2013 Main Event: Kroon Leads Heading into Day 3

Kroon trying to do a Jamie Gold.
Kroon trying to do a Jamie Gold.

That’s it.

The last day of segregation is behind them. No more will the powers that be at the World Series of Poker keep them apart. Tomorrow is Day 3 of the Main Event and all players will mix as one.

For that to be possible, Day 2C had to be played out today, over five two-hour levels. At the end of those levels one man’s stack stood taller and prouder than the rest, again. Mark Kroon finished with the most on Day 1 and ended with the most on Day 2C after bagging up 507,300 chips.

He’s also the overall leader heading into Day 3 and is nearly 100k ahead of Nick Schwarmann who finished as the overall chip leader of Day 2A/2B with 413,600.

Day 1C was, by far, the biggest starting flight and Day 2C naturally was the biggest Day 2. A total of 2,306 players returned today and by the end of play, less than a thousand remained.

The WSOP dream is over for another year for Mathew Ashton and Daniel Negreanu, who are first and second on the WSOP Player of the Year Race. They both busted today and their battle for the POY title will have to wait until the WSOP-E commences in Paris in October.

They were joined on the rail by more than 2,000 other players, including: Jennifer Harman, Jospeh Cheong, Jamie Gold, Jason Mercier, Joe Hachem, Vanessa Selbst, Matt Perrins, Ben Lamb, Gus Hansen, Tom Dwan and Sam Trickett.

For many, the Main Event starts tomorrow when all the players remaining are in the same building on the same day.

The tournament clock will, for the first time, display how many players remain. The last standing 648 players will make the money and the countdown to that magic number starts tomorrow. How many times will a player glance at the clock during the day?

Play resumes at 12pm on Thursday where another five levels will be played out.

Join the PokerListings team back here then.  


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2013 Main Event: Blinded by Sadness

The Main Event is all about making it through the countless days, grinding endless hours and keeping your eye on the prize. For many players the first prize is to survive a day, then another and then the money.

As the tournament goes on, their focus shifts to dreaming of a final table, and ultimately the bracelet.

All of these dreams, hopes and aspirations evaporated like a raindrop on the hot Las Vegas asphalt for Raj Ajmari, when he received the worst news possible on Day 1 of this tournament. 

David “Doc” Sands played with Ajmari on Day 1 and Tweeted the following which caught everyone’s attention.

Sands promised the devastated player 1% of his tournament winnings in case he managed to cash. Sands started Day 2 with just 3,300 chips and he was knocked out shortly afterwards.

Ajmari played his first ever World Series of Poker Main Event this year and found out his dad had passed away during the second level of the first day. Not knowing what to do, Ajmari played until the dinner break and did not return after that for quite some time.

“He just left and came back with about an hour left in the day. He had a bunch of bags on him and said he tried getting on a flight back to Seattle, but that didn’t work out,” Jim Alimonos said.

Alimonos played with Ajmari on Day 1 and was seated next to his stack again on Day 2. Ajmari made it to the second day of play with 58,850, but it was clear that he was not going to show up today.

At 12:07 PM Ajmari was blinded out of the tournament after Alimonos put in his last black 100 chip in order to post the ante.

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2013 Main Event: Hellmuth at the Helm; Dopplegangers

Phil Hellmuth
Phil Hellmuth

Phil Hellmuth is in his element and can hardly keep the smile off his face. Why should he?

The 13-time bracelet winner has 166k chips in front of him and is playing in the biggest -- and his favorite -- tournament of the year.

Jennifer Harman is also at the table but she’s not having such a good a time of it. Silent and slouched in her chair wearing sunglasses, her mouth shaped like someone who is not having fun.

She only had 11k or so chips in front of her and she twiddled them between her fingers, almost as if she’s daring someone to give her action. She’s armed and ready to call, or raise all in, in a shot.

Harman Doubles to a Short Stack

Did Hellmuth notice this? Does he want to send her a message, as if to put her off her intended plan? Who knows, but raising to 7,000 with a big blind at 1,200 would certainly do that. He got no action and semi flashed big slick before the dealer prepped the deck for the next hand.  

“I feel like I should have 100-150 thousand more. “ he told PokerListings.

“Maybe if I didn’t raise to seven-thousand with ace-king and ace-queen, I would!” he chuckled.

Jennifer Harman
Jennifer Harman

Harman was still prepped and ready to do or die. The action folded to her on the button and in the chips went, all 11,300 of them. The small blind decided to call, event though he only had a few thousand more.

Harman: A 9

Small blind: Q 7

The board ran 5 K 8 6 K and Harman edged closer to her starting stack, still in grave danger though.

Hellmuth watched the hand play out and continued to throw quotes at PokerListings.

“I was on the treadmill today, I only lasted four minutes.”

“In Europe (WSOPE) I played 46% of the flops at the final table and that’s a record. Here, I’ve only played 4% of flops.”

The was a small pause before he started to shadowbox while saying, “I’ve got to do a little bit of this ands a little bit of that!”

In short, Hellmuth is having the time of hid life. Let’s hope he doesn’t blow up.

Will the Real Sam Holden Please Fold Now

A quick glance at table #50 in the Brasilia room reveals Sam Holden.

Further inspection of the same table reveals…another Sam Holden?

There are only a few explanations for such a phenomenon. One is that Holden was a prototype of a British poker-playing clone that's now been moved into mass production.

The other is that Holden completely dominated tournament poker so much in the near future that no one was willing to play against him.

Left with millions of dollars and all the free time in the world, Holden dedicated himself to inventing time travel so he could find the only opponent possible of defeating him: himself.

Sam Holden (left?) Other Sam Holden (right?)

The other guy might just look like Sam Holden but that's a long shot.

Either way, they're both seated at the same table and probably will be for the rest of the day.

Grinding Down

Michael Mizrachi wasn't too happy in the last level of the day.

He was reported to have up to 530,000 at one point, but then he was down to 370,000. Mizrachi was aggressively riffling his chips and quickly exhaling while looking up at the ceiling. He slammed his chips on top of his stack a few times and lost another pot.

