(Way) Outside the WSOP – Media Day

by , Jul 9, 2009 | 6:04 am

2,044 players remain when the World Series of Poker resumes Friday afternoon for Day 3, so today will mostly consist of the Commish’s media briefing and media tournament down at the Rio. The chip leader when play resumes appears to be Amir Lehavot with 610,500 in chips. An unofficial list of players for Day 3 is now up here. Five levels of play are now scheduled for the duration of the WSOP, with the money expected to be reached for Day 4 Saturday afternoon.

Page 2 consists of Nolan Dalla’s Tournament Report from the conclusion of play with further details:

Official Report
Event #57
World Championship
World Series of Poker Main Event
No-Limit Hold’em
Buy-In: $10,000
Number of Entries: 6,494
Players Remaining: 1,436 from Day 2-B / 607 from Day 2-A = 2,044
Total Net Prize Pool: $61,043,600
Number of Places Paid: 648
First Place Prize: $8,546,435
July 3–November 10, 2009

Tournament Highlights:

Headlines (Day 2-B)

1. World Series of Poker Main Event Continues – Day Three is Next

2. Amir Lehavot (Weston, FL) is the Chip Leader – Late Surge at End of Day Two Catapults Israeli-Born Poker Pro into the Spotlight

3. Following Recess on Thursday, Day Three Begins Friday

The Main Event Continues

— The 2009 WSOP Main Event continued with the second of two flights of the jointly designated “Day Twos.” Day One was played over the initial four days of the tournament, which began on July 3rd. Day 2-A and 2-B (Day Two) were played July 7-8.

— Day 2-A began with 1,478 players. The day ended with only 607 survivors. Day 2-B began with 2,922 players. The day ended with only 1,436 survivors. This means 2,044 players remain in contention for the 2009 world poker championship.

— This day included the largest number of restarts ever in WSOP history. Normally, the field is reduced to about half the starting size after one full day of play. But due to larger starting stacks this year (30,000 in chips) combined with a larger-than-expected turnout for Days 1-C and 1-D, this created a record carryover for Day 2-B.

— This is the 42nd day of the WSOP. Play continues for seven more days, plus the finale to be played in November.

— Tomorrow (Thursday) is an off day. This is the first day of the WSOP with no official tournaments, other than the Media Invitational. A media press conference is also scheduled for 11 am at the Rio.

— Any player dealt four jacks in this year’s Main Event receives a special prize from Jack Link’s Beef Jerky valued at $100. So far, 27 packages have been given away (through six completed days).

— Play on Day 2-B began on July 8, 2009 at 12:15 pm.

Play on Day 2-B

— Defending champion Peter Eastgate remains very much alive in the 2009 Main Event. He was down to just 8,000 in chips late in the day but went on a fortuitous rush during the final hour of Day 2 and ended up with about an average-sized stack entering Day 3.

— Former world champions who continued play on Day 2-B included – Bobby “the Owl” Baldwin (1978), Phil Hellmuth (1989), Dan Harrington (1995), Scotty Nguyen (1998), Robert Varkonyi (2002), Joe Hachem (2005), and Peter Eastgate (2008).

— Notable celebrities who continued play on Day 2-B included – Lou Diamond Phillips, Robert Iler, Sam Simon, and Marlon Wayans.

— Phil Hellmuth was placed at ESPN’s feature table.

— Players competed for four complete levels. Play ended after Level 9. When play resumes at Level 10, blinds will be 600-1,200 with a 200 ante. The average stack size is about 105,000.

— Day 2-B started with a field of 2,922 players and ended with 1,436 survivors. This means only 49 percent of starters survived past the second day.

— Players who survived Day 2-B will return to continue their quest for the 2009 world poker championship gold bracelet and $8.5 million in prize money on July 10th, starting at noon. They will merge into one combined field with the survivors of Day 2-A (played on the previous day). Day 3 will be the first time this year all players play in the same day.

— Play on Day Two ended at 10:40 pm. This is expected to be the last “short day” of the Main Event. Most remaining days are predicted to go at least five levels.

Day 2-B Chip Leaders (More about Amir Lehavot) –

— The overall chip leader is Amir Lehavot. He is a 38-year-old poker pro who lives in Weston, Florida — near Ft. Lauderdale. Lehavot was born in Israel. He arrived in the U.S. at the age of 16. Prior to playing poker for a living, Lehavot worked as an engineer, specializing in design.

Although all players started the tournament with 30,000 in chips, during his low point on Day 1-D, Lehavot was down to 7,000 in chips. He crawled back up the leaderboard and ended the day with 80,000 in chips. On Day 2-B, Lehavot took his initial stack of 80,000 and ran it up to 610,500. He is currently ranked first out of the 2,044 remaining players.

This marks Lehavot’s third consecutive year to play in the Main Event. He has yet to cash in a WSOP tournament. However, he did go deep last year (without cashing).

