WSOP Blog

WSOP live blog from the tournament floor w/ poker pro interviews, photos and side action from Las Vegas!            


How ESPN Can Improve the November Nine

14 July 2009, Created By: Daniel Skolovy
Posted in: WSOP Blog , Tournament Trail
How ESPN Can Improve the November Nine
Last year, ESPN stunned the poker world with a radical change to how the World Series of Poker Main Event would play out. The big plan, as we all found out, was to play down to the final table, then halt play for the next four months. During that four-month break, ESPN would air all the action leading up to the final table, then the players would reconvene to finish it out with the results broadcast in "almost-real" time two days later. With the new plan, ESPN and the WSOP hoped to put some excitement back into TV poker, and I really can't blame them. The over-saturation of sub-par poker on TV had diluted the market and the public had grown tired of it. In the past when it came time to watch the Main Event, the tournament had been over for months already. Everybody knew who won, and they would watch to find out how he won it. Devising a way for the public to watch and see who wins the Main Event and not just how they won it was a great idea. The idea certainly wasn't the problem. But the execution left a bit to be desired.

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Random WSOP Observation #37: Ivey's Biggest Fans

13 July 2009, Created By: Ed Sevillano
Posted in: WSOP Blog , Tournament Trail
Random WSOP Observation #37: Ivey's Biggest Fans
Meet Phil Ivey's biggest fans. This cute couple has been following Ivey around for over a decade. They've known him since the days he was known only as Jerome and played underage in the casinos of Atlantic City. "We met him in Atlantic City when he was playing back then and we played with him there." Ivey must have made a positive impression on the two. Ever since then, they've been making a pilgrimage out to Vegas once a year to watch him play in the WSOP. "We've been coming out here for 10 or 11 years. We always come out for two weeks to support him."

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Top 5 Main Event Confrontations

9 July 2009, Created By: Daniel Skolovy
Posted in: WSOP Blog , Tournament Trail
Top 5 Main Event Confrontations
When a final-table seat guarantees $1 million and winning the whole thing nets you more than your average lottery winner, it's understandable emotions run a little high during the WSOP Main Event. It's what makes for good TV. The stress ensures everybody is playing at the top of his or her game. It also ensures there will be some heated confrontations. When you have so much riding on one turn of the card, and that card could be the difference between busting 20th and winning the whole damn tournament, anything can set a player off.

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durrrr: Blame it on the Alcohol!

8 July 2009, Created By: Owen Laukkanen
Posted in: WSOP Blog , Prop Bets and Challenges
durrrr: Blame it on the Alcohol!
Don't blame Matt Marafioti if he looks a little under the weather today - blame durrrr. Late Monday night at the Main Event of the 2009 Tom Dwan got into a little bit of the old propbetaments. durrrr bet Marafioti (he's "ADZ" online) $5,000 that Marafioti couldn't drink ten shots of Patron tequila in fifteen minutes. Marafioti took up the challenge, and with Dwan's assurance to the tournament director of a $5k charitable donation should ADZ happen to spew in the tournament area, the shots were delivered and the game was afoot. ADZ downed the shots in ample time and durrrr paid his debt with a $5k Bellagio marker. But it didn't end there. The shots made Marafioti a bit drunk and thus a bit rowdy and within a few minutes he'd incurred a penalty for swearing. It was enough to convince him to call it a night. He left his 56k on the table in the Miranda Room and headed off into the night, his safety assured by Dwan, who'd paid the tournament director a couple bills to ensure his rival got home alright. Rumor has it, however, that ADZ spent the night in a bathtub at Bellagio, puking up his ever-loving guts. But he's back for Day 2b and so is durrrr. Both players have been seated near each other in the Brasilia Room for the early levels, so stay tuned for a potential rematch.

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Top 5 Most Memorable Hands in Main Event History

30 June 2009, Created By: Daniel Skolovy
Posted in: WSOP Blog , Tournament Trail
Top 5 Most Memorable Hands in Main Event History
It's that time of year again: World Series of Poker Main Event time. If that doesn't get your heart pumping, you're either dead or not a poker player. The Main Event is a two-week-long poker super grind. With the thousands of tables comes millions of hands, storylines, brags, beats and of course a shit-ton of variance. The Main Event is where names are made and fortunes are won. It's simply the biggest poker spectacle in the world. If that isn't memorable enough on its own, I took the liberty of searching around and finding my top five most memorable WSOP ME hands. In no particular order, we have:

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Phil Ivey: The Cristal Balla

20 June 2009, Created By: PokerListings.com
Posted in: WSOP Blog , Unsubstantiated Rumors
Phil Ivey: The Cristal Balla
Hang around Vegas a while and you'll hear many tales of luxurious excess, though few can rival this Phil Ivey anecdote we heard moments ago. Allegedly a group of businessmen were enjoying dinner at the Wynn when they looked over at one of the nearby tables to see none other than Phil Ivey. Big fans of the poker superstar, they summoned the waiter and asked him to send Ivey a bottle of Cristal champagne, compliments of their table.

