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Poker News | World Series of Poker | WSOP2009 | The Works

Day 20 Of The WSOP: No Lucky Eleven For Chan

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Johnny Chan is a poker legend. Ten WSOP bracelets. Two Main Event wins. A resume as good as any in the game. However, it's his small role in a movie that might be his biggest impact on the game. In the movie Rounders, Chan's classic trap of Erik Seidel is shown in a clip that the lead character Matt Damon is watching. Later on we get to see Damon take on Johnny, or JFC (short for Johnny F***ing Chan), in a hand at an Atlantic City casino. The popularity of this movie kick started the poker boom of the early 21st century. It's the reason I started playing poker. It's the reason Chris Moneymaker started playing poker. Yes, poker probably would have still increased in popularity, but I think there's no doubt that the Rounders/Internet/Moneymaker effect when put together was the perfect combination. Take away Rounders and there might be no Moneymaker. Take away Moneymaker and who knows what would have happened.

I was talking to Chan before his Elite Eight heads up match in the $10,000 Heads Up Championship and he said that he really wanted to win another bracelet, especially after getting so close last year in the PLO tournament. “It's hard to get this deep in these fields today,” he said.

He looked over at the remaining seven opponents and laughed. “It's me against the internet world.”

He admitted that the internet players had played a ton more hands heads up than he could ever dream of. “I still like my chances though,” Chan said.

Chan would surge out to an early lead against his opponent, Jamin Stokes, but Stokes would recover and end up upsetting Chan to move on to the Final Four. A disappointed Chan would come up short of #11 yet again.

Speaking of coming up short, I was walking around the $2,000 NLHE tournament and ran into Scott Clements who had finished 3rd in the PLO8 event won by Roland DeWolfe yesterday. This was fresh off the heels of a 2nd place finish in a limit Omaha 8 event. I usually go out of my way to avoid players after they bust out of a tournament, even when it's a great finish that guarantees a great pay day. I know that to many players it's not about the money, but the win, especially at the WSOP where a bracelet is on the line. Clements told me that everyone was coming up to him and calling him after congratulating him and all he wanted to do was find a corner to hide in.

Clements is only 27 and is arguably (perhaps only Thang Luu can have a say in this argument) the best Omaha 8 player in the world. Clements told me how they were talking about him on Poker Road the other day and did a segment of LoddenThinks where they talked about how many bracelets Clements would end up with in his career. They came up with the number four. Clements laughed and said, “I was thinking at least 12.”

If every event was Omaha 8, I might say 20, but 12 is certainly within reach for the hyper aggressive Clements.

ESPN is back in town to film a special production that will be featuring a bevy of NHL celebrities in a poker shootout type of tournament. That'll be taking place at the feature table on Wednesday where the real poker will get relegated to secondary stages. So, yes, sports fans, NHL > poker. Not sure I agree with that personally, but that'll be the case on Wednesday.

Back when I lived in Minnesota, a group of friends and I drove to North Dakota to play in this poker tournament called the Dakota Poker Tour. It was a $200 tournament that started with 10,000 chips, 25/50 blinds, and 1 hour rounds. It was a two day event and was easily the best low buy in structure I'd ever seen. The tournament organizer was a poker player himself by the name of Mitch Schock. Mitch has done great in his own right in recent years, making a deep run in the Main Event and final tabling a Stud event this year. I won't get into the details of that tournament other than to say I won, and the key hand of that tournament was a hand where I trapped a player everyone said was the best player there (he had won a couple of their tournaments already) by the name of Justin Sellers.

I was checking out the action in the 1.5K H.O.R.S.E. event when I heard a somewhat familiar voice call my name. I turned and there was the aforementioned Sellers. Turns out he's living in Vegas and is a dealer now. We talked a bit about what each had been doing and I mentioned that I had seen Mitch had been playing but I hadn't seen him yet. Turns out Justin was watching Mitch and he was right behind me. I laughed and said hello to Mitch. Part of the prize for winning the tournament was a jacket but because we lived nearly five hours away, I had never received it. I had seen Mitch a couple of times since I won the tournament, and had always given him crap about him not getting the jacket to me. Of course, I mention it again, and he laughs and says it's in his closet. He jumps out of his seat and says, “I'm going to call my girlfriend right now and have her bring it when she comes out here.”

The poker world is such a vast community, but it's really a pretty small world when you come to think of it. I'll be back tomorrow, same bat time, same bat channel. Until then...

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