like one or both could make it.

Unfortunately, Hille was eliminated in 11th and a shortstacked Baumann in 10th even after a double up. Both would have made for a great story for the final table, but we are now left with doing research for a final table without the pop of past Main Events. All remaining players are deserving but we were looking at major history.

More details on the players over the next few days. Until then, here are your 2012 November Octo-Nine.

Jesse Sylvia – 43,875,000
Andras Koroknai – 29,375,000
Gerg Merson – 28,725,000
Russell Thomas – 24,800,000
Steven Gee – 16,860,000
Michael Esposito – 16,260,000
Robert Salaburu – 15,155,000
Jacob Balsiger – 13,115,000
Jeremy Ausmus – 9,805,000

Posted by at 12:18 am

July 15, 2012

Instapoker

Gotta Have Faith and WSOP Day 6

Now when they break a table, it stays broke
Photo: WSOP.com/Jay “WhoJedi” Newnum

It was Moving Day at the WSOP Main Event, where players are already in the money so they work to build a competitive stack or get out of Dodge. While this should have been the top story, a lot of time was spent discussing a player named Jarrett Nash. He had only $3k in tournament winnings on his résumé but was already in the money for the Main Event. He drew all the attention because he never returned to play his Day 5 stack and word quickly spread (thanks to a barely accurate forum post) he was not playing for religious reasons.

Turns out he left his stack around the dinner break on Day 4 after telling the WSOP staff he would not be returning until after 8pm on Day 5, even providing his Total Rewards cards for when he was blinded out. His stack never made it to 8pm so he officially finished in 171st for $44,655. Of course it just took the mere whiff of this for the forum trolls and Twitter jockeys to latch on like pitbulls. Because, according to those “smart folks”, any decision made without looking strictly at your Expected Value is clearly insane.

More information on Mr. Nash below in the Link Dump

The Day 5 stories that should have made the most splash included three former November Niners returning, five female players finishing the day with major chips, actor Kevin Pollak getting knocked out dirty with QQ vs QQ, and Joseph Cheong’s incredible Main Event streak.


Fun Fact: Joseph Cheong’s last 3 WSOP Main Event results are 3rd place in 2010 ($4,130,049), 114th place in 2011 ($54,851), and 116th place in 2012 ($52,718).


Some big names/big stacks in the list of 97 players returning to play on Day 6 include chipleader Kyle Keranen, Gaelle Baumann, Amnon Filippi, Elisabeth Hille, Yuvee Bronshtein, Eric Buchman, Amit Makhija, and Jason Somerville. Play on Day 6 will go five levels or 27 players, which ever takes longer.

Link Dump

Tweet of the Day

Player Skips WSOP Main Event Day 5 – The gang at CardPlayer caught up with the mysteriously absent Jarrett Nash about his decision to not play Day 5.

Harry Reid and Jon Kyl Agree on Internet Poker Bill – Senators Harry Reid and Jon Kyle reportedly agreed on terms for an online poker bill. Of course that means absolutely nothing until they get off their tails and do something more than talk.

Year of the Woman Continues at the WSOP – BJ Nemeth takes a look at the Year of the Woman for 2012 and lists the Last Woman Standing in the Main Event during the Moneymaker era.

2012 WSOP: Brokedown Palace – I have been remiss in my linking up the great work Brad “Otis” Willis and Stephen Bartley have been doing over on the PokerStarsBlog. The latest gem takes a look at how the Rio Convention Center becomes a ghost town as the Main Event moves along.

Explain This: Amanda Leatherman – Everybody loves Amanda, and now Lynn Gilmartin of PokerNews gets the inside scoop on some of her interesting Twitter/Facebook pictures. Not remotely WSOP related.


Be sure to check out our new sponsors at Face Up Gaming. Legal, subscription-based online poker with plenty of great prizes including cash, WSOP seats, and poker trips. Sign up with Bonus Code pokerati.

Posted by at 2:44 pm

July 14, 2012

Instapoker

Money Bubble and Pepper Spray

2012 World Series of Poker Main Event Bracelet
Photo: WSOP.com/Jay “WhoJedi” Newnum

The bubble didn’t burst on Day 4, it blew apart. What is generally a long process of going hand-for-hand nearing the money, yesterday saw a dramatic one hand of crazy to get the field into the money from 669 players. After preaching from the WSOP bible about the how thing would go, Jack Effel sent the dealers off to deal one hand. And one hand only.

