A skinny blonde kid looks at David Chiu, and says 'You're John Chiu, right?'. He barely looks old enough to enter high school, let alone a casino, but somehow he is sitting next to Chiu in front of a stack well over 100,000, the chip-leader at his table in day 2 of the WSOP.
"That's DAVID Chiu, the greatest tournament player alive," I tell the kid. "Oh," he responds embarrassed. "My friend told me I had some pro sitting at my table, it must be you."
"Did you tell him you're gonna bounce me," says Chiu, winking at me. The kid laughs nervously and says, "Yeah, you know it."
When players talk about how bad the competition is at the WSOP, many amateurs probably think, "Oh well, these guys are pros. They think everyone is bad." What many fail to realize is that the people in the event really are THAT bad – I truly believe that the monkey that was scheduled to play legitimately had a shot of making it out of day 1.
I have seen a player call an all-in bet with just an 8-high on the river. I have seen a player call an all-in bet preflop with A-10 against AA. He saw the AA accidentally exposed by the original bettor, and still called off a significant portion of his stack!
Watching a table with David Benyamine and Michael "The Grinder" Mizrachi, I asked a player how it felt to be sandwiched between these two legends of the game. He simply asked, "Who?" and proceeded to lose all his chips.
The blonde next to Chiu sees an all-in bet in front of him for about 17,000, and starts playing with his all-in chip. He flips it in the air, and has it land in front of the betting line of the felt. "All-in," announces the dealer. "What?!" yells the kid.
"You threw your button in," informs the dealer.
"I was just playing around, I didn't mean it," whimpers the kid. He is finally forced to push his chips in and shows A-2 to his opponent's QQ and loses a small portion of his monster stack.
Later, the kid peeks down at his cards from the button, and says, "8000," betting a ridiculous amount into a pot containing 2200 in blinds and antes. He says to Chiu next to him, "Time to take out a pro. Come on, big bad pro, call!" Chiu looks quizzically at the kid, then laughs and folds. The player in the small blind goes all-in for less than 4000 more.
The blonde goes into the tank, waiting a full minute and ordering a whiskey before finally making the call. Looking distressed, he turns over….KK? The small blind shows 10's and the kid gets up and starts screaming once the board blanks out, awarding him the pot. Chiu looks incredulously at me. I tell him, 'Welcome to the New World Series of Poker.'