Posts Tagged ‘Whit Blanton’

2009 WSOP Player Picks Progress (or Lack Thereof) in Preliminaries

by , Jul 8, 2009 | 12:32 am

Well, this just didn’t go as planned. The idea was to make some solid picks mixed with some off-the-wall choices for 2009 World Series performances, with the results proving me to be somewhat of a genius. Whoops.

Some of my players have done well and could very well tear up the Main Event, but I could have possibly done better than, for example, picking my dentist’s nephew. Here’s a little rundown of my eight players through the end of the preliminary events:

Daniel Negreanu – Clearly the best of the picks, Daniel had an excellent series, though possibly not by his own high standards. With eight cashes, two of which were in world championship events and two of which were final tables, he cashed for more than $330K in the series.

Bertrand “ElkY” Grospellier – One of the favorites in many player pools this year, ElkY cashed twice during the series but could not quite pull a final table. He did make the cover of Bluff Magazine, though, with the article written by fellow Frenchman Benjo.

Terrence Chan – He came into the WSOP with a hot online poker streak that simply didn’t translate into WSOP bracelets, only walking away with one cash in the preliminary events.

Kara Scott – Besides being a talented and professional EPT hostess, the woman can play some poker as well. She played one preliminary event – a $1,500 NLHE – prior to the Main Event and cashed in 58th place.

Luca Pagano – My favorite Italian player did not cash. Viva Italia next year and all that.

Jonathan Dull – My dentist’s nephew had one cash in a $1,500 NLHE event, but, well, I won’t have much to report to my dentist in July.

Dwyte Pilgrim – After 13 cashes in WSOP Circuit events over the past year, Dwyte ran cold at the WSOP in Vegas and wasn’t able to cash in the prelims. But his record over the past year doesn’t lie, so it’s just a matter of time, guy I’ve never met buddy.

Whit Blanton – Pokerati player Whit made a run at one event and didn’t find his way to the money. But he still loves Pokerati, and isn’t that what matters?

Bonus pick Mekhi Phifer – Ummm, where was he?

The Main Event is just kicking into gear, so at least one of my picks still has a chance to go deep. (Go Kara!)

He Shoots He SCORES!

by , May 31, 2009 | 1:57 am

Pokerati preferred players cashing all over the place … Jen’s dark-horse pick for WSOP metal, Whit Blanton, took in some side-action at the Hard Rock Poker Lounge — one of the many places around town picking up the World Series overflow — and hit his second royal flush ever:

My analysis of the situation: Cool. Well-flopped Nice runner-runner.

Cali Jen’s Official 2009 WSOP Player Picks

by , May 28, 2009 | 1:55 pm

That’s right. I’ve got picks. I didn’t participate in any official draft or betting pool, just chose players to watch this year and listed them here. That makes them official, Pokerati-style.

The purpose of picking a team of players at the 2009 WSOP is that it gives me a variety of players to stalk follow and track results. Some of them are well-known on the poker tournament circuit, while others are just beginning to make their marks and may not garner much publicity from the major media outlets. Here? They’re all stars because I dub them so. I’ll be trying as best I can to keep up with them.

Daniel Negreanu
– While some argue that he is not particularly focused this year due to the health of his mother and other factors, I contend that the grind will lock him into place at the WSOP and that he will be looking to score big to bring some extra smiles to his mom’s face.

Bertrand “ElkY” Grospellier – He is a given. He has been on fire for several years and will undoubtedly be a force at the Series as he looks to add a WSOP bracelet to his list of serious poker accomplishments.

Terrence Chan – Not only is he a friend of friends of mine, but he caught my eye when he won two PokerStars SCOOP tournaments on the same night a few months ago. It was impressive, and with his motivation to do well this summer, his momentum/skill combo might be enough to get him there.

Kara Scott – She recently placed second in the 2009 Irish Open main event, and her list of tournament successes is growing consistently. Add to that a relationship with a certain poker pro, with whom intimate discussions of flops and raises can only help. And after a deep run in the 2008 WSOP main event, I look for her to do well in numerous events this year.

Luca Pagano – My favorite Italian player has also had some significant finishes, though 2008 was a better year for him than 2009. Even so, his game has been improving, and he appears due for a big finish this summer.

