Posts Tagged ‘Penn and Teller Theater’

Who’s Who at the November Nine?

by , Nov 6, 2011 | 9:07 pm

November Nine – Naming Names (Ep 2) by taopokerati

Dan and Dr. Pauly discuss the November Nine players, or rather, Dan’s lack of care to learn who made the final table. But Dan has a cheat sheet — the live chip count list — that appears on a big screen adjacent to the stage. A nice improvement to the WSOP set-up.

November Nine

The Poker Beat

by , Nov 14, 2009 | 2:41 am

This week’s episode was all WSOP. Huff spoke about the November Nine as a guy who has seen many a tourney, but never one like this. Caldwell and I offered our thoughts having seen development from freshman to sophomore year, BJ lamented being stuck in Foxwoods, but along with Gary shared how the experience transcended beyond Vegas via the internet and TV.

Oh, plus Phil Ivey, Joe Cada, and Darvin Moon. And maybe a little Antoine Saout.

The Poker Beat
Huff, Caldwell, Wise, Michalski, Nemeth, Stapleton

[audio:] subscribe via iTunes

RE: Heads-up Underway

Quick photo dump

by , Nov 10, 2009 | 1:35 am

Here are some pictures of what’s been going on off and around the table, during this $3mm+ heads-up match (because that’s really what they’re playing for) at the WSOP&T Theater:

You know how you would see fans at a baseball game watching the game live and on TV, usually with headphones? The poker version of that is this guy, who is watching the final update and following live updates on

The Joe Cada Michigan fan contingent. Alas, Rio security soon made them put on a little more clothing, despite Las Vegas’ general fondness for body paint counting as non-nudity.

HAND NOTE: The crowd tends to go rather nuts anytime a coordinated flop is followed by a related turn card.

Hey, look, it’s Annette_15 — presumably taking a special interest in any youngin’ looking for a big-time bracelet. We love Annette_15! Favorite 21-year-old young lady Betfair blogger! (Sitting with a Poker Royalty agent, plausibly interestingly.)

Joe Navarro would tell me this means Darvin Moon has the goods. However, when Cada re-re-raised him here, Moon folded.

UPDATE: Cada just doubled up, as Moon failed to get there moving all-in with an open-ender … (Cada called with two-pair, the second being his alone) … Cada dodged 8 outs to rake in 108 million chips, to Moon’s now 86 million.

Fans taking in the action.

Somebody forgot to tell this guy that Allen Kessler did not make the November Nine.


by , Nov 9, 2009 | 6:59 am

Here’s my favorite pic I’ve seen so far of the November Nine spectacle from this weekend. With all the great, mainstream media-oso’s in the house, it was none other than Flipchip from LasVegasVegas, the most experienced WSOP photog in the Rio, who found the one spot that really highlights the enormity of the event going down in the WSOP&T Theater:

Still looking for other great shots out there on the internet that maybe I’ve missed …

UPDATE: This is a pretty good one, too, from Wicked Chops … capturing the French fan contingent at an Antoine Saout double-up:

Tao of Padraigrati

by , Nov 8, 2009 | 4:31 am

Pauly and I look further into drinking with Padraig Parkinson, and in general what it means to be at the WSOPenn and Teller Theater at about midnight with seven players still remaining.

(NOTE: Ivey busted a few minutes after we finished recording this episode.)

Episode 6: Not-so-Last Call

November Nine Prep-Day

by , Nov 6, 2009 | 7:25 pm

World Series bossman Jeffrey Pollack scoping out the scene during setup at the WSOPenn-and-Teller Theater:

Watch Jeffrey Pollack Vlog: Setting the Table at WSOP 2009 on

(Way) Outside the WSOP – Main Event Final Table

by , Jul 16, 2009 | 6:02 am

Beating almost everyone’s expectations, the November Nine was established before 11pm Wednesday night with chip leader Darvin Moon cracked Jordan Smith’s aces, flopping a set of eights. Here’s how the final table is scheduled to be seated when the players return on November 7th to the Penn and Teller Theater at the Rio:

Seat 1: Darvin Moon – 58,930,000
Seat 2: James Akenhead – 6,800,000
Seat 3: Phil Ivey – 9,765,000
Seat 4: Kevin Schaffel – 12,390,000
Seat 5: Steven Begleiter – 29,885,000
Seat 6: Eric Buchman – 34,800,000
Seat 7: Joe Cada – 13,215,000
Seat 8: Antoine Saout – 9,500,000
Seat 9: Jeff Shulman – 19,580,000

As some Twittered earlier this morning, the appearance of Phil Ivey at the final table caused much joy to the WSOP staff, ESPN, and the poker forum community. You’ve got the chip leader a good ol’ boy from Maryland who’s involved in the most dangerous job in the US (logging), meaning those who wonder what happens if someone in the November Nine passes away or is incapacitated may have their wish come true. You have Begleiter, a former executive at Bear Stearns, You’ve got two European players (Akenhead and Saout), you’ve got the lightning rod for the “bad for poker” audience in Shulman, who made statements that he would throw away the bracelet if he won, criticizing the WSOP’s stance on exclusivity in poker reporting. These stories and many others will be played out in the coming days, and Pokerati will be there to sift through them all, starting this afternoon on The Poker Beat over at

More from the Final Table:

Banner-ish Year

by , Nov 16, 2008 | 7:10 am


Mr. Peanut demanded too much money to call the opening cards in the air, so the WSOP got Michael Buffer instead.

As the 2008 WSOP was coming to a close a few days ago, Pauly and I couldn’t help but notice that there seemed to be no new sponsors that weren’t already around for in the summer. Disappointing, sure — but maybe it’s just the general economy?