It took a few minutes for them to get rolling, but there were soon five all-in and calls across the 75 remaining tables. All were huge hands involving either Aces or Kings, produced two suckouts (AK over AA, 55 over KK), and the Main Event had four eliminations on the first hand. Once in the money, players kicked off a steady stream of shortstacks getting them in and walking out. But things continued to get interesting after the first break.

After the players returned, there was a little delay to restart the action which turned into a longer pause until finally Effel sent the players off for an early dinner break. There were murmurs and rumors and speculation about what happened, most of it surrounding a possible mixup in the payouts and open seats.

In the end we were told it was nothing and they just wanted to double check, better to be sure than to find out later they paid out wrong. Crazy bubble action, extended break, and possible payout issues. All the crazy you could think of until someone accidentally fired off pepper spray in the Amazon Room. Was not a boring day.

~

Day 4 ended with Paul Volpe (from scenic and mostly drunken West Chester, PA) finished with 2,750,000 and the chip lead. An impressive number considering he lost a 1,000,000 coin flip near the end of the day. Other big names near the top of the leaderboard include Kyle Bowker, Leo Wolpert, Vanessa Selbst, Erik Cajelais, plus former November Niners Eric Buchman and Joseph Cheong.

Full WSOP Day 5 Chip Counts

Link Dump

Tweet of the Day – Great picture by WhoJedi on the WSOP twitter feed and he managed to come up with the funny part all on his own.


Half Man Half Superman – PokerPlayer.co.uk sat down with Patrik Antonius who opened up about the nosebleed cash games, Full Tilt fallout, and something about Buddha.

Rampaging Chimpanzees Escape Lee Watkinson’s House – Sad and bizarre story about two chimps rescued by WSOP bracelet winner Lee Watkinson, escaped and went tearing through Vegas with one being shot by police.

Vancouver Canuck Eliminated – Professional hockey goalie Roberto Luongo, reportedly tough to hit with a puck, played in his first WSOP Main Event and finished 634th out of 6,598. That leaves actor Kevin Pollak as the last celebrity standing, unless one of the three DID NOT REPORT players on the leaderboard are running in stealth mode.

BLUFF Challenge Sorel Mizzi Vs. Gavin Smith – BLUFF put two Canadians together for a little ball hockey in the Rio halls. Unsure if alcohol was involved.

Posted by at 12:27 pm

July 13, 2012

Instapoker

Money Time, Lamb Makes History, Ivey in the News

Last table standing in the Pavilion Room
Photo: WSOP.com/Jay “WhoJedi” Newnum

It’s finally time for the money day at the WSOP Main Event. 666 players are going to be happy, the 667th player out is going to be disappointed, the 668th player is going to be crushed. It’s become a tradition to easy the pain of the player going out short of the money by giving them a buy-in to next year’s Main. This is all very nice but it really just creates another bubble for the player who bubble’s the bubble. Perhaps there will be some trickle down in the future, give that guy a hearty handshake and a case of Ripple.

All 720 remaining players on Day 4 will be sitting in the Amazon Room and things will go smoothly enough until they approach the magic number. Then the pace of play will grind down to a crawl, media will be banished to the sidelines, and players will still inexplicably stall during hand-for-hand action.

But after the field is in the money, we’ll hear a steady call of “Payout Table XXX” while the shorty survivors dump in their last few chips.

David D’Alesandro will start as the Day 4 chip leader with 1,100,000 followed by Sean Rice, Jacob Balsiger, and Leo Wolpert as the only other players over a million. Other notables near the top include Paul Volpe (820,000), Vanessa Selbst (814,000), Sorel Mizzi (738,000), Vivek Rajkumar (678,000), and Jason Somerville (637,000). WSOP has the rest o the starting Day 4 chip counts.

Interesting side note from yesterday’s action. With Ben Lamb’s elimination from the Main Event, he became the first WSOP Player of the Year to not cash in a WSOP event the year after winning the title. Lamb is a cash game lover and only played in a handful of events this summer.

Link Dump

Tweet of the Day – You just can’t make this stuff up. At least you know the producers of Millionaire aren’t recycling every question on their show.


