Lee Davy brings you all the news of an exciting week of poker whilst repeatedly being jabbed in the back by an over exuberant young girl during a flight to London.
Aaron fucking Paul played in the World Series of Poker (WSOP) Main Event this week.
Aaron fucking Paul!
That’s Jesse Pinkman…bitches.
Walter White also played, although I have been reliably informed that it wasn’t the one true Heisenberg.
The paint stripping stare, the hipster swagger followed by impotent frustration. That lovely little line sums up Day 1C for the Breaking Bad star. He flopped a set of sevens on a board showing more clubs that a Canadian seal expedition, and Keith Lehr played the role of bad bastard to utter perfection. Pinkman soon becoming a deadman as Lehr turned over a flopped flush to send the last bastion of WSOP media hope into space.
Paul had taken his seat alongside 3,962 other hopefuls. It was the largest single day attendance in the 46th year history of the Main Event. It was a shame Day 1A and Day 1B let the side down. The total field size was 6,420, a 4% decline year-on-year, and at the time of writing 4,371 of them were about to start playing in Day 2A.
Now for all you number junkies, let me spike your vein with goodies. The total prize pool was $60,348,000, 1,000 players will receive a minimum of $15,000, each member of the November Nine will receive a million, and the winner will pick up $7,680,021.
Brian Rast knows what it feels like to win an amount of money that big. The creator of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance (or something like that) was the victor in the inaugural $500,000 buy-in Super High Roller Bowl beating that other purple fruit pastille Scott Seiver in heads-up action. It makes Rast the biggest winner of the year. Whether he ends in that position depends on the caliber of the winner of the Main Event.
Before we continue with the rest of the news, let me sweep up the rest of the dregs that have been farted out of the end of the WSOP bottle. Andrew Barber – no relation to that hairdresser from Seville – surprised everyone by winning the $10k H.O.R.S.E Championship. An event that doesn’t contain a single horse. Quinn Do won the $10k Dealers Choice event, and Anthony Spinella – who sounds like a 1980s private eye – won the inaugural WSOP.com online poker bracelet.
Poker often sifts around in the water throwing the occasional pieces of gold into the air. Here are a few slivers: Hunter Cichy and Craig Varnell, who finished second and third in that event, both went on to make the final table in the WPT500 at the Aria. There were 5,113 entrants in that event. If that doesn’t deserve a round of applause then you can chop my hands off and feed them to the pigs. Varnell won the thing for $330,000, and Cichy finished sixth.
From the World Poker Tour to the World Poker Fund, a new organization promising to ‘bring poker to the people,’ most notably the people of California. The young rap star Soulja Boy spearheads the organization, and there isn’t a single professional poker player amongst his crew. Instead he has plumped for some of the finest celebrities in the music, football and modeling world. Keep an eye on that one.
Soulja Boy isn’t the only person flogging the Californian online poker horse. PokerStars emerged from their US online poker chrysalis this week with news of a Californian tour featuring some of the more personable members of the Team Pro crew.
The tour is called Let California Play! PokerStars Pro Tour and the likes of Daniel Negreanu, Jason Somerville, Vanessa Selbst, Chris Moneymaker and Liv Boeree will be sitting on the top deck sucking on a 99 sometime after the WSOP Main Event takes its compound interest inducing sabbatical in mid July.
The WSOPC is also breaking out the tour bus next year. Seth Palansky and the team announced this week that the circuit will go international for the first time in its short infancy. Italy, Mexico and the Czech Republic are the first three countries to be attacked with three more secrets expected to be whispered into the public’s ear in the coming months.
It’s easy to forget about Europe at this time of the year. But there was a few pieces of news leaking out of the faucet as the WSOP hype went into over drive. TonyBet Poker announced plans to launch the first-ever games of online Open Face Chinese (OFC) in Denmark, and Tony G’s former partner, partypoker announced plans to continue to braid the grassroots of poker with news of the UK Team Challenge. A new team concept that will start online and will end in the decadent surroundings of Dusk till Dawn (DTD).
Talking about DTD, kudos to the members who wore their Devilfish t-shirts at the WSOP Main Event. The point was to curry favor with the Poker Hall of Fame establishment. The message is loud and clear. We demand that Dave ‘Devilfish’ Ulliot receives a posthumous position as one of the legends of poker.
It’s a shame that we had to wait for the Fish to die before he was even considered as worthy of his slot. That thought came to my mind during my interview with Maria Ho this week. Its not every day you get slapped in the face with beauty that raw, but even the role of the poker writer has its perks. Ho told me a tale of how a chance meeting with Thor Hansen had put her grumblings underneath the perspective microscope. Hansen has made the short list for the Poker Hall of Fame on several occasions, each time being swatted away like a fly whilst some unheard of American takes his place.
I don’t want to be wearing a Thor Hansen t-shirt next year.
There’s a reason the deceased members of the Poker Hall of Fame don’t get a vote. It’s because the remaining members are the only ones with fully functioning grey matter.
Let’s hope they use it.
Vote #1: The Devilfish
Vote # 2: Thor Hansen
Time Ladies and Gentlemen please.
Someone has just called the clock.