Posts Tagged ‘WSOPeople’

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?)

Team Pokerati at the 2010 WSOP

John Harris: Weekend WarriorTTU

by , May 18, 2010 | 4:53 am

We wouldn’t be heading to the 2010 WSOP without patches, obv … isn’t that the whole point of the summer? (But we are running out ’em guys, so do be judicious with the sticky side.) The Team Pokerati crew will include some familiar faces and some new ones, too — from across the spectrum of player types who make their way to the Rio each summer. Follow along, root ’em on, and stay tuned leading up to WSOP Opening Day as we reveal the rest of our player line-up.

This year, leading off will be John Harris, aka @JohnHarristtu.

If Harris is a minor-league pro, then you might consider him a solid A-ball player. He’s done well at poker, but hasn’t yet made a big splash in the Hendon Mob database. (His profile here.) Harris comes from Dallas, where he took over as the tournament director for the 2007 Pokerati Invitational (and did an awesome job). He now lives in Las Vegas and is currently a dealer at Bellagio and the Venetian. He’s dealt the World Series for the past three years, became a TV-table dealer, and in 2009 was a finalist for WSOP Dealer of the Year. But this year Harris won’t be pitching cards at the Series … he’ll be working instead at the Venetian Deep Stacks and playing at the Rio on his days off.

His first event this year will be Event #1 — the $500 Casino Employees event. Beyond that, Harris will be looking to play all six of the $1,000 weekend events … believing that gives him the best prospects for ROI.

However, as an A-ball player, Harris is working with an A-ball bankroll. Thus, he’s currently locking down backers — friends and poker associates liking his chances of small-cashing repeatedly and/or going deep in at least one of those $1k events.

He’s seeking $6,500 in total, and still has shares available. So help Harris get in the game! He’s even got a nifty PowerPoint presentation laying out his tournament stats and the backing arrangement he’s offering.

Go Harris! And if you win a bracelet, we’ll definitely buy more patches.

Texas Woman Wins Second WSOP Circuit Ring

by , May 16, 2010 | 1:22 am

It’s not often a WSOP Circuit event catches our eye, particularly when the final table is fighting for the lion’s share of a $20k prizepool. But Event #10 in New Orleans, the last Circuit stop of the 09/10 poker year, was special, as Daphne “Tweety” Turner beat Allen Kessler to win the $300+40 Mixed Games event.

It was a $6,700 score. But more notably about her NOLA victory:

1. She becomes the first woman to win two circuit rings. (Watch out Dwyte Pilgrim.)

2. She’s from Texas; Richmond to be exact, a big town in the sticks just outside of Houston. (Go Texas!)

3. She beat @AllenKessler heads-up; with all due respect to the Chainsaw, seeing
our favorite Vegas nit finish second makes “Tweety’s” victory even better. (Wonder if she got that nickname before or after the creation of Twitter.)

4. The event she won was a 7-game mix, or as I like to think of it as of today, HORSE+Pokerati … or the Pokerati Game+HORSE. (No-Limit Hold’em and PLO are the two added games.)

Here’s Turner’s interview after her win … the first woman to win two circuit events … and someone you might wanna be a little careful of should you see her at your table:

A Moment of Silence for: Sapphire Pool

by , Jul 29, 2009 | 6:38 pm

photo: Steve Hall
Now where’s a guy like Devilfish gonna go to work on his tan?

We saw them in bikinis every day … and though we didn’t get to know their names (at least their real ones), they had without a doubt become part of the WSOP family at the Rio. The hot wayward distant cousins, I suppose, roaming the halls of the Rio with free drink coupons and promises to poker players of nipples in the sunshine …

And now they are gone.

Sapphire Pool at the Rio has closed, after failing an “integrity check” by LVMPD.

We can only wonder what that might have entailed. Brilliant concept, though — stock a casino/resort pool with topless dancers working on their line-less tans (who in turn use it as a way to recruit customers to an off-premise strip club).

It also raises the question of why go after the Sapphire Pool? Were the post-WSOP shenanigans just out of control (after the girls had to make up for the cheap bastardness of poker players)? Do the Las Vegas cops have it in for the Rio? Or can we expect further “integrity check” crackdowns at the clubs themselves? You know, rough economy and all has made the, er, “intensity” of lap dances rather negotiable …

ANSWER: No, according to the LVRJ story (Thanks, F-Train, for the link). Harrah’s supposedly requests these integrity checks, and voluntarily closed the pool down on its own behest.

UPDATE: Prostitution and cocaine selling. (You naughty girls!)

(Does anyone recognize any of the mugshots as poker-hallway girls?)

WSOPeople: Father Poker

by , Jul 10, 2009 | 11:37 am

While it in no way surprises me that a (Texas) priest would sneak off to Vegas to support his buddy in the WSOP main event … and I’m glad to hear it’s no sin to give gambling winnings to the Church … I can’t help but wonder what his Holiness would say about a man of the cloth wearing a PokerStars patch.

From WOAI:

Fr. Donald Kloster

“I say mass every day and we’ve been having mass up in our hotel room,” Father Kloster says. He admits, he prayed for his buddy to win the huge Texas Hold’em tournament, held in Las Vegas.

“I waited until it got pretty desperate in the second round to bless him, because I wanted to know what God’s will really was. It wasn’t him that was doing it. It was God.


“We got our answer. It wasn’t God’s will, and we’re fine with that.”

See, and who says there isn’t divine intervention on the river?

Team Pokerati Frontrunner for Women’s WSOP Player of the Year!

by , Jul 9, 2009 | 10:51 am

Daniel Negreanu knows her as “whackjob surprise” … and though we have a feeling that might be what the Schneiders call Tom’s annual birthday present, well-informed, loyal Pokeratizens know her as “Angry Julie” (from back in the Beyond the Table days) … and as the main event nears the money bubble, she’s the frontrunner amongst the women for WSOP Player of the Year.

(Woot! Congrats, Julie!)

According to Julie, men don’t know what it’s like to have to dodge tilt at a final table on a heavy-flow day … but she didn’t let that get in the way of her finding success. With just the main event left to play — making it still anybody’s game, but statistically unlikely that anyone passes her — here’s the breakdown of the top women in the WSOP POY standings:

1. Julie Schneider – 65 pts
2. Vanessa Rousso – 60 pts
3. Millie Shiu – 60 pts
4. Annie Duke – 40 pts
5. Jennifer Harman – 37 pts

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.

WSOPeople: The Grim Reaper

by , Jun 21, 2009 | 5:47 pm

Certain media colleagues consider me something of a cooler to have superpowers. Though I disagree with this assessment, I do my best to not get in the way and alter turns and rivers with my aura. However, some people’s jobs require then to do so, and at least one media friend, Marc Hodge, has earned a nickname amongst the pros: The Grim Reaper.

@howardhlederer was able to capture the image of looming death using his iPhone (there’s an app for that) — who legend has it appears whenever a player gets dangerously short stacked:

World Series of Failure

No more Tom twitters until …

by , Jun 18, 2009 | 8:01 am

I feel kinda bad (not really) for crushing Tom’s soul. But I was hearing the same story from him as I’ve heard from at least a half-a-dozen other pros finding similar results: “I’m playing great! I’m making sick laydowns! My mental state is good! Just running bad. Cold cold cold. It’s getting frustrating. But I’m playing some of the best poker of my life! Jesus, [everyone else] is just getting lucky!”

Yeah. Uh-huh. That’s gotta be what it is … it’s clearly not possible that the deadest money on the table is someone who thinks they’re playing their A-game but isn’t compared to everyone else. In an effort to get a semi-retired Pokerati blogger and my best pro pal to consider shifting gears, I sent him the net-results rankings for everyone who has played in the 2009 WSOP under the Team Pokerati banner:

1. Gregg Merkow
2. Cliff Fisher
3. Robert Goldfarb
4. John Harris
5. Julie Schneider
6. Pat Poels
7. Shoegal
8. Tom Schneider

I then reminded him that the guy who picked him to be on his ESPN Fantasy Team (Gary Wise) is in dead last place. (Ha ha.)

You get the gist. The numbers don’t lie repeatedly. So while “playing some of the best poker of my life!” … not only is the DonkeyBomber something like 0-for-13 in cashing in tournaments, but also he hasn’t even made a Day 2. So before he finds himself trying to trade jewelry with Eskimo Clark for a satellite buy-in, he has decided to change his game says he will no longer be twittering until he bags chips for the first time in the 2009 WSOP. Good gameplan.

Click here to see the beginnings of a first-half WSOP fail regaled in increments of 140 characters or less. We’ll see if Tom returns with a vengeance or if his twitter account, along with his poker career, fades into oblivion.

