You want to know everything that's happening at the 2012 World Series of Poker and we're going to do our best to keep you in the know. Here we'll answer the hard-hitting questions like, "Are there any celebrities in the field?" Check back often, you never know what you'll find.
Usually the Rio hallways are scarce before 11:30 am but today it's a little different. Event #9A kicks off and will fill up most of the tables spread across Brasilia, Pavilion, and the Amazon room. This is a re-entry $1,500 event which is drawing in all sorts of players. Some of the early birds we saw were Ryan Welch, Isaac Haxton, Darvin Moon, David Benyamine, Andreas Hoivold and Darryll Fish.
We also asked the players what their morning rituals are before a big tournament like todays.
“I just eat oatmeal before a tournament” Said Benyamine. “I never drink coffee. I don’t know if it would affect my performance in any way, I just never drink it anyway.”
Andreas Hoivold was in good spirits and seemed under no time pressure. When asked about his morning ritual he confessed he doesn’t have one.
“I don’t do anything specific. I just get up early, go on my computer and check my emails like normal,” said Hoivold. “Actually I drink coconut water every morning before a tournament, that’s my ritual. I don’t think coffee is a good idea.”
Hoivold went on to discuss his lifestyle during the WSOP.
“I don’t exercise as much as I should during the series. Actually a few years ago I tried harder, I went to the gym a lot of days and tried to keep it up,” he said with a laugh. “I didn’t feel tired, but I felt it negatively affected my performance. I looked at my results and they weren’t as good, so I don’t try as hard anymore.”
Party of the Year?
Last night some of the ladies of poker hosted the ultimate housewarming party for Vanessa Rousso to kick off the 2012 WSOP. Must have been some party — Liv Boeree rolled her ankle and someone else broke an arm!
Having the ultimate housewarming party at @VanessaRousso 's place tonight. Already had one broken arm (not mine). http://t.co/8YbfDz5kFollow @Liv_Boeree
Sick party by @VanessaRousso @VanessaSelbst @Liv_Boeree @MariaHo !! Best Wsop party I've been to in 4 years!Follow @The_DFish
I had a great time playing the $1500 I can't win, glad to be out earlier than later. Did somebody say a party?Follow @devopoker
Took the afternoon off to hang out w/ my bro @CAMacPhee at the party, but he rolled his arm playing basketball and has a severe dislocation.Follow @KevinMacPhee
Well that was the actual most unbelievable party I've ever been toFollow @scott_seiver
@VanessaRousso I love you. that is all. Hope @VanessaSelbst reads this and gets jealous. #GIRLFIGHT! <3 ty for awesome nightFollow @Maridu
To the Left
We spoke to some pros right before Event #9A $1,500 No-Limit Hold'em Re-buy began and asked them who they didn’t want to see to their left today.
Jason Koon said, without hesitation “Andrew Lichtenberger.”
Brent Hanks was less worried about the quality of his opponent saying “I don’t want to sit next to Dan O’Brien, because he’s probably going to smell like shit.”
Andrew Badecker mentioned that he had been hanging out with Vanessa Selbst the night before and had played a final table with her for Event #2 $1,500 No-Limit Hold'em.
“I don’t want Vanessa to my left because she’s always so tough. I don’t want any sick euro guys either, someone like Anton Wigg.”
After Ashton ‘Ashman’ Griffin gave us his poker dream basketball team yesterday, which drafted Jason Mercier, we wanted to get Jason’s response and see who he would like to have on his own team. We met up with him just outside late registration for Event #9A: No-Limit Hold'em Re-entry.
“I would have Kyle Julius without doubt. He’s a good player. I would have Olivier Busquet too, he’s really good.”
Mercier went on to say “I played with AeJones (Aaron Jones) yesterday too actually, and I think he’d be a good pick out of the guys I know.”
When asked about any props he had going Jason said “I don’t have anything new, I know Daniel (Negreanu) is free-rolling me in the Omaha 8, and I have some other stuff I set up before the series. Nothing new right now though.”
In keeping with the theme of late arrivals and sports, We spoke to Jonathan Duhamel and asked him who he likes in tonight’s Devils vs Kings Stanley Cup game.
“I like LA, I want them to win and I think they’re the best team. Hopefully I won’t get a chance to watch it, because I’ll be deep in the tournament, but if I do I’ll be betting on the Kings. I like they way to play, I like that they have a bunch of kids”.
Where'd All the Good Players Go?
