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Poker News | PokerWorks Op-Ed

The Round Table – Sights and Sounds from a Week in Las Vegas

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I had planned to come to Vegas last week but ended up getting invited to the Bravo A-List awards by my friend Trishelle Cannatella. She was presenting an award so I decided to join her at the ceremony.

We arrived at the theatre where it was being held and I almost ran right into Neal Patrick Harris, who I am a big fan of! After finding our way to the green room we met up with Shanna Moakler who is really into poker. She played in the WPT Celebrity Invitational recently and told me she wants to start playing even more.

The show was a ton of fun, but I didn’t want to stay out too late since I was heading to Vegas the next day. The $25,000 World Championship starts on the 18th and I decided to head out a few weeks early.

I am staying at JC Alvarado’s old place, now inhabited by my good friend Adam ‘Roothlus’ Levy since JC moved to Mexico. Liv Boeree is also in town and staying here with us. She, by the way, has been doing great over at Bellagio. She’s played 3 events, final tabled 2 and won her seat into the $25,000 WPT Main Event in the 3rd.

The SCOOP has also been going on so a lot of us have been busy playing that. When I got into town Monday night we watched a friend take 4th in the $3000 2 day event and then headed out to dinner after he busted. It was Steve O’Dwyer’s birthday so we rallied a group to have a late dinner.

We went to R&M Seafood at Mandalay Bay, we being myself, Adam, Liv, Justin Bonomo, Issac Haxton, Aaron Been, Scott Seiver, Nick Binger, Michael Binger, and the birthday boy Steve. It was your typical poker player dinner through and through. Poker hands analyzed, random prop betting, and of course credit card roulette for the bill.

Over on my side of the table I was betting with Aaron Been about the cost of this huge seafood appetizer. It came with 2 lobsters, and a dozen shrimp, oysters, scallops, etc. Aaron set the line at $200 and I was really torn on whether I should take the over or the under. I had a feeling it was either like $190 or $250. I ended up taking the under and of course it was $250.

The other half of the table was playing ‘what does … think’ Basically how this game works is you ask one person a question, for example, how many people are currently at the Mandalay Bay at this moment, they think of their answer and then the rest of the people bet on what they think this person will say.

After the dinner we headed over to O’Sheas to play some beer pong. It’s a pretty cool set up they have at the back of the casino with about 10 tables. Adam and I teamed up and kicked everyone’s butts!

The next day we bought a bunch of food from Whole Foods and cooked a big dinner for what seemed like most of Panorama [condo complex right behind Bellagio that is filled with poker players.]
After dinner we ended up forming teams and playing on It is this really neat site where you have to guess answers to clues in a certain amount of time. My team lost but we still had a blast playing.

On Thursday night Adam, Liv and I met up with Matt Graham and his cousin that was in town. We all had an amazing dinner at Craftsteak at the MGM Grand and found our way back to O’Sheas for some more beer pong. Doyle Brunson’s beer pong tournament is coming up so we all figured we could use the extra practice.
Dan ‘Wretchy’ Martin, the Binger brothers, and Bryan Devonshire, along with his girlfriend, all joined us at the tables. Adam and I beat Nick Binger and Liv once but they came back the next match and took it down.

Adam and I spent most of Friday playing SCOOP events. Adam couldn’t get anything going, but I did end up going deep in the $20 1r + 1a. Out of 9657 players I finished 139.

After the Scooping ended we headed out to the club XS at Encore with Jamie Rosen and a few others. Sorel Mizzi and Antonio Esfandiari also stopped by our table for a little while for a few drinks.
Saturday was Chris Ferguson’s birthday and he was having a dinner at his house. His girlfriend scheduled for their favorite to chef cook up an amazing 3 course meal for everyone and it was delicious! They made crabcakes, lobster, snapper, and some meat dishes that I wouldn’t know about since I am a pescatarian.
After dinner a group of us [including Adam, Liv, and Amit Makhija] headed out to see this 80s cover band play called the Spazmatics. I knew about them from their weekly show in LA and Chris and his girlfriend really like them. It’s 4 guys that dress up like geeks and play tons of cheesy/amazing 80s hits. We all danced our butts off and had an awesome time.
Tomorrow is Doyle Brunson’s 2nd annual beer pong tournament so that should be entertaining. I’ll make sure to catch everyone up on the haps. Till then!

Like a wheel, the Round Table is a circle of adventures and victories, beats and stories, and life as it unfolds with a cast of characters that may, or may not, have joined you in your home on a local TV program. There's so much more to poker than what you see on TV. Although I won't use canvas, I will paint the full picture for you as I follow the lives of some of your favorite (and some unknown) players. The Round Table is an ongoing series of life, viewed full circle.

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