I began to speculate that WSOP marketing honcho Tye Stewart must be in BIG trouble, dude! couldn’t have been too happy that the most celebrated deal inked between July and November was an extended contract with Johnny Chan’s All In Energy Drink. About 10 minutes later, though, Jeffrey Pollack was speaking to the crowd, giving specific thanks and extreme kudos to Stewart as the successful, hard-working architect of the The November Nine vision. And indeed, we now know the broadcast returned some admirable TV numbers; and even as players got eliminated, there were lines of people in the Rio hallways to fill the Penn & Teller Theater’s 1,200 seats. So maybe now, with something definitive to sell potential backers in the future, what looked a little disappointing while riding up and down the escalators is actually a sign of better things to come?

Below is a pictorial look at some added value for official WSOP banners (and inflatables) in action:


Tao of Pokerati: Web Player Down!

by , Nov 13, 2008 | 7:31 am

You can’t’ tell from the groovin’ tunes in the background, but Pauly y yo are in the PT Theater as the heads-up battle is just one hand from completion — and I’m suffering from severe WSOP separation anxiety tech tilt as Pokerati goes offline at a fairly critical time, presumably at the hands of loyal Tao of Pokerati listeners. (Bastards.) From there we speculate on the future of the WSOP’s relationship with Milwaukee’s Best Light, particularly in light of a pretty major biz merger we missed during the start of the regular WSOP.

Book 4: WSOP Final Table
Episode 4.13: Web Player Down! 4:53


So Let’s Talk Poker TV

by , Nov 12, 2008 | 12:36 pm

I’m curious what y’all thought about the big-hype show last night. I enjoyed the hands we did see — because really, this final table probably featured some of the best pure poker of any main event sit-n-go I’ve seen since I started following poker five years ago. Not sure how well that came across.

The Craig Marquis bustout hand really was incredible … that woulda been a good time for ESPN to show the audience, not just the players … because really, the whole audience was on pins-and-needles. Even we cynical media types temporarily forgot about our jobs and became true fanboys, just waiting for that devestating river card. (To some extent, poker fans are a little bit like NASCAR viewers, not wanting to see but kinda sorta waiting for an amazing crash.)

Overall, I thought ESPN did a better job covering the whole of the World Series better than any year prior. But the final table was a little disappointing … I give it a B-. But hey, I’m always very forgiving the first go-round … you learn so much from doing something once. I look forward to seeing what they come up with next year.

A few more random thoughts about the whole experience:

  • Penn & Teller Theater was an awesome venue. Woulda been a better experience, however, had the whole set-up been rotated 90 degrees, so the MBL Lounge wasn’t blocking so much of the view.
  • ESPN seemed to have difficult lighting the crowd for such shots. I will give them my secret for free: set your cameras to “Auto”.
  • Two hours was not long enough for the show. Had they made it three or four hours — or fuck, the whole shebang on pay-per-view — it woulda been more interesting and more of an event. The promotion woulda been easier, too, because it woulda stood out as something different … but two hours? That’s just an NBA game. What’s special about that?
  • More…

Tao of Pokerati: WSOP Main Event Final Table

by , Nov 9, 2008 | 3:50 pm

I’m having some trouble with properly title-ing this stuff … but follow along, as “Book 4” is definitely the event going on here at the Penn and Teller Theater that we are discussing. This time, Pauly and I witness a double-up by Kelly Kim, much to his fans delight, who are suddenly fueled with new hope for a better poker day.

Book 4: WSOP Final Table
Episode 4.3: Double Up! Double Up! 1:20


UPDATE: Kelly Kim just busted out in 8th place … $1.28 million. Nice job, nice guy.

WSOP Final Table Photo Dump

by , | 1:25 pm

A quick glimpse of what everyone walked into today … and keep scrolling down for what I think, in my unconfirmed opinion, is a serious tell about which two WSOP champions are the most problematic for anyone who gives a shee-ot about poker. (Hint: Russ Hamilton is one of them.)

There’s good happy poker stuff, too. After all, this $32 Million Sit-n-Go is a celebration:


This doesn’t look too different from the Amazon Room.


But on the other side, with the Showgirls and the hottie DJ, you can tell something’s a little different here.


Kelly Kim’s cheering section: “Double Up! Double Up!”


Ivan Demidov’s fans.


Arguably the largest poker crowd in history?


Peter Eastgate’s cheering section. I think “isser ships” means win, or something like that.


Darus Suharto’s peeps.


A long line to get in outside.


It extends quite a ways, as people line up past the gallery of WSOP champions.


Still going … as mentioned, at least one fan with a special player’s guest ticket was trying to scalp it.


More lineage.


More WSOP main event winners.


At first I thought Russ Hamilton’s banner was missing. But then I found it … they put it out of the way, behind the stairs. Duly noted: allegedly steal $15 million from other poker players via the company you run, and your banner will be semi-banished.


But do you recognize who else is hidden behind the stairwell? That’s 1990 champ Mansour Matloubi.


And interestingly enough, not only is he placed out of view and next to Russ Hamilton, but also his year is out of chronological order. I think it’s a tell. Very interesting. He looks really stressed, too. I wonder if anyone else is putting 2+2 together here?

[CORRECTION: Hamilton was the only one blatantly out of order. So maybe not so damning on Matloubi. Still, I’m suspicious.]

Tao of Pokerati: The WSOP Final Table

by , | 11:26 am

Pauly and I are back … watching the biggest sit-n-go in the history of poker, very live-ish from the Penn & Teller Theater in the Rio. As fans were filing in, chips were being unbagged, and 4 months of semi-hyped anticipation was getting underway, we are nice guys looking to share our observations with you.

Book 4: WSOP Final Table
Episode 4.1: WSOPenn & Teller 2:04