Archives 07.11.11 - 06.16.11 



RAISE YOUR HAND IF YOU LIKE A WALL OF TEXT?  Oh, nobody?  Okay, we'll put some pictures up then but lots of them are familiar faces.  With all these chip counts not too many ways to spice it up.  But let's start by congratulating Ben Mintz of New Orleans/Oxford, MS the kid destroyed day 1d and finished with 176k.  He'll join overall chip leader Fred Berger and David Diaz near the top of the chip counts.  6,865 players signed up and about 4500 made it through the four day ones.  First place will win 8.7 million and 693 players will get paid.

GCP BLOGGERS:  After an agonizing short stack day Will Souther went down below 2k and closed with a mini-rush to get to 46.7k.  Way to hang in there Will!  Kai Landry posted an crazy blog about the mega and the near fist-fights escalating there on his way to winning a seat.  On 1d he finished with 64k.

Shannon Shorr powered his way to a 91.25k stack and his buddy Jonathan Little weathered some adversity of his own to finish at 48.57k.  By the way, good video on Cardplayer with an interview with media friendly Shorr.  Will have link up later.  Also Brandon Adams of Pensacola, Florida 29k (don't know why we haven't yet moved his economics blog to the front page but we will--probably when we do our way overdue Who's Who Update <email us with a pic and credentials if you want in).


James Lenaghan of Mobile, AL finished over the 100k mark with 118k total.  Jared Ingles of Dry Prong, LA finished at 82k.  T.K. Miles finished at 49.4k, Jacob Naquin 56.1k, Mike "Carwash" Schneider one of friends from Georgia finished at 45.1k. 

Clint Schafer of Baton Rouge got to 69.5k.  Bobbie Talbot of Hernando, MS 25k, pictured with Vanessa Rousso who also made it back to day two with 65k.  David Lin of Auburn, AL ended at 71.9k. Justin "lockdowntex" Allen with 58.325k.

Some Louisianans, a whole herd of them, coming back for day two:

Edward Ludig, Metairie, 50.8k

Honore Taranto, NOLA, 47.3k

Dewey Archer, Lake Charles 45.45k

Brian Cospolich, River Ridge, 38.27k

Josh Mancuso, Baton Rouge 37.15k

Hartwig Moss, NOLA 32.275k

William Webb, Shreveport, 26.27k

David "ODB" Baker, Kenner, 25k

Milton Ourso, Baton Rouge 9.2k

Kyle Munez, Erath (chippin' and a chairin' ) 2.2k--Kyle just look at the close of the Poker Monkey's day if you want some inspiration.

Other Gulf Coasters:

Charles Ritchie, (pictured) Pensacola, FL 85k

David Flowers, Clarksdale, MS 61k

Brad Johnson, Huntsville, AL 21.3k 

OTHER SCORES:  Congrats to Frank Alpandinar on another 11k score in a tournament in Vegas.  And folks if we missed you, our apologies and please let us know so we can track you through the rest of the Main Event or other Vegas tournaments--shoot WildBill or GeneD at our web address with the details.  Good Luck to everybody still alive and our sympathies to those of you no longer in the big dance.



BEN LAMB IS SECOND IN WSOP POY RACE AND FIRST IN CHIPS IN DAY 1B:  Ben "Benba" Lamb is on an epic heater this summer and is positioned for another deep run.  Fred Berger is still the overall chip leader but Lamb isn't giving the POY title to Phil Hellmuth without a fight (and since WSOP Europe counts in the standings this year too, that race won't be decided for some time).

AFTER TWO DAY ONES OF MAIN EVENT; WHAT WE KNOW:  Numbers are down almost 30% from last year.  1A went from 1125 to 897.  1B decreased from 1489 to 985.  Hate to say we told you so but after Black Friday two things seemed obvious to us, numbers at the sub-events would be up, maybe way up with the World Series being one of the only venues for online grinders to play, and Main Event numbers would be way down without online satellite qualifiers.  Bankrolls would be lost and found again in dizzying short-order as players would play beyond their means in the only game in town. 