While walking through the Pavilion room we spotted Allen Kessler who was chatty today. He said " They are sending all the good players to my table, what's up with that?." Looking closer we saw Jason Mercier and Matthew Waxman seated at his table.
A few second later we saw this tweet from Allen Kessler
Attention all prop bettors. @jasonmercier looking to bet up to $100k that he can dunk a basketball wearing standard sneakers within 1 monthFollow @AllenKessler
I've seen a lot in live poker but never this last hand-- QQ 44 33 Q43Q4 all in flop with AA http://t.co/Klwua2JAFollow @BartHanson
Everyone knows that the most exciting part of going to Vegas isn’t the poker, the casinos or the bracelets; It’s the poker house. For six weeks every year all the younger pros love nothing more than to rent a huge house and live like overgrown kids, gambling and drinking, playing pranks and making some new friends.
We asked around the Rio today to see who was living with who, what kind of banter was going around the house, and what they expected from the rest of the summer.
“I’m staying at LuckyChewy’s house” Mike ‘Timex’ McDonald told us. “There’s Tony ‘Bond18’ Dunst, Steve ‘Zugwat’ Silverman, Aaron ‘AeJones’ Jones, Dan ‘KingDan’ Smith and Jimmie "AlusivPnkBny" Guinther.”
“I only got here yesterday, but if it’s anything like last year it’s going to be a lot of fun. Last year, me and AeJones had a bet about who was the best human. We didn’t base it on anything rational, like charity or anything, we just played games of scrabble and foosball, had arm wrestles and that type of stuff. In the end, I had to concede that he was the better human.”
We asked Timex about any bets that he had going so far this year.
“Well, I just got in last night to play today so I don’t have too much going, but I’m in a 25k fantasy draw with a lot of guys. Sorel Mizzi is my team captain and people like KingDan have some action. It will make for a good sweat.”
When asked about his roommate situation, Andrew ‘LuckyChewy’ Lichtenberger said “The house is going to be a lot of fun this summer. The AeJones – Timex bet last summer was a lot of fun, but I usually stay out of the gambling and bets. The poker is enough gambling for me.”
We’ll make sure to catch up with Mike and Andrew later in the series to hear about any new developments in the Lucky Chewy household.
Also around the Rio on break we saw Brian ‘Stinger’ Hastings. When asked about his roommates he said “You probably don’t know any of them. I’m living with Michael Berra, Scott ‘iRockHoes’ Augustine and Joe Ward. I think Cole South, Taylor Caby and Andrew Wiggins are going to come out and live with us later in summer too. They’re always fun, but are more focused on their new fantasy betting project ‘Draft Day’ at the moment.”
“John Tomayo is staying too. I most excited about that. He’s just a crazy, Asian guy. I know there’s going to be a lot of pranks going down once he arrives.”
The party house lifestyle isn’t suitable for all pros however. Isaac ‘Ike’ Haxton was in a quiet mood, and simply said that he was staying in a nice house with his wife for the duration of the series.
For many online players, the WSOP is the one time every year they venture away from the virtual felt to play live poker. We asked a few well-known grinders what tilted them most about playing live.
Mike ‘Timex’ McDonald and Andrew ‘LuckyChewy’ Lichtenberger are two of the worlds most respected online players in their fields. While both love coming out the WSOP every year, they can’t help but feel frustrated with certain aspects of a live game.
“Bad beat stories tilt me. People telling stories you just don’t want to hear. You would swear other players in the game have never had a bad beat” Lichtenberger told us.
“I hate when people go off on dealers too” continues LuckyChewy. “They get frustrated and take it out on the staff, who do a great job. It tilts me because it’s not pleasant to be around, but also because it slows the game way down. The live game is slow enough as it is”.
People who slow the game down affect Timex similarly, but for him the biggest drawback to playing live is actually traveling. As a tournament grinder, it’s often not enough to go to your local casino, and traveling around the world to follow the WPT and WSOP is important.
“I just hate having to leave my home” Says Mike, talking about his hometown of London, Ontario. “When I play online I chose my hours, but when I want to play a big live tournament, its much less flexible”.
Timex might not even have left Canada this summer, if he didn’t want a ‘best human’ rematch with AeJones so much.
Speaking to Vanessa Selbst shortly after she busted Event 9 $1500 No-Limit Hold’em Re-buy, she agreed that people being mean to dealers was the most tilting thing about playing live. Andrew Robl, just finishing a session of 25/50/100 PLO in the Pavilion room, joined in the conversation to agree with Vanessa, but to say that people who took time over simple decisions made his blood boil the most.
