Posts Tagged ‘Amazon Room’

Mothership Stench (Ep18)

by , Jun 25, 2011 | 5:39 pm

Dr. Pauly and Timtern are covering the final table of a Donkament inside the Mothership. Here’s their story…

2011 WSOP – Episode 18: Mothership Stench with Timtern (2:43) – Pauly and Timtern are in the press section inside the Mothership, while sweating the final table of the Donkament. Timtern shares a story about a couple of railbirds who put him on mega-tilt, including the guy who took off his shoes. Pauly also describes the sketchy, yet pungent scene inside the Mothership.

For more episodes, visit the Tao of Pokerati archives or subscribe to the Tao of Pokerati feed.

Off to a Slow Start

by , Jun 5, 2011 | 6:14 pm

Jon Katkin


Glitz. Glamor. Excitement. So far, the 2011 WSOP has had none of these things, and honestly, I’m finding the whole thing kind of sad. It’s not the World Series of Poker we all know and love… it’s more like the World Series of Meh.

The thing is that after spending a number of hours wandering around the Rio during the first week, it’s hard to put a finger on what’s different about this year’s event. Maybe it’s fallout from Black Friday and the fact that sites like PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker don’t have their usual suites. Maybe it’s the fact that the first week’s events were tailored more toward professional players and featured more mixed games and higher buy ins than the casual player is comfortable playing.

Or maybe I’m just jaded.

The halls feel emptier, the rails aren’t as jammed, and people just seem more serious than usual. Event numbers have been good, but no one appears to be having any fun.

Still, jaded or not, the fact remains that the Rio just doesn’t have the same excited vibe that I’m used to feeling during the first week of the Series. The halls feel emptier, the rails aren’t as jammed, and people just seem more serious than usual. What makes the feel of this year’s Series even stranger is that the event numbers have been good. People are playing cards, but no one appears to be having any fun.

So, is there anything that the Rio and WSOP staff can do to loosen things up and pump some more excitement into the proceedings?


Welcome to the Mother Ship

by , Jun 4, 2011 | 12:18 am

Dan and Dr. Pauly are back with a new episode…

2011 WSOP – Episode 3: Dan’s Smoothie and Welcome to the Mothership (3:06) – Dan finally showed up to the WSOP a little late… three days late… and he ran into a credentials snafu. Pauly gives him some guff while he covers the heads-up Grudge Matches, but Dan is digging the plush couches behind the media perch.

For more episodes, visit the Tao of Pokerati archives or subscribe to the Tao of Pokerati feed.

(Way) Outside the WSOP – Main Event Day 5

by , Jul 14, 2010 | 5:00 am

Day 5 of the Main Event resumes at 12pm in the Amazon Room at the Rio with 574 players remaining as Tony “Bond18” Dunst leading the field with 1,546,000 in chips.
After the bubble burst with the elimination of Tim McDonald in 748th place, a flurry of eliminations happened in the last hour of play. Some of the notables who made the early payout levels include Humberto Brenes, Gavin Smith, Eric Mizrachi, Patrik Antonius, Paul Magriel, Mel Judah, Chris Bjorin and the now-official WSOP Player of the Year – Frank Kassela. The list of results is now available here.

For those looking for some sortable results of the day 5 survivors, check out:

WSOP Main Event Day 5 Chip Counts and Seat Assignments


Tao of Pokerati

by , Jun 6, 2010 | 9:00 am

We swear we’re not gonna get totally self-indulgent here at Pokerati … just maybe on weekends a little bit. After all, you really do care about the people who bring the WSOP to you, or you to the WSOP. If not, all of us shoulda probably found new lines of work long before Moneymaker gave up his title as defending champion.

More tales from Rio in the summertime … where 90 percent of all who enter are inherently destined to lose … making for an environ of compelling pathos and magnetic despair speckled with moments of joy, happiness, exuberance, and occasionally even redemption-via-bling … which is all it takes to keep people coming back despite the mathematical obstacles to anything more than flitting thrills, let alone life-long success. Oops, I think I mighta just given away the beginning, middle, and end of Pauly’s soon-to-be-released book, Lost Vegas. Meant to be writing about a mystery on-air kiss:

Episode 12: Missed Connections


While recording an episode of his other podcast, The Poker Beat, in the Amazon hallway, Dan was interrupted by a phantom beauty kissing him on the forehead before she slipped into the Amazon poker fray. Dan’s not-so-good peripheral vision prevented him from properly IDing his fawning female admirer. During this episode of Tao of Pokerati, Pauly gives him advice on finding out the identity of the kissing bandit, who gave him false brief hope that he may some day find love and meaning — or at least quick-n-hot nookie — at the WSOP.