Unfortunately, is a little slow on updating hometowns for some of you locals and compiling all the chip counts.  We do know from social media BJ McBrayer has a big stack after day one (93.65k).  Claudia Crawford also has been stockpiling chips and is up to 79k.  Blake Barousse will be back too with over 50k.  We'll have more details later when they become available.



ON DAY 1A A GULF COASTER WILL LEAD THE EVENT WITH A COUPLE OTHERS THREATENING: Who says it's a one young man's event.  maybe Doyle Brunson who was a day one casualty but not Fred Berger.  Berger a New Orleanian is in front of the pack with over 200k.  897 players started and only 560 made it to day two.  There are, of course, three more day ones.  Also in the top ten in chips, another Gulf Coast bracelet winner David Diaz.  Diaz was near the top of the leader board most of the day.  Corrie Wunstel of Baton Rouge isn't too far behind sitting on 121k of chips. 

Berger got a huge chunk of his chips by eliminating Scott Montgomery.  Berger's Flush draw turned into trip jacks and Montgomery's flopped two pair fell behind and sent him to the rail. 

Also still living the dream, George Costanza himself, Jason Alexander, who knocked off Vanessa Selbst on his way to a big chip stack and more friends/locals:

 90.  Mark Eddleman, Fayetteville, AR

161.  Timothy Basile, Lafayette, LA

375.  Jonathan Poche, Youngsville, LA

382.  Piper Kassela, Germantown, TN

537.  David Harville, Mooringsport, LA

Out:  McKlean, Karr, Ari Engel (who we hear hasn't won anything in years), Evelyn Ng, and Chip Jett.


CHANGE100 PENS A GREAT BEHIND THE PLAYERS STORY:  It's over at the great Tao of Poker website but this time it's not Dr. Pauly giving great content it's his girlfriend.  Enjoy the read.





RAST OUTLASTS POKER BRAT TO WIN 50K PLAYERS CHAMPIONSHIP:  Brian Rast has a big reputation as a relentlessly aggressive No Limit Hold'em player.  Some would suggest he is probably one of the better players in the world only problem is he has hasn't gotten it done on TV.  After getting through the mixed games portion of the WSOP's most prestigious event,  Rast outlasted everybody in the No Limit Hold'em only final table to give him his second bracelet of the the year and his signature win for his career.   The last challenge was perhaps his most difficult.  Rast went toe-to-toe with the man, Phil Hellumth, who has 11 No Limit Hold'em bracelets.  At one point Phil Hellmuth was a greater than 6 to 1 chipleader over Rast, but three missed flush draws later Rast was leaving with the Chip Reese trophy.  Rast who looks a lot like fellow pro Brett Richey will be front and center on the ESPN telecast.  As soon as the episode airs poker fans will be saying Brett Richey looks like Brian Rast.  Arguably some will be asking who's Brett Richey but no one will be asking who's Brian Rast.

Sometimes watching poker without the hole cards is like trying to count grains of sand at the beach, but sometimes the action is so good and the personalities so strong, it's great piece of entertainment.  For those of you who stayed up late and watched this broadcast on ESPN3 you'll agree this was a great final table.  Should be a lot of fun to see what some of the players were holding on the TV broadcast.

Another subplot was the WSOP Player of the Year Race, and new the top three players in that race were at that table.  Hellmuth's second place enabled him to take over first, and Rast's first place moved him up to third.  Ben Lamb finished eighth and that moved him down a spot to second.  Hellmuth doesn't have a WSOP  POY, and despite coming up short for a third time in this series you know he'd love to add a POY to his career resume.  Bracelets drive the Brat but three second places in non No Limit Hold'em events have garnered him something he's been missing the last few years from the young pros and that's respect.



LATE WITH THIS, BUT CONGRATS TO BROCK GARY:  Gary (not Gray as Pokernews was reporting it), finished 13th out of 363 in the Razz Event at the WSOP.  The Lafayette, LA local won 9.5k for his effort.  It was a loaded final few tables, with players like Chad Browwn, Victor Ramdin, John Monnette,Robert Williamson II, David Sklansky, and Chau Giang all in the money.   Stephen Su of nearby Houston finished second for 130k.  Also, thanks to Matt Stroud for the heads-up. 

