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Poker News | World Series of Poker | WSOP2007

Cash Game Report: Bear vs Hellmuth in $500 a Point Chinese

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It's possible some players are chasing losses, and the winning players are there to scoop it all up. Whatever the reasons, as the main event nears, the games - and stacks! - at the Rio are getting bigger; tables are breaking later and later. The tables in the high-stakes pit are littered with 100-dollar-bills, black chips are making an appearance on the $2/$5 NL Hold'em felts, and even in the $4/$8 Limit Hold'em games, you are seeing players with multiple towers of checks so much bigger than before.

TONY MA continues to play tournaments - and has cashed in a few. But when he's not in one, you can always find him on the other side of the Amazon Room, playing cash (mostly $75/$150 Omaha). BRETT "GANK" JUNGBLUT is another who can't seem to stay away - he seems hooked on the Chinese Poker ($50 a point, mostly).

(Considering the popularity of Chinese - and relative simplicity to play - I wonder how long it will be before Chinese Poker is a bracelet event again.)

While you always can see a few recognizable pros, there are others who are lesser known by the people who don't play with them. They always seem to be around the Rio, but many of them choose to skip the tournaments because the money's simply too good in the live action.

The $25/$25 Pot Limit Omaha game continues to be the biggest - easily. The bundles of C-notes are turning into bricks, and the river-card moans are more frequently turning into screams. O'NEILL LONGSON has only cashedonce this World Series - 3rd place in Razz, for $46,000 - and he's one of the more well-known faces here.

The $100/$200 Limit Hold'em game has been "big" since the beginning. But now you're starting to see a lot more straddles, which means less patient players trying to take down bigger pots more quickly. ANAHIT GALAJIAN (right), a regular from the Commerce Casino in California, is one of the consistent beneficiaries of this increased action. She says she has a hard time pulling herself away so long as there is at least one mark to target.

DANNY NOAM - who has three cashes and one final table so far this World Series , for more than $120,000 - has made himself comfortable in this game. Over the past weekend, he was seen sharing the same stack (alternating for a half hour here and there) with ROMEL BAKO, a good friend from Arizona who happens to be quite the big-wig in the competitive low-rider scene.

MEN the MASTER NGUYEN can be seen periodically holding "class" at an empty table with his Vietnamese crew - and he seems more than happy to take a break to play $50-a-point Chinese Poker against BURT BOUTIN.

The biggest Chinese game we have seen has been for $500 a-point - with PHIL HELLMUTH playing against BARRY GREENSTEIN, his girlfriend ALEXANDRA VUONG, and an unknown (to this reporter) young Asian kid in a hoodie. Vuong and Greenstein didn't start out at the same table - but she was moved to her boyfriend's table when her game broke up.

This $500-a-point game went on until at least 6 am. Though Hellmuth said to Greenstein, "I just can't seem to beat you Barry," he had the majority of chips in play - looked to be about $20,000, though hard to say for sure. Greenstein, meanwhile sat with his head down on the table, apparently taking mini-naps between hands.

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