Poker star’s divorce case fuels Nevada Supreme Court arguments – Phil Ivey is back in the news, but this time it’s the Washington Post and has nothing to do with his game at the tables. His messy divorce hit the Nevada Supreme Court this week with talk of improper campaign contributions and free speech.

Ryan Eriquezzo Wins WSOP National Championship – It’s been an interesting week for Eriquezzo, but he finished it off by capturing the WSOP National Championship in front of friends, family, and the ESPN cameras.

Biggest Hands from Week 6 – Chad Holloway takes a look at some of the biggest hands over the last week, spread across different event and various games including Terry Grimes who shipped his chips in on the last hand of the night. Right into Aces.

Nevada Gambling Revenue Sees Sharp Decline In May – Things were not all shiny in Nevada this spring as Nevada’s gaming revenue dropped a huge 10% in May based on year-over-year comparisons. Julio Rodriquez at CardPlayer has the details.

BLUFF Main Event Trivia – I’m only including this BLUFF Trivia video because I was off to the side trying to 1) make WhoJedi laugh and 2) feeding him the answers. Surprised you can’t hear me signing the Jerry Yang song in the background.

Posted by at 11:53 am

July 11, 2012

Instapoker

Crunching WSOP Numbers, Follow Your Money

Tags: ,

Esfandiari Hugs His Cash
Photo: WSOP.com

I like numbers, finding comfort with a screen full of bits and bytes waiting to be put to work. Before I was dragged into the world of a professional shill, it was a big part of my former job. I decided to take a look at some numbers produced during the 2012 WSOP to see where all the player money was distributed from start to finish. How much from each buy-in was withheld for entry fees, tournament staff, and ultimately back to the players in the prizepool.

The numbers below do not include the Doubles Event, National Championship, Bracelet Bounty, or Daily Deepstack tournaments. The Big One for One Drop is listed and included in the prizepool numbers but it was juice-free except for the $5,333,328 raised for charity*. I know someone on the forums has probably already gone through this process, but I can’t be bothered to find and then double check them.

Fun fact: The WSOP withheld $3,958,800 from the Main Event buy-ins for entry fees/tournament staff, that is more than 3rd place will make. (h/t BJ Nemeth)

Standard WSOP Juice:

$500 to $1,500 events – 7.0% for entry fees, 3.0% for tournament staff
$2,500 and $3,000 events – 6.3% for entry fees, 2.7% for tournament staff
$5,000 and $10,000 events – 4.2% for entry fees, 1.8% for tournament staff
$50,000 Players Championship – 2.8% for entry fees, 1.2% for tournament staff

Buy-in Breakdown:

Total Players: 74,763
Total Buy-in: $242,526,000
Total Prizepool: $222,023,267
Total Entry Fees: $10,610,236
Total Tournament Staff: $4,559,169

* $5,333,328 discrepancy due to One Drop Charity contribution.

Is there something else you’d like to see from the numbers, leave a comment. More math porn after the jump.

More…

Posted by at 11:01 am

July 10, 2012

Instapoker

Day 1 Complete, Main Event Numbers, and Darvin Speaks

Antonio Esfandiari receives a really big check, with a really big number
Photo: WSOP.com/Jay “WhoJedi” Newnum


All three starting days of the WSOP Main Event are in the books and the numbers are in. A total of 6,598 registered for the tournament meaning attendance is down for only the 4th time in WSOP history*. First place pays out $8,527,982 and a nifty new bracelet, the final 7 are all guaranteed a 7-digit payday. They are paying an evil 666 spots and min-cash will earn $19,227.

Day 2A and 2B are now underway in the Amazon, Brasilia, and Pavilion Rooms. Both restarts are playing indepent of the other and will not combine until Day 3 on Wednesday. 657 players survived Day 1A and 1,387 on Day 1B. Five full levels of play today with 2,300 players returning tomorrow for Day 2C.

