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Poker News | World Series of Poker | WSOP 2010 | WSOP Sights and Sounds

WSOP Sights and Sounds Day 9: The Grinder Goes for Two + Déjà Vu, JJ Liu Final Table

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Michael “The Grinder” Mizrachi continues to be the big story in the early part of the 2010 World Series of Poker.  First he defeated one of the toughest fields in recent history, including eliminating his brother Robert in 6th place to win the $50,000 Poker Player’s Championship.  Now he finds himself just five players away from winning his second bracelet, this time in the $10,000 Seven Card Stud Championship.  

Mizrachi must have thought it was déjà vu, because he was seated with Vladimir Schmelev, the same player he had to defeat in a grueling heads-up battle to win the 50k, when he reached the eight man final table of the stud championship.  However, there would be no heads-up rematch, as Schmelev was defeated in 7th place.

Also, Men “The Master” Nguyen is in the best position to add bracelet number seven to his resume as he is currently in first place in the stud event.  If Mizrachi and Nguyen at their table don’t worry the remaining players enough, Brandon Adams is also in the mix.  


While the stud championship is considered the featured table, most eyes have been on the secondary featured table, the $1,500 Pot-Limit Holdem final table.  Many people were originally attracted to the table because JJ Liu became the first woman to make a final table in 2010.  The WSOP devoted a page in their massive media guide questioning “Is This the Year the W is WSOP Will Stand for “Women?”  Liu sure hoped so, but at the end of the day it wasn’t to be, as she was eliminated in 3rd place.

But the real noise from the table has come out of a sizable rail that has followed James Dempsey since the very first hand of the final table.  Dempsey’s crew has made the WSOP proud, as they have been gladly enjoying one of their official sponsors, “Milwaukee’s Best Light,” the entire time.  At the start of the final table Dempsey’s crew was sitting side by side, totaling about a dozen.

{id:45}However, when play got down to about five players, half of them stayed on one side while the others moved to the opposite side.  Since then two sides have been playing a game of “anything you can do I can do better,” with one side taking up a chant, only to be outdone by the other side.  Between the slurring words and their English accents, it is very difficult to understand what exactly they are chanting.  To be honest, it’s unclear if they even know what they are chanting anymore, but the scene has been nothing short of entertaining, to say the least.

On top of chanting, the group has cheered very loudly for every single flop, even if their man Dempsey isn’t involved in the hand.  That is because they are prop-betting on the outcome of every flop.  Any all red flop brings cheers to one half of the group, while an all black flop brings cheers from the others.  One of the gents, the most sober of the group, has the job of marking down on a piece of paper each flop and what side won the bet.  Only at the WSOP.


Most poker players have a general idea of how to play the major variations of poker.  Mizrachi has certainly proved that, as the Poker Player’s Championship incorporated many different forms of poker.  Other poker players focus on one game only, really not caring to learn how to play the other games.  
Annette Obrestad is one of those players who specializes, and prefers to play only holdem.  That changed today when she decided to sign up for the Deuce to 7 Lowball event.  The amount of times Obrestad has played Deuce to 7 before today?  Zero.  Obrestad, perhaps a bit upset at her rough start in her holdem events, said she wanted to “change it up” and play a different type of event.

By watching her you would think she has been playing the game for years.  In the early part of the {id:46}tournament she has increased her stack, currently putting her slightly above average.  She seems to know when to raise and when to make big laydowns.  It is clear Obrestad is one of the most talented poker players in the game today, and maybe that trait naturally helps her in any poker game.

But in reality, if you’ve followed her Twitter account at all, you realize she is having quite a number of issues, despite her early impressive start.  One of her most recent Tweet’s says that she forgot flushes count against you in Deuce to 7, and that she almost made a call that would have been very “costly.”  Additionally, Obrestad has said she feels like a “fish.”  It’s hard to consider Annette a fish when it comes to any poker.  It may be fair to say that she feels more like a fish out of water, than a fish in the poker sense.  It would be remarkable if this is the event that Obrestad uses to make her initial mark on the WSOP.


Phil Laak has done it.  He is the new Guinness Book of World Record holder for the longest documented poker session.  Laak has said throughout that he was hoping for 80 hours, to put a couple hours between the now old record and his.  Now he is saying he doesn’t want to just barely beat the record, he wants to crush it.  His goal has become 90 hours
What might be the most remarkable thing about his feat is that it has been a winning session, if just barely.  Laak’s never been up much, but he has been down close to $10,000 a few times.  Considering he is playing against very tough competition that is hoping to take advantage of a tired and delirious Laak, including his best buddy Antonio Esfandiari, to be up even one penny would be noteworthy.  Laak has managed to be up a little more than a cent, mostly due to beating Esfandiari out of a big pot just minutes before breaking the record.  It hasn’t been updated lately, but it’s believed he is up to around $2,000.
Just prior to beating the record, ESPN cameras started rolling.  It’s believed that Phil Laak will be a subject on the newsmagazine show called E.60.

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