Posts Tagged ‘main-event’

And Then There Were Three Two

by , Nov 8, 2011 | 4:09 pm

Phil Collins is no longer at the WSOP Main Event final table, but that doesn’t stop me or many others from breaking out a classic Genesis album from the 1970’s. Around 5:50pm PT tonight (8:50pm ET, 2:50pm in the UK) Pius Heinz, Ben Lamb and Martin Staszko will return to the Penn & Teller Theatre in a battle where the winner earns $8.7 million while second and third place will have to settle for $5.4 million and $4.0m respectively.

Here’s the chip counts when action kicks off again tonight with the blinds starting at 600,000/1,200,000 with an ante of 200,000:

Seat 1: Pius Heinz – 107,800,000
Seat 2: Ben Lamb – 55,400,000
Seat 3: Martin Staszko – 42,700,000


Hand for hand updates at PokerNews and PokerNews also has a chat going off the ESPN broadcast here.

ESPN will start their 15-minutes delayed coverage at 6:00pm PT, 9:00 ET. Streaming will be available at as well as the site.

Some twitterers to follow tonight for live updating:

@taopauly, @oskargarcia @howardstutz @casekeefer @pokernews @jesswelman @bluffmagazine @pokerlistings @lance_bradley @eric_ramsey @donnie_peters @avpoker

Live blogging from Pauly while Shamus will be blogging a few minutes behind the coverage.

Expect Tao of Pokerati episodes throughout the night.


6:35pm UPDATE: Ben Lamb was eliminated on the 4th hand after Staszko doubled up on the first hand: 77 >KJ to become crippled. Lamb shoved with Q6 into Staszko’sJJ and didn’t improve to earn $4,021,138 as Staszko takes the chip lead.  Here’s what Lamb got shortly after being eliminated:

Ben Lamb gets punk'd (photo courtesy @BenbaLamb


6:50pm UPDATE: Heinz has dominated the early action heads-up to regain the lead with 132 million chips to Staszko’s 73 million.

7:40pm UPDATE: Staszko has gone on a rush as the blinds are now at 800,000/1,600,000/200,000 to retake the lead 110.65m – 95.25m

8:30pm UPDATE: Staszko gave up his lead, but turned up the aggression once again to hold a 113.6m – 92.3m chip lead. Heinz appears tired while Staszko has renewed confidence.

9:25pm UPDATE: The lead has now changed hands for a seventh time heads-up as Heinz wins several hands in a row to hold a 116.9m to 89m chip lead as the blinds go up to 1,000,000/2,000,000 with a 300,000 ante.

10:20 UPDATE: Now Staszko takes the lead once again as he wins several hands in a row as he now takes a commanding lead again: 146.6m to 59.3m.

11:30pm UPDATE: The poker media is getting restless as the heads-up battle rages on. Staszko had Heinz under 45m in chips, but the gap has been narrowed. Staszko leads 132.8m to 73.1m for Heinz.

12:00am UPDATE: Over 100 hands of heads-up play and not a single hand featured an all-in and call. That would change shortly after the blinds went up to 1,200,000/2,400,000 with an ante of 300,000. Heinz shoved with Ah Qh on a Ks Tc 7c flop. Staszko called with Qc 9c. The turn and river bricked out and Heinz now leads with 161.5m chips to Staszko’s 44.4m.

2011 WSOP – Hellmuthian Entrance (Ep 28)

by , Jul 9, 2011 | 5:46 pm

Phil Hellmuth, known for his grandiose and over the top entrances, showed up to play on Day 1C. Here’s the report from Dr. Pauly and Snoopy…

2011 WSOP – Episode 28: Hellmuthian Entrance with Snoopy (6:26) – Phil Hellmuth arrived late to the Main Event in true Hellmuthian fashion as he showed up during the start of level 3. However, this year Hellmuth went for a much more low key entrance. Snoopy stalked out the hallway and waited for Hellmuth to arrive. He gave us the lowdown on this year’s entrance. Pauly and Snoopy discussed a couple of entrance concepts (like an astronaut or riding a donkey or a God theme) that they wished Hellmuth would’ve chosen.