* 1991/92 – 215 players to 201
2006/07 – 8,773 players to 6,358 (thank you UIEGA)
2008/09 – 6,844 players to 6,358 (thank you horrible WSOP planning)

Day 1A Top/Notable Counts:

William John – 266,700
Chance Kornuth – 141,775
Leo Wolpert – 128,300
Eric Baldwin – 123,150
Faraz Jaka – 115,775
Karina Jett – 68,550
Wendeen Eolis – 55,100
David Williams – 9,100
Kenneth Shelton – 1,225
Complete Day 1A Chip Counts

Day 1B Top/Notable Counts:

John Hoang – 180,000
Vanessa Selbst – 168,350
Jason Somerville – 144,725
Daniel Negreanu – 140,575
Maria Ho – 138,425
Ignatius J. Reilly – 127,272
Shaun Deeb – 125,900
Tom Scheider – 53,500
Matt Keikoan – 5,125
Complete Day 1B Chip Counts

Day 1C Top/Notable Counts:

Jason Laso – 240,350
Brandon Adams – 153,100
Jake Cody – 124,775
Paul McGuire – 120,420
Joe Cada – 117,375
Jason Young – 76,300
Phil Ivey – 11,200
Jack King – 1,000
Complete Day 1C Chip Counts

Link Dump

Tweet of the Day – It seemed like Doyle Brunson was going to stand by his decision to skip the Main Event this year, but backed off the idea and survived Day 1C with 81,400. The WSOP just wouldn’t be the same without Texas Dolly in the Main.

Ivey League: A One-on-One Interview with Phil Ivey – Ivey has been pretty tight lipped over the years and rarely gives interviews. Nolan Dalla always gets his story, he was summoned to the Ivey travelling mansion for a little sitdown.

Celebrities Playing 2012 World Series of Poker Main Event – CardPlayer has your rundown of the famous non-poker celebs who played in the Main Event. Causing the most buzz was Shane Warne, not for his play but because his fiancé Elizabeth Hurley was on the rail.

Darvin Moon Slams Jeffrey Pollack Over HPT Acquisition – If Darvin Moon calls you a douchebag, then you’re a douchebag. Pretty much sums the response of every single employee who was just screwed over (your humble author as well).

WSOP VIDEO: Main Event Day 1C Headlines & Highlights – BLUFF video team keeps the updates fun and carefree, plus a lot of bloopers.


Be sure to check out our new sponsors at Face Up Gaming. Legal, subscription-based online poker with plenty of great prizes including cash, WSOP seats, and poker trips. Sign up with Bonus Code pokerati.

Posted by at 12:57 pm

July 8, 2012

Instapoker

Main Event, Phil Hellmuth Busting Early, and @Tattytats

Nick Schulman
Photo: WSOP.com


Viacheslav Zhukov $330,277 – Event #58 $3,000 PLO/8
Dominik Nitsche $654,797 – Event #59 $1,000 NLHE
Nick Schulman $294,321 – Event #60 2-7 NL Lowball


Things are underway in the WSOP Main Event when players rolled into the Amazon and Pavilion Rooms on Saturday for Day 1A. We witnessed the usual crush of players standing just outside the locked doors begging security to let them in, especially when they saw me sneak in with WhoJedi. The smart veteran stays out of the way as the mass of dead money run toward their tables with 15 minutes, and a Jack Effel speech, before the cards actually fly.

1,066 players registered for Day 1A, and while the WSOP staff played it up like an increase, those numbers are skewed when you take one less starting day into account. I was surprised when I walked into the Pavilion and found it void of Main Event players and only one section in Brasilia in use. Fully expect the next two days to pick the numbers back up with Day 1B already showing more players and Day 1C will be even bigger.

Doubtful this year will top the 6,865 players in the 2011 Main Event, but 6k will be a nice number one year after the DoJ indictments and online poker shutdown.

The biggest surprise of the day was Phil Hellmuth showing up practically on time without his normal, ridiculous spectacle entry. A few hours later, Phil Hellmuth was also quietly walking out of the Amazon Room after busting.

Amazon Room at the start of WSOP 2012 Main Event Day 1A


 
In other WSOP news, Nick Schulman won his 2nd WSOP bracelet in the $10,000 2-7 Lowball No Limit tournament (both of his bracelets coming in the same event, first in 2009) over an impressive final table. John Juanda seems to like the game as well, making the final table of this event for the 4th year in a row. Schulman beat Mike Wattel heads up for the win and $294,321.

You can file the last $1,000 NLH event of the summer under “Something New Every Day”. Usually events go longer than the schedule due to hard stop times and exhaustion. This $1k had multiple starting days and was schedule to play down to the final table Saturday evening with the players returning Sunday for the final table. Instead the 50 other players managed to dust off their stacks to German Dominik Nitsche a full day early. The young pro picked up $654,797 and the final bracelet before the November Nine.

