Two of the more popular internet poker players had tough starts here at Day 7 of the World Series of Poker. Annette Obrestad was likely surprised to see some of the big names waiting for her at her table (Table 4, White) as she sat down for only her second WSOP event, the $1,500 pot limit event. Joe Sebok, internet pro Stephen “steve4444” Chidwick, and another woman looking to make a name for herself this year, Liv Boeree, all greeted Obrestad as she took her seat to start the tournament. However, Obrestad has been able to overcome her tough table draw, accumulating a stack of 7,500, from the starting stack of 4,500, three hours into the tournament. Obrestad had been approaching the 10,000 chip barrier, but a few times she has been forced to make lay downs after getting bet against on the flop. Still, her luck has been much better than her internet pro counterpart, Shaun Deeb.
Deeb sat down at the $1,500 pot limit event hoping to get something going. So far he has been unable to cash in any events, most of it due to bad luck. That bad luck theme continued for Deeb, as he was eliminated just one hand into the event. Deeb got all his money in with a flush and straight draw, but couldn’t hit on the river as his opponent knocked him out with two pair. Normally talkative on his Twitter account, Deeb hasn’t Tweeted since the knockout hand, meaning his faithful fans will have to wait to see when Deeb will be back at it. After a start like this it’s no wonder Deeb decided to take a little time off.
A week in, tired eyes are seen everywhere around the poker room, particularly in press row. Many of my peers get here first thing in the morning, and don’t leave until their final tournament wrap-up is complete, sometimes not leaving until 7 or 8 a.m. the next day. Four of the five tournaments that have been completed thus far have done so close to sunrise, with the other ending “early” right around midnight.
Overhearing a conversation, one reporter told the other that he didn’t get to bed until 8:15 a.m. this morning, and fell asleep in the clothes he put on to start his “day.” Shockingly, that same reporter said it wasn’t that bad because he got about “five hours of sleep.” Almost equally as shocking, the other reporter agreed with him. Keep in mind this is just seven days into the WSOP, and it’s still considered the slow part of the event. Maybe one of these guys should be sitting with Laak as he tries to break the world’s longest poker session over at the Bellagio.
Speaking of Phil Laak, many of his poker playing friends have been traveling between the Rio and Bellagio to keep track of “The Unabomber’s” progress. Laak is currently 27 hours (as of this writing) in (hoping to get to 80 hours, 78 is the record) and is apparently still in great shape. Laak is currently $800 to the good, which may not seem like a lot, but considering he was down nearly $4,000 early in the challenge it’s a move in the right direction.
His best friend in the poker world, Antonio “The Magician” Esfandiari, is so sure of his buddy doing it that he is taking action. No reports on who he is betting against or what kind of money is being wagered have been uncovered.
It’s been a few days, but it a huge piece of news that happened, even though late news, is too important not to mention. On Saturday, during the $1,000 no limit holdem event, a man was escorted out of the Amazon room by members of the Rio/Harrah’s security. Surveillance video showed that just before a 20 minute break the man in question won a pot. As the other players were walking away and the dealer turned his head to look elsewhere, the man placed his hand over the chips of the man next to him while raking in the pot with the other.
He casually pulled in chips off his neighbor’s stack and added them to the pot he was dragging in. It’s unclear if his neighbor originally noticed his chip stack had dwindled, or if it was caught originally by security, but the tape didn’t lie. The man’s name is unknown, and the only details known about him are that he was in his mid 50’s and was wearing a baseball cap. Tournament director Jack Effel showed the severity of the situation by saying, “He’ll be banned from the World Series forever.”
Despite being the busiest time of the year for most poker players, many of them are still taking the time to donate their time and money to useful causes while they are here. Many charity tournaments and fundraisers will take place over the course of the summer because rarely do you get all the big names in one place at the same time. One of those special fundraisers, the “All in 4 Autism” charity poker tournament, will take place June 4 at 6:00 p.m. at the Golden Nugget in downtown Las Vegas.
The buy-in will be $220 with optional $100 re-buys and is open to everyone. In addition to the poker tournament there will also be a silent auction, so even those that don’t play poker can participate. Model/Reality Television Star/Former Miss USA Shanna Moakler is the host for the evening. Many poker players are expected to appear if they aren’t in a tournament at the WSOP at the time, including Andy Bloch, Erik Seidel, Susie Isaacs, Karina and Chip Jett, and many more.
Phil Ivey won two bracelets at last year’s WSOP, but he won an undisclosed (reportedly huge) amount of money in side bets for winning those two bracelets. It’s unclear if Ivey is involved in any bracelet bets this year, but one of his normal high stakes cash game opponents, Tom Dwan, reportedly is. Unlike Ivey, Dwan has not yet earned a reputation as a profitable tournament player. This has reportedly worked in Dwan’s favor, as he has been able to make a number of side bets with players saying he will earn at least one bracelet at this year’s WSOP.
Ivey used the bets last year as motivation, which appears to be what Dwan is trying to do this year. Both players are well known for missing tournaments, including blinding out in tournaments they were already registered in, in favor of juicy cash games at the Bellagio or now at Phil’s new room at the Aria. Dwan says he will still participate in these cash games, but he is planning on playing as many tournaments as he can. He has been eliminated the first day of each tournament that he has been in so far.
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