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

More From Day Eighteen Of The WSOP

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3:45 p.m.

The final table of the $5,000 PLO with rebuys event got off to a rousing start. The tournament director was making introductions and as he introduced Daniel Negreanu he said, “in his off time, Daniel likes to watch movies, play golf and ping pong.”

Daniel nearly spit the food he was eating out of his mouth as the audience laughed.

“Ping pong?” he questioned. “I don't even know how to play ping pong. What is this a matchmaking service? Why don't you just say Daniel likes them big and strong while you are at it?”

The tournament director had to recompose himself before he could announce the next player. Then it was on to some poker where on the first hand Hellmuth deliberated before folding. Johnny Chan looked at Phil and said, “That's right, Phil, the camera is on you, take your time.”

Phil smiled and folded.

6:30 p.m.


Over in the $10,000 Limit Hold Em event they are approaching the bubble. I talked with Michael “The Grinder” Mizrachi for a minute. I told him that I thought he was playing better this year than he did last year and he said he was just getting luckier. Well, outside of the heads up event where Vanessa Selbst hit runner-runner to knock him out that is. He's in good chip position right now and absent a meltdown is poised to make another deep run.

I met Alex Melnikow at last year’s World Series of Poker when his family e-mailed me and asked me if I would check up on him. He made it deep in the Main Event, finishing in the 200's. He finished in the 40's the other day in a $1,500 event and is among the chip leaders in the $3,000 event with 30 players remaining.

“This tournament is so much better than the $1,500 table I was at on day two,” Alex told me.

Alex told me about a hand where he accidentally put the wrong chips in the pot and it cost him an extra 35K. “I'm still mad at myself about that,” he said.

Ouch indeed!

9:15 p.m.

Today is day eighteen of the World Series of Poker. There are a total of 47 days but 13 of those days are the Main Event, which means we are over half way done with the preliminary events. Having just reached the halfway point, the record of eight cashes in a year at the WSOP is within reach of several players.

Nikolay Evdakov, an unknown Russian that I have yet to see, leads the way with six. Tom Schneider, Rolf Slotboom, Kathy Liebert, and Alex Jacob each have five. There is a large group at four cashes as well. Nolan Dalla, the WSOP Media Director, and I were talking about this and we'll both take the over on the record being broken. We even think there is a possibility of double digits being reached.

In the Player of the Year standings as of today's events, Erick Lindgren leads the way. Rounding out the top ten are Barry Greenstein, Vanessa Selbst, Jacobo Fernandez-Hernandez (why does that last name make me chuckle?), Scott Seiver, Daniel Negreanu, Theo Tran, Fu Wong, Chris Bjorin, and Farzad Rouhani.

They are down to 18 players now in the $3,000 NLHE. A recent bust out saw a medium move all in from the small blind because the big blind was short stacked. The big blind looked at his cards and put his chips in the middle and flipped over Q-J. The small blind had 8-7. The flop came with a 7 and the big blind was knocked out. He had a look on his face as if he had just taken the worst bad beat in poker history. Pretty standard play if you ask me, I would have pushed with 8-7 in that spot too.

I suppose I'm a jinx, because Alex Melnikow was no where to be found when I looked for him. I checked PokerNews to see what happened and Alex decided to push with a flush draw against Johnny Neckar. Neckar had top two pair and wasn't going anywhere and that was a quick end to Alex's tournament. Gotta quit chasing those draws Alex!

Someone turned the lights on in the Amazon Room. I mean not that they aren't on now, but someone turned them up to really bright. All the players in the cash games started mumbling and there were even a few boos. Good times at the Rio.

Sick hand of the day alert. Do not read if you are the faint of heart. In the $3,000 NLHE event, Stewart Newman raised to 22,000 and was called by John Phan. Ryan Young moved all in for 100,000 total. Newman called and Phan folded. Newman had pocket 10's and Young had pocket kings. The flop came 10-7-3 and Young was crushed as the two outer hit to put him way behind. The turn was a king though putting him firmly in the lead. There was only one card in the deck that he could lose to... the case ten. Yep, you guessed it... that one miserable out hit on the river and Ryan Young was sent home in complete shock at what had just happened.

11:45 p.m.

I made one last walk through. Players are going broke. Players are doubling up. Poker is being played. They are in the money at every tournament that is being played right now so the initial pressure of making the money and going broke is gone. That doesn't mean it is all easy going though as the ultimate dream of a WSOP final table and bracelet has yet to be reached.

Half the Amazon Room is empty. Chip racks are tossed carelessly on a table. Empty water bottles lie under chairs long since empty. The rail that was once three deep and one hundred people has now diminished to only family, friends, and the most diehard of poker fans. Even though the clock doesn't stop for poker... it stops for poker players. They'll go to bed. Wake up. And start all over again tomorrow. Just like me.

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