30 June 2006

Where in the World is Carmen Santiago?

Doyle's table in the NLHE 6-max is located immediately to your right when you enter the tournament area. He's cranking away and holding his own today.

Raymer being Raymer, as gracious a champion as you'll ever find.

Daniel Negreanu getting a little work done. He needs to be sure his back is ready as he's built a monster chip stack, on a sick run knocking out any and everyone who sits at the table.

MiamiDon and Carmen. I headed over to the MGM Grand for a nice relaxing lunch. Really great to meet them, very genuine folks. Don has really been working away at 1/2 NLHE, and we talked about how much better different parts of his game have gotten since he's been playing regularly. Carmen is just a cutie pie all the way around, and she told me about her fantasies with different poker players (I wasn't mentioned oddly enough). They're going to try and come down here tomorrow to railbird, maybe sweat me if I jump in the tourney, we'll see.

World Series of Poker Event #5: NLHE 6-Max

Idex doll show in ballroom on your way to World Series area. These are dolls that sell for $2k-15k supposedly.

Phil Ivey is in the LHE Event Day 2 in two hours in good shape, but he's accumulating chips rapidly to start. If he can build a big enough stack, he can get blinded off and survive Day 1 while he's playing the LHE Day 2.

Gus Hansen sighting.

Isabelle's toes. Notice chairs stacked next to her (where her bag is). A bit of a challenge walking around.

Jennifer Jennicide Leigh.

Johnny Chan chatting it up with Dewey Tomko after busting a play early.

After walking around quickly, this is an event that is really intriguing. You can expect some challenging tables immediately if you've bought into this tourney: Mike Caro and Cyndi Violette were all-in early on the river, but both turned over Q-10 for a chopped straight. Dags, The Grinder, and Daniel are at Table 149, Ferguson and Kathy Liebert are together, Amir Vahedi's already gone from Freddy Deeb's table, Matusow and Barry Greenstein. The other challenge is players that don't show up are at big risk. From a CardPlayer update, they tell of one table with only two folks at the table. They were quickly flipping coins to see who would steal the blinds (ouch). I wish you 6-maxer's could be here to take this one in, as I think it will be a pretty special event.

I'll have some new news probably Monday or Tuesday. It is incredible in my opinion, and I'll have more about it later. For now, I'm off to MGM to see some bloggers. Thanks for stopping by, and I'll be back later.


Banner from TripJax you can use to pimp CC here.

More Liz from early action yesterday. I had a chance to meet her yesterday, and she's very nice. Pauly and she are serious buds as well.

MissT74 (Tanya Peck) and Sheiky. Tanya had a nice run through most of the day but wasn't at her seat by the end of the day.

Items up at PokerWorks from yesterday: Event #2 $1.5k NLHE Final Table, Event #3 $1.5k PLHE Day 2, Event #4 $1.5k LHE Day 1. Also my interview with Vince Van Patten is up, and I really think it is pretty good. You let me know.

I accidentally left my camera in my room, which is like leaving the room. Will head back in just a bit. Got a call from MiamiDon, so I'll head to meet him and Carmen at MGM around 2:30 for a meal (maybe it's called lupper?).

This is from yesterday's action, probably around three our four hours into the LHE event. Notice media on the left (with cameras and pads). Upper right you see railbirds watching the final table of Event #2. Early on, you'd see the LHE players watching the large screen over the final table, but that reduced through the days as folks looked more and more at their own stacks.

Oh, and no poker yesterday. Will today be the day, or will it be tomorrow? Who knows. Maybe I've forgotten how to play...(Waffles: "#*!%, that donkey never knew how in the first place!).

Good Night and Good Morning

Three events simultaneously is so much fun. For Brandon Cantu, it sure is sweet as he takes home three quarters of a million bucks and a bracelet.

Dewey Tomko on right earlier in the day. He was the odd man out when it got down to one table, and the final table of the PLHE Event #3 is packed with some serious studs. Juanda is just a beast to watch up close and personal, with his eyes darting around, constantly studying anyone in the action. Chip leader is a blogger, rizenpoker.