Link Dump

Tweet of the Day – Ashton Griffin states something in 140 characters that a lot of poker players don’t understand.

Kevin Pollak Talks About Playing in the 2012 WSOP – Actor Kevin Pollach took his seat on Day 1A of the Main Event and Julio Rodriguez caught up with him for an interview. No word if he did the entire interview using the voice of Christopher Walken.

Scandal just part of the deal at WSOP – The most annoying WSOP article I’ve read this summer. Not sure if the author understands the WSOP or has spent much time around the Rio. I certainly know a lot of players interested in the ongoing FTP/Stars/UB saga.

Main Event Snapshot with Tatjana Pasalic – Tatjana showed up in a cat suit costume for Day 1A, to the delight of her tablemates and every photographer in the room. Ray Ramona just doesn’t generate that kind of buzz. Or SEO value.

Posted by at 2:34 pm

July 6, 2012

Instapoker

Long Lines, Lap Dances, and White Magic

Tomas Junek
1st WSOP bracelet for Czech Republic
Photo: WSOP.com


Today’s WSOP Bracelet Boxscore

Tomas Junek $661,022 – Event #56 $1,500 No Limit Hold’em
Greg Merson $1,136,197 – Event #57 $10,000 NLH 6-Max


The opening acts are just about done and we’re just one day away from kicking off the WSOP Main Event. The last open tournament started on Thursday with just the National Championship and Bracelet Bounty events to play out along with the $10k 2-7 No Limit and huge $1,000 No Limit Hold’em tournaments.

That means the traditional pre-Main Event slow day no longer exists. Players and fans are packed in every room, the registration line is long and surly, there are more than a few hung over people staggering around.

It also means the WSOP party season rolled around. Plenty of opportunities to hangout one last time before “summer camp” ends or just get messed up and embarrass yourself in front of strangers. Frank Kassela always throws a great BBQ on July 4th complete with degenerate competitions and now a mechanical bull. QuadJacks took over BLUFF Magazine’s yearly open bar/lap dance festival at Sapphire. 2+2 will have their traditional whine and wine fest Friday night. Vanessa Ruosso/Maria Ho/Liv Boeree also hosted a blowout at their impressive mansion on July 4th.

Be safe out there and don’t let the first Tweet of the Day happen to you.

Link Dump

Tweet of the Day 1 – Like I said, parties are popping up all over the place at this point in the WSOP. Occasionally something like this happens, pretty happy it wasn’t me.

Tweet of the Day 2 – I will never ever pass up a chance to rag on the poker forum jockeys. Proof the Infinite Monkey theorem is crap, look it up. @BrickLV provided my first laugh of the day.

Sam Trickett Attacked – Details are still scarce other than what has been put out there on Twitter, but the 2nd place finisher in the Big One was jumped by 6 guys after a night at the club and he took a beating.

Who to Watch in WSOP National Championship – The National Championship begins on Friday featuring the top performers from the WSOP and WSOP Circuit Event. Paul Oresteen has a rundown of some players to watch.

Phil Hellmuth BIG ONE Q&A – PokerListings interviewed Phil Hellmuth following his 4th place finish in the Big One for One Drop. “No regrets” as $2.6 million has a way of comforting.

Phil Hellmuth Uses White Magic – Since I was watching the Big One from atop the Mothership, I missed the ESPN broadcast and this little gem from Mr. Phil Hellmuth. Screw you kids and your black magic.

Posted by at 2:36 pm

July 4, 2012

Instapoker

Antonio Esfandiari Wins The Big One

Antonio Esfandiari wins The Big One for One Drop
Photo: PokerNews.com


Today’s WSOP Bracelet Boxscore

Neil Willerson $737,248 – Event #53 $1,500 No Limit Hold’em
Will Jaffe $500,075 – Event #54 $1,000 No Limit Hold’em
Antonio Esfandiari $18,346,673 – $1,000,000 Big One for One Drop


It was a big day at the WSOP with huge crowds in the Mothership and on the rail to watch Antonio Esfandiari capture the biggest prize payout in poker history when he won the $1,000,000 Big One for One Drop event. The loincloth guys were back in the room banging their drums and even some non-Elizabeth Berkley Showgirls came in time for the live launch on ESPN.