A player in early position raised to 7,100 and Mizrachi called from the big blind. The flop came 3 T 2 and Mizrachi checked. The initial player led out for 16,500 and Mizrachi called, bringing a 9 on the turn.

Both players checked and a 4 completed the board. Players checked again and Mizrachi mucked when his opponent turned over A A.

A few hands later, a player raised to 2,500 from middle position and the cutoff called. Mizrachi was on the button and called as well, bringing a 3 5 J flop.

The player in middle position led out for 5,000 and both players called. A 7 came on the turn and action checked to Mizrachi. The Grinder bet 15,000 and then the player in middle position moved all-in for 49,300.

Both players folded and a frustrated Mizrachi was down to 330,000.


The top 10 chip counts according to WSOP.com are:

1. Mark Kroon - 530,000

2. Dirk Van Lujik - 455,000

3. Victor Figueroa - 436,500

4. Ryan Olson - 357,000

5. Vladimir Geshkenbein - 335,000

6. Michael Mizrachi - 330,000

7. Jean-Robert Bellande - 321,000

8. Jens Knosalla - 210,000

9. Chris Lindh - 300,000

10. Stephen Chidwick - 290,000


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2013 Main Event: Busting, Chilling or Short-Stacking

Paur old Taylor.
Paur old Taylor.

Short-stack Ninjas; Kelly and Paur Fighting for Survival

Bracelet winners, JP Kelly and Taylor Paur, are sat at adjacent tables in the Brasilia room and both fighting for survival with below starting stacks.

Kelly took down a small pot before he lost a bigger one to drop to 26,000.

In the small pot, his raise was called by both players before his c-bet was good enough to dislodge both of them on the flop.

In the next hand, he was in the big blind and battling a player under-the-gun. Both players had made it to the river where a 8 9 2 7 Q board rested.

Kelly checked to face a 4,000 bet that he treated with a check-raise up to 16,000. His opponent snap-called with K K, beating out Kelly’s T 8.

Over in the next table, Paur managed to double up to around 26,000, to join Kelly.

He was on the button with pocket fives and three-bet all in after a player in the hijack opened. His opponent tank-called with king-queen but failed to hit through the A 9 J 7 7 board.

Luske, Rettenmaier, Voulgaris and Cunningham All Chilling Out

Everyone who watches the ESPN WSOP broadcasts always roots for top pros making it to the final table. It’s fun to watch some of these masters of the game excel on the biggest stage and on Day 2c there are still plenty left in the hunt.

Marvin Rettenmaier was very active and playing many hands and the former GPI number one is currently sitting on 165,000 chips. Rettenmaier cashed the $25,000 Six-Max earlier this year and he also has two previous Main Event cashes on his poker resume.

Marcel Luske
Luske flying mid height.

The Flying Dutchman, also known as Team PokerStars Pro Marcel Luske, has been close to making the biggest final table in poker. Luske finished 14th in 2003 when Chris Moneymaker won the Main Event, a year later Luske was the unlucky bubble as he finished in tenth place. After a long hiatus Luske cashed again in the Main Event last year in 102nd place. Currently Luske is sitting on around 156,000 chips.

Allen Cunningham was very close, but also miles away from capturing the 2006 Main Event tile. Cunningham was the pro most people were rooting for at Jamie Gold’s final table, but ultimately he busted out in fourth place for over $3.6 million. Right now Cunningham is doing well with around 220,000 chips.

One of the best, or maybe the best, NBA sports bettor Haralabos Voulgaris is also still very much alive. Voulgaris has had his share of poker success throughout the years with three WPT final tables for a combined $1.5 million in cashes. Right now Voulgaris is sitting on around 235,000 chips.

So Long Chips!

We just tallied up some of the recent eliminations by keeping an eye on the Twitter-sphere. Eugene Todd is no longer in as he lost ace-king versus aces and that was exactly the same scenario Team PokerStars Pro Jason Mercier busted out in.


Lee Goldman got in ace-king against jacks and he as well was knocked out. Another cash game grinder in the name of Brian Tate was also eliminated after dinner.

Daniel Negreanu’s chase for Player of the Year is still very much alive as Matthew Ashton was knocked out as well. Ashton is currently sitting in the number one spot with the WSOPE still to come.


Finally Eric Wasserson also has no chips left in the Main Event and the pain was clearly visible in his Tweet.


Top 10 Chips Counts (according to WSOP.com)

1. Michael Mizrachi - 553,000

2. Mark Kroon - 460,000

3. Dirk Van Luijk - 439,000

4. Jean-Robert Bellande - 321,000

5. Chris Lindh - 300,000

6. Stephen Chidwick - 290,000

7. Vladimir Geshkenbein - 280,000

8. Jens Knosalla - 260,000

9. Marc Carpenterperrault -254,200

10. Mikolaj Zawadzki - 252,000

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2013 Main Events: A Tale of 2.5 Brits

Martin Malone is a British online tournament grinder who now resides in Vancouver, Canada. This has been his first full series and he's managed three cashes in bracelet events.

He’s currently sat at a very chatty table where two older gentlemen are holding court saying how old they feel when “youn'uns” call the seventies and eighties the olden days.

Malone was in the middle of a conversation with one of these guys when he opened the pot to 2,000 from button. He had just about finished saying that he had heard of an old saying to see the big blind call.

Malone continued for 2,100 on a 6 3 7 flop and was check-called. Both players checked the J turn before the big blind check-called 3,500 on the T river.

Malone opened 8 9 for a back-door straight but his opponent did see it and proudly opened A T, thinking he’d won the pot. He hadn’t and the dealer soon pointed it out and pushed the pot to the Brit. He needed it too as that put him up to 24,000.

Surprisingly, the normally chatty Sam Grafton was ever so quiet in a hand with a neighbor.  Maybe because he was bluffing?

The Brit three-bet from the button after the cut-off opened and went on to bet 3,400 and 6,700 on the flop and turn. The final board read T 2 Q 4 J and Grafton checked behind on the river, was shown A T, nodded and mucked his hand.