Tao of Pokerati Takes 2010 to 11

by , May 28, 2010 | 11:58 pm

Dr. Pauly and I like to think of ourselves as WSOP vets. This is Pokerati’s 7th Series, and Tao’s 6th. (Though in terms of days at the WSOP he’s still got me trounced.) Combined so far we’ve got 11 years of experience. That’s really not all that impressive when you think about it …

Episode 1: Amazon Reunion

Episode 2: The Big Room

(Way) Outside the WSOP – Day 1

by , | 6:57 am

In just a few short hours, the 41st World Series of Poker will get underway at 12 noon at the Rio in Las Vegas with the first bracelet event, the $500 Casino Employees event. This will be followed at 5pm with the $50,000 Players’ Championship, consisting of HORSE, no-limit holdem, pot-limit Omaha, and 2-7 triple draw lowball with no-limit holdem being played at the final table.

Friday preview

Last year’s Casino Employee’s winner was Andrew Cohen, a bartender at the Palms, who won $83,833 in a field of 866 players. Hopefully Team Pokerati member John Harris can improve on his 25th place finish last year. This is the first year for the $50,000 Players’ Championship, a five-day event that is replacing the $50,000 HORSE event that was held the previous four years. David Bach won what appears to be the final $50,000 HORSE event last year, besting a field of 95 to earn $1,276,806. The Chip Reese trophy that was given to the HORSE winner will now go to the Players’ Championship winner.

Where to find information

For those looking for updates, the official WSOP site will have live updates powered by PokerNews. This year, the site will also be making various tournament information available to everyone, including entry lists, end of day chip counts, tournament reports from WSOP media director Nolan Dalla, as well as the media guide. CardPlayer, Bluff Magazine, PokerListings, PokerRoad,’s poker section and other poker media outlets (like Pauly) will provide updates, reports, gossip, video segments and other stuff for the poker enthusiast.

2010 WSOP storylines

With 56 bracelets up for grabs over the next seven weeks (with the final one decided in November), there’s plenty of interesting angles to find in this year’s WSOP:

Does the Year of the Woman continue? With the wins of Annie Duke at the NBC Heads-Up, Vanessa Selbst at NAPT Mohegan Sun and Liv Boeree at EPT San Remo, the poker media is anticipating a breakout WSOP for women. The last year more than one woman won an open bracelet event was in 2004 (Annie Duke, Kathy Liebert and Cyndy Violette).

How will Annette Obrestad perform? This is Annette’s first year she can actually play at the WSOP in Las Vegas instead of being a spectator limited to the hallway, a moment that has been eagerly anticipated by the poker community since she won the 2007 WSOP Europe Main Event at 18. She’ll be the most followed, scrutinized, criticized, fawned over, etc. newcomer of this year’s group of WSOP newbies.

How will the UIGEA affect the WSOP? With the June 1 deadline rapidly approaching, online sites and players are wondering what will happen in the next few weeks. Does the US Department of Justice swoop down on the Rio and arrest Team Full Tilt? Will players not be able to get their funds in time for the Main Event? Will it be business as usual, with no noticeable drop in attendance at the Rio?

Betting on Bracelets Bracelet bets for big money is not reserved to Phil Ivey and his fellow pros. Justin Bonomo was laying 10 to 1 (1k minimum to Justin’s 10k) that at least one person from a list of people living at Panorama Towers will win a bracelet at the WSOP. Bonomo offered the same bet last year, laying 7 to 1, and Greg Mueller’s two bracelets had Bonomo winning his bet. The big Phil Ivey bet this year is with Howard Lederer: Ivey has the 2010-12 WSOPs to win two bracelets, WSOPE bracelets count only towards making the bet a push, for $5 million. Talk of other bets Ivey will surely hit the rumor mill over the coming weeks.

More updates to come during the next few weeks, and good luck to all the players.

Number of Hands Dealt in Vegas?

by , Jul 14, 2009 | 8:49 am

Lisa in San Francisco, who may or may not be aware of the millions of hands just dealt in the Amazon room this summer, writes in:

I can’t find this anywhere—do you by chance know what the average number of poker hands dealt in Las Vegas on any given day is?

