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Poker News | World Series of Poker | WSOP2007

Cash Game Report: Leif Force Sits with the Sharks

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The cash games are heating up. As the pros piled into the Amazon Room for the $5,000 no-limit event, the non-elimination games on the other side of the rail also seemed to attract a bigger-than-usual turnout and put plenty of checks on the tables. Some of the action witnessed on Wednesday: JEAN ROBERT BELLANDE (left in white t-shirt) seemed to be having an up-and-down-and-mostly down day playing $150/$300 mixed games. For a while he had less than $2,000 in front of him, which he would build back up to $11,000 or so before it dropped back down to less than $3,000. The player to his right, "Roy," had more than $30,000 in front of him ... though the other players at the table insist he didn't make it there - he brought it with him, taking advantage of the no-max buy-in on the Rio's higher-stakes tables.

DUTCH BOYD was playing low-stakes razz. (Possibly warming up for the big $50k HORSE event?) It was $10/$20 limit, with a $3 ante and a $5 bring-in. He was the smallest stack on the table with $50 in front of him, but didn't seem too bothered by the situation.

BRETT JUNGBLUTT (aka "Gank") was also playing low-stakes at the Rio - $2/$5 pot-limit Omaha. He seemed to be handling the game well, with about $600 making him one of the bigger stacks.

RANDY GIL is a good example of the semi-pros who are starting to filter in. He has 9 cashes in major events and $214k in winnings, yet he still has a day job. He's clearly out here working - as his ambition is to play poker full time by the age of 40. He's currently 39. He's on a $2/$5 no-limit hold'em table, stuck for at least $400, and slowly but surely building his way back to even.

Speaking of higher stakes, CAN KIM HUA continues to play a little Chinese poker almost daily. But the stakes have been increased on his table -- $150 a point, according to a small piece of paper taped over the plastic plaque that previously identified this as a $100-a-point game.

SEAN SHIEKHAN is becoming more of a presence in the cash-games area of the Rio. He was trying his hand at Chinese poker, too, for $100 a point.

And some people might also recognize a cleaner-cut LEIF FORCE (right) who made his way to the Rio for some $10/$25 pot-limit Omaha. This was another game with no max on the buy-in, and he seemed to be protecting his (roughly) $8,000 well against another player with about $30,000 in front of him.

In addition to the pros, semi-pros, and big-money amateurs filling the cash-game seats, there also were an unusually large proportion of WOMEN AT THE TABLES. Not at every table, but several had two, three, and even four ladies seated. It's not often in poker that you see this sort of a gender split. Perhaps the game is changing, perhaps its an unusual coincidence, or perhaps a lot of females just stuck around after the ladies event. I can only suppose time will tell.

One lady at the table was a WSOP DEALER. Wednesday was her day off, and so, of course, she couldn't resist playing. Read into that whatever you like. WSOP dealers are not allowed to play in uniform, and when off-duty are only allowed to play in the cash games - no tournaments or satellites. BETH LAIRD is this dealer's name, and she bought into a $2/$5 no-limit hold'em game for $200 ... and cashed out with $500 - making up, she says, for a day of lower-than-usual tips.

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