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My Crystal Ball: What 2009 Holds for Poker

8 January 2009, Created By: Nolan Dalla
Posted in: WSOP Blog , Industry Insider
My Crystal Ball: What 2009 Holds for Poker
By Nolan Dalla -- I'm usually an optimist. I believe in looking at the bright side of things. However, 2009 looks to be a year of uncertainty in the poker world. Due mostly to gloomy economic forecasts, poker and all of its ancillary businesses could be in for some tough times ahead. Indeed, no one anywhere is immune from the global economic slump. Here's a list of some things that might happen in poker over the next 12 months:

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Wild Horses: Predictions for the Main Event

7 November 2008, Created By: Daniel Skolovy
Posted in: WSOP Blog , Industry Insider
Wild Horses: Predictions for the Main Event
Earlier this year ESPN made an announcement that stunned the poker world. For the first time ever the WSOP Main Event would play to the final table and then shut it down, taking a four-month break before playing down to the winner. The break was designed to put some spice back in the WSOP's lackluster love life. With the extra four months, ESPN could air the entirety of the WSOP ME coverage leading up to the final table, allowing fans to pick horses and watch their favorites claw their way through a minefield of donks and pros en route to the final table. With just three days until the final table plays out I am going to give my (somewhat) credible insight into the strategy of the November Nine - who is going to sit back and wait and who is going to bounce out early.

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Horseshoes and Hand Grenades: Day 2 in Chicagoland

2 November 2008, Created By: Owen Laukkanen
Posted in: WSOP Blog , Tournament Trail
Horseshoes and Hand Grenades: Day 2 in Chicagoland
We're down to the final table after another seven levels of action on the wrong side of the tracks at the Horseshoe Casino in Hammond, Indiana on the World Series of Poker Circuit. Day 2 of the inaugural $5,150 WSOPC Main Event in Chicagoland saw the top 40 survivors from Friday's starting field of 165 return to the cavernous confines of "The Venue" on the shores of Lake Michigan with visions of prize pools dancing in their collective head. With the top 18 finishers slated to be paid for their time, fully 22 of the returnees would find themselves doomed to have spent an extra night in the industrial wasteland that is Hammond, Indiana (home of the Calumet Pallet Company and the This Is It topless revue at 3632 Calumet Street, right beside Adriatic Steel), for zero profit.

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The Longest Day: Juanda Wins WSOPE ME

3 October 2008, Created By: Owen Laukkanen
Posted in: WSOP Blog , Tournament Trail
The Longest Day: Juanda Wins WSOPE ME
Ivan Demidov came into the final table of the Betfair Poker World Series of Poker Europe Main Event the focal point. More than 21 hours later, however, it was John Juanda who had landed his name in the history books. The introverted Indonesian-American pro claimed his fourth World Series of Poker bracelet - and first since 2003 - after defeating Stanislav Alekhin in heads-up play at the culmination of the longest final table since dinosaurs ruled the earth. It was a 21.5 hour grindfest of epic proportions, a battle between a collection of extremely skilled poker players given enough structure with which to showcase their talents.

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Strategy Snapshot: Drawing Blood from a Stone

25 August 2008, Created By: Daniel Skolovy
Posted in: WSOP Blog , Strategy Snapshots
Strategy Snapshot: Drawing Blood from a Stone
With the long march to the Main Event underway on ESPN, we revisit Event 1 for today's snapshot and watch Andy Bloch milk maximum value from Mike Sexton with perfect bet sizes. Players: Andy Bloch vs. Mike Sexton Game: 2008 World Series of Poker Event 1, $10k Pot-Limit Hold'em World Championship Situation: $30k/$60k blinds; four players remaining at the final table Stack Sizes: Bloch $4.42 million; Sexton $1.5 million

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Bubblicious: How to Navigate the Bubble

11 July 2008, Created By: Ed Sevillano
Posted in: WSOP Blog , Tournament Trail
It's bubble time at the Main Event. It's always interesting to see how different players handle this situation. Some players close up tighter than a drum, while others open up the floodgates. In an event like this, people have different goals, meaning that sometimes, by-the-book strategy might not be the ideal choice. For some of the thousands of people who qualified for this event for substantially less than the $10,000 buy-in, the thought of busting out on the bubble might be more than they can handle. Players drop at a rapid pace throughout the day and, for one of these qualifiers sitting on a less-than-average stack, it might be worth their while to hang tight.

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Grandma Got Check-Raised by a Reindeer: Day 1 at the WSOPC in AC

17 December 2007, Created By: Owen Laukkanen
Posted in: WSOP Blog , Tournament Trail
Grandma Got Check-Raised by a Reindeer: Day 1 at the WSOPC in AC
Poker Claus has made his list and checked it twice, and by now he knows who has been naughty or nice. All the nice boys and girls are in Las Vegas for the WPT's Five Diamond World Poker Classic at Bellagio, but the naughty boys and girls? Well, they're in South Jersey. It's the World Series of Poker Circuit Event from Harrah's Atlantic City and the excitement, like the odor, is palpable. But it's better than a sugar plum, right?

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There Can Be Only One! - Jerry Yang Wins 2007 Main Event

18 July 2007, Created By: Arthur Crowson
Posted in: WSOP Blog , Tournament Trail
There Can Be Only One! - Jerry Yang Wins 2007 Main Event
It took 16 hours of poker but the tenacious Jerry Yang would not be denied. Yang came into the day as one of the short stacks and proceeded to rampage his way through the competition. By the end Yang had left countless players in his dust and proved he could be a champion. This is the PokerListings.com recap of the final hours of poker at the 2007 WSOP Main Event:

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T-Minus Two Days and Counting: The Main Event Approacheth!

5 July 2007, Created By: Matthew Showell
Posted in: WSOP Blog , Tournament Trail
T-Minus Two Days and Counting: The Main Event Approacheth!
Only one bracelet has yet to be awarded before the Big Dance begins in just two short days. Two of these sought-after pieces of WSOP bling were handed out today, in Events 52 and 53. Event 54 began with one of the most interesting fields we've seen thus far, taking us that much closer to what we've all been waiting for, the Main Event.

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