So difficult to find!

Yeesh, I’m not even sure where to begin. 50 poker rooms in Vegas (not counting the Amazon or Brasilia) … 365 days in a year …

I’m gonna say definitely more than 10,000 and less than 500 billion. We should be able to narrow that window of possibility down a little bit, I’d think.

UPDATE: Lisa gives us more info to work with, some of which comes from Harrah’s, even though their main event numbers seem to be slightly off … and we may or may not gotta presume by Amazon they mean Rio, with Brasilia, Miranda, Buzio’s, etc. factored in:

I do know that the number of hands dealt in this year’s WSOP Amazon room (Main Event only) was approximately 722,000 hands. That’s to get from 6,494 players to 9.

I also found another stat from UNLV Research Center: 10.9M is the max no. of hands that can be dealt in Nevada in a single day = 457,500 x 24 (not all tables are open that long)
(assuming all tables are working at full tilt 24 hours)

RE: The Mystery of Amazon Green 156

by , Jul 8, 2009 | 11:49 am

Mystery indeed … we’ll see what we discover today (as I finally make it back to the Rio) … but while Kevin is on top of the relevant seat assignments, at least one plausibly reliable source informs us:

Those tables mentioned on your site, green 146 and such, dont exist. The only tables in green all series were 150-155. Those other tables were ghost tables. Those players were given different seats, empty seats.

Ahh, see, this is why some people can’t handle seeing us dig in semi-real time … the business of gathering (and assembling) facts while reporting news can be messy. But hey, thanks for helping us understand.

Regardless of whether or not any shenanigans were in play, one thing for certain is that there will be a lot of hubbub and cries for asterisks should Joe Reitman, Kirk Morrison, Sully Erna, Tony Hachem, or Kevin O’Donnell go super-deep. That much we definitely know.

Congressman Barney Frank Visited the WSOP Today

Did Not Arrive in Chariot or With Indian Headdress So Received Little Attention

by , Jul 5, 2009 | 2:56 pm

It was no secret. It has been public information since mid-June, and the PPA announced it days ago that House Financial Services Committee Chairman Rep. Barney Frank made plans to visit the WSOP today. First, he took to the floor of the Amazon Room to speak to the Day 1C players and issue the “shuffle up and deal command,” after which he toured the Rio Convention Center to see poker’s bizness and held a press conference at 1pm. You’d think it might be quite an event for those with any interest in the future of the poker industry.

But while the general reception Frank received in the Amazon Room was positive, it also gave an indication of what kind of struggles his efforts face. Beyond having to deal with the self-promotional shenanigans of Phil Hellmuth and all he brings to the table in the name of poker (for better or worse), behind me on the rail were some poker players/fans/bigots who made hateful gay jokes during his entire short-but-semi-important speech.

Nearing the 1pm start of the press conference in the Full Tilt Chris Ferguson suite, there were about 5 reporters present. No kidding. By the time Frank began speaking, there were possibly twice that, excluding PPA representatives and Full Tilt Poker bigwigs. Of the 5-8 media outlets represented, ESPN got their headshot early and left, before the speech had hardly started.

Some of what the disinterested might have missed:

~It is likely that the Obama Administration was not behind the Southern District of New York’s seizure of more than $30 million in online poker site payments, though Frank is pursuing answers and will attempt to clarify the role of the Department of Justice in the actions.

~While Frank’s current proposed legislation (H.R. 2267) may not be heard in committee until September, it is a priority for Frank to push his companion legislation (H.R. 2266) that will delay the implementation of the UIGEA through 2010.

Meanwhile, everyone else was standing outside the Rio waiting for Phil Hellmuth to arrive in a chariot with scantily-clad chicks, then following him down the hall like he was someone important President Obama. After that embarrassment spectacle, I noticed that there was more media interested in interviewing a WSOP player wearing a full-length Indian headdress than were in the Frank press conference.


I just can’t help but wonder if the people who ignored Frank’s presence today will be the same ones asking why the delay in passing pro-poker legislation, or why their online poker funds are frozen, or why they have trouble finding work in the poker industry.

Yeah, But Who Isn’t Hitting Royal Flushes These Days?

by , Jun 28, 2009 | 6:34 am

When Team Pokerati-er Whit Blanton rivered a royal flush at the Hard Rock at the beginning of the Series, I publicly congratulated him but inside poo-pooed his blurry handheld photography. But after flopping one of my own while playing 2/5 NLH at the Rio last night, I think I have a better understanding … as you kinda can’t help but be shaking a bit.