And Mr. eyes darting himself, Phil Ivey. He's in the top ten in chips of the LHE Event #5. Event #6 is the $2.5k NLHE (max 6). I was going to buy willwonka in but couldn't find his phone number. Can't wait to get away from this with MiamiDon and Carmen. Thanks for keeping me going on fumes. Just keep scrolling down, leave lots of comments, or send me emails at csquard@gmail.com.

29 June 2006

Storm before the Calm

Joe Sebok, his magic working, has built his stack to significance. He could see the precipice but has clawed back.

In this instance, green isn't that good ($25 chips), so Liz Lieu will need some work to become a force.

I'll be away for a chunk of the near term but will provide a couple more posts today. Juan Carlos Mortensen had A-Q come up against pocket pairs two hands in a span of fifteen minutes, up against T-T and J-J. He doubled up both players and is gone in 9th place. Just a fierce, terrific player, a true marvel to watch up close. I'm better for it, just watching him in action. And the remaining eight players now feel like anyone can win this bracelet.

Final table (Mortensen with his back to us in the 5s). Look at the remarkable image being broadcast above the table, the overhead shot of the table. Does this not look absolutely like a PartyPoker Table? The only difference (which they should have figured out) is that the dealer should be at the top of the image rather than the bottom.

Liz Lieu, Capped Limit Pots, and Sudoku: World Series of Poker Event #4

Jennifer Harman, fresh off of a few hours sleep and an 11th place finish in Event #2, decides to play a little limit. I came to her rescue, grabbing napkins for her as she wanted either napkins or ideally wipes. Maybe this is a theme for me, CC the cleaning boy!

Finally, I meet my virtual buddy, Joe Sebok. Short stacked again (I think he just likes to cut and paste blog posts that say "...I was short stacked, shoved with QQ and ran up against kings..."), but I gave him some magic, so he's ready to take down a bracelet.

Kid Poker and Vanessa Rousso.

I play limit holdem ring games, mainly $15/30 or $10/20 when it's live. I like the excitement and adventure of each hand, folding then watching ESPN or looking around the room. David Williams has a different approach to augmenting the excitement: Sudoku.

This is what it's like to tangle with a World Champion heads-up (Ferguson is sort of multi-tabling, playing Event #4 while waiting for the 2:00 start of the PLHE Day 2). The 1s and Ferguson are involved in this pot capped on the flop and turn (ultimately a $1k pot with limits of $25/50 here in Level 1). The board reads now Ad2h7h7d, and Qc comes on the river. I'll let you guess who holds what and takes this monster down. Answer below in white (that's always really exciting whenever I see someone do that):

1s has capped with two black sevens, while Ferguson had the black aces for set over set that became quad sevens over a boat. NOTE: no one exclaimed DQB!

OK, rate the following folks as to hottest, with 1 being hottest and 4 being least hottest:

Jean Gluck

World Series of Poker Day 3: Losing a Baby

The next poker explosion looming: slot tourneys. Woodpeckers hitting a button as rapidly as they can. At the end each session, there is a number over the slot with a score or something. Pavlov's dog would be dry-mouthed compared to these folks.

Dealers at the ready, thirty minutes before World Series of Poker Event #4 $1.5k LHE.

ESPN's production braintrust. Security dude in top left is my buddy, as we chat it up for five or ten seconds all the time.

The ESPN Final Table gets finishing touches. Can Juan Carlos Mortensen recover his momentum? He'll be the only one there that has the coveted jewelry for his wrist.

I spill my coffee on the set as I peer up at the lights, gazing like the first time I looked up at the Empire State Building. Of course, I wasn't a dork ruining a set and creating an OSHA hazard when I was looking up on Fifth Street. Yellow tape was already there, not caused by me (I did steal a towel and give it to the crew after cleaning up the residue left after a member used napkins).

