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

Action From Day 29 Of The WSOP

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1:00 p.m.

Yesterday, I spent the day walking through the various casinos of Las Vegas, sightseeing with my girlfriend. One thing I noticed was just how diverse the tourists in Vegas are. There are people from all over the world. Asian, Hispanic, European... you name it, they are here. Then you have all shapes, sizes, and backgrounds. Fat, skinny, and in between. Tall, short, and gigantic. Rich, poor, trailer trash, and middle class. Some people are happy to just take in the sights and maybe get lucky winning $10 on the slots. Others are here looking to see if they can turn $10,000 into $100,000. The reality is most of the time they'll turn it into nothing.

Even though I've spent the last three summers in Vegas, certain things still fascinate me. I can never tire of watching the water show at the Bellagio. It's almost like a fireworks display with water and a single colored white light. The way the water dances to the music is mesmerizing. Even if it's 100 degrees outside, I can lean against the rail overlooking the show and not want to move for hours.

OK, so onto poker... the thing that ties the Vegas tourists and the WSOP poker players together is that diversity I was talking about. Just like the tourists, poker players come in all forms. There is the rich businessman who is coming on a weekend and wants to play poker with the big boys. Then there are the “big boys” themselves, looking to cause havoc with the amateurs. Some players look as if they scraped together their entire life savings just to play in an event. I can walk through a room and see a player wearing an Armani suit at one table and walk two tables over and see a guy with a mullet wearing a white tank top. It's part of the appeal of poker and the WSOP. Anyone can play, it doesn't matter who you are or where you are from, as long as you can put up the entry fee.

Today the room is filled with this diverse crowd as it is a $2,000 NLHE event with well over 2,000 entrants starting the day. The usual NLHE suspects are taking part in the event and some of the players that busted out of the 50K H.O.R.S.E. have gotten over their loss and have joined the fun.

4:15 p.m.

I watched the bubble in the $5,000 six handed event and it took over an hour to finally reach the money. I spent half my time roaming through the tables hoping to see all-in confrontations and the other half talking to Beth Shak on the rail who was sweating her husband, Dan. Beth was telling me how she is running a charity event in Philadelphia this November for the Children's Hospital and how she has already raised nearly ¾ of a million dollars even before the event.

Poor Johannes Strassmann was the bubble boy and he took a bit of a beat to achieve that when his A-K was bested by Jonathan Aguiar who had A-J and hit two jacks. Over at another table at the same exact time, Rich Murnick had moved his last 15K all in with pocket 10's and was called by Q-4. The 10's held and Murnick was up to 35K and in the money. Cashing for his 7th time this WSOP was Alex Jacob, but he is still one short of the WSOP record of 8. That record might not last much longer either, as Nikolay Evdakov also cashed in this event giving him 8 on the year and tying the record. Evdakov was in Murnick territory with 15K but it was apparent that he was not going to play a hand in order to cash. Mission accomplished.

Darrell Dicken never showed up but still managed to make the money as his empty chair did an excellent job of maintaining discipline and folding every hand.

4:45 p.m.

Rick Fuller stopped by the media box to chat with me for a minute while he was on break in the 2K NLHE tournament. I asked him how poker was going and he told me it'd been a rough year thus far. He joked how the dealer told him he had to put an ante into the pot and he didn't know what an ante was because he hadn't made it that deep in a tournament in ages. One of Fuller's side gigs is as a WPT Boot Camp instructor and he made it deep last year in several tournaments but is still chasing that elusive bracelet.

6:00 p.m.

Darrell Dicken finally showed up and remarkably his three hour tardiness did not hurt him that much as he has chipped up to more than where he was at the start of the day.

It hasn't been a very good WSOP for Phil Ivey. Besides the numerous bets he's lost, he hasn't been running good in poker tournaments. Ivey at one point today was among the chip leaders in the 50K H.O.R.S.E. tournament but his stack has deteriorated to almost nothing after losing a huge pot where he had aces up in Stud and his opponent had three kings. Ivey looked dejected after the hand, shaking his head and muttering to himself. I could see him mouth the word “wow” quietly to himself.

Over in the $2,000 NLHE event, I saw a player limp in early position and call an all-in from the big blind for nearly half his stack. When another limper moved all in, the player folded, leaving himself 2K with the blinds at 200/400. It turned out to be the correct fold as he had A-J and the two all-ins had A-Q and A-K but the problem could have been avoided in the first place by folding after the big blind moved all-in.

That's all for me today. Tomorrow, I am going to play in the $1,500 NLHE event and will give you all the highs and lows (hopefully more highs) of the action from the table.

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