Right outside the main doors to the Amazon room there is a Steve Soffa/On Tilt display. Soffa is the new designer of the World Series of Poker bracelets, which each new winner getting it engraved as they wish. Additionally, Soffa has a number of his other pieces of jewelry on display, including his watches that have the “face” of playing cards, including kings and queens. As part of the same display you can view past designs of WSOP bracelet. Phil Hellmuth, Johnny Chan, Doyle Brunson, and Billy Baxter have allowed a number of their bracelets to be put on display so fans can see them close up and read about the history of them.
Also on display among the dozen or so bracelets is something that fits in the “one of these things is not like the other” category, a sterling platter. It turns out that in 1975 a number of poker players complained about having to wear jewelry, as many of them chose not to. For whatever reason, the Binion family (the WSOP used to be at Binion’s Horseshoe) decided that instead of awarding bracelets for the 1975 WSOP they would award platters.
Only five platters were ever made, and the only one known to still exist is owned by Billy Baxter, who won it for winning the No Limit Deuce to Seven Lowball event in 1975. In a poker world full of random stories, that has got to be one of the most random in the storied history of the WSOP.
The plate has generated a lot of attention, with a lot of people going to grab their buddies after they see it, telling them, “look at this, look at this.”
Around ten tables are left in the $5,000 No Limit Holdem/ Six handed event. At around 5 p.m. Jennifer Harman joined a new table after her table broke. In either the first or second hand she played at her new table a player went all-in after she made a call. If Harman made the call her tournament life would have been on the line. However, after about a minute of deliberation she decided to make the fold. Not a very happy “welcome to the table.”
The table Harman moved to was close to the rail, so as people began to realize who it was, the crowd grew deeper and deeper. It’s always a wonder if the players like being that close to the rail, or if they’d rather be in the middle, somewhere lost in the crowd so to speak.
One person who always attracts a large field no matter what event he is playing is Phil Ivey. Ivey, also playing the six handed event, is seated at the feature table, which is also nothing new for him. Ivey has had quite the busy day. Not long ago he busted tournament professional Todd Terry, when his K-K held up against the A-Q of Terry. The only woman at his table, Helen Ellis, has not been intimidated by his presence. A few times in about an hour of play Ellis has 3-bet Ivey, with varying degrees of success. A couple times she has gotten Ivey to fold, but one time she lost a big hand when Ivey came back over the top of her with a 4-bet. Ellis is normally a quiet person at the table, but she is looking to make a lot of noise with her chips.
A few times it has been reported that Tom Dwan was playing two tournaments at once, but it’s believed Ivey is the first person to 3-table during this World Series. In addition to playing the six handed event he is also playing the $2,500 Pot Limit Holdem/Omaha event, and the $10,000 Heads-Up event. “Playing” might be a loose term, as he actually hasn’t played one hand of the Holdem/Omaha event, but he did win his first round heads-up match.
Only 60 players remain in the six handed event, with 54 getting paid. Leading the way is McClean Karr, but a handful of noticeables are right behind him in the top ten, including Dave “Devilfish” Ulliott, Christian “Charder” Harder, and Erick Lindgren.
Most of the Round 1 matches have been completed in the $10,000 Heads-Up tournament. Some names having advanced so far include Josh Arieh, David Baker, Phil Gordon, and Justin Smith.
Joshua Tieman leads the Pot-Limit Omaha event with 81 left.
It took Matt Keikoan nearly five hours in the early a.m. to defeat Dan Idema in the $10,000 Limit Holdem event to earn his second career WSOP bracelet. A 12pm event started where the majority of the players hope they are able to keep their heads up for five hours straight – the Seniors Event. Ok, so that may be a little harsh, but there are plenty of old jokes going around among media row, and many of the players participating in the event themselves.
There has been a lot of talk of prop bets and side bets at the World Series of Poker, but a prop-bet some of these older guys and girls are talking about are ones you wouldn’t want to be on the losing end of. Many players participate in “last longer” bets, but it’s not every day you hear about “live longer” bets.
A lot of recognizable names are in the field, including the voice of ESPN World Series of Poker telecasts Lon McEachern. McEachern was short stack for a while, but now enjoys a top 10 stack. In a big hand he found himself all-in against an unknown player. He turned over K-Q suited while his opponent showed aces. The flop gave McEachern a Queen, and so did the river, giving the commentator the type of suckout he’s used to talking about on TV. Tom Schneider currently leads the way, but has the likes of Alan Boston, Berry Johnston, TJ Cloutier, and Thor Hanson hot on his heels. The event had over 3,100 people sign-up, but already over 1,200 people have been eliminated. There is a joke about them now having time to make it for the early bird special, but I’ll let you guys figure that out.