Sweetie dropped the Big Guy, our eldest son, at Furman Soccer Camp north of G-Vegas. This is the first separation like this (camp, four days) for him, so while it isn't like he's been shipped off to a sugar mill in Cuba it is a bit impactful on her. He's got alot of her in him: a bigtime reader (he reads on his stomach each night for an hour, huddled under a nightlight plugged in an outlet), a quieter guy who has extreme caring for others. He's a puppy, but he also has some of me for sure: a bit of a baby physically (not as in baby fat but easy to feign injury), athletic, decent looking but not a looker (I mean, I'm not hideous or anything, but I'm not whatever you call it now). All-in, our middle son, is the outgoing ladies man. I've used him in advertising campaigns before, and I think he could absolutely get modeling gigs if we were weird parents. The Little Guy is two and has his mother wrapped around her finger, so there's not much to say.

Anyways, I do want to ask you folks a favor, a real favor (not that you ever do anything I say, but what the heck). Write Sweetie at honeycunn@yahoo.com and, well, thank her for letting me come out here. I shouldn't be here, as long time readers would know. I'm not a writer, I have a struggling consulting business, and I have three boys and an incredible wife who needs me. I'm here though. So if you are glad I'm here, then tell her about it. She won't read any of it probably until we get back after the 4th, but I know it would mean alot to her.

The transition of kids through different phases of life is a kind of loss, but it doesn't compare to losing a child. When you wake up in a hotel at a bizarro time of day, you see things on TV that you wouldn't normally see, like Oprah. Okra had Dick Ebersol and Susan Saint James along with their boys. He is the NBC Sports executive, she best known as Rock Hudson's wife in McMillan and Wife. The family was there for an hour, describing the loss of their son Teddy in a private plane crash that seriously injured Dick Ebersol and older son Charles as well as. Charles found the silver mane of his father under 250 pounds of kitchen supplies and wreckage and pulled him to safety while suffering third degree burns on his arms. He returned to the burning jet searching frantically for his little brother Teddy, but he had been ejected from the plane and died instantly under the fuselage. A Today Show interview captured Susan's loss as well.

My prayers go to anyone who lives each day of their life with this sort of loss. Go hug your son or daughter in a special way today. The World Series of Poker is really great, but nothing's better than that hug. Thanks for stopping by.

A Room Without a View

I don't how to do this exactly, but you can use this banner to pimp CC and the coverage.

Stacking chips from David Williams.

The beginning of yesterday's action.

Freddy Deeb; I'd hate to sit at a table with him.

Jennifer Harman coming over the top. Her opponent (with sweater on back of chair) deliberated for five minutes before mucking.

Write-ups are now done for World Series of Poker Event #2 Day 2 (NLHE) and Event #3 Day 1 (PLHE). Check PokerWorks as they add fresh content, and for sure head over to these articles. I've gotten so much good stuff from different people, good feedback. I was talking with Sweetie when I got to my room at 4:00 this morning, and I told her that there is so little in our lives where we have people telling us we do a good job. When it's something that you don't know if you can do well, like the Truckin' story or these articles or this blog, well I have to be honest, it's very appreciated. So keep sucking up or blowing smoke up my skirt or whatever.