Jonathan Dull – His record shows that he has accumulated nearly $455K in his career. The young player has potential, but how did he make my coveted list? He is my dentist’s nephew, and my dentist is awesome.

Dwyte Pilgrim – The guy is on fire. Over the past year, he came onto the poker scene and began tearing up WSOP Circuit events, posting 13 cashes overall over the past season, many of which were final tables and one – Harrah’s Rincon – championship victory. Seems he does well in any tournament with WSOP in the name.

Whitney Blanton – Not only is he a faithful Pokerati reader and patch-wearing “preferred player”, but also he’s my Facebook friend and has been having a good poker year. He hopes to bring a WSOP bracelet back to Texas this year, and providing he gets out to Vegas soon to play some events, he has a good chance.

For good measure, in addition to my top eight players, I will add Mekhi Phifer as a bonus pick. What fun is stalking without the man who feared my very presence at the 2008 WSOP? (Just kidding; security was never actually called.)

Pokerati on TV!

by , Oct 10, 2008 | 11:27 am

If you squint your eyes and are watching on a super-hi-def-super-big-screen and using CIA-quality video enhancement technology you can see it … Team Pokerati player/lasts-longest winner Whit Blanton appears at the featured table during Day 4 of the 2008 WSOP main event, proudly displaying his Pokerati patch during Jean-Robert Bellande’s safe-seeming-flop runner-runner bustout hand (where his Russian opponent menacingly says, “bye-bye” before the river).

Nice job, Whit! You played that hand perfectly (folding pre-flop) and performed a top-notch pullback upon realizing your attempt to shake Bellande’s hand goodbye stood a 94 percent chance of being left hanging.

Here’s the clip of Whit’s featured table appearance on ESPN (starting about halfway in, with handshake fun at about 7 minutes):

And if you’re interested in what really goes into the making of a WSOP episode, click below for some email correspondence between Whit and ESPN in preparing for his prime-time television debut:


2008 Pokerati Bowling Series is a Wrap… For Now

by , Jul 24, 2008 | 12:08 pm

I know. Amidst the WSOP main event, the Tiffany Michelle hubbub, and the Russ Hamilton-UB connect-the-dots game, you’ve really been wondering, What ever happened to the awesomely exciting Pokerati Bowling Series?

We did have one final session, smack dab in the middle of the main event on July 11. One night, we just couldn’t take the Amazon Room for one more moment and headed over to the bowling alley at the Gold Coast. Prop bets ran amuck, and might I say that it became a bit (understatement) competitive. Team Pokerati member Whit Blanton came in a bit (understatement) tipsy from celebrating his WSOP main event cash and ESPN feature table appearance, Tuscaloosa Johnny smoked his Pokerati writing mates, and Team Pokerati player Jerry Randack took a ton of betting action from the sidelines. Short-stacked Shamus came up just a little short of his goals, but I can see a possible name change to Striker Shamus (or something more creative) if his last frame was any indication, and Haley fell short of her expectations and experienced a (understatement) bit of prop betting/bowling tilt. Harris just hustled us all.

PBS – Event 5 – Game 2A

PBS – Event 5 – Game 2B

All in all, for most of us, it was a great way to end the PBS for the summer. And while many in the poker biz await the trip to Vegas for the “November Nine” at the WSOP final table, some of us may be secretly honing our bowling skills for the 2008 PBS, Part Deux. Bring it!

Go Team Pokerati — Doh!

by , Jul 11, 2008 | 2:32 pm

With a double-up on his first hand, and a favorable flop on his next push, we started to believe … alas, the World Series has ended for Whit, who repped Dallas, Texas, Pokerati, and average white guys with day jobs well.

Whit is now 2-for-2 when it comes to main event cashes. This year he’ll be bringing home 28,950 pre-tax American dollars to donk off in Oklahoma.

Net: +$18,950

Not bad for an extra-exciting summer trip to V-town.