Click below for the uneventful details of how the hand played out:


Gold Coast Choppers

by , Jun 23, 2009 | 6:16 am

scooter day

Scooters are a ubiquitous part of any big poker event .. but at the WSOP NLH-Seniors Day 1 — with 2,707 runners — the Amazon and Rio Convention thoroughfares became more like Sturgis at 4mph.

scooter day scooter day scooter day scooter day scooter day scooter day scooter day

RE: Hockey Day at the WSOP (2)

by , Jun 18, 2009 | 8:44 am

It seems fitting that Greg “FBT” Mueller won his bracelet on “hockey day” — being that he’s a former professional hockey player. I’m sure that will make his win last night in $10k Limit Hold’em all the more memorable. The Stanley Cup’s presence will also make the 2009 WSOP a special one for Mean Gene, who took this fawning pic of the silvery list of hockey champions in front of the silvery wall of poker champions, as well as others with the Cup in the Amazon Room. I do suppose it isn’t often when an inanimate object gets such celebrity treatment.

RE: Today is Hockey Day at the WSOP

All Poker Media Welcome, Per WSOP Commish

by , Jun 17, 2009 | 2:50 pm

Admittedly, hockey is far from my favorite sport. Even hailing from St. Louis Blues country, I’ve never been a hockey fan. So as the NHL Charity Shootout sponsored by PokerStars was underway on the ESPN stage, I wasn’t exactly compelled to check it out.

The decision to grab a pic was more for Pokerati readers than any other reason, but when the security guard told me I wasn’t allowed in the media area, I used Twitter to express my dismay. Within a matter of minutes, WSOP Commissioner Jeffrey Pollack was at my work station. “Come with me,” he said in a way that made me think of card counters being taken into the back room to be roughed up nicely. He took me to the NHL game media area, told the security guard I was to be allowed in, and let me know that he simply didn’t want the media to have a bad experience with this event. Done and done. (Later, I’ll see if my new BFF wants to hang out at the clubs.)

Back to the event, three tables full of NHL stars, poker pros, and online qualifiers will play out, and the winners will return to play the final table at 7:30-ish tonight for big money to be donated to their charities of choice. ESPN is filming all of the fun, and Mean Gene is anxiously (understatement of the week) awaiting the arrival of the Stanley Cup around 7pm. Here are a few pics of Table #2 that is still playing out in the Amazon Room.


(Way) Outside the WSOP – Day 19 Evening Update

by , Jun 14, 2009 | 8:28 pm

Covering the afternoon coverage of Sunday afternoon at the WSOP:

de Wolfe wins de Triple Crown

Roland de Wolfe became the second player (after Gavin Griffin) to win poker’s Triple Crown (Winning a WSOP bracelet, WPT main event and EPT main event) with his triumph in the $5,000 PLO 8 or Better event, defeating Brett Richey in heads-up play. Dual Omaha bracelet winner Scott Clemens finished in 3rd.

Obligatory Limit Holdem Winner Mention

Sweden’sTomas Alenius defeated Jason Tam heads-up in the $1,500 Limit Holdem event. Day 3 chip leader Al “Sugar Bear” Barbieri finished 3rd. Fortunately for the WSOP staff, they have Sweden’s national anthem already downloaded.

Heads-Up Down to Sweet 16

Round 5 of the $10,000 NL Holdem Heads Up World Championship is down to its final 16 competitors, with one more round of play before the winners return on Monday. Among the survivors: Jason Mercier, Mike Caro, Leo Wolpert, Roberto Romanello, Bryan Pellegrino, Yevgeniy Timoshenko, Dustin “Neverwin” Woolf, Johnny Chan and WSOP runner-up in 2008, Alec Torelli.

$2,500 PLO Debut a Success

A larger than expected field of 436 started the $2,500 Pot Limit Omaha event, with 153 returning after the dinner break. The unofficial chip leader is Jesse Rios, with another four levels of play to finish the day.

Late Night HORSE

The $1,500 HORSE event started about three hours ago and a field of 770 left the starting gate. No established chip leaders at this time, but they have eight levels of play to leader going into the first turn. Check out and give Pokerati a visit during the rest of your Sunday evening/early Monday morning.