“I hate when people take 20 seconds per decision” Says Robl. “Sometimes, someone will take a minute to make a decision, and then turn over cards where you know it was actually a simple decision for them”.
Hard to feel too sorry for Andrew when his opponents in the big PLO games are playing for what a lot of people consider an annual salary.
Not surprisingly, Randy ‘Nanonoko’ Lew is another player who finds live poker somewhat tedious. For anyone who doesn’t know, Nananoko is arguable the best online multi-tabler of all time. Earlier this year, he set a Guinness world record by playing just under 25,000 hands in 8 hours, playing between 25-40 tables, and turning a profit. In comparison, in the WSOP Randy’s likely to play about 30-50 hands per hour.
Randy told us “I really can’t stand when people take 20 seconds for a decision. I actually really like playing live tournaments, and I love the WSOP, but this is a big downside. Nothing else bothers me”.
Prop Bets: Day 6
We spent some time wandering around the Rio today, trying to gauge what people thought Jason Mercier’s chances were of winning any bet he might put up on dunking a basketball in a month.
The first person we spoke to was Olivier Busquet who seemed surprised when he heard what Mercier was putting up action for.
“100k? At even odds? I’ve played with Jason a lot, I’ve seen him run full speed and I’ve seen him jump. Is this a regulation basketball?”
“I would put Jason at 1/8 or 1/10 to do it. I think it depends how much he bets too. If he bets 10k I think he has no chance. If he bets 100k then he might really dedicate himself to it. He could hire a coach and work on his vertical. Maybe then he would be 1/6 or so.”
A quick scan of the lobby and we found just the man we wanted to speak to. Something of an authority on prop bets, Antonio Esfandiari and his friends were enthusiastic to discuss Jason’s prospects.
“How tall is Jason? I’m not big into sports, but I think if Jason is willing to put up 100k then he must know something,” mused Esfandiari. “I don’t think I would want any of that action though”.
We told Antonio that Jason is about 6 foot, and that Allen Kessler tweeted the prop.
“Allen Kessler?? Well now I kind of want any side of the bet Kessler has. He doesn’t make bad bets, ever. Maybe I could take a little bit of that 100k”
Aaron ‘AeJones’ Jones spoke to us on his break today. He said “I think Jason is a little out of shape, and a little out of practice. Has he ever dunked? If he has, when he was younger, then maybe he could do it. If he hasn’t then I don’t think he can, and I play with him all the time”.
Do you think Mercier can dunk?
Jean-Robert In For One Drop?
Jean-Robert Bellande sent out an interesting tweet today about the million dollar buy-in event at this years World Series of Poker.
I have a sic announcement to make regarding the million dollar buy-in tourney. I will tweet it at 5p tomorrow.Follow @BrokeLivingJRB
We'll try to catch up with Jean-Robert later to give you the scoop.
Matt Waxman on Achtung
We caught up with Matt Waxman to see who he thought the best Achtung players were. Here's what he had to say:
Now What Do I Do?
One of our PokerNews live reporters passed on some dialogue from Andy Bloch after he won his first bracelet in Event #7: $1,500 Seven Card Stud.
Apparently Bloch was talking to his girlfriend and said, "Now what do I do?"
Before today, many players had labeled Block as the best player to never win a bracelet. "Now nobody is gonna talk about me," Bloch commented. Don't worry Andy, we're sure people will be buzzing about this win for a few days at least.
This is the Jack Ten Off Suit of Food
We heard some dealers commenting on the food in the dealer break room earlier.
"This is jack ten off suit of food," one dealer said. "Marginal at best."
"That broccoli looks more like the ten deuce," another said. "Old and withered."
Where is Everybody?
The Rio is unusually quiet tonight with many pros either playing in their tournaments, playing cash games elsewhere, at home sleeping off a long week, or out partying.
We took a look around the live action area to see if any pros were playing any big games. Currently Ben Lamb and Sam Trickett are locked up in a $25/50 Pot-Limit Omaha Game. We also caught Victor Ramdin playing in a $75/$150 Omaha 8-or-Better limit cash game.
We'll keep an eye out and see if any other pros join in on the action.
No Dunking For Mercier
We caught up with Jason Mercier on the break of Event #9: $1,500 No-Limit Hold'em Re-Entry to talk about the 100k dunking bet we read about on Twitter earlier today.