Lehavot recently started a poker website (with strategy content) which can be found at: www.pokerwit.com. The site contains Lehavot’s comments about key hands he played at various times during the WSOP.

Lehavot’s poker nickname is “AmirSF.” Prior to moving to Florida, Lehavot lived in San Francisco, CA.


“During Day One, I was at 7,000 (in chips). So, it really feels nice to come back. I even had to make a suck out on Day One. So, it feels nice.”

“I had some really nice hands most of the day, and (30 minutes before Day 2 ended), I had a huge hand. I got another 250,000 in chips. I had just moved to this table and had just sat down. There was this other big stack that had 250,000. I had pocket threes and flopped a set. Most of my chips came from that one pot.”

“Last year (I played at the WSOP), I got up to 200,000. But I got too aggresive and lost it.”

“It feels great. But I have played in a lot of tournaments and I know. There is a long way to go and it does not necessarily mean that much (to be chip leader) at this point. It’s nice, but there is still a long way to go.”

“If I cash, it is really not lk\ife-changing for me. I am looking to go deep.”

— The highest-ranked former WSOP gold bracelet winner from Day 2 is Phil Ivey, from Las Vegas, NV. Ivey is now in the top 20, with 346,200 in chips.

Combined Notes –

— Here is the current status of all former WSOP Main Event champions who played in this year’s championship:

1972: “Amarillo Slim” Preston – eliminated on Day 2
1975/1976: Doyle Brunson – eliminated on Day 1
1978: Bobby Baldwin – STILL ALIVE (below average stack)
1983: Tom McEvoy – eliminated on Day 1
1986: Berry Johnston – eliminated on Day 2
1987/1988: Johnny Chan – eliminated on Day 2
1989: Phil Hellmuth – STILL ALIVE (average stack)
1993: Jim Bechtel – STILL ALIVE (below average stack)
1995: Dan Harrington – STILL ALIVE (above average stack)
1996: Huck Seed – eliminated on Day 1
1998: Scotty Nguyen – eliminated on Day 2
2000: Chris “Jesus” Ferguson – STILL ALIVE (average stack)
2001: Carlos “the Matador” Mortensen – STILL ALIVE (below average stack)
2002: Robert Varkonyi – eliminated on Day 2
2003: Chris Moneymaker – eliminated on Day 1
2004: Greg “Fossilman” Raymer – STILL ALIVE (average stack)
2005: Joe Hachem – STILL ALIVE (average stack)
2006: Jamie Gold – eliminated in Day 1
2007: Jerry Yang – eliminated on Day 1
2008: Peter Eastgate – STILL ALIVE (average stack)

— Here is the current status of all former WSOP “Player of the Year” champions who played in this year’s championship:

2005: Daniel Negreanu – eliminated on Day 1
2006: Allen Cunningham – eliminated on Day 2
2007: Tom Schneider – STILL ALIVE (average stack)
2008: Erick Lindgren – eliminated on Day 2

— Here is the current status of those players with notable results from this year’s WSOP:

David Bach (winner of HORSE World Championship) – eliminated on Day 2
Alex Bolotin (winner of “Ante-Up for Africa” championship) – STILL ALIVE (below average stack)
Darryll Fish (cashed 7 times at this year’s WSOP) – eliminated on Day 2
Jeffrey Lisandro (won three gold bracelets this year) – STILL ALIVE (above average stack)
Ville Wahlbeck (finished 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 6th in four events) – STILL ALIVE (below average stack)
Vitaly Lunkin (finished 1st, 2nd, and 4th in three events) – STILL ALIVE (above average stack)
Greg Mueller (won two gold bracelets this year) – STILL ALIVE (above average stack — in top 100)
Phil Ivey (won two gold bracelets this year) – STILL ALIVE (above average stack — in top 100)

— Here is the current status of notable non-pro celebrities from this year’s Main Event:

Jason Alexander (actor) – STILL ALIVE (below average stack)
Shane Warne (world famous cricket player) – STILL ALIVE (above average stack)
Torrie Wilson (female wrestler) – eliminated on Day 1
John Salley (former NBA basketball player) – eliminated on Day 1
Patrick Bruel (French actor and singer) – STILL ALIVE (below average stack)
Lou Diamond Phillips (actor and singer) – STILL ALIVE (above average stack)
Marlon Wayans (actor) – eliminated on Day 2
Jordan Farmar (NBA basketball player) – STILL ALIVE (above average stack)
Sam Simon (Hollywood writer and producer) – STILL ALIVE (below average stack)
Joseph Kahn (music video producer) – eliminated on Day 1
Ray Romano (actor) – eliminated on Day 1
Sully Erna (musician) – eliminated on Day 1
Shannon Elizabeth (actor) – eliminated on Day 1
Brad Garrett (actor) — eliminated on Day 1

— Here is the current status of last year’s “November Nine” (the 2009 Main Event Final Table participants):

Ivan Demidov – eliminated on Day 2
Peter Eastgate – STILL ALIVE (average stack)
Kelly Kim – STILL ALIVE (below average stack)
Craig Marquis – eliminated in Day 1
Scott Montgomery – eliminated on Day 2
Dennis Phillips – STILL ALIVE (average stack)
David “Chino” Rheem – eliminated on Day 1
Ylon Schwartz – eliminated on Day 2
Darus Suharto – STILL ALIVE (average stack)

— Daily elimination percentages are as follows:

DAY ONE: 68 percent of the original starters in this tournament survived the first day / 32 percent were eliminated.
DAY TWO: 31 percent of the original starters survived the second day / 27 percent more were eliminated.