He’s still doing okay on 125,000. Doing better is Tom Alner, who won WCOOP-44 on PokerStars last year for $463k. He’s up to 210,000.

Media Matters

There's one more tournament going on in the Brasilia room.

In a small corner in the Red section, the final three tables of the WSOP Media Event are playing out. They buy-in is one media pass and hundreds of hours of tournament reporting.

There are some prizes involved. A large flat-screen TV goes to first and second gets an iPad mini.

But they're not there for the prizes, they're there for fun.

People who have spent all summer watching others play poker now have the chance to play against their colleagues. Aside from the multitude of last-longer bets, the most valuable thing on the line is pride.

The ridiculously fast levels have effectively turned the tournament into a giant all-in fest, but that doesn't detract from bragging rights.

No matter what, whoever wins will be the official media champion of the World Series of Poker. Three tables are left and players haven't made the money (electronics?) but its bound to end soon. If coverage seems a bit slim in some places, you know why.


There was even a bracelet.


The top 10 chip counts according to WSOP.com are:

1. Michael Mizrachi - 553,000

2. Mark Kroon - 460,000

3. Dirk Van Lujik - 439,000

4. Jean-Robert Bellande - 321,000

5. Chris Lindh - 300,000

6. Vladimir Geshkenbein - 280,000

7. Jens Knosalla - 260,000

8. Marc Carpenterperrault - 254,200

9. Mikolaj Zawadzki - 252,200

10. Haralabos Voulgaris - 248,000

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2013 Main Event: Mizrachi At The Top As Play Resumes After Dinner

The patched one is on a roll.
The patched one is on a roll.

A whole lot of players are still chasing down a spot on Day 3 as play resumes after the dinner break. Everyone needs to play two more two-hour levels before the day is done.

The blinds are now 500/1,000 with a 100 ante and means the 30,000 starting stack from day one is still worth 30 big blinds at this point.

Here’s an update on our current chip leader Michael Mizrachi who managed to do what we always expect of him; to run up a huge stack.

Right before the dinner break it was Mizrachi who grabbed a firm chip lead. The man also known as “The Grinder” won a huge pot off Robert Deppe, and jumped into the chip lead. 

On a 5 T Q flop it was Mizrachi who check-called 20,500 from the small blind after Deppe had bet from the big.

The turn brought the 7 and Mizrachi check-called 33,000.

On the river the J hit and this time Mizrachi decided to bet 120,000 out of nowhere. Deppe tanked for a long time and announced he had a set of queens. Eventually he called with that hand and Mizrachi showed A K for a rivered straight. This pot shot Mizrachi up to 550,000 while Deppe was left behind with just 22,000 chips.

Among the other big stacks coming back from dinner we’re seeing Russian aggressor Vladimir Geshkenbein. Jean-Robert Bellande, Stephen Chidwick, Haralabos Voulgaris and former EPT Madrid winner Frederik Jensen.

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2013 Main Event: Dinner Break; Ivey Going Steady; Serock Limps Out

Ivey! Ivey Ivey!
Ivey! Ivey Ivey!

Three levels of play are done and out of the 2,306 players that started the day, less than 1,500 remain.

More than 800 players have seen their Main Event dream end in just six hours of play.

WSOP staff predicted that we'd end the day with about 1,000 players, so things seem to be going according to plan.

With 800 players surviving Day 2A/B, less than 2,300 players remain in the whole Main Event. While the 800 Day 2A/B survivors are on a very extended dinner break until noon tomorrow, Day 2C survivors will still have to play another two levels before calling it a day.

Ivey Check Before Dinner Break

The 90-minute dinner break has arrived and we had to check in on Phil Ivey before we saw to our hunger pains.

Ivey started the day on 120k and has managed to increase that to 140k, a steady increase. Part of his increase came by winning a small three-way pot while we were there.

There was an early position raise to 1,800 that Ivey (hijack) and the big blind called. On the A J 5 flop, the original aggressor continued for 2,300 and only Ivey called.

Both players checked the T turn before the aggressor led for 2,400 on the A river. Ivey raised this to 8,000 and his foe snap-folded.

Ivey let a small smirk break out on the left side of his mouth and let an even bigger one break out when his resident fans on the rail shouted, “IVEY! IVEY! IVEY!”

Serock Eliminated

The Joe Serock saga is over as the man with the bruises had just lef the tournament area. Serock slowly limped towards the exit, as he will probably be feeling the results of his moped crash for many days to come.

Joseph Serock
Serock limped out.

For someone who just went through a crash, no sleep and ten hours in a holding cell Serock seemed quite okay. His WSOP Main Event is ever though, but we doubt that is his biggest concern right now.

Quotes From The Field

The WSOP Main Event is filled with amateur poker players who are all living their dream. By just walking around and listening inside the Rio WSOP area you get ahold of some of the greatest quotes.

People love to talk, and when some poker players get going they produce quite the random collection of quotes.

“I used to smoke, but now I only drink,” and older gentleman in the orange Amazon room section said. This gentleman had two Coronas in front of him and was clearly enjoying his day at the tables.

“Why is folding so important? I really dislike it,” was overheard from the rail as a gentleman was looking at, quite possibly, a very tight table.

Surprisingly enough we’re seeing plenty of players ordering drinks left and right. The dinner break is about to start, but there’s still four more hours of poker left to be played afterwards.

“I’ll have a beer and a coffee.”

That’s probably our favorite quote of the last hour as one player decided to keep it balanced between caffeine and alcohol.

The top 10 chip counts according to WSOP.com are: 

1. Mark Kroon - 415,000

2. Michael Mizrachi - 370,000

3. Jean-Robert Bellande - 255,000

4. Marc Carpenterperrault - 254,200

5. Ercan Olgun - 225,000

6. Stephen Chidwick - 220,000

7. Matthew Bray - 218,500

8. Joseph Flagiello - 201,050

9. Jonathan Jaffe - 200,000

10. Haralabos Voulgaris - 196,500

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2013 Main Event: Profanity and Damaged Arrivals

Shawn Sheikhan
Shawn Sheikhan

Shawn Sheikhan makes his presence known.

He's had several confrontations with pros including Phil Hellmuth and Mike Matusow. He's loud, profane and spent nine months in prison back in 2007.

Now he's back to making noise in the Main Event.

"Who put in an extra ante?" asked Jason the dealer. He looked through the ante pile again and the looked at each player.

"Uh, I think that was me," Sheikhan said. "I'm kind of f*cked up."

The dealer gave an ante back to Sheikhan, who doubled up a few hands later. There was a raise a call and a 2 8 3 flop. There were two players in the hand and they checked. A T came on the turn Sheikhan's opponent bet 7,500. Sheikhan grabbed his stack and dumped it in.

"All-in," he said. Sheikhan's opponent called the extra 52,900 and turned over K K. Sheikhan showed T T for a set of tens.

The river brought a J and and Sheikhan celebrated.

"Held motherf*cker," Sheikhan said. "This is how motherf*ckers do it, I'm that motherf*cker."

Sheikhan is now up to about 115,000 and as vocal as ever.

Damaged Arrival

Joe Serock hadn't shown up for quite some time and some thought he wan't going to. Then he showed up in Level 8, considerably bruised and beaten.

Here’s why:

Serock had a massive bruise on his leg and his shirt was stained with dirt and blood stained. 

Serock wrote the Tweets above while he was playing and he even managed to pick up two pots. After folding four hands in a row, Serock made sure the coast was clear before moving all-in from the small blind. His opponent folded to the shove worth 8,500.

On the next hand, Serock shoved again and got no callers. The Season 10 WPT Player of the Year started the day with 32,000 and after two shoves he’s now back up to around 11,000.

Kevin MacPhee
Kevin MacPhee

MacPhee Doing Work

EPT Berlin winner and avid Fantasy Poker player Kevin MacPhee just managed to knock two people out.

First we watched a player go all in for 9,300 and MacPhee called from his immediate left. The other players folded and MacPhee tabled A A. His opponent showed Q 9 and the board ran out 2 2 4 8 Q.

A few hands later the flop showed 4 T 2 and MacPhee called his opponent’s all in after he had bet. MacPhee had T 5 and was up against Q 9. The board ran out 2, J and MacPhee is now up to around 155,000 chips.

News in Brief


  • Davidi Kitai will have to be content with one bracelet this summer after he busted out of the Main Event.

Simon Charette three-bet a 1,700 open to 4,500 and then snap called when the Belgian jammed for around 20,000 from the big blind.

Kitai: K J

Charette: A K

The board ran 2 J 5 A 4.


  • There was a battle of Britain occurring on the river between the new and old school of the UK poker scene.

Sam Grafton and Surrinder Sunar had made it to the river of a 2 8 9 9 5. Grafton checked to face a 26,000 bet from Sunar. The latter had 50k back and Grafton set him in for it.

Sunar folded a nine face up and that helped Grafton up to around 160k.


The top 10 chip counts according to WSOP.com are: 

1. Mark Kroon - 327,000

2. Michael Mizrachi - 323,300

3. Marc Carpenterperrault - 254,200

4. Jean-Robert Bellande - 240,000

5. Ercan Olgun - 225,000

6. Stephen Chidwick - 220,000

7. Matthew Bray - 218,500

8. Joseph Flagiello - 201,050

9. Jonathan Jaffe - 200,000

10. Haralabos Voulgaris - 196,500

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2013 Main Event: Costa Rican Poker and Changing Priorities

Ruthenberg - how do you like your eggs cooked?
Ruthenberg - how do you like your eggs cooked?

The Life/Poker Balance

We love poker. That’s why we’re here. Most of the players here love poker too and would like to play all the time.

There are some though, for some reason or another, don’t play as much as they used to. Some fall out of love with the game, some fall in love with someone or something else, and some are told they can’t play anymore.

We came across three such players today who haven’t played as many events as they have done in previous years, and all for very different reasons.

Sebastian Ruthenberg

Sebastian Ruthenberg was one of the original German poker stars. He crushed online and took down EPT Barcelona in Season 5 for €1.3 million. He supported and inspired a whole generation of young German players, many who dominate today.

Ruthenberg grinded hard at the game for many years but it grew to be tiresome for him and he looked elsewhere for fulfilment. He found it in food.

He went back to college and studied all about the restaurant business. How to cook, how front of house works and how the business element worked. The restaurant business is his future now.

There was a rumour flying around before the series started that Ruthenberg was going to be the hired chef for all the German high roller players.

When Ruthenberg arrived at the back end of the series to play the $50k players championship, he quaffed at the rumours and said they were spread as a joke.

Ruthenberg is playing the Main Event today and looking to go out on a big high. 

Eric Liu

Eric Liu had always primarily been known as a cash game player and instructor playing as “p3achy_keen” online. For many years though he made a name for himself in some of the biggest tournaments around.

He came fourth for $430k at EPT London back in Season 5 for a career high cash and followed that up with some impressive scores.

Liu’s priorities changed though. He got married to Jessica this year and travelling the circuit is less of a priority. This is Liu’s second tournament of the summer and he’s struggling a bit with his stack down below 20k. 

Simon Charette
Charette - Mr Positive.

Simon Charette

Simon Charette has won more than $1.5 million in tournament earnings throughout his career and nearly twice as much online under the handle, Pokerbrat13.

Last year, he won his first bracelet in the $3k NLHE and immediately went home and wasn’t seen until this year’s series. He min-cashed five out of the first 11 tournaments and then he went home again.

He came back for the Main Event and is doing well on average stack here on Day 2C.

When Charette was younger he broke his hip and since then, his body’s grown and has caused him no-end of problems, mostly in his back. His doctors have told him he has to stop playing, as the position he sits in to play will only make his condition worse.

Charette is not down on life though and says he feels like the luckiest man alive as he got the chance win a bracelet. He did admit that we might not see him much again after this Main Event is over.

Here’s hoping he’s gets back stronger than ever, and if not, here’s hoping he goes out on a massive high.

Random Updates From The Big Names

Swedish top pro, Ramzi Jelassi, is being his usual self as he’s sitting behind a big stack early on Day 2. Right next to Jelassi we spotted Vivek Rajkumar, also with a good stack, and the more we wandered through the Gold Section of the Brasilia Room the more big names we’ve spotted.

Further down we spotted Team PokerStars Pro Jason Mercier who explained that it felt like he had a short stack.

“I’ve got around 30,000 chips and it feels like I’m short but I still have 50 big blinds.”

The WSOP Main Event has the best structure in the world and even a stack worth 50 big blinds feels very small at this time. Throughout this tournament the average stack will be a lot closer to 80 big blinds and that’s why it’s very important to keep realizing that you’re in no rush to play.

Mercier- Do I have a big stack?

Team PokerStars Pro Angel Guillen is sitting back relaxed while his Chilean Nicolas Fierro just got knocked out.

Two-time bracelet winner Jesper Hougaard got into it at the table about sushi restaurants and apparently we all need to go to Kabuto. Lars Bonding, one of Hougaard’s fellow countryman and friends, acknowledged the place but said he always went to Sushi Fever.

Phil Hellmuth is sitting at a table with Brent Hanks and Jennifer Harman and he’s awfully quiet so far. The 13-time champ is sitting on around 90,000 and that means he’s already around the end-of-day average.

Finally we also spotted two-time bracelet winner Dutch Boyd, November Nine participant Sam Holden, Team PokerStars Pro Julien Brecard and genius/wizard/math god Nate Silver still very much alive in this event.

Jose Rosencrantz is outshined on the poker world in several fronts.

When people hear the name Rosencrantz, they think of the "Bet Raise Fold" produce, Jay Rosencrantz.

When people think of Costa Rican poker players, they think of Team PokerStars Humberto Brenes.

But Jose Rosencrantz is both a Costa Rican and a Rosencrantz.

Humberto Brenes
Humberto "The Shark" Brenes

While Rosencrantz lives in anonymity, he's been a part of Costa Rican poker since its inception. Early in Level 7, Rosencrantz was eliminated and went to go watch Brenes from the rail.

There he recalled how he and Brenes got their start in poker.

They first came to play poker Las Vegas in 1986 after their friends Max and Maria Stern -- the only married couple to both win a WSOP bracelet -- told them there was lots of money in poker.

"[Max] said all we had to do was find the tourists," Rosencrantz said. "We went to the Golden Nugget every day but ended up losing every single day."

After a specifically bad day, Rosencrantz remembers standing up and yelling at Brenes from across the room.

"'Where are all the tourists?' I yelled," Rosencrantz said. "Then Humberto stood up and yelled 'We're the tourists."

After that trip to Vegas, the two returned to Costa Rica and studied the game. Rosencrantz and Brenes read Doyle Brunson's "Super System" and started studying the numbers. While they improved their game, it was still an uphill battle when they returned to Las Vegas.

"Latins are always looked down on," Rosencrantz said. "They had no idea where Costa Rica was so they just called us 'Below Mexicans.'"

With racial barriers and broken english, the only way Rosencrantz and Brenes were able to earn their respect was through poker.

"Brenes and I came back and started winning tournaments," Rosencrantz said. "One year I won two tournaments downtown and got a fourth place finish. After that, some players started bowing down when I walked by."

Brenes, Rosencrantz and the small group of Costa Ricans continued to play and win in the WSOP.

Doyle Brunson
Who didn't Brunson teach to play?

"We were the only Latin American players and they thought we were crazy," Rosencrantz said. "Like all the young kids today."

Rosencrantz had limited success in the WSOP while Brenes went on to win two WSOP bracelets and cash for more than $2.2 million at the WSOP.

Rosencrantz then dropped out of the poker scene in 1996 after divorcing his wife and hitting a rough patch. Rosencrantz didn't get back into the poker scene for six years but he hit it hard when he came back.

The World Poker Tour held an event in Costa Rica in 2002 and Rosencrantz took it down for his first six-figure cash.

"All these great players from all around the world were there," Rosencrantz said. "It felt great to beat them all and keep the trophy home."

Rosencrantz and Brenes continued to influence poker in Latin America and Rosencrantz's brother opened the first dedicated poker room in Costa Rica.

Rosencrantz has enjoyed seeing poker grown in Latin America and has recently been impressed by both Brazilians and one Latin American Player

"The Brazilians are crazy," Rosencrantz said. "But they're always so happy. Win or lose. It's contagious, I love playing with them."

Rosencrantz said the game was very young in Latin America and players are still learning. There's one young Latin American player that has impressed Rosencrantz though, Team PokerStars Pro Angel Guillen.

"He's amazing," Rosencrantz said. "I love watching him play and think he's going to go a long way."

The top 10 chip counts according to WSOP.com are: 

1. Mark Kroon - 280,000

2. Ercan Olgun - 225,000

3. Matthew Bray - 218,500

4. Joseph Flagiello - 201,050

5. Jonathan Jaffe - 200,000

6. Frederik Jensen - 196,000

7. Carlos Mortensen - 195,000

8. Haralabos Voulgaris - 186,000

9. Stephen Chidwick - 185,000

10. Bryn Kenney - 180,000

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2013 Main Event: Clashes With Cheong

Joseph Cheong
Joseph Cheong

Joseph Cheong has a ton of live and online results for someone who's only 26 and Rachid Ben Cherif is an online superstar who goes by the name of SkaiWalkurrr.

Today they are seated right next to each other.

Cheong raised to 1,200 from the button andBen Cherif three-bet to 4,700. Cheong called and the flop brought J A 7. Ben Cherif bet 6,100 and Cheong called.

On the turn, the 2 hit and this time Ben Cherif checked. Cheong bet 11,000 and Ben Cherif called.

The river brought the 8 and Ben Cherif tanked for a bit before betting 26,500. Cheong snap-folded and Ben Cherif was up 124,000 while Cheong was left 145,000.

Ben Cherif has never cashed the WSOP Main Event while Cheong finished third in the Main Event in 2010 for more than $4.1 million, 114th in 2011 and 116th last year. 

No Serock?

Joe Serock has not showed up. Serock started the day with 32,550 chips and a quick check-up showed us that he was already down to 25,100.

According to sources Serock is not going to show up today, but he’s supposed to be all right. Let’s hope the accomplished tournament player can still find a way to the Rio as his stack is worth quite a lot of money.

David Benyamine
David Benyamine

Reinkemeier Calls Benyamine Down

Tobias Reinkemeier and David Benyamine are seated at the same table and the hand we just watched is probably a sign of what’s to come.

Reinkemeier raised to 1,300 and Benyamine called in position after which another player called.

The flop brought 2 K Q and action checked to Benyamine. The French pro bet 1,600 and the first player folded while Reinkemeier called.

On the turn the 3 hit and Reinkemeier check-called 2,900.

The river brought the 8 and Reinkemeier checked again. Benyamine threw out 8,600 and the German tanked for quite a while before eventually making the call.

“Good call,” Benyamine said as he flipped up J T. Reinkemeier showed K 9 and took down this pot as he’s up to 145,000 chips. Benyamine is still sitting on 124,000.


So Long Luongo

Roberto Luongo has been eliminated from the Main Event. 

We featured Luongo in an interview below and are now finishing up a mini-documentary on the Canucks goaltender. Stay tuned for a visual and auditory feast of Luongo's 2013 Main Event experience.


The top 10 counts according to WSOP.com are:

1. Mark Kroon - 280,000

2. Ercan Olgun - 225,000

3. Matthew Bray - 218,500

4. Joseph Flagiello - 201,050

5. Jonathan Jaffe - 200,000

6. Frederik Jensen - 196,000

7. Carlos Mortensen - 195,000

8. Stephen Chidwick - 185,000

9. Bryn Kenney - 180,000

10. Jean-Robert Bellande - 178,000

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2013 Main Event: Trickett and Negreanu Bust; Ivey's Looking at You!

Trickett busts.
Trickett busts.

De Korver Busts Trickett
EPT Grand Final winner Pieter de Korver just made an end to Sam Trickett’s tournament after cracking his aces. De Korver explained how there was a raise and Trickett decided to call. De Korver called from the small blind with 8 9 and Will Failla called from the big blind.
The flop brought out 8 7 4 and De Korver bet 1,200, Failla and the initial raiser folded and Trickett moved all in. Trickett started the day with around 15,000 chips and was knocked out when the turn brought the 5. De Korver is now sitting on around 45,000 chips and that’s still a very comfortable stack.

De Korver Busts Trickett

Former EPT Grand Final winner, Pieter de Korver, just made an end to Sam Trickett’s tournament after cracking his aces.

De Korver explained how there was a raise and Trickett decided to call. De Korver called from the small blind with 8 9 and Will Failla called from the big blind.

The flop brought out 8 7 4 and De Korver bet 1,200, Failla and the initial raiser folded and Trickett moved all in. Trickett started the day with around 15,000 chips and was knocked out when the turn brought the 5.

De Korver is now sitting on around 45,000 chips and that’s still a very comfortable stack.

Negreanu No More

Team PokerStars Pro Daniel Negreanu has just been knocked out of the 2013 WSOP Main Event. Negreanu went all in for 11,000 chips with ace-king and lost to pocket tens.

Negreanu’s Main Event might not have what he expected it to be, but at least he had a great summer in Las Vegas. Negreanu finished 7th in the $25,000 WPT right before the series and managed to cash six times at the Rio. His biggest cash was a second-place finish in the $2,500 2-7 Triple Draw for $107,055 behind Eli Elezra.

Negreanu is currently in second place on the WSOP Player of the Year ranking and he will definitely travel to Paris for the WSOPE with a chance to become number one.

Observations From Pavillion Room

There’s a lot going on today. Many players are busting and a lot of fans have turned up to see their heroes play. Sometimes it’s good to focus one’s eyes away from the flop and the chips and observe what’s going on around the action.

Before Gus Hansen busted, there was a fan on the rail staring at the “Great Dane” and only him. That wasn’t so unusual but what happened next was a little odd.

The gentleman in question was around retirement age and wearing a football jersey with the number 18 on. He found an, erm, how shall we put this? An itch on the inside of his nose and went to work on it. It took about ten seconds to get said itch onto the floor.

All of a sudden, Hansen needed to itch his nose. Thankfully Hansen’s itch was on the outside of his nose. We still have to open our minds to the possibility of this encounter being mind control.

Had Joesph Vu (who busted Hansen) employed some sort of white magic mind control with an accomplice? To be honest, probably not.


Phil Ivey
Is Ivey watching you?

Ivey’s Always Watching You!

What does Phil Ivey do when not in a hand? A lot of this summer, he’d be on one of his phones or selecting new music. Not the Main Event, it’s too important.

Ivey does not have his headphones as yet, and is studying everything going on.

The player in the 10 seat was saying how he had to lay down a set of jacks on the river after an ace appeared. Ivey, in the one seat, heard this and his ears pricked up. He looked around the dealer at the player and then peered down at his stack. When he saw the player had more than 150k he sat back in his chair, looked up at the ceiling, and laughed to himself.

Was he laughing about a player with a big stack telling a bad beat story? Probably so. The player didn’t realize though that he’d given Ivey valuable information and for the next couple of hands, Ivey watched everything the player did whilst in a hand.

Ivey has position on player who can give him a full double up, and now he’s armed with some information that might aid in his quest to dismantle the player’s stack. Watch out!

Construction Complete

The ESPN crew is putting the finishing touches on the feature table.

They've been working for days, installing cameras, counting on microphones and setting up secondary feature tables.

But it's all done now.

A few remaining staff members came in and with the glass display case for the Main Event bracelet and then they took a seat.

The stage looks just like it did the previous years with a few exceptions. The ads are different and its a bit bustier.

Main Stage
The main stage.

The two bronze busts that were presented to Chris Moneymaker and Doyle Brunson are now flanking the entrance of the feature stage. While those statues will remain stoic and silent the rest of the series, the stage will not.