"No, there's no bet," Mercier said. "It was kind of a joke and just got out of hand. It was more me talking down to Matt Waxman saying that he was a nit and wouldn't put up money."
But Mercier still thinks that given the time and the effort, he could dunk the ball.
"In like a month, I could do it," Mercier said. "I dunked once in high school, and I could do it with a kickball," he said.
Apparently, things were never really too serious, but Allen Kessler took it to twitter anyways. "I didn't say I would do it, but I said if I did, I would book it for like 100k in action."
And just for clarification, Mercier told us he was 6'0''.
Boeree's Broken Ankle
Apparently at her crazy party last night, Liv Boeree broke her ankle doing somersaults. Here are the tweets regarding the incident:
Did a back somersault on the grass under the tuition of JKoon. Landed on feet. Ankle snapped. Bad ankle. Don't know what snapped yet.#TiltFollow @Liv_Boeree
Getting the ankle checked out. Swelling has gone down a bit which is a good sign, fingers crossed the X-ray will agree.Follow @Liv_Boeree
So unfortunately it is broken. A "spiral fracture", whatever that is. Anyway, got done in time to late reg the 1500 today woohooFollow @Liv_Boeree
We'll try to catch up with Liv later to see if it's affecting her play at all.
On Break with Gavin Griffin
We caught up with Gavin Griffin on break in Event #8: $1,500 Omaha Hi-Low Split 8-or-Better to see how he spends his break time.
"Generally, I'll update my chip count on twitter," Griffin said. "I'll call my wife too. I like to walk around too because it gets the blood flowing. You get kind of lazy when you just sit there for two hours. You get in this sort of lull in energy, so it's good to get up and get the blood flowing. Sometimes i'll walk all the way down to the sports book and back."
We asked what Gavin thought about the amount of time given to players on break as well.
"Twenty minute breaks are kind of silly, especially when there's only 40 players left," Griffin said. "They should cut them down to 15 minutes for day twos, unless they can find a way to line them up with the no-limit tournaments."
Finally we asked Griffin how he prepares for his day two in tournaments.
"I usually just try to get a good night sleep," Griffin said. "In no-limit tournaments, I try to do some research on the players at my table before hand, but in omaha hi-low it's a bit more difficult because you're not going to find much info on them."
Griffin plans to play more events next week ending with Event #16: $1,500 No-Limit Hold'em Six-Handed on June 7 after which he plans to spend some time at home. Griffin is current tied for the lead in chips with Allen Bari in Event #8 with only 39 players remaining.
To keep an eye on Gavin's progress, be sure to check out the live blog for the Omaha Hi-Low Split 8-or-Better.
The Day's Over: How Do You Relax?
We caught up with Brian Rast after Day 1a of Event #9: $1,500 No-Limit Hold'em Re-Entry ended to see how relaxes after a long day of grinding.
"I usually just hang out with my wife," Rast said. "Usually we just go in the jacuzzi and stuff like that."
We also asked Rast how he prepares for day two of a tournament. "I just try to get enough sleep. I like to work out in the morning before the tournament starts," he said.
Finally, we asked Rast what his workout and diet before a tournament usually consists of. "I just try to get in some cardio, or racket ball. I workout with a trainer. I try to eat healthy in general. I get food from All American Dave's. If I get in a workout in the morning I usually have a protein shake."
Rast is still alive in Event #9 with roughly 70,000 chips.
Does It Hurt?
We finally caught up with Liv Boeree who was sitting down after busting from Event #9: $1,500 No-Limit Hold'em Re-Entry to talk to her a bit about her injury. We asked her if she thought that it was affecting her play at all.
"I have no idea yet," Boeree said. "I think I played fine today. I just got it in in a couple standard spots and ended up losing a coin flip. It hurts. The last few levels it was hurting a lot, and I didn't have any pain killers. I don't think it's been affecting my play."
Boeree said that she planned to re-enter tomorrow once she's got a hold of some pain killers.
Horror Stories From The Dealer Break Room
We overheard two dealers trading horror stories while we were walking through the dealer break room.
"One time, this guy handed me a $25 chip as a tip, and I accidentally put it in the rake," One dealer said.
"I've been dealing satellites all day. One satellite went for three hours because I kept doubling up the short stacks. The guys just didn't want to bust," another dealer said.
The poor guy didn't even get a tip after all was said and done.
We encourage everyone to get involved with "The Muck." See something you think is Muck worthy? Send it to firstname.lastname@example.org. We accept all media including photos and videos.