For more episodes, visit the Tao of Pokerati archives.

Where’d They All Come From?

Online sites, satellites don’t explain bigger numbers in 2010

by , Aug 24, 2010 | 9:16 am

Jon Katkin

The Poker Economy


For 99.99987 percent of the players in this year’s events, the 2010 WSOP has come to a close. Some were winners and many more were losers. And, for nine lucky combatants, there’s still one more long day of poker left to play before someone claims the game’s most prestigious title and poker’s second-largest payday ever.

As tonight’s television coverage of the Main Event (ESPN 9p ET) moves past the massive Day 1 fields and more and more players see their WSOPs come to an end, I just have to wonder: Where did they all come from?

After a slow start, the 2010 WSOP finished strong, enticing 72,966 players total to Las Vegas to play in 57 separate events — a 20 percent increase over 2009’s record-setting figure of 60,875. And it wasn’t just the smaller events that benefitted. After hitting a high-water mark in 2006 with 8,773 entrants and a prize pool worth more than $82.5 million, the Main Event contracted over the next three years, attracting no more than 6,844 players for the big dance. Until this year, that is.

The best guess is that live satellites account for about 15 percent of the Main Event field. Combined with the online qualifiers, that means roughly 40 percent paid something less than $10k to play in the tournament, which seems about right. Still, that means that about 60 percent (roughly 4,400) of the players coughed up $10K each for their seats at the WSOP tables.

According to the WSOP’s official figures, 7,319 players took part in this year’s $10,000 Main Event. That’s 825 more people than who played in 2009, or an increase of nearly 9 percent. Now I don’t know about you, but I think that’s pretty impressive, especially in today’s economy where nearly 10 percent of the general public in the US is out of work and Europe is struggling to keep countries like Greece and Ireland from going completely bankrupt under the weight of huge budget deficits.

All of which, again, begs the question, where on Earth did all these players come from?


(Way) Outside the WSOP – Main Event Day 3 Evening Edition

by , Jul 12, 2010 | 7:20 pm

Day 3 of the $10,000 Main Event is currently on their dinner break with about 1,600 players remaining, already having played six of their eight scheduled hours of play. Among the notables not returning to the Amazon and Pavilion rooms with chips:
Daniel Negreanu, Joe Cada, Vanessa Rousso, David Sklansky, Dan Heimiller, Maria Ho, Lacey Jones, Chris Moneymaker, Erik Seidel, Kara Scott, Jennifer Leigh, David Williams, Gabe Kaplan and Capt. Tom Franklin.

The reported leader is Sweden’s Paul Kristoffersson with 617,600 in chips. Notables with healthy stacks include Robert Mizrachi (420,000), Scott Clements (415,000), Johnny Chan (400,000), Eric Baldwin (380,000), Jean-Robert Bellande (315,000), Kido Pham (292,000), Phil Galfond (280,000), Barry Shulman (260,000), Robert Varkonyi (220,000) and Vince Van Patten (187,000). More chip counts and updates can be found at

(Way) Outside the WSOP – Main Event Day 2b

by , Jul 10, 2010 | 6:40 am

UPDATE: For an updated version of the day 2b table draw, click here. The updated table draw only affects those who had another person in their seat.

Day 2a eliminations

Day 2a of the Main Event saw the return of over 2,400 players filling the Amazon and Pavilion rooms at the Rio in Las Vegas, with the field playing four full levels. As can be expected during the Main Event, the eliminations happened at an accelerated pace. Among the notables who won’t return to the Rio with chips on Monday: Mike Sexton, John Hennigan, Tiffany Michelle, Antonio Esfandiari, Eli Elezra, Liz Lieu, Dennis Phillips, Greg Mueller, Sara Underwood, Dutch Boyd, Daniel Alaei, Ted Forrest, Carlos Mortensen and “Miami John” Cernuto, who didn’t return Friday afternoon due to illness and was blinded off.