The production crew has taken over and they're getting ready to begin filming tomorrow. They're practicing by microphoning crew members and playing out some poorly-dealt hands of poker.

But from tomorrow on, we'll start to see the most important hands of this year's Main Event on that very felt.

Following Roberto Luongo at the World Series of Poker Day 2


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2013 Main Event: Hansen and Dwan Turn Up, Bust

Tom Dwan, starting on Day 2C.
Tom Dwan, starting on Day 2C.

Wherever there's a rail big rail, there's a big pro.

Over in the white section of the Pavilion room is a rail larger than most. The trademark Phil Ivey couple is there along with at least a dozen other railbirds. The rail is larger than the usual Ivey rail and a quick glance at the section reveals why.

Right next to Ivey's table is Table #118. In its six seat is 2011 WSOP Player of the Year, Ben Lamb. Then, on the table closest to the rail is Tom Dwan. Gus Hansen is also in the same vicinity. 

Dwan is getting a massage from his go-to masseuse and manning the stack he abandoned all Day 1C.

Both Dwan and Hansen reportedly missed all of Day 1C because he was playing high-stakes Open-Face Chinese at the Aria. 

Twitter and 2+2 exploded with reports of a $3,000-a-point Open-Face Chinese game with Dwan, Hansen and Richard Yong.

Dwan and Hansen were blinded off for the whole day and when play started today, Dwan showed up and confirmed that he missed due to playing cash games on Twitter.

"I didn't play the other day," Dwan was telling his masseuse. "Blinded out all day."

The hand Dwan was reporting to happened when the button at his table -- who only had about 12,000 -- moved all-in from the button. Dwan started the day with 17,825 and called from the big blind.

Dwan called from the big blind and showed K Q to the button's T 8

The board came 4 5 8 T K and the button hit two pair to double up. 

Dwan was left with about 5,000 and was in need of some help. 

Then Dwan tripled up:

Dwan had some more space to maneuver but then his Main Event came to an end.

Dwan Out, All Class

After winning and losing some small pots, Dwan had around 10,000 left when tournament director Jack Effel walked by.

“I see you also came to play,” Effel said with a smile.

“I’m trying now, just a few million more chips to go,” Dwan responded.

“Well you can’t win it today."

“Who says I can’t?” 

A few hands later it was all over for Dwan as the ESPN cameras made sure to got it all on tape. 

Gus Hansen
Gus Hansen and another masseuse.

Nicholas Vannewkirk raised to 1,200 and Dwan called from two seats over. The other players folded and the flop showed 5 6 9 and Vannewkirk bet 1,500. Dwan looked back down at his cards and moved all-in for about 9,000.

His opponent called immediately and showed J J and Dwan was trailing with 8 8. The turn brought the K and the river was a 3

“Good luck guys,” Dwan said.

 After paying his masseuse, Dwan walked away towards the rail and spent a moment with his fans. 

Dwan stood around for a solid 15 minutes taking photos and signing autographs for everyone who wanted one.

Dwan was all smiles and made sure nobody missed out. We will no longer see Dwan in the Main Event, but he definitely left a mark with the 20 fans he took a little extra time for.


Hansen Follows Dwan out the Door

Gus Hansen only came back with 18,000 chips today and now he has none.

It’s hard to tell whether the table is sad to see him go or not. On the one hand, he could make their lives a misery if he got chips. On the other, they’re playing with Hansen! You know, the guy from all those WPT final tables back in the day.

Bryan Leskowitz raised to 1,100 from the cut-off and was called by Joseph Vu on the button before Hansen squeezed to 3,625 from the big blind. Leskowitz folded but Vu called after some thought.

The flop fell 2 5 4 and Hansen led for 4,100 only to be set in for his remaining 7,500.

“Hit that flop pretty hard for this hand,” commented Hansen. “Unfortunately, it’s a pretty bad hand!”

In his remaining chips went and the cards were exposed.

Vu: A 5 for top pair and gutshot straight draw.

Hansen: 4 9 for second pair and an over card -- Hansen pointed that out.

The board ran out 6 J to end Hansen’s Main Event. He wished everyone the best of luck and headed off.


The top 10 counts according to WSOP.com are:

1. Imari Love - 247,000

2. Mark Kroon - 203,000

3. Karlo Lopez - 202,700

4. Frederik Jensen - 196,000

5. Stephen Chidwick - 185,000

6. Muhammad Abdel Rahim - 163,075

7. Michael Mizrachi - 160,000

8. Ethiel Garcia - 158,300

9. Darryl Ronconi - 158,100

10. Yunier Rodriguez - 157,450

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2013 Main Event: Tough Tables Stand Out

Bellande in the action early.
Bellande in the action early.

A few tough tables have stuck out early and we decided to check in on them early on and see how the dynamics played out. As one would expect, the play at the two tables we looked at tended to bet cagey. 

Pavilion Room, Table 96 

1. Jason Wheeler - 18,800

2. Daryl Katz - 29,675

3. Gordon Huntly - 83,600

4. Jean-Robert Bellande - 91,400

5. Craig Bergeron - 109,450

6. Daniel Idema - 49,000

7. Bradford Magnus - 66,350

8. David Becker - 44,275

9. David Melius, - 50,800

For this table we decided to stick with them for one orbit of hands and see how it played out.

Hand 1: Bellande opened to 1,100 from under the gun and called when Magnus three-bet to 2,500. Bellande check-called a 2,500 c-bet before both players checked the rest of the 4 3 8 5 7 board down.

Bellande opened A Q but lost out to his opponent’s A K.

Hand 2. Bellande defended his big blind to a Katz 1,200 button raise and then check-raised him on a 8 5 9 flop. It did the job as Katz folded.

Hand 3. A Becker raise took the blinds and antes.

Hand 4. A Wheeler raise took the blinds and antes.

Hand 5. Walk.

Hand 6. Wheeler opened to 1,200 and Becker and Melius called out of the blinds. The flop fell J Q 4 and the blinds check-folded to a Wheeler 1,675 c-bet.