It took a while for the action to take off but picked up steam after Richard Yong was knocked out in 8th place. Guy Laliberté, brainchild behind the Big One, received one of the loudest ovations from the gathered crowd when he was eliminated in 5th place. The biggest cheer went up for The Magician when he defeated former chip leader Sam Trickett headsup for the bracelet, a $350,000 watch, and a huge pile of (mostly fake) cash worth $18,346,673. His friends hoisted him up in the air, he jumped up on the feature table, and then hugged it out with money.

I’ll reserve my opinion on throwing a $1,000,000 buyin tournament for later, but it was an exciting day around the room for the players, fans, and media. With just a few more days until the Main Event, the WSOP is hitting it’s stride at the right time.

I imagine this will generate a bunch of interest in Esfandiari’s Insta Poker Secrets to Winning Hand-Pack and the Instapoker mobile app. Some pretty good timing in addition to a dump truck full of money backing up to his house.

Link Dump

Tweet of the Day – Idiot


Einhorn Set to Donate Millions to Charity After BIG ONE – If there was anyone worth cheering for during the $1,000,000 tournament, it was David Einhorn who stated before the event he would donate any money won to charity.

Full Tilt’s Ray Bitar in FBI custody – Vin Narayanan at Casino City Times has a more detailed rundown of all things Bitar. I wonder when I can start ignoring my Full Tilt NDA.

Off the Felt With Shaun the Dealer – Shaun (the Dealer) Harris is one of the more recognizable figures dealing at WSOP and has dealt some memorable hands in the past. PokerNews caught up with him for an interview.

Life as an Online MTT Pro by the Numbers (It’s Hard) – Yes, I realize it’s an old post but it began circulating again this week. NoahSD crunches some numbers and shows some math-porn to highlight the difficulties in grinding a large number of tournaments.

BLUFF Asks What’s the Best Poker Movie Ever Made? – Not very many surprises but there’s little doubt our Ms. Welman does not like Rounders.


Additional poker news presented by LegalPokerSites.com:

legal poker sites

Posted by at 4:17 pm

July 2, 2012

Instapoker

Selbst Wins, Bitar Loses, Deeb Cashes Out

Vanessa Selbst wins the 10-Game Mix 6-Handed Event
Photo: PokerNews.com


Today’s WSOP Bracelet Boxscore

Pete Vilandos $952,694 – Event #50 $5,000 No Limit Hold’em
Yen Dang $170,587 – Event #51 $1,000 Ladies Championship
Vanessa Selbst $244,259 – Event #52 $2,500 10-Game Mix 6-Handed


48 insanely rich (or insanely backed) poker players gathered on the stage yesterday for all the pomp and circumstance required for a $1,000,000 tournament. Group photos, individual player introductions, weird looking dudes in loincloth, and a really big ass drum Click image above for a shot of the scene during the group shot, courtesy my trusty iPhone Pano app. The number of people lined up along the rail was impressive but most of them dispersed once they realized watching live poker at the start of an event is pretty boring.

Phil Hellmuth slipped into the field at the last minute by “winning” the MGM VIP satellite Saturday evening. Rumors are circulating he made a deal with the final 8 players where he won the seat in exchange for a piece of his action. Gus Hansen also earned his way into the tournament but in the more traditional sense of winning. He made a heads up deal with Shaun Deeb where Hansen would get the seat while Deeb would get a cool million and listed as an alternate.

Interesting twist to the Deeb situation was when he tried to cash out his satellite winnings at the cage on Sunday. Some poor Rio employee told Deeb he could only cash out in tournament lammers, meaning he would have to rid himself of two thousand $500 tournament buyin chips before the Main Event when they would become useless. Thankfully saner heads prevailed and he successfully cashed out. See link dump below for the money shot.

~

Downside to most of the attention being directed at the Amazon Room three ring circus was the overshadowing of Vanessa Selbst winning her second WSOP bracelet. What should have been a grand celebration of the feat was pushed to the tiny feature table in the Pavilion while Selbst destroyed her final table. Two WSOP bracelet, over $5,000,000 in career earnings, and one of the top players in the world. She deserved more attention for the accomplishment.

As Matt Savage commented on Twitter, “Sat next to @VanessaSelbst in the 10K HORSE last year and she admitted not knowing some games. Now she is 10 Game Champion. #Legend #Boss“.

~

In other news, Full Tilt Poker’s Ray Bitar surrendered to US authorities today.