Day 2a survivors

With play concluding halfway through level nine, a field of 1,200 will enjoy their weekend before returning to join the day 2b survivors as the field will be in the same tournament area for the first time on day 3 at 12pm Monday. The day 2a leader is Boulos Estafanous of Darien, Florida with 340,100 in chips. Other notables with a healthy chip stack include Johnny Chan (281,600), Tony Korfman (275,100), Patrik Antonius (258,600), Sammy Farha (226,500), Annie Duke (176,600), Padraig Parkinson (153,100), Joe Cada (122,400), Chris Moneymaker (104,000), Kathy Liebert (87,000), Scotty Nguyen (67,800), and Matt Savage (54,400). The full list of chip counts can be found at, a partial table draw will also be linked here and on my Twitter account.

Saturday at 12pm, over 2,700 players make their way to the Rio for day 2b of the Main Event with half the field expected to be out the door by the time play concludes. Follow the action over at

WPT Press Conference Saturday

Matt Savage takes advantage of his days off to hold a press conference at 11am at the Bellagio regarding the upcoming season of the WPT. The press conference will also be streamed over the Internet at Ustream.TV here. The first US event of WPT Season IX is the Bellagio Cup VI Main Event, starting Sunday.

(Way) Outside the WSOP – Main Event day 2a

by , Jul 9, 2010 | 6:06 am

The final opening day of the Main Event drew a field of 2,391 hopefuls to the Pavilion and Amazon rooms at the Rio on Thursday afternoon. Football Hall of Famer/Dancing with the Stars winner Emmitt Smith kicked off the festivities with the “Shuffle up and play” command, before deciding to go with the traditional “shuffle up and deal”. According to Pauly’s semi-live blog, he initially refused to sign the ESPN waiver, possibly still bitter about the Worldwide Leader getting rid of him a couple years ago. After finally signing the waiver, he was eliminated a short time later. Among the notables who also had an early day: Joe and Tony Hachem, Doug Lee, Sorel Mizzi, Allen Kessler, John Juanda, Phil Gordon, Brian Townsend, Steve Dannenmann, Michael Craig and Pam Brunson.

After nine hours of play, 1,699 players get to return Saturday afternoon for day 2b. The reported day 1d leader is Steve Billiarakis with 187,150 in chips. Some other notables returning on Saturday include: Archie Karas (137,775), David Benyamine (130,800), Vanessa Rousso (111,050), Jason Mercier (90,525), Frank Kassela (87,000), Darvin Moon (78,400), Kara Scott (69,625), Barry Greenstein (53,625), Doyle Brunson (52,425), 97-year old Jack Ury, (40,500), Bryan Micon (36,400) and Shawn Sheikhan (32,900). The full list of chip counts is available at The day 2b table draw is available here, you can also find it on my Twitter as well.

Day 2a gets underway at 12pm with over 2,400 players returning, scheduled to play 4 levels. The 90-minute dinner break will be held after 3 levels are played, which would mean the middle of level 8, although that has not been confirmed by tournament director Jack Effel at this time. For those looking for the day 2a table draw, it’s available in PDF and spreadsheet form. During the day, be sure to check out and your favorite Twitter followers and find out what’s going on at the World Series of Poker.

(Way) Outside the WSOP – Day 1d

by , Jul 8, 2010 | 6:17 am

NOTE: Over 2,100 players have registered for day 1d, with a capacity field of over 3,700 expected.

Day 1c of the Main Event drew the biggest field as 2,314 players as defending champion Joe Cada handled the “shuffle up and deal” to get today’s activities underway. Cada finished the day with a respectable 55,000 in chips. Among the notables who don’t get to return for day 2b on Saturday: Tom Dwan, Howard Lederer, Huck Seed, Isabelle Mercier, Chad Brown, Men Nguyen, Faraz Jaka, Dario Minieri, Chau Giang, 2009 November Niner Steve Begleiter, and after making his usual dramatic entrance, Phil Hellmuth exited quietly.