— The Top-12 overall chip leaders going into Day 3 are:

1. Amir Lehavot USA 610,500
2. Peter DeBaene USA 465,000
3. Troy Weber USA 453,200
4. Dan Bizzerian USA 439,500
5. Gabe Walls USA 417,900
6. Mikael Thuritz USA 395,400
7. Andrew Gaw Philippines 386,000
8. Eric Cloutier Quebec 383,000
9. Jason Brice USA 376,100
10.Ed Perry USA 370,000
11.Brandon Demes USA 369,800
12. Miika Puumalanien Finland 361,200

— Of the Top 100 players in chip standings from Day 2-A, 42 are international (non-American) players. Nations amidst the Top 100 includes:

Czech Republic
South Africa

— Of the Top 100 players in chip standings from Day 2-B, 33 are international (non-American) players. Nations amidst the Top 100 includes:

St. Kitts
Hong Kong
Costa Rica
South Africa

Putting Day Two into Perspective

— In 2008, at the conclusion of Day 2, the eventual champion Peter Eastgate was ranked in 484th place.

— In 2007, at the conclusion of Day 2, the eventual champion Jerry Yang was ranked in 26th place.

— In 2006, at the conclusion of Day 2, the eventual champion Jamie Gold was ranked in 155th place.

— Based on WSOP figures during the mega-era (2006 to present), five out of six Day Two chip leaders have cashed. The previous results are as follows:

2008 2-A – Brian Schaedlich finished in 456th place
2008 2-B – Peter Biebel finished in 273rd place

2007 2-A – Jeff Banghart finished in 41st place
2007 2-B – Gus Hansen finished in 61st place

2006 2-A – Yuriy Kozinskiy did not cash
2006 2-B – Dmitri Nobles finished in 76th place

World Series of Poker Statistics

— The 2009 WSOP Main Event now ranks as the third-largest live poker tournament in history. Only the 2006 and 2008 Main Event championships drew larger numbers. It should be noted that if the Rio had greater seating capacity (Day 1-D sold out), this year’s tournament would have unquestionably surpassed last year’s attendance figures.

— The total prize pool for this year’s Main Event totals $61,043,600. However, this figure is not final. Since interest is added to payouts for players who will constitute the November Nine, the final figure will actually be slightly higher.

— The number of female participants in this year’s Main Event is estimated to be 187, which amounts to 2.8 percent of the field. There is no official record since entrants are not designated by sex. However, it has been customary in recent years to count every player at the start of Day One (actually all flights A-D) and take a head count of female players. Oddly enough, despite the low percentage of female players, there were three different tables with three females in the tournament.

— All players who make it to the final table this year (the November Nine) will earn at least $1 million. The 2009 world champion will collect $8,546,435 for first place (plus slightly more money in added interest).

— With registration for this year’s Main Event, the World Series of Poker crossed the $1,000,000,000 threshold in total prize money awarded to players. During its 40-year history, the WSOP has paid out $1,041,265,271. Incredibly, more than $600,000,000 has been paid out just in the last five years alone, since Harrah’s Entertainment assumed control of the tournament. Here is the historical prize pool information for the World Series of Poker.

2009 — $174,011,894
2008 — $180,774,427
2007 — $159,796,918
2006 — $159,599,815
1970-2005 — $354,000,000

— This is the 57th and final event on the 2009 WSOP schedule which is played in Las Vegas. Four more gold bracelet events will take place later this year in London, England at the Empire Casino, to be held from September 19th through October 1st.

— Players have come to the WSOP from at least 115 different nations and territories. By contrast, only 80 nations were represented at the most recent Winter Olympic Games.

— This marks the fifth consecutive year the WSOP has been held at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino. Prior to 2005, the WSOP was held at Binion’s Horseshoe in downtown Las Vegas. More money has been awarded to winners within the Rio during the past five years than during the entire proceeding 35-year period at the Horseshoe. This is a testament to the expansion of the WSOP since Harrah’s Entertainment assumed ownership and control of the world most prestigious poker event.

One Comment to “(Way) Outside the WSOP – Media Day”

  1. Losty

    Any coverage of Media Day?

    (Other than Nolan’s Report), Maybe not liveblogging, but there should be .. interesting.. stories.