Mean Gene‘s official hand recount for PokerNews:

Whitney Blanton Eliminated

A few hands after doubling up against Adam Zinn, Whitney Blanton again moved all in and was called by Sarkis Akopyan. Blanton held [cards]kc qc[/cards] to Akapyan’s [cards]as js[/cards] and took the lead from Sarkis when the flop came [cards]th kd 9h[/cards]. But the turn brought the [cards]qs[/cards], giving Akopyan the straight and leaving Whitney needing a king or queen for the full house. But the {4-Hearts} fell on the river and Blanton’s Main Event came to an end.

Go Team Pokerati!

by , | 1:51 pm

Was wondering why I couldn’t find proud Pokerati patch-wearer Whit Blanton … he’s on the feature table with an uber-tiny stack in a bad position against Jean-Robert Bellande and Phil Hellmuth. Whit starts the day with 50,500 chips, making him one of the shortest stacks to start on Day 4.

Jean-Robert ain’t too far behind with 124,500, and Hellmuth has 475,000. The chip leader at this table is Sarkis Akopyan with 858,000.

UPDATE: From Mean Gene, who is covering the ESPN table for PokerNews:

Jean-Robert Bellande Eliminated

And they’ll be showing this hand on TV, I think. Playing on the ESPN TV table Jean-Robert Bellande moved all in for his last 66,000 and was called by Sarkis Akopyan. Bellande’s [cards]As qh[/cards] led Akopyan’s [cards]tc 9s[/cards] and when the flop came [cards]Ac 2d 8h[/cards] it seemed certain that Bellande would double up.

The [cards]6s[/cards] fell on the turn and Bellande slapped his hands together and said “Yes”, perhaps thinking that he had the hand locked up. But there was some murmuring in the crowd as everyone realized that Akopyan now had a gutshot straight draw.

The was the usual dramatic pause before the river was dealt…and when the dealer placed the [cards]7s[/cards] on the felt there was a combined roar and moan from the crowd as Bellande fell to a brutal runner-runner straight and saw his Main Event come to an sudden end.

Go Team Pokerati!

by , Jul 9, 2008 | 8:57 am

As action gets underway on day 2B, we’ve got a few players you may or may not know that we’ll be paying a little extra attention to. Be sure to check in with CSR for some chip reports from and about:

blanton Whit Blanton — He’s a wannabe semi-pro from Dallas, who’s almost made enough money in poker to quit his job. He sat at the same table as Pokerati teammate (P-mates?) Tom Schneider on Day 1, and took a little extra pleasure in reclaiming the chips that Tom had given to Mark Newhouse … particularly doing so by cracking Newhizzle’s aces with a skillfully played 68s. Whit starts the day in strong chip position with 101,450. The question to him on Day 2 is how he will wield it, especially when fueled by the boost of confidence a near-double-up at the end of Day 1 provided.

poels-main-event Pat Poels — He’s a two-time bracelet-winner and host at Casino Arizona who’s had an “OK” WSOP. He’s made more money than most of his buddies this year, but hasn’t yet had the big score to make his 2008 WSOP highly profitable. He had some stretches of really good cards in Day 1, which forced him to make some really big/frustrating/difficult laydowns. He goes into Day 2 with 64,650 chips.

randack Jerry Randack — Jerry’s a well-rounded player who burst onto the scene with a strong 2nd-place finish in the 2007 Pokerati Invitational, and has since found much success at the small-tourney tables. He cashed in a NLH event at the Scotty Nguyen Poker Challenge III, took 2nd in Triple-Draw Lowball in the Oklahoma State Poker Championship, and final tabled earlier this summer in a Binion’s Poker Classic PLO event. We’ll find out how he handles the Day 2 pressure of a short-ish stack — 29,700 — with blinds beginning to rise.

The Big Randy — TBR played comfortably throughout Day 1, and though he starts with a below-average stack — 27,100 — the self-proclaimed top-ranked all-around Batface (cash-game and tournament results) really likes the structure and recognizes the deep-stack nature of this tourney is still in play. “Feels like ’05,” he says, referring to his first main event where he nursed a much shorter stack for four day before cashing for $40k.

Robert Goldfarb — After “Goldfarbing” his way into the main event, he sits with 21,025 chips and has just been playing his game … though the cards haven’t yet come and he hasn’t yet gained any real traction. How the start of Day 2 goes for him, I think will be critical.