KEVIN EYSTER 22ND IN TRIPLE CHANCE NO LIMIT HOLD'EM:  Eyster, also of Lafayette, LA cashed for 25k.  David Baker who may be from Kenner, LA  finished 39th for 17k. 

ALSO, CONGRATS TO FRANK ALPANDINAR OF BATON ROUGE:  Ask and you shall receive, thanks to one our readers, Shane Lewis, we learned that Frank chopped an event at the Venetian heads up for about a 85k score.  Nice job Frank!  We believe this was the same tournament that Matt Graham Final Tabled.  Frank's day job consists of building custom homes.  He also had a nice score at the Beau Rivage for almost 30k earlier in the year.

 FULL TILT POKER LAWSUITS NEWS:  Phil Ivey has dropped his and perhaps the door is open for him to play the WSOP Main Event.  At the same time four guys have filed a class action lawsuit against Full Tilt.  They are Steve Segal, Nick Hammer, Robin Hougdahl and Todd Terry.  Terry is a respected poster on 2+2 Forums and has gotten some WPT TV time.   Steve Segal has a pony tail and uses his mastery of kung fu to fight fictional environmental bad guys*.  Mixed reviews on the timing of the lawsuit but on the surface it was filed to spur action from  Full Tilt.  We'd imagine should the U.S. players get paid the lawsuit goes away.  Probably not as bad as some fear, in terms of messing up their deal. Granted if the European investors are skittish--who knows. 

*We are told Segal actually fights real bad guys in Jefferson Parish on  a reality show**.

**Sorry totally different guy than the dude from Die Hard on a boat.

SHOUT OUT TO ROSS LEITZ:  Ross has been lighting up our facebook page with some poker headlines and links.  Lots of good reading there.  We really appreciate the interaction.  Some GCP gear is headed Ross 's way ASAP as a thank you.



WE HAVE A BUYER:  Full Tilt is being sold to a group of European investors (PaddyPowerPoker on Tilt?  Btw, PaddyPowerPoker has a history of prank like marketing campaigns so the site may not indicate anything except an excuse for us to splash the front page with green)  Apparently the offer is for enough to pay back American players and for the investors to take a majority stake.  Jack Binion, not the buyer, but maybe the fake buyer to spur action?  Apparently also tendered an offer ($185 million for all of Tilt) but backed out after FT lost their license. 

According to his attorney, Phil Ivey is going to drop his lawsuit because it appears Full Tilt is taking the steps to pay off American players.  In a few short months Ivey has gone from beloved to bemoaned and beleaguered to beloved again.  L.A. Times and Wall Street Journal have the details.  Of course we should be wary as this deal may still need DOJ and Aldereny approval.  

JASON MERCIER NAMED BEST PLAYER IN THE WORLD:  Bluff Magazine and do a monthly rankings and for the last two months a player not named Phil Ivey has been ranked number one.  Last month it was Seiborg Erik Seidel and this month it was Mercier.  Combined with Hellmuth's near misses is it any wonder Ivey is eager to get back to the tables?

DOJ BUSY CRACKING DOWN ON OTHER URGENT MATTERS BY MEETING WITH THE BCS:  Yes, the BCS is terribly unfair but do we need the DOJ, fresh off of infringing on the rights of online poker players from sea to shining sea, to get involved? has the details.  Wonder if this will lead to Anne Arundel County getting another huge obnoxious check.  Perhaps, they can empty the coffers at Ohio State, USC, Auburn and LSU to do so.  Kind of like Congress and the steroid investigation what a waste of tax payer money, and ironically another indictment of our criminal justice system and "government for the people."



FULL TILT POKER MOVING TO KAHNAWAKE?  A regulating body that doesn't do much regulating for an online poker company that isn't doing much online poker?  Seems a perfect fit.  2+2 forums reported that the Full Tilt servers now seem to be in Kahnawake territory, although Tilt has sent out emails to their customers saying they are still in discussion with Alderney Gaming Control Commission.  Perhaps the move is only temporary.  Meanwhile PokerStars has reported it's business as usual and has seen their stock price soar on the news.