At the end of 9 hours of play, 1,642 players will join the 762 day 1a survivors Friday afternoon at 12pm at the start of day 2a. The reported leader at this time is Mathiu Sauriol with 169,900 in chips. Johnny Chan finished the day 2nd in chips with 163,700, other notables back for day 2a include Lauren Kling (149,650), Barny Boatman (144,050), Hoyt Corkins (129,150), David Williams (112,225), Todd Terry (96,175), Jennifer “Jennicide” Leigh (85,425), Brock Parker (71,125), Liz Lieu (70,050), Annie Duke (62,000), Yevgeniy Timoshenko (48,150), and Antonio Esfandiari (44,150). The full list of chip counts is now available at The full table draw for day 2a will be linked here and at my Twitter for those interested when it becomes available.

Day 1d of the Main Event gets underway at 12pm, with football Hall of Famer Emmitt Smith handling the “shuffle up and deal” duties, with some poker site sure to put a patch on him if he decides to play. The Main Event field is already the second-largest in history with over 7,000 players registered with a chance it breaks 8,000 over the next 8 hours. Catch the action over at, Pauly’s blog and Twitter to see if anyone gets shut out, who gets knocked out, and how this afternoon’s action is played out.

Main Event Follow Fridays on a Monday


by , Jul 5, 2010 | 6:32 pm

Gotta think the twitters are gonna be an important part of following the main event … from Days 1×4 all the way to the November Nine. We can presume, of course, you’re already following the essentials for play-by-play and more — @kevmath @pokerati @wickedchops @taopauly @bjnemeth @wsop @wsoptd @jesswelman (also doing @bluffmagazine) @espn_poker @matthewparvis @change100 @benjodimeo and @pokernews …

But a few others that you may wanna be sure to add for the main event and beyond include:

@Tom_Dwan — the real durrrr is now tweeting, and turns out he’s pretty good at keepin’ it real in 140 characters or less.

@JeffreyPollack — the former WSOP commish has resurfaced on the internet with warm wishes. Good to see him around WSOP parts again, albeit slightly removed.

@RioVegas — if the suits @Harrahs have done one thing right, it’s hire a good social media dude for The Rio who has proven surprisingly responsive and capable of putting smart tweeters in touch with the right people when necessary.

@TheRealAsianSpa — not sure if this is an alterego to the most vitriolic (but informed) poker hater on twitter or what … but either way, apparently @AsianSpa has taken the ways of @SamChauhan’s @PositiveReport to heart and can’t help but look at everything #WSOP as benefitting from a happy ending.

@GamingCounsel — was hoping others might not notice the Canadian attorney who’s proven a great source on the latest legal developments in the gambling world … but now my competitive colleagues all follow him, so if you care about poker laws, you should, too.

@TheGroupie — she’s just a poker fangirl who’s not in Vegas, but met this 20something poker-playing figure-skater PhD @riovegas just the other week, and for some reason couldn’t stop staring at her tweets.

@OskarGarcia — the AP’s Vegas-based reporter covering gaming is putting in some extra time at the WSOP.

@PUNTE — Josh Zerkle is a professional sports and social media-y kinda guy @WithLeather, and is keeping his WSOP micro-thoughts and observations here.

There … all those should do you extra-well. Feel free to leave any others @’s you think Pokeratizens and assorted poker fans might not wanna be missing this July in the comments.

Two Chips and a Chair

by , | 1:40 am

Today is the day. Here’s what it takes to play. The fact that 90 percent won’t get them back is part of what makes the body do things on the inside.


Wednesday Morning Video

2003: Moneymaker vs. Farha

by , May 19, 2010 | 5:45 am

You’ve all seen it before … but it had been several years since I watched it in full (with no other distractions). If you haven’t seen it for a while either, enjoy a clip from back when poker was just poker …

Seven years ago today, the 2003 Main Event got underway …

After wading through a massive field of 839, Chris Moneymaker would end up facing off against Sam Farha, the quintessential Vegas gambler, and making the bluff that created an industry:

(Check out his hat. Think PokerStars got good ROI on their swag?)