More Team Pokerati Dealer Posse at the WSOP

by , Jun 15, 2009 | 11:24 am

DealerZach, pitchin’ to the Ladies … $1k NLH:

WSOPeople: Aggressive Latino

by , Jun 14, 2009 | 9:15 am

Seen playing late-night cash games (2/5 NLH) in the Amazon Room:

WSOPeople: Two-Man Crue

by , Jun 13, 2009 | 5:06 am

I’m not sure who these guys are — I think it’s Robert Varkonyi and Rutherford B. Hayes — but they embarked on their annual scooter ride to the WSOP:

Only 1800 miles, 7 bottles of Absolut, 3 cases of All In Energy Drink and 27 sets of tires/shocks to go…..

Perhaps surprisingly, I haven’t seen either of these two guys at a final table. (But would love to know how their trip turned out.)

WSOPeople: Gabi’s My Girl!

+ Go Gregg Merkow, too!

by , Jun 7, 2009 | 1:43 pm

I’ve got a horse in the ladies event … Gabriela Hill, whom you can follow at @GabrielaHill. She’s not a Pokerati patch-wearer (yet) or anything, but I was the lone media representative to accept the very odd offer from her disgruntled former agent, @OliverTse.

Seriously, it was a strange prop bet offer … one deemed “unprofessional” by some, and made one other refer to Oliver as the Kim Jong Il of Poker. Though Oliver is Chinese, not Korean, the metaphor kinda sorta holds … because by all means he is sometimes an ostracized “player” in the industry, left to his own devices … and let’s face it: the guy would presumably love to get his hands on some nuclear weapons and wreak havoc on all who ever have tormented him since high school.

I’ll share with you more details of the wager itself as I learn to understand them. But basically – and these are the odds that just seemed too good to pass up on my end — if she’s still alive by the time I show up at the Rio, I’ll get my $10 back. If she makes it to the final table, I get $1,000. There are all sorts of other increased payment tiers along the way.

Though she probably doesn’t remember it, Gabriela Hill and I actually met last year — Oliver introduced us. At the time he told me (with extra emphasis on the rolled R’s) that she was a hot Latin American player. Good enough for me! This is her first ever WSOP bracelet event, apparently. Go Gabi Hill! You the girl!

(FYI, she has only like three followers on twitter, so click on over and become an “early adopter”.)

Meanwhile, as Gabriela’s working on building her stack in a way that makes Dan money! justifies her trip to another continent, we’ll also be following Gregg Merkow closely, as this longtime Pokerati fan — wielding a bankroll fueled at least in part by the high-roller contingent of Batfaces — has his best chance for a bracelet in as long as we can remember.

He’s the chip leader with 18 players left in $2,500 NLH. The short stack going in there, btw, is Phil Ivey … who hasn’t even showed up yet, but has already outlasted three players who started the day.

Click here to follow that action.

UPDATE: Merkow went out 9th. 🙁 We swear his donning a Pokerati patch and the subsequent cooler effect was purely coincidental.

UPDATE: Supposedly Gabi is out, too. 🙁 I hope you’re happy, Oliver!

WSOPeople: John Monnette

by , Jun 4, 2009 | 11:29 pm

Imagine this … you’re heads-up against Phil Ivey for your first bracelet … up and down up and down … you start to believe you actually have a chance:

John Monnette, who banked $59,587 for finishing in 2nd place in the $2,500 2-7 NL-1d, can take pleasure in knowing that he won more money for his last win — “Big Poker October” — than Ivey did in this one.

Not counting sidebets, of course.

BJ Behind the Scenes

by , Jun 1, 2009 | 4:28 pm

Our Tao of Pokerati mobile studio made BJ’s PokerRoad Nation photoblog … which clearly, you can now see, totally ups the quality of poker photography:

Says BJ:

Two of poker’s most experienced WSOP reporters, Dan Michalski (left) and Dr. Pauly McGuire, record an episode of their joint podcast, The Tao of Pokerati, from media row on Sunday night. Michalski has been blogging from the WSOP at since 2004, and McGuire at since 2005. While some media outlets see the others as competition, bloggers like Michalski and McGuire see themselves more as coworkers and peers — working together improves everyone’s coverage.

Meanwhile, a Tao photographer using a hidden camera smuggled into Pokerati headquarters reveals our secret to podcasting success:

view on flickr