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

Day 36 – Weddings And Works

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Howard and Suzie Lederer's World Series of Barbecue was taking place today at the Golden Nugget. With the charity poker tournament benefiting the Boys and Girls Club kicking off at 4 p.m. local time there wasn't much time to visit the action at the World Series of Poker but I stopped by around 2 o'clock to see what was going on.

It was a quiet day at the Rio. The main action going on was the Mega Satellites they were holding for Main Event seats. In one section they were playing down the $5,000 6 handed NLHE event which had started with an impressive field of over 900 players creating a 1st place prize of over one million dollars, only the 3rd event at this WSOP with that big of a 1st place prize. The other two were the two massive buy in events, the 40K NLHE and 50K H.O.R.S.E. They would get down to 18 at the end of the day with Phil Hellmuth once again coming close but not close enough as he finished in 24th place.

In the back corner, they were playing the two final tables of the day. One was the Deuce To 7 Triple Draw event which had an unusual rail. Standing behind Japanese pro Masayoshi Tanaka was a wedding party complete with bride and groom in wedding dress and tuxedo. The bride still had her bouquet. The two were sweet... holding hands and gazing at one another... while watching their good friend Tanaka compete for his 1st WSOP bracelet. The story was almost perfect but Tanaka ended up finishing 2nd.

At the same table, former World Series of Poker Player of the Year Tom Schneider was watching his wife Julie play. Tom met Julie when she dealt poker to him in Arizona and eventually a love connection happened and the two married. A very good player in her own right, especially in Deuce to Seven, Julie would hang on for a long time as Tom watched intently from the rail. She would end up finishing in a very respectable 3rd place.

I headed over to the party and watched the charity poker tournament for a while. There was no Don Cheadle like there was last season but a lot of pros were there donating to the cause. At 6 p.m. the party started and people started moving to the pool area where a Mediterranean barbecue meal was awaiting the party goers. Among those who I saw partaking in the festivities were Barry Greenstein, Joe Sebok, Phil Gordon, Erica Schoenberg, Jeff Madsen, and a slew of other faces.

One of the highlights of the evening was the karaoke contest where Joe Reitman got up and performed “Beat It” by Michael Jackson. The singing was atrocious but humorous... the dancing however more than made up for it as Reitman did his best MJ impersonation and had the crowd rolling. Jeffrey Pollack even tweeted about it as it was going on. Unfortunately, Reitman wouldn't win the competition. I guess being able to sing matters.

Another notable performance was Robert Williamson III, his wife, and Erica Schoenberg getting on stage to perform the B-52's classic “Love Shack” - it was an entertaining performance. I managed to capture a brief clip of it on my cell phone (cell phone video sucks but you'll get the idea). Check it out here:

At a little after ten, a spectacular fireworks show went off. The fireworks lasted for over 15 minutes and were accompanied by music from the DJ. I had to wonder how much that set back the Lederer's because a show of that magnitude couldn't have been cheap. It rivaled some of the best fireworks shows I'd ever seen. It was a great end to the night and people slowly filtered out once the fireworks were over.

The stars will be out in force tomorrow for the Ante Up For Africa event and the Gaming Expo (Poker Palooza) has officially opened so I'll walk through and see what kind of stuff they have going on this year for the masses and what free crap I can get to give to friends who have no clue that it's crap. Tomorrow though is the moment we've (well me at least) all been waiting for... Day 1 of the Main Event! Until then...

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