Last week, PokerListings.com reported on the Vinny Vinh saga , whereby the World Poker Tour Season 2 runner-up at the Los Angeles Poker Classic built himself a chip lead on Day 1 of the $1,000 NLHE w/Rebuys event but failed to materialize for Day 2 and beyond, getting blinded off and eventually finishing in 20th place for $16,212.
Although Vinh returned to the WSOP yesterday to play in the $2,500 NLHE/6-Handed event, today seemed like déjà vu. Vinh, who had been acting extremely strange as Day 1 wound to a close, brought an average-sized stack into Day 2 of the event but did not show up again, with the combination of his eccentric performance the night previous and his now-checkered history combining to worry friends and observers as his stack was blinded off a second time. For the record, Vinh finished 22nd in the event and earned $12,468 in absentia. Here's hoping that money goes towards getting the man some help.
A number of rumors have started to fly about two-time WSOP bracelet winner Bill Chen being involved in a chip-dumping fiasco during the $1,500 NLHE Shootout event. According to the Wisest Man in Poker, Chen and an opponent were heads-up during the shootout when Player 2 offered to dump his chips to Chen in exchange for a share (reportedly 25%) of his winnings.
This is not really the unusual part; such things are not entirely uncommon in the poker world, although they are understandably shady and grey-market. Things got weird, however, when somebody called the floorman over to discuss the concept, and in a remarkable decision, the floorman gave his assent to what amounts to blatant collusion.
Of course, in a shootout tournament the collusion is not nearly as troublesome as in a normal freezeout, but the fact that a casino employee would in effect sign off on the tactic remains surprising. No word on whether the floorperson was reprimanded for his involvement, but you'd hope that Harrah's would take a stance on such things.
Mr Cajelais, Tear Down This Wall
As originally reported by PokerListings.com in February, Phil Gordon and Erik Cajelais are not the best of friends. Tiltboy and the well-muscled Montrealer got into a bit of an argument after Gordon's untimely elimination from the Harrah's Rincon tournament, and after witnessing the Full Tilt Poker pro invite Cajelais to step outside, PokerListings.com and the world began debating the chances of either man in a full-on fist fight.
The point is now moot, as it doesn't appear that Gordon and Cajelais will be brawling any time soon. In the most surprising and compelling match-up of the $5,000 World Championship Heads-Up tournament (Event 31) so far, the two rivals were pitted against one another in Round 2. From the sounds of things, it looks like they're ready to bury the hatchet, as PokerListings.com overheard this exchange as the two men got ready to play some poker:
Gordon: "'Let's step outside and fight,' I think is what you said. But I'm not going to fight you; you look like you could bench 300 pounds."
Cajelais: "No, no. Why would I want to fight someone who is like six foot nine?"
Both men laughed and Gordon made fists with his hands.
Gordon: "These fists...have never contacted human flesh."
Cajelais: "I wish I could say the same." He paused. "I am not a fighter. I'd challenge you to a heads-up match in poker." He gestured at the game in front of them, and both men laughed again, clearly at ease and no doubt pleased that the acrimony is behind them.
Peace in our time, then, and beef dropped. And all brought to you from start to finish by the gossip-mongers at PokerListings.com.
So, I was wandering the floor the other day during Day 1 of the Short-Handed event when I came across Vanessa Rousso embroiled in a hand and in the tank with the board showing A-A-2-10 and one player already all-in. As is sometimes the case with the Lady Maverick in pressure situations, Rousso looked somewhat panicked, calculating her odds and trying to put her opponent on a hand.
"I think you have kings," she said, but regardless folded an ace face-up after a few more minutes of rumination. Her opponent turned over pocket tens, and thinking Rousso had made a sweet fold and this was the end of it, I walked.
As it turns out, I missed the party, as while I was wandering off, online pro Aaron Been was either berating Rousso or simply commenting on how poorly he thought she played the hand, depending on who you ask. Either way, Rousso was eliminated about thirty minutes later. A few hours later, Been happened to run into Chad Brown, who is dating Rousso, in the hallway of the Rio, and if you believe Been and Alex Jacob, things got a little heated.
Brown demanded Been apologize, and not getting the desired response, apparently challenged the man to a fight. Been thought better of the offer and walked away, but plenty of bad blood still remains between the two parties, with Internet forums pretty well blowing up, and Rousso still looking more than a little upset over things at the start of the Heads-Up tournament today. Can't we all just get along?
In other news, Eskimo Clark apparently values poker over his own life, Phil Ivey is a prop-betting machine, WSOP tournament director Jack Effel is willing to strong-arm millionaire WPT winners with penchants for funny tee-shirts, and Erica Schoenberg is no longer wearing an engagement ring. I need a shower.