Seventhbok? Sebok battles at Bay 101
Bay 101 is actually where the phrase "Seventhbok" was born.
Back in 2007, Sebok bubbled the TV final table here. He turned the same trick at WPT Legends in L.A. later that year, and the "Seventhbok" name suddenly stuck.
These days, anyone who bubbles a WPT final table is said to have Seventhboked it.
Still kicking at a door that doesn't seem to want to open, Sebok got close again this WPT season at the Bellagio's Festa al Lago, narrowly missing his TV final-table debut again.
As a result, no one would blame him for feeling the pressure as Shooting Star's Day 1a took off Monday.
But he's playing it cool for now.
"You can feel pressure, but it wouldn't come until you get close, at least not in the first three or four days," he said.
"If you get down to maybe 10 players, 15 players left, then maybe there is a little bit more pressure. But that certainly doesn't surface until the end."
This might explain why Bay 101 Tournament Director Matt Savage has taken to posting his name on the tournament clock as "Joe Seventhbok," and the fact one San Jose fan showed up today with a sign pleading with him not to "Seventhbok" again.
"I think it's hilarious," Sebok said. "All it says to me is how strong the PokerRoad community is; that people want to come out.
"It's part of the culture of our radio show. We all screw with each other. If you can't deal with that, then you really have no business talking as much trash as I do."
And as far as the $5k bounty on his and 50 other heads at this very unique WPT event is concerned, Sebok says it doesn't change all that much.
"People think that everyone is gunning for you, but no," he said.
"They're aware of it, so I think it matters when you get short. But when you have 30, 40 thousand they aren't coming in with stuff that's too crazy because you just have too many chips."
If there is more pressure than Sebok is willing to admit, it certainly didn't show on Day 1a.
He rushed out to the early chip lead after the first two levels, and although he seemed to be dropping out of contention as the day wore on, Sebok doubled up more than once in the late stages to get back to a very respectable $65,000 when play finished.
While players with targets on their backs, including Erik Seidel, Jerry Yang, Andy Bloch and Jamie Gold, all fell by the wayside at Bay 101 Monday, a player by the name of Hoang Nguyen grabbed the end of Day 1a chip lead and the $10k prize that goes with it.
Nguyen, Sebok and the 48 other survivors from Day 1a will be back Wednesday for Day 2, but PokerListings' continuing coverage of the 2009 Bay 101 Shooting Star will roll on tomorrow with Day 1b and a new crop of bounties and bounty hunters starting at 10:45 a.m. PDT.
"Just another Day 1, that's all it is," Sebok said.