It’s hard to imagine that there is a place other than the World Series of Poker where more people celebrate their greatest professional moments in the wee hours of the morning. Nearly every morning before the sun comes up a poker player will be feeling the highest high that can be achieved in the game, while the rest of the world has been asleep for hours. At 1:00 a.m. of Day 21 of the WSOP, David Warga eliminated Maxwell Troy in Event #27: $1,500 Seven Card Stud Hi-Low-8 or Better to win his second career bracelet. Warga was certainly proud to win his first bracelet in 2002 in the Casino Employees event, but it’s hard to imagine that winning a bracelet in an open event didn’t make him feel that much better.
Warga’s bracelet came early in the morning, as nearly two hours later William Haydon raked in the last of Jeffery Papola’s chips to declare him the champion of the $2,500 No Limit Holdem/ Six Handed Event. Haydon’s first WSOP bracelet was also his highest career cash, earning him $630,031.
David Levi finished third in the $1,500 Seven Card Stud Hi-Low-8 or Better event earning $87,400, but getting his money proved to be another story. As Levi entered the WSOP payout room he was approached by a man who told Levi that he owed him money. Levi told the man that he did not owe him money, and approached the payout window. A verbal back and forth ensued, with the man eventually pushing and shoving Levi. As Levi’s party pulled the two apart, the man continued to hurl insults and racial slurs in Levi’s direction. The man also said that he would “kick his ass” later.
Eventually the man walked away, but Levi was still heated because he felt that the Rio security didn’t do enough to protect him. A security guard and Levi argued back and forth for a few minutes before Levi eventually calmed down, retrieved his money, and walked away.
Tonight was game 7 of the NBA Playoffs, and many of the poker players and railbirds made sure to stay close to a television to follow the action. Next to nearly every tournament clock has a television right next to it, so keeping up with the game wasn’t an issue. However, keeping the poker game flowing smoothly was another story. A handful of times dealers were seen gently reminding players that “the action is on your sir,” while his head was turned completely away to check out the game.
Most of the people watching the game were Los Angeles Lakers fans due to proximity, but for every 10 LA fans there was one Boston Celtics fan. A few times Celtics fans cheered a little too loudly (guilty) and would get a look from someone rooting for the Lakers. However, no blows were thrown (that I saw) and ultimately the Lakers fans would get the last laugh as they went on to win the game.
As expected, Twitter blew-up immediately after the game. Joe Sebok was one of the first to congratulate the Lakers, saying they played the best so they deserved the championship. Phil Hellmuth went as far as saying, “The poker world loves Jerry Buss and Frank Mariani! Congrats to the LA Lakers…” Lakers Owner Buss and Lakers CEO Mariani have both been here during the WSOP, including Buss playing in a tournament during the finals, which surprised many. However, neither was here tonight and is most likely celebrating with the team.
John Juanda and Doyle Brunson both recorded the game, in hopes of watching it after they were done playing poker tonight. It’s amazing to think they made it through the night with all the televisions playing the game and fans talking about the game, but apparently they did. Not too long after the game ended Brunson asked Juanda if he wanted to bet on the game since neither one of them knew the outcome of the game, or so Brunson said. Brunson did end his Tweet with a smiley face, so maybe he wasn’t being completely serious. I’m guessing Juanda won’t make this bet.
Michael “The Grinder” Mizrachi may have taken another step closer to earning WSOP “Player of The Year Honors” by making the final table of the $10,000 Limit Holdem Championship. Mizrachi drew a pretty big rail to the final table, but the party didn’t last long as Mizrachi was eliminated in 8th place, losing when his pocket kings were beat by the of Simon Morris.
The other final table wrapping up last night was the $2,500 Pot-Limit Omaha event. Seven players remained, with L.J. Klein in the lead.
One of the more popular events of the Series started at noon, the $5,000 No Limit Holdem/Six Handed Event. Around 315 players remained from the 568 person starting field. This event attracts many big names, and many of those names are currently in the top 10. Dave “The Devilfish” Ulliott is currently in first place with 150,000 chips, with Shannon Shorr in second with 75,000. Other names near the top of the leader board include Isaac Haxton, Jennifer Harman, Thomas Marchese, and Scott Montgomery.
Another popular event that got underway is the $2,500 Pot-Limit Hold’em/Omaha event. Chris Reslock holds an early lead, but names like Allen Bari, Alex Kemberis, David Chiu, and 2009 “November Nine” member Ylon Schwartz are right on his tail.
I was wrong. The “Bad Beat Bar” isn’t getting a lot of use, despite the World Cup and the now complete NBA Finals taking place. In fact, it seems that the bar isn’t even a bar anymore. There is no longer a bar tender, which makes sense because they weren’t tending anything, and there are also no more drinks behind the bar. The room is still being used because it houses the free WSOP Academy seminars, but the “Man Cave”/”Bad Beat Bar” seems to be no more, despite the banner in the hallway saying otherwise.