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Poker News | World Series of Poker | WSOP2008 | The Works

The Madness. More From Day Five Of The WSOP.

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4:30 p.m.

There are currently four events going on simultaneously, soon to be five. It's a madhouse trying to figure out what is what. In one corner we have the conclusion of the $1,500 NLHE tournament. In another corner they are wrapping up Day Two of the $1,500 PLHE tournament. In yet another corner, they are doing the same for the $5,000 Mixed NLHE/LHE event. Day One of the $1,000 rebuy has moved past the rebuy period and play isn't as crazy but now we're hearing the familiar call of “seat open.” As if that was not enough, there is one more event set to start in half an hour, a $1,500 Omaha Hi-Lo tournament. Let's see if I can go find anything interesting to talk about.

5:00 p.m.

I just witnessed the worst beat you can suffer. I catch the hand on the turn and Michael Brummelhuis checks on a J-9-2-5 board. Player #2 is Michael Banducci, a young Internet pro who cashed in several events at last year’s World Series. He places out a bet of 3,500 and Brummelhuis quickly moves all in. Banducci is almost as fast in calling and turns over pocket 5's for the turned set. He's in bad, bad shape though as Brummelhuis has pocket jacks. Obviously since I said I just witnessed the worst beat you can suffer, you know what the river card was. The case 5. A one outer. Brummelhuis, a young foreigner, shook his head and dropped the F bomb in English. Banducci could do nothing but give a sheepish grin as he started to rake in the chips.

Over at the other end of the tournament area, they have moved the final 10 players from the $1,500 NLHE to the ESPN main stage and are giving the players a break until 7 p.m. Usually they don't make this move until there are nine players left but with Chris “Jesus” Ferguson still in the field, I have a feeling they did a bit early to make sure they get him on the broadcast. They did the same thing last year when Hellmuth was a bit on the short side when it was down to 10 in one event. I have mixed feelings on this one... I know it's important for ratings to have a name player in the broadcast, but it shows preferential treatment and isn't a good precedent. If it'll help poker though, in the long run I'm for it.

I saw Sam Simon, one of the creators of The Simpsons, playing in the $1,000 rebuy event. Simon went deep in last year’s Main Event and told me that he'd be playing this summer when he could and would definitely be playing the Main Event.

The hallway outside of the VIP room is a dangerous place for poker players as fans have learned that's the best place to hang out to get pictures and autographs. I just saw Negreanu, Chan, and Hellmuth get mobbed by about five fans and the three were gracious enough to quickly accommodate them.

6:30 p.m.


It's hard to pick which event to try and cover with so many events going on so I am just walking through and stopping anytime I see something interesting.

Things I managed to see in the past hour:

A hooker walks into the room right in front of press row and two members of the French press start babbling and looking in her direction. I don't even need a translation. I KNEW what they were talking about.

Shannon Elizabeth playing Omaha Hi Lo and looking as beautiful as always. She was playing with her stack of chips... I'd never been so jealous of a piece of clay in my life. If only I could dance.

Bryan Devonshire back to defend his runner up finish in the same event. Can one defend a 2nd place finish? Scott Sievers laying down the second one outer I've seen today (set versus set again and hit the case deuce) in the PLHE event to take over the chip lead. A dealer from the Venetian causing trouble and knocking over the rail and trying to get me to pick up her mess.

Then there was David Williams winning a monster pot against Gavin Griffin with a set of ten's to take the chip lead in the $5,000 Mixed event (Gavin mucked his hand but the rest of the table was speculating that he had two pair). One thing I noticed in the hand was the “acting” that David did before deciding to move all in over the top of Gavin. He carefully counted out the amount of Gavin's bet. Looked at his remaining stack. Asked what the amount of the bet was. Looked at his chips again, and then said quietly “I'm all in.” Maybe it's easier for me being on the rail but I've seen what I thought were transparent plays giving away the strength of a player's hand and every time the ploys have worked. One of these days I'll actually put what I “think” I know to the test. For now though, don't mind me, I'm all talk.

David then proceeded to share with Theo Tran in a very excited tone the details of the hand. Theo Tran telling David he wants him to come sweat him at the final table of the $1,500 NLHE and David pointing to his chips and saying “I'm not going to stop playing to come sweat you.”

Yea, it's hectic. I wouldn't have it any other way.

7:45 p.m.

I was over by the final table area waiting for the $1,500 final table to get started and I had a brief conversation with a Rio Customer Service Manager named Kevin. He asked me from our perspective what we thought of how things were going as compared to last year. I told him that at least in my opinion and in others that I have talked to that we feel it is a vast improvement. He told me how they had the dealers go through the registration cage for two straight days to ensure the sign up process was quick and efficient. “We really have tried to learn from our mistakes,” Kevin said, adding “and we'll continue to do so.”

I did mention to him the one negative that I've heard players discussing... the fact that all they get for a $1,500 or $5,000 tournament entry is a $10 food certificate. He nodded but I'm not sure that means anything will be done. I was critical of Harrah's often last year so I'm going to give them credit for a job well done. So far.

At the final table, I noticed that online poker sites like Full Tilt Poker and PokerStars were gettting not only the players to wear their logos, but their friends and family as well. I wonder if they get paid to wear them or if that's part of the deal with the player?

9:00 p.m.

They are down to 30 players in the $5,000 Mixed having just made the money. One table is a Murderer's Row of poker. Seat 1, Chau Giang. Seat 2, Phil Laak. Seat 4, Howard Lederer. Seat 5, David Williams. Seat 6, Erick Lindgren. Seat 8, Robert Williamson III. Give me some chips, I'll take them on!

The $1,000 rebuy tournament is returning from dinner break, the $1,500 Omaha 8 tournament is slowly grinding away, and David Singer is being a rebel in the $1,500 PLHE as every player but him wanted to play down to the final nine (they are down to 10) and he objected so much that the other players finally gave in to his wishes. He's the shortest stack left in the tournament, maybe he thinks the dinner break will give him some type of advantage.

They announced the prize pool for the rebuy tournament. 2.258 million dollars. 72 will get paid with first taking home $636,736. 72nd pays $8,103 which will mean some players will still be in the hole even if they cash. And that will conclude my day five coverage of the WSOP. I'll be back tomorrow to bring you all the sights and sounds from Las Vegas.

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