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

The End Is Near – Day 32 Of The WSOP

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1:00 p.m.

I spent yesterday sick - at home - in bed. Of course, sick in bed = play the Sunday big tournaments on line. I cashed in both the Poker Stars Sunday Million and the Full Tilt 750K guaranteed but didn't win enough to meet my goal of buying in direct to the Main Event (I was treating the two events kind of like a mega satellite, if I won close to 10K, I'd buy in). Ah well, there's always next year.

On my way out of the Rio the other night, I saw Scotty Nguyen sitting in front of the valet stand, a fan blowing his hair in all directions. Scotty was talking with the valets as if they were long time friends of his; kicked back, telling them how in the H.O.R.S.E. tournament all it took was one or two bad hands and you were out. “Gotta get lucky baby,” Scotty said. Turns out a couple days later, Scotty got lucky as he ended up winning the event.

I came in an hour later than normal today to avoid the mad rush of the $1,500 NLHE. It's the second to last event before the Main Event starts and as I expected it was a sell out. As I came in, Doyle Brunson almost ran over some people (not really but it kind of looked that way) in his motorized scooter as he headed to his car. The line for a taxi was already growing and people walking down the hallway telling bad beat stories on the cell phone was at an all time high. There is nothing quite like the first hour of a $1,500 tournament.

As I did a walk through, I heard a kid clap his hands together happily and shout, “Yes!!!!”

I walked over and the flop had not been dealt yet. The happy kid had jacks and his opponent had tens. I'm thinking to myself that karma is going to make this kid lose the hand... and sure enough a ten comes and he does. The kid mutters to himself and storms off. The floor man comes over to collect his seat card and says to no one in particular, “Never celebrate before the last card is dealt.”

You got that right sir.

The guy whose aces I cracked the other day caught my eye. He asked me how I did and I told him the sad story. He laughed and said that he wished his chips would have went to better use. “Me too,” I answered.

I figured since I can't play in the Main Event this year that I am going to try and buy ten 1% shares of players that are playing. I tried to get Bryan Devonshire to let me have some of his action but he turned me down. “I'm playing too good and running too hot right now,” he said.

“I know,” I answered…adding, “Why do you think I wanted $100 worth?”

Poker players are greedy. Damn it all!

3:30 p.m.

The two day twos have gotten underway. The $10,000 Pot Limit Omaha is at the very front of the Brasilia Room while the $1,500 H.O.R.S.E. is right behind them separated by one empty row of tables. I walked through the tables but about the most exciting thing I could find was Mike Matusow talking about how he plays to win and talking about the details of a particular hand that was his demise in the $50,000 H.O.R.S.E. event. I didn't get the particulars but he didn't seem too upset about it, just more Mouth ramblings than anything.

I did see Tony G. double up early on in the PLO tournament when he got it in with A-A-9-9 on a Q-J-3 flop against Peter Jetten who had J-10-8-7. Tony managed to fade all of Jetten's outs and had a little more than 40K after the hand. Still a long ways to go, but a step in the right direction.

8:30 p.m.

I went and watched the bubble of the $10,000 PLO tournament. While I was there I spent some time talking with a couple of people. First, I talked with Rolf Slotboom who was very disappointed in his finish. “This is my Main Event,” he told me, explaining that PLO is his specialty and that he would rather win this event than any other, including the Main Event. I'm sure he would change his tune if he won 5 million plus.

I then talked with one of the ESPN producers. I asked him if he was excited for the Main Event and he laughed and said, “Excited but dreading it.”

He explained that for them it's so crazy and hectic that anything can and often does happen and it makes it an interesting time. We started talking about the delayed final table of the Main Event and how it came about when he was interrupted by a phone call. He looked at his caller id and said, “I gotta take this, it's God calling.”

He showed me who it was. Phil Hellmuth. Classic!

Back in the PLO tournament, Nikolay Evdakov was on fumes but had enough chips that if he didn't play a hand would probably cash for the 10th time this WSOP. When there were 38 players remaining, with 36 getting paid, Evdakov would take an unusual amount of time each time the action was on him. Enough time that Rob Hollink at another table complained to the floor. Fortunately for Hollink, a player busted and they went to hand for hand play. Of course, Evdakov played much faster then. I can't say I fault him... as long as no one was calling the clock on him, he was within his right to do what he was doing. It's not like they were playing a $5 online tournament either, this was a $10,000 tournament with a lot of money on the line.

The bubble boy turned out to be John D'Agostino who got it all in pre-flop with aces against a player that had kings. The player with the kings also had a 7 in his hand and when two 7's flopped that was the end of the tournament for D'Agostino. People started celebrating and D'Agostino said as he walked off, “I think everyone here is happy but me.”

I'm sad too John, you're not alone brutha.

10:15 p.m.

They have moved the $10,000 PLO event from Brasilia to right in front of the media area. Josh Arieh is sporting a different look and is among the chip leaders right now. His wife is on the rail watching him closely. Momma wants a new pair of shoes, Josh.

Mike Matusow busted out of the $1,500 H.O.R.S.E. event when he raised with A-A-2-4 in Omaha 8 and was called by four players and his hand did not hold up. Now that's what I call respect. Before that hand went down though, Matusow had lost several hold em hands and would go looking for anyone to talk to, including me.

“I had to play that hand, I was getting 3:1 on my money and he could be raising with anything,” he told me.

I nodded my head in agreement (I actually did agree with him). That wasn't enough for Matusow, he went searching for some other helpless victim to talk to. When Hellmuth wouldn't acknowledge him, he hunted down Mark Gregorich three tables away and told him.

While Nikolay Evdakov has smashed the number of cashes record, Alex Jacob has quietly plugged away in the background and had an impressive WSOP of his own. Jacob has cashed in the $1,500 H.O.R.S.E. event – his 8th cash – and told me that this was his first H.O.R.S.E. tournament ever and that he really wants a H.O.R.S.E. bracelet. Not bad for a rookie.

For a while it looked as if Phil Hellmuth wanted to go home and take a long nap. He was not talking, and resting his head on his arms in between hands. I'm not sure what woke him up... perhaps it was Matusow busting, but he seemed as if he'd injected caffeine into his arms over the last few minutes as he was much more talkative and chipper.

They'll be playing down the three events that are going on for quite some time, so I'm going to call it a night at this point. I'll be back tomorrow with some observations from day two of the $1,500 NLHE and the $1,500 limit hold em shootout.

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