Some macro thoughts on all of this heading into today:
  • I'm probably so idealistic and naive that I didn't truly understand poker until this trip. There is poker that we play, where we try to win, have fun, lose some, analyze our hands, try to remember odds and what to do when M is 12 and stuff like that. Then there is poker that the pros subscribe to. This poker is all about taking money away from other people, that really is all it is about. These people who we've read about or seen? They crave action from the businessman or the drunk guy or the kid parlaying a win. The rest of it is a grind, which is where the prop bets and the mixed games and the running it twice all come into play.
  • The tourney room is littered with those sliding down or at the bottom. Some are noticeable, others are chameleons. They've jumped down in stakes quietly, they're being backed or bought into events. Some are dealing at the WSOP while marketing themselves as real players ready to make a run.
  • The room is filled with some clueless folks. I chatted it up with one guy who has his mistress of five years with him. I had shot her photo as a railbird, which she asked me to nuke. He played the PLHE, made the money and into Day 2. Never played pot limit in his life, had no plan, nothing. This is the event that Phil Ivey among others left after a couple hours.
  • Chinese poker: incredible to watch Sheiky and Matusow play. I never really understood what the heck was going on as I just wandered by (it's like twelve decks being dealt or something).
I ended up only eating the megalunch yesterday, which is obviously no good. I do have some inventory (meaning some blubber I could live off of for a few weeks), but I'll have to figure out what to do. I'm probably going to shower and head on. I need to transcribe the Mike Sexton interview today to keep the discipline, as well as need to research some of the folks I'll be interviewing. And call them on their cell phones and not be a big fraidy-scared baby. "Hey Sheiky, Craig here. You were busting it last night something good. Wanted to see when a good time would be to interview you, as I know you have alot to say."

Well, I'll at least avoid these calls until I shower. And eat. And haul my fifty pounds of crap back to the Media Room. Thanks for stopping by, and I'll keep pinging away throughout the day. (NOTE: keep repeating I WILL PLAY POKER TODAY, I WILL PLAY POKER TODAY)

Brutal Ending

Jennifer Harman busts out after watching Juan Carlos Mortensen's chip lead evaporate over sixty minutes. Harman fought hard until the very, very end, only to see her A-K run into A-A as she came over the top. Mortensen would pick up aces short stacked, getting into the final table for tomorrow.

Articles completed, and I'm really worn out. No poker but the Mook, and I'm done here again at approaching three in the morning. I wasn't able to figure out how to keep this from happening for the second day in a row, working until the wee hours of the next day. I can only do what I can do the way I can do it, then we'll have to see if we can make it quicker or something. Have to knock out interviews etc. here in the next couple days, but now I need to hit the sack. I'm thinking harder about buying into a tourney, if only to get some rest!

Playing the Mook at the World Series of Poker

Juan Carlos Mortensen maintained a big chip lead and his tower has turn a lovely yellow.

Jen Harman keeps her energy up, compliments of Marco and Starbucks.

Late into the night, the Matador's tower had taken a hit that was now significant. Mortensen had doubled up two players in thirty minutes, and he was now a member of the field rather than the monster stack. He has the heart of a champion, although the break couldn't have come at a better time.

I wanna be a cowboy, so you can be my cowgirl. Playing in the Mook with fellow bloggers while sitting in the World Series of Poker Media Room was a bit surreal (not sure if that word is correct, but it was weird). I could head to the Bellagio and play with Linda, go out and try and qualify for an event or play a juicy cash game, or play with folks who are now buddies. I chose the latter, and it was a great time. I played great but was outlasted by Lucypher. Fought back from the depths, eventually taking out factgirl who played solid as well. Mookie99 has the write-up, so head over. If you're ever looking for a great tourney to donk around with, pick this one. Oh, and Dr. Pauly himself guest played for me (when my bot wasn't playing), knocking out the host when his/our AA flopped a boat. The ole min raise AA, although mook couldn't do anything with his short stack.

Must write much stuff. Have to head, so thanks so much for all the emails and comments and everything. Really, it keeps all of us going, especially me as a newbie.

28 June 2006

Buenos Noches, Poquer-Red

Current banner in the lead for those wanting to pimp CC's WSOP coverage, compliments of TripJax. The gauntlet is thrown.

Cecilia Mortensen from yesterday's action. Pimpage from Poquer-Red, I'm assuming a site in Spain. In case there are more folks from the country next to Portugal, Juan Carlos Mortensen is cranking away. Currently, he's in the 1s, Devilfish 3s, Jen Harman 5s, and Bill Gazes 10s.

Gavin Smith called recently busted out Phil Gordon to explain some prop bet to the guy out of picture to our right (Gavin's left). I couldn't understand anything Gavin was saying, not the articulation but just what the heck any of it meant.

Erica Schoenberg (thanks Pauly).

Chau being Chau.
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