NAPT Final Table Set

Mike Beasley chip leader, Four WSOP Bracelet winners remaning

by , Apr 11, 2010 | 8:53 am

The final table of the $5,000 PokerStars NAPT Main Event at the Mohegan Sun in Connecticut will be starting at noon Eastern time. Here’s how the final table will be situated, with live streaming available at

Seat 1: Scott Seiver (1,125,000)
Seat 2: Cliff Josephy (1,940,000)
Seat 3: Vanessa Selbst (4,545,000)
Seat 4: Derek Raymond (1,545,000)
Seat 5: Mike Beasley (4,985,000)
Seat 6: Michael Woods (2,950,000)
Seat 7: Jonathan Aguiar (1,535,000)
Seat 8: Alistar Melville (2,940,000)

Beasley took the chip lead on the final hand of play on Saturday when he eliminated Brandon Hall in 9th place. The four WSOP bracelet winners (Selbst, Josephy, Raymond and Seiver) will look to add a NAPT title to their results. When play resumes, there will be about 30 minutes left at level 26, 25,000/50,000 with a 5,000 ante. The poker world will still be focused at the Mohegan Sun on Monday as the $25,000 High Roller Bounty Shootout will get underway, with the shootout winners playing Tuesday to determine a winner. Full coverage will also be available at, with edited coverage to air in the coming months on ESPN2 of both the Main Event and Shootout.

WPT LAPC Main Event Fantasy Picks

by , Feb 26, 2010 | 3:29 am

The LAPC main event is fixin’ to get underway … Friday at noon, and Yevgeniy Timoshenko, Jason Mercier, and a few others got together to hold a $5,000 fantasy draft for the main event of California’s version of the WSOP.

More to come as the field takes shape tomorrow/today Friday. Last stretch of satellites going on now.

I’ve been following this event multimedially via the 147 emails a day they send me and via the official LAPC blog.

Joe Cada before his ESPN Days

by , Nov 23, 2009 | 2:56 pm

Recently stumbled across the blog of a Vegas-grinder guy who rented a couch to Joe Cada at the start of the WSOP, well before the main event. Festive times … and kinda interesting to see that Joey was living a summer life not unlike a lot of other young 20somethings who venture to Vegas for their first ever World Series of Poker.

Pics below from his first night in town:

joe cada drunk

The caption on the second one, of course, is probably more accurate than any coulda imagined at the time!

WSOP-Themed Lie to Me* on Fox Tonight Next Week

by , Nov 9, 2009 | 5:00 pm

The Fox series “Lie to Me*”, featuring favorite of Jennifer Newell Mekhi Phifer, prominently features the WSOP Main Event in the episode Nov. 16(?) at 9pm ET/8pm CT.

The episode, entitled “Fold Equity” has the following synopsis:

Lightman, Foster (Kelli Williams) and Reynolds (Mekhi Phifer) go to Las Vegas to help locate a missing finalist in the World Series of Poker. Lightman uses his skills to reach beyond the other finalists’ poker faces to figure out which one knows about the disappearance. Meanwhile, Loker (Brendan Hines) and Torres (Monica Raymund) analyze Loker’s new relationship and as a result get closer to each other.

For those who miss the episode, you can catch it on Fox’s site or over at on Tuesday.

CORRECTION: The WSOP episode airs next Monday, not tonight.

Sasquatch(es) at the WSOP

by , | 3:33 pm

Confirmation that Darvin Moon and Jack Link’s Beef Jerky should be a match made in thick-forest heaven … @washintonpost-er Josh du Lac tweets:

Darvin Moon’s brother, Bill, says folks wanted him to pose for a pic w/Jack Link’s mascot Sasquatch. “Hell no reminds me too much of Darvin”

I, meanwhile, couldn’t help myself when I saw such a happily hirsute homonid: