Four Stories Flying Under the Radar at WSOP 2013

Millionaire Maker Day 2
With so much going on at the WSOP, it's easy to miss important stories.

For poker players there's nothing bigger than the World Series of Poker. But sometimes the WSOP is so big it's easy to overlook important details.

That's why is giving you the benefit of our great wealth of experience, the kind of experience you can only get from spending every day, every WSOP, for nine years, at the Rio.

This series is more than halfway done and we're here to bring you up to date on the things you should have seen, but probably didn't.

Keep reading for tales of redemption, betrayal, unrealized dreams and the shiny, hopeful glimmer of things to come.

1) The Memories Attack (aka The Year of the Comeback)

Erick Lindgren
E-Dog has bounced back from tough times with remarkable ease.

It's tough to set the line on when it all started but as we pass the halfway point at this year's WSOP, we think it's safe to call 2013 “The Year of the Comeback”.

Really it began before the WSOP, maybe when Mike Matusow notched his first big score in years with a win at the NBC Heads-Up Championship.

It definitely continued when a debt-riddled Chino Rheem won the WPT Championship in May for $1.15 million. It was a little freaky when Erick Lindgren, also besieged by debt-based ill will, came second in the same tournament for $650k.

Now at the World Series of Poker, we're seeing more of the same.

Matusow and Lindgren have continued their hot-streaks with a bracelet win apiece, while Tom Schneider, who won Player of the Year in 2007 but hasn't done much since, has snagged two WSOP titles already this summer.

Allen Cunningham, who hasn't done much since final-tabling the Main Event in 2006, narrowly missed his sixth bracelet with a runner-up finish in the $1,500 Pot-Limit Hold'em event.

And Jeff Madsen, who lit up the WSOP in 2006 with two bracelets and four final tables, has a big lead today with 19 left in the $3k PLO.

Based on this information we'd like to send out a call to all poker players who are seriously in debt, or did something great a while ago and are having a tough time of it now.

2013 is your year. Brad Booth we're looking at you.

2) Macau Poaching Poker's Biggest Stars

A lot of the excitement around poker revolves around a small group of ultra-successful high-stakes superstars.

Tom Dwan
Hey Macau. Keep your hands off Tom Dwan. He's ours.

And when a place like Macau, with its enormous high roller events and nosebleed live cash-games, lures away icons like Tom Dwan and Sam Trickett, the Western poker world has the right to be angry.

Granted, those players have and are making their way to Vegas to get in on the big buy-in events happening during the second half of the summer, but anytime someone like ElkY tells you Macau is the “future of poker” you tend to get a little worried.

So consider this a warning Macau: Cut it out with the awesome cash-game action and wealthy, gambling-obsessed businessmen who make your casinos such a haven for high-stakes sharks. Just cut it out.

3) Poker's Big Three Putting Up Bricks

Over the last couple years three poker players have set a new standard in live tournament performance.

Phil Hellmuth
Hellmuth is handling his lack of results admirably.

The same way Tiger Woods leaped out in front of the golf world, Phil Ivey, Phil Hellmuth and Daniel Negreanu have put serious distance between themselves and every other person sitting at a live tournament table.

Last year in Las Vegas Ivey made five final tables, then won his ninth bracelet at WSOP Asia-Pacific.

Negreanu has earned almost $5 million since 2011, including winning the WSOP Asia-Pacific Main Event, and Hellmuth did the seemingly impossible by taking down his 12th bracelet last year in Las Vegas before flying to Cannes and winning the WSOP Europe Main Event.

But for all that success, they've been throwing up bricks at the 2013 WSOP.

The best result among the group is an 8th-place showing for Hellmuth in the $10k Heads-Up Championship. Negreanu has managed to cash four times already but can't be thrilled with the results.

The biggest surprise, though, is Phil Ivey. We've been conditioned to believe that when Ivey wants to win, he wins.

There must be more to it.

Maybe he wants to leave room at the top for his 32-strong stable of Ivey Poker pros?

4) 2013 WSOP Schedule Saving the Best for Last

The one controversy at an otherwise sedate WSOP has been the new schedule of events.

Cash money
The second half of the WSOP promises bigger buy-ins and bigger prizes.

Big-name pros vented their anger about how non-Hold'em games and big buy-in events have been dramatically reduced, in favor of cheap, big-field NLHE tournaments.

And considering there are only four $10k events, compared to 10 in 2011, we'd have to agree.

But thankfully for poker fans, and the media who are on location to write about it, the WSOP is saving the best for last.

We're expecting the action to ratchet up in a big way over the weeks leading up to the Main Event.

Coming up on June 23rd is the $10k No-Limit 2-7 Lowball Championship, followed by the $111,111 One Drop High Roller, the $25k 6-Max and then the $50k Players Championship.

Just before the Main Event begins we'll be treated to the $10,000 PLO Championship.

Follow everything that's happening with's Live WSOP 2013 Coverage.

Follow the author on Google+

Follow the author on Twitter

Best Poker Sites - Editor`s Pick