Annette “Annette_15” Obrestad made her World Series of Poker debut at noon when she took her seat in Event #8: $1,500 No Limit Holdem tournament. With the amount of press she has generated, one almost expected her to receive an introduction that compares to that of a professional wrestler, but unfortunately no fireworks were ignited inside the Pavilion, as it was business as usual for the 21-year-old rising star.
Things started off well for Obrestad, as she was able to work her stack up to a respectable 6,000 within the first couple of levels of play. Then things got dicey, as she made a big lay down on the river against a middle-aged gentleman who was playing very tight. In a hand shortly following that one she raised pre-flop and got one caller. The board came up rags, and Obrestad made a continuation bet. However her opponent re-raised her. Obrestad thought for just a moment before folding. Just like that Obrestad saw her stack dwindle to 3,600.
Her demise came in dramatic fashion. She and one other player saw a flop of . Following a bet by Obrestad, and then a call by her opponent, the turn came . More action after this turn, as now multiple draws were in play. Eventually Obrestad’s entire stack got in the middle, with her villain opponent making the call. Obrestad turned over pocket 7’s putting her comfortably ahead of the K-Q offsuit of her opponent. By this point you have probably guessed that a K hit the river, giving him a full house and knocking Obrestad out of her first WSOP tournament. After the hand Obrestad was in good spirits. Upon walking out of the tournament room and into the hallway she was approached by a reporter, and was all smiles during the interview. It wasn’t the start her supporters would have hoped for, but she still has five weeks to make her mark here. Obrestad will be back at it, as she is registered in the $1,500 pot limit holdem event.
Following the elimination of Obrestad I headed back into the hallway to check out to the other poker room. Before I could get there I was approached by a gentleman named Nathanial, who appeared to be in his late 30’s or early 40’s, who wanted to talk to me about the Andy Bloch $25,000 24 cupcakes in 25 minutes prop bet. He didn’t point me out because he had read what I wrote about the prop, he instead pointed me out because he noticed I had a media badge draped around my neck and, as I would soon learn, wanted to get something off his chest. When he first started talking about the prop-bet I thought it was going to be light-hearted, as in “I can’t believe he would try that,” or “I think I could have done it,” but instead the conversation went another way.
Nathanial asked, “Why do all these rich poker players do stupid things like this with their money?” Somewhat shocked by the question, I mumbled and shrugged my shoulders saying, “I don’t know,” obviously not the answer he was looking for. He said with all the struggles around the world with “earthquakes, diseases, and hungry people it seems silly to wager $25,000 on if someone can eat so many cupcakes in such and such time.” Again, he made very valid points, and this time he waited for a better answer from me than “I don’t know.”
I stumbled through an answer of, “I think sometimes poker players get bored with just playing poker and they want to break up the monotony by daring their friends to try crazy things.” Seeing he was unimpressed with my answer, I tried to reason with him by saying, “Almost all of these poker players donate a generous portion of their winnings to charity,” and I explained to him that almost every well known poker player I have ever written about is associated with a charitable foundation of some sort. This seemed to appease Nathanial to some degree, but he still felt it “stupid” that they would “waste” money on things like that. I truthfully ended the conversation with “I don’t know what to tell you,” but left the conversation thinking that he had very valid points.
While waiting in line to purchase my lunch, a man grabbed about five different kinds of “energy shots.” I joked with him that there’s no way he’s taking all of them himself, and he told me one of them is for him, the rest are for his buddies, all of which are in a tournament. I asked him, a self described “energy junky,” if he prefers one drink or shot to the other, and he said he’ll pretty much try whatever he can find that’s legal. I told him he should try as many as he could to see if he does better with some rather than others. Without missing a beat he said, “If you buy them for me, I’ll be your guinea pig.” We exchanged information, and over the next week or two I’ll be supplying him energy shots and drinks and he’ll be giving me a rundown of not only how he performs, but how he feels after ingesting each one. I may have just fallen for what is known in the poker world as an “angle shot,” a term for “being used.” On second thought, it was definitely an angle shot. I just told an “energy junky” I’ll supply him for the next couple weeks.
Over at the Bellagio, Phil Laak began his quest to break the Guinness Book of World Records for longest poker session of over 78 hours. Laak doesn’t want to just barely beat the record, as his goal is to get to 80 hours. He began at exactly 12:04 pm, meaning if he were to break the record it would be early evening on Saturday.
It had been questioned what kind of breaks he would be allowing himself, and just a short time ago the specifics were posted on his blog at Unabomber.com. Laak will “earn” five minutes of break for every 60 minutes he plays. He can use his break time anyway he wants, except to tack it on to the end of his marathon session. Additionally, no time is added to the session while he is on the break.
Many back at the Rio would question why Laak would choose this time, the first week of the WSOP, to attempt such a feat. Not only will he be missing a number of WSOP events during the record breaking attempt, but when you tack on the recovery time it could be weeks before Laak is feeling like himself. It’s pretty clear that he chose this time because of the attention it would generate, meaning he knows exactly what he’s doing. Let’s just hope he stays healthy.