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

WSOP Sights and Sounds Day 11: Dwan’s Loss Keeps High Rollers in Dough; Laak’s New Record

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Media Director Nolan Dalla called it the wildest rail the World Series of Poker has ever seen outside of the Main Event.  That statement, if you don’t know the context, is a little odd, considering the tournament Dalla was speaking of was taking place in the wee hours of just the second week of the WSOP and was a lower buy-in event of $1,500 dollars.  However, to many of the top poker professionals, the outcome of this event meant everything.

The fact is, if Tom Dwan wins a WSOP bracelet this year, he will become a very wealthy man, and it has nothing to do with the prize money he’ll win in the event.  As mentioned in the last edition of “Sights and Sounds,” Dwan has taken countless bets, at 3.25 to 1 that he will win gold, and when the minimum bet expected is $5,000, you know big money is involved.  Initial reports had him winning $2,000,000 from side-bets if he wins a bracelet, but as reported yesterday, the number is probably much closer to $15,000,000.  There are even some reports circulating online that the number is actually $50,000,000.  Either way, Dwan making a final table, and eventually finding himself heads-up, put a new term to “sweating” a tournament, especially to the many pros, which rumor has it include Howard Lederer, Daniel Negreanu, and Phil Ivey, who have bet against him.

On top of a bunch of nervous pros sweating the action, Dwan had a crowd of upwards of 50 people watching him in the standing room only crowd.  As the players fell one by one, the crowd got larger and larger.  

Eventually the poker world held their breath as Dwan found himself up against New Zealander Simon Watt.  Watt, who had a crowd of about a dozen or so rowdy Kiwi’s watching him, was just a character in the Dwan show, but a character very many people wanted to win.  If Watt had any added pressure knowing it was up to him to keep large amounts of money in well known poker players’ pockets, he didn’t show it.  In fact, it’s hard to say he was even aware of it at all.  At times his supporters seemed more interested in their side bets regarding the color of the flop, etc., than they did if their man had won or lost a hand.

In the end, it was Simon Watt who was victorious, but the $614,248 he won was small change compared to the amount of money he kept out of the pocket of Dwan.  Dwan himself didn’t appear too upset, just exhausted.  As the final card was dealt, and he saw he had lost, he simply asked the tournament director if he could pick up his money tomorrow, and headed off to a quiet place.  Meanwhile, people who were strangers to Watt just minutes ago were congratulating him on his win – and his save.

Mike “The Mouth” Matusow has been asked how much money he would lose if Dwan won, when there were about 21 people left.  Matusow said, “I’ll be broke, and so will a ton of other people.”  It made sense that Matusow was one of the first people to greet Watt after his win, asking him “What’s it feel like to be the savior of high stakes poker players?”  Watt, lost in celebration, just sort of grinned at him, before Matusow asked him, “Hey, what’s your name anyway?”  

{id:69}The story of the year so far may still be Mike “The Grinder” Mizrachi winning the $50k and final tabling the $10k stud event, but the most excitement has surely came from this prop bet.  

In a related story: At the start of the final table, Huck Seed approached Dwan and handed him $325,000, the amount he stood to lose should Dwan win the event.  Seed was so sure Dwan would win he decided to pay him his bet now.  Observers were kind of curious about that, being Dwan still had to outlast 8 people, but either way Dwan gladly accepted the money.  It’s unsure if Dwan will be returning the money to Seed, or if Seed it still feeling Dwan will eventually win a tournament this WSOP despite his runner-up performance in this one.


Yesterday it was reported that Phil Laak had indeed broken the previous record for the world’s longest poker session.  The only question remaining after that is how much longer he would go.  At first his goal was 80, but that came and went with ease for “The Unabomber.”  Then he stated that he felt 101 was a good number because it’s a prime number, and he likes prime numbers.  Once again 101 came and went.  Finally Laak just said this is a moment he would never experience again, so he will keep going.

If people were worried about his health, those feelings were alleviated when a doctor came by around the 100 hour mark to say all his vitals were in “perfect condition” and that his temperature was normal.  He also lost at least four pounds during the super session, but this didn’t concern Laak.  In fact, Laak was pumped with the news, because he said it was the first time in years he was less than 185lbs.  The excitement from that alone gave Laak yet another wind.  He must have been on his 12th wind by this point.

At 115 hours Laak announced he was done, and going to bed.  He pointed out that a friend of his had a really long session and when he tried to sleep he was unable to, so he was given a shot to help him relax.  By the picture he posted on Twitter it looks like he has needed no help falling asleep, meaning he did the whole challenge, from start to finish, without the help of a single drug.

Now the poker world is wondering how long it will take Laak to recover before he makes his debut at the 2010 WSOP.  Additionally, just because he shows up, one has to wonder how long it is until he is feeling like his old self again.  Many people consider Laak one of the best poker players never to win a WSOP bracelet, and considering he has missed 11 days of the WSOP, plus who knows how many more to recover, he has put himself at a serious disadvantage for earning his first one this year.  Never fear though, I’m sure you’ll be able to make prop bets with him on that as soon as he’s awake.  

Which reminds me:  I’m putting the over under on hours he remains asleep at 19.  Any takers?

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