TYLER SMITH WINS 43K IN 10k SIX HANDED CHAMPIONSHIP:  Smith (pictured in an old photo--not so sure he's rocking a Full Tilt patch these days) outlasted most of the 474 person field but had to settle for 15th.  Noted sit 'n go strategy author Chris Moorman is second in heads up play with an over 3 to 1 chip disadvantage to Joe Ebanks.  Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier was third with a $447,074k payday.  Mike Sowers finished 6th for 138k.   Wish Tyler had made the final table, if only to see our favorite Rastafarian fun-loving smack talker would have an encore.

JASON MERCIER MASHING $2500 2-7 TRIPLE DRAW LOWBALL:  With 13 players remaining Mercier is the chip leader.  Eli Elezra is just on his heels followed by Scott Seiver.  Shawn Buchanan, Jonathan Turner, Galen Hall, David Bach, and Justin Bonomo are still with chipsMercier is going for his second bracelet of the series.  

JONATHAN LITTLE WINS 10.255K IN $1500 DONKAMENT: Little finished 45th.  Not as deep as he would have liked but still good to get on the board.  Despite some bad breaks and bad luck at crucial times you have to admire his optimism going forward.  Keep it going Jonathan!  Also of note The Grinder Michael Mizrachi just missed a bracelet finishing second in the Omaha/Seven Card Stud Hi-Low 8 or better.

BACK TRACKING SEE SOME OF YOU SHOW UP IN THE CASHES:  Sorry folks we missed a lot of you last week as we were MIA in parts unknown (actually they are known Mexico (look for Wild Bill's blog about that soon)  and the road warrior lifestyle of a traveling salesman).  Anyway, Rodney Shows had two WSOP cashes in the Seniors event and a 1k event.  Kenny Milam got 3rd in Rio 2pm event for 13k and pocketed a seat to the WSOP Main Event in a mega.  BJ McBrayer never got his due for winning a tournament at the Venetian, nor Brian Heptinstall or Matt Graham for final tabling there. 

And Gulf Coasters if you have a cash, or a deep run, and we haven't reported it, especially in the Venetian tournaments of the the non bracelet events at the Rio (we don't get updates for either) shoot us an email and give us a heads up and we'll give you some recognition.  Email either GeneD or WildBill @  our site. 

BLOGS:  Kai Landry and Ross Leitz have updates.  So too a lot of our favorite writers Scotty, Monkey, and Bella Donkey.  Check them out.   I mean you are already here so what's an extra click or two?  Speaking of extra clicks, like us this very moment on Facebook, do it!



FULL TILT POKER ON VERGE OF EPIC SAVE BY JACK BINION GETS TAKEN OUT AT THE KNEES BY A REGULATING BODY:  Subject: Poker has been reporting that Jack Binion with the blessing (encouragement?  recruitment?) of Phil Ivey was going to save Full Tilt.  Both were sighted in Ireland reportedly to do just that (for a great recap of recent Full Tilt developments go to Poker-King) but early this morning the Alderney Gambling Control Commission suspended Full Tilt's gaming license and play on the site has ceased.  Apparently, Alderney, unlike say Kahnawake, is a regulating body that actual regulates (anybody else hearing Warren G and Nate Dog in their minds?).  This can only be called an Epic turn of events.

"NOCKO" NAQUIN KNOCKED OUT JUST SHORT OF EPIC BRACELET WIN:  Jacob Naquin continued his torrid two year heater with an over 200k payday.  Naquin came in fourth place.  Jacob had a large rail of Gulf Coast Poker notables who weren't afraid to mix it up with eventual second place finisher Nachman Berlin's cronies.  Seems like the Gulf Coasters won the (epic) war of words.  From Pokernews:

"Ari, you are not a man!"

"I will smack you in the face!"

They were two of the comments that were easily the cream of the crop regarding an ongoing rail battle between Nachman Berlin's and Jacob Naquin's rail.

On Berlin's side we have the likes of Ari Engel and David Chicotsky while on Naquin's we find John Dolan, Jonathon Poche, David Diaz and a few other recognisable players.

