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Poker News | World Series of Poker | WSOP2007

Late-Late Night Cash Games at the WSOP

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It's funny how the cash games work at the World Series of Poker. It wouldn't matter if Phil Hellmuth were winning his 11th bracelet or if Doyle Brunson were break-dancing on the featured table. Crowds may gather, whoops and cheers could ensue, but the live action on the cash tables carries on and the players' heads hardly skip a beat.

Sunday was the single-biggest day of tournament action in history. And yet by dinner time, nearly 500 people standing a chips-throw away from all the bubbles and bust-outs were entrenched in their own world, one will continue until Monday's.

Each night, as all the tournament chips are bagged and counted, the cash action continues. Cashing out, busting out, buying in, re-buying - all the things that keep a live-game live. Coffee and Red Bulls seem to be the wee-hours drink of choice at the tables, which, of course, are sprinkled with players hitting (and re-hitting) the booze. This is Vegas after all, and at 4 am, more than half the Amazon Room is empty. But in the other half, 26 cash tables are still going strong, or at least relatively strong. A few tables will indeed break down before sunrise, but not many.

So who are these degenerates - a term we use with love - playing at these hours when the normal people sleep?

Most of them are small-stakes $2/$5 NL players. Twelve tables of the game - oops, make that eleven, as one just broke - are still going as the sun is ready to peek over the Strip. Karina Jett 's mother has been playing for at least ten hours, maybe fourteen with a couple breaks. She just now cashed out with $805.

Famed poker blogger and slot-machine designer Daniel TKTK, aka "Grubby", is playing in a very friendly, laughy game of $10/$20 limit. "They put me on a $5/$10 [no-limit] earlier," he reports. "I was trying to buy into a $2/$5." He lost $300 "really quickly" in that game, but since has recouped $100 of it playing limit. Grubby has a flight to catch Monday afternoon and currently has about $320 in front of him.

There are three "big games" going on. $100/$200 limit, $10/$25 no-limit (with plenty of straddling), and, says one of the floor managers, "We have $100-a-point Chinese going on around the clock." Other popular big games include $25/$25 Pot Limit Omaha, but that table broke around 2:30AM.

There was a big dispute in the $10/$25 game - nothing close to a fight, but very heated as a player was re-raised all-in on the turn. When he asked his opponent how much he had, he wouldn't tell him.

"I don't have to tell you in no-limit!" the re-raiser screamed. He had a couple hundred in chips, and a stack of hundred-dollar bills between a ¼ and ½ inch thick. The table disagreed almost in unison, the guy facing the decision most vociferously. The Floor was called over, and it was agreed that "...give or take $5,000" was not an acceptable answer. Eventually the dealer counted for him, and the original raiser folded.

The rogue re-raiser, interestingly enough, still contended he was right, that he did not have to tell how much he has behind him when he goes all-in. Everyone at this table, knew, of course, that he must be getting confused with the rule that in no-limit, a dealer is not supposed to count how much is in the pot. A player's all-in, of course, is a completely different story.

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