Hand 7. Magnus raised his button to 1,200 and Becker called from the small blind and donk-led for 1,500 on a 7 Q K flop. Magnus folded.

Hand 8. Raise and take from Becker on the button.

Bergeron is the last player to take his seat.

Hand 9. Bellande and Katz get all the money in on the river of a T Q A K 2 board. Both had a the jack for a straight and chop it up.

Stacked Table with Negreanu, Trickett, Failla, De Korver and an Online Legend

Another table we ran into had Team PokerStars Pro Daniel Negreanu, One Drop runner-up Sam Trickett, WPT winner Will Failla and EPT Grand Final winner Pieter de Korver.

Sam Trickett
Trickett well rested for once.

“I think I’ve slept 12 hours,” Trickett said, explaining that that’s not normal, “I think in the previous four weeks I’ve slept an average of two hours per night.”

After a few minutes of silence and some small pots it was De Korver was directed himself towards yours truly.

“I thought this was going to be a chatty table,” De Korver said, as everyone at the table was dead silent listening to their music of choice.

“I guess they need to win some chips first,” the Dutchman added who’s always ready to get some table talk going.

Besides all these interesting players there’s one player that many of you might not know. He’s on the list as Carl Halling, but everyone knows him as Frederik Halling or H@££INGGOL. This Swedish online superstar was one of the first players to successfully use a very loose aggressive style in online poker. Halling played mainly heads up tables and was known to play sessions of over 48 hours. Back in 2005 he was one of the young kids and also became one of the first ever Supernovas on PokerStars.

We’re going to keep a close eye on Halling, the man who many online railbirds will have some good memories of. Nowadays Halling is back after a hiatus playing mainly $25/$50 and $50/$100 Pot Limit Omaha. In live poker Halling has not had much success but he did record cashes at the 2006 and 2007 World Series of Poker.

Also in The Purple Section: Ho, Chorny, Benyamine and Reinkemeier

If you’re looking to rail some poker action today the purple section of the Amazon has plenty of stars to watch. We spotted Mario Ho close to the rail, former online number one Calvin Anderson, former WSOP Main Event winner Joe Hachem, former EPT Grand Final winner Glen Chorny, David Benyamine and Tobias Reinkemeier.

The player to his left who gave the German pro a nice compliment immediately recognized Reinkemeier.

“You are actually in my favorite poker video of all time,” the man said. “It was the one of you versus Roland De Wolfe,” he added as Reinkemeier cracked a smile.

“Wow, that’s a long time ago, that must’ve been 2009,” Reinkemeier said.

The video in question is well worth watching as it is for sure one of the best videos ever made about poker. Reinkemeier calls on the river with the worst hand knowing De Wolfe will muck a better hand. The video is in German but actions speak louder than words in this case. 


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2013 Main Event: Shuffle Up and Deal

Bruce Buffer
Bruce Buffer

Cards are now in the air and chips are riffling.

UFC Octagon announcer Bruce Buffer grabbed the microphone and addressed the players. He brought his trademark UFC voice to poker and told dealers to "Shuffle up and deal."

The 2,306 survivors of Day 1C are trickling in and most of their dreams are about to be crushed. WSOP staff expect to lose more than half the field and end the day with about 1,000 players.

They'll join the survivors of Day 2A/B tomorrow and we'll have the Main Event field under the same roof for the first time.

Play is underway so stay tuned for updates on five more levels of Main Event action right here on PokerListings.

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Make-or-Break Time for Negreanu, Ivey and Hellmuth on Day 2c

Negreanu: High on spirit, low on chips
Negreanu: High on spirit, low on chips

Over 2,300 will return to their stacks for Day 2c today but all eyes will decidely be on the fates of poker's Big Three - Daniel Negreanu, Phil Hellmuth and Phil Ivey.

The good news for Ivey and Hellmuth? They're starting the day with nice-sized stacks to work with.

Ivey, who's struggled to get any momentum going in Vegas after winning his ninth bracelet at WSOP APAC, sits on 119,650 to start the day. That puts him up towards to the top end of the chip counts lead by Mark Kroon (246,900) and Michael Mizrachi (176,100).

Hellmuth, who likewise has struggled to make a bracelet run this summer, is well positioned to build his stack with 92,850 to start the day.

Negreanu: Under the Gun from the Shuffle Up

Negreanu on the other hand wasn't quite as fortunate on Day 1c. Dipping under 10k in chips at one point Negreanu finally settled in at 15,600 to escape the ignomy of a Day 1 bust.

It hasn't deterred his spirit at all either, with high hopes and the trademark Negreanu attitude ready to attack Day 2c with vigor:

While there's a looong way to go and a bad day on Day 2 won't necessarily kill you, as the rest of the contenders amass the stacks that'll carry them deep into the money it will put you on the back foot as things get tighter on Day 3.

Dozens of great players will of course join the Big Three at the felt today including Joe Cheong (143,375), Vivek Rajkumar (141,000), Isaac Haxton (134,250), Haralabos Voulgaris (121,275) and Vanessa Selbst (115,225).

Vanessa Selbst and the Bracelet
Selbst: Has her eyes on another deep run.

Joining them? The dueling Luongo brothers, Roberto and Fabio, who've resumed their brotherly battle from last year and advanced to Day 2 together again. Fabio has the edge again this time with 87,400 to Roberto's 55,600.

Check out our in-progress video documentary on Luongo's Main Event this year below. The official top 10 and chip counts:

  • 1. Mark Kroon 246,900
  • 2. Imari Love 214,300
  • 3. Karlo Lopez 196,550
  • 4. Michael Mizrachi 176,100
  • 5. Frederik Jensen 169,975
  • 6. Muhammad Abdel Rahim 163,075
  • 7. Marc Carpenterperrault 155,250
  • 8. Josh Pollock 154,025
  • 9. Dinesh Alt 151,400
  • 10. Sameer Aljanedi 150,200

Action gets underway at 12 noon PT. Keep it locked right here for updates  - it's gonna be a barnburner!

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