Link Dump

Feds Arrest Full Tilt CEO Ray Bitar – St. Patrick drove the snakes out of Ireland, and now the DOJ has finally pulled Ray Bitar from his spider hole in Dublin. He sent an email to remaining employees saying he “returned to the US to deal with civil and criminal case that are pending against me in New York.” And if it’s on 2+2, it must be true. Makes me wonder whether Isai Scheinberg is feeling a little squirmy today.

Tweet of the Day – They finally decided to pay Deeb properly. That’s a lot of cheddar and I hope I run into Shaun at the bar before he “Deebs” it off.

Secondary Tweet of the Day – Doyle telling it like it is. Selbst deserved better and at least people are noticing the lack of appreciation.


WSOP Photo By Numbers: Controversial $50k Hand – Remember the silly $50k Players Championship hand where three players were all-in but not really? BJ Nemeth has a nice recap of the action complete with photo for those who often type TL;DNR on forum posts.

BLUFF Challenge — Charania Vs. Harder – That’s enough with the serious news. Finishing up with a little fun time between Christian Harder and Mohsin Charania in a hockey shootout contest brought to you by the fine video folks at BLUFF.


Be sure to check out our new sponsors at Face Up Gaming. Legal, subscription-based online poker with plenty of great prizes including cash, WSOP seats, and poker trips. Sign up with Bonus Code pokerati.

Posted by at 3:55 pm

June 30, 2012

Instapoker

Big Money, No Whammies!

Greg Hobson
Photo: WSOP.com


Today’s WSOP Bracelet Boxscore

Steven Loube $267,345 – Event #47 $1,500 PLO/8
Kenny Hsuing $165,205 – Event #48 $3,000 Limit Hold’em
Greg Hobson $256,691 – Event #49 $1,500 Ante Only NLHE


There were two new events introduced into the WSOP schedule and both drew a lot of attention even though their buyins are a universe apart. Wednesday was the start of the very first “Ante Only” tournament for a $1,500 buyin, an event where blinds do not exist all players build the pot via antes. After a dubious start when both the dealers and players were a little confused, the pace of play took off and never looked back.

The floorstaff expected fast early action with bigger than normal pots in the first levels. They were incorrect, however, when thinking action would slow down in later stages. This event was one of the few to finish Day 2 on schedule with their final table 9 and the final table lasted only 5 hours from start to finish. Greg Hobson outlasted Mike Sowers for his bracelet and $256,691.

The other nes event is only slightly bigger, as the Big One for One Drop is the $1,000,000 buyin event a lot of people have been looking forward to witnessing. The field is capped at 48 players and the WSOP released a statement saying 47 players had thrown down their buyin and the field will be complete after Saturday’s $25,000 satellite. Play kicks off at 1:11pm on Sunday and available to view online at WSOP.com

More info below.

Link Dump

Tweet of the Day – There’s a big gap between the people who can put this amount through the cage, and those who are working their 9-5 jobs.


Full House: $1 Million Hold ‘Em Ante – Even The Wall Street Journal has noticed the $1,000,000 event with an article about players and staking arrangements. Interesting part in the article was 12-time WSOP bracelet winner Phil Hellmuth saying he might not play (check next link).

Big One for One Drop Player List – Phil Hellmuth is one of the notable players missing from the list and will not be in the event. Other notables missing from the big buyin tournament are Patrik Antonius, Viktor Blom, and Gus Hansen. The complete list seems to be a nice range between professional poker players and stinking rich business men. Not a real shocker, both Hellmuth and Hansen found their way into the event via satellites Saturday evening.

Phil Ivey and Erik Seidel Highlight the ‘Table of Death’ – A lot of the rich businessmen were probably happy with their table draw when they saw Phil Ivey, Erik Seidel, Ben Lamb, Tom Marchese, Antonio Esfandiari, Nick Schulman, Vivek Rajkumar, and Brandon Steven are all sitting in one place with nary a soft, cushy real east mogul in sight.

BLUFF Asks Who Is Your Pick To Win the $1 Million One Drop Event?Video featuring BJ Nemeth, Dennis Phillips, and Kara Scott (going with the homer pick).


Be sure to check out our new sponsors at Face Up Gaming. Legal, subscription-based online poker with plenty of great prizes including cash, WSOP seats, and poker trips. Sign up with Bonus Code pokerati.

Posted by at 6:35 pm