Unfortunately the player doing the most verbal punishment is unknown to us, but he is happily laying into Engel on the opposing side of the Thunder-Dome. Hollowing out statements regarding when the last time Engel did anything in poker, the fact that it isn't 2005 anymore and how much their training classes cost are just a few of the directions Naquin's cheering squad is taking.

Already they have been warned by both the announcer and a senior member of the WSOP staff, but yet the verbal bashing continues with the above quotes the most recently bellowed slurs.

"He's gotta go!" returned Berlin as he pointed to the culprit.

But so far no direction in removal has been taken by the WSOP or security."

EPIC POKER LEAGUE:  It's definitely going to be Epic.  Anne Duke and Jeffrey Pollack renamed the word jumble/mouthfull Federated Sports and Gaming Something or Other, into a much easier to say Epic Poker League.  Which can be shortened to EPL.  International sports fans might recognize EPL already.   Potential WWF v. WWF type fight on the horizon?

It get's worse, their official comment via press release:  “This is no ordinary tournament league.  Our fields will be some of the toughest in poker history and we expect the competition to be nothing less than epic. In selecting a name that could live up to the players’ incredible skill and talent, epic was a natural fit."  Epic Ugh.

While they deserve credit for straying from National (NFL, NHL, NBA, and NASL) or Major (MLB, MLS, MLL) as the description of their league, there had to be a word better than epic.  The next Epic blunder was that they chose to go with a very worn and almost cliché Red/White/Blue logo (see NFL and NBA etc).  The naming of this league is definitely epic in one regard... Epic fail.  Surely, they saw that coming right?  Even when it was passable to say Epic as a descriptor it was hardly the adjective you'd use to be taken seriously as a business.   Were Rad, Awesome, Boss, Wicked (ummm... nevermind) and Far Out already taken?

If only this were Celebrity Apprentice and Donald Trump was there to get to the bottom of who suggested the name Epic.  Maybe Joan Rivers could be there to call everybody in the poker industry crooks (and not be ridiculed for doing it?).  Would Annie turn on Jeffrey Pollack and each say the other was responsible?  Would a certain employee describe a certain skill-set as epic in a stomach turning moment of TV?  Would that same employee later be called Hitler?




JACOB "NOCKO" NAQUIN GOING TO FINAL TABLE IN THE $1500 EVENT WITH CHIP LEAD:  You all can log on to to see the live stream...David Diaz took one "Nocko" is poised to take the 2nd bracelet in this years WSOP...for the GulfCoast....ONE TIME!!!!!...ONE TIME BABY!!!!!!!!

JOHNATHAN POCHE ALSO CASHES:  Kid from Lafayette continues his hot streak...more later.



RATINGS AT THE WORLD POKER TOUR RELEASED:  Television poker fans can rejoice.  Looks like there will be a 10th season because the Fox Sports Network got a 35% bump in ratings.  Tony Dunst, Kimberly Lansing, and more than just final table coverage can all share in the credit in making the TV show more enjoyable.

MIKE SEXTON LATEST NEAR MISS:  Allen Kessler, Phil Hellmuth and now Mike Sexton are all players who just missed out on a bracelet this year.  Kessler is still chasing his first (but has a slew of seconds), Sexton is in search of his second, and Hellmuth was seeking his 12th (and first not in No Limit Holdem), but they all came up inches away.  A big name pro that has had a big time World Series is John Juanda who denied Hellmuth his bracelet and leads the Player of the Year standings at the half-way point. 

Another guy on his way to being a "big name pro" is current WPT player of the year Andy Frankenberger who has translated mashing it at the WPT inot mashing it at the WSOP.  Wicked Chops did a piece on the guy who just won his first WSOP bracelet.  If not for Erik Seidel and nosebleed buy-ins creating obscene monetary results, Frankenberger would be on the short-list of players having the best year in poker.

LOCALS IN THE GREASE:  Former New Orleanian and current Houston, TX resident Matt Graham finished 18th in the Frankenberger bracelet winning event.  Brandon Adams finished 21st in the 10-Game Mixed, and Hoyt Corkins 10th in the Limit Hold'em Championship.