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  1. Daniel Lazrus won the Millionaire Maker for a glorious seven-figure score and a career-defining victory on Day 14 of the 2021 World Series of Poker. With two other bracelet winners taking home gold on an action-packed day, the Thunderdome was the scene for Lazrus, who won his first bracelet in the WSOP Online Series back in the summer, to grab glory and move into fifth place on the WSOP Player of the Year Leaderboard. Lazrus Denies Gathy and Moron for Millionaire Maker Win The overnight chip leader, Daniel Lazrus, took down the Millionaire Maker as he dominated the final five to win $1,000,000 and his second bracelet of the year after triumphing online back in July. Taking the title against the four-time bracelet winner Michael Gathy and Spanish sensation Ignacio Moron in the Thunderdome, Lazrus came into the action with a massive chip lead, and while he lost that lead along the way, he never lost his head to announce his arrival as one of the players of this World Series in style. With five players going into the last day of action, Lazrus was the first to take another out of the reckoning. Ignacio Moron from Spain came into the day second in chips but was short-stacked by the time he shoved all-in with [poker card="Ah"][poker card="9c"]. Lazrus called with [poker card="Ks"][poker card="Kc"] and the board of [poker card="Jh"][poker card="8d"][poker card="6s"][poker card="5d"][poker card="Jd"] eliminated Moron in fifth place for $222,430 and further increased Lazrus’ lead. Next to go was the most experienced player at the table as Lazrus’ dream narrative continued. Michael Gathy had already won four WSOP bracelets before he arrived at the final table, but he couldn’t make it five. Gathy moved all-in for a micro-stack with [poker card="Ah"][poker card="7s"] but while he started the hand ahead of Darryl Ronconi’s [poker card="Kd"][poker card="Qs"], he didn’t end it that way, with Ronconi hitting a straight on the turn to reduce the field to just three. Gathy cashed for $288,715 by finishing in fourth place. That pot put Ronconi in the lead briefly, but Lazrus grabbed the advantage right back, winning with a set of sevens against the aggressive Ronconi’s ace-king, with a big call on the turn seeing Lazrus take the lead back. From that point, the eventual winner never lost it again. Jeffrey Gencarelli busted in third place for $377,125 when his shove with [poker card="As"][poker card="5s"] on a board showing [poker card="Qc"][poker card="Jd"][poker card="4d"][poker card="Ts"] was doomed by Lazrus’ call with [poker card="Qd"][poker card="7s"] after a [poker card="9h"] on the river, allowing Lazrus to go into heads-up in control. With a 4:1 lead, Lazrus began the heads-up well, but a crucial double for Ronconi made the stacks closer. Ronconi shoved with [poker card="Js"][poker card="2d"] and Lazrus made the call with [poker card="3h"][poker card="3d"]. The flop of [poker card="Ts"][poker card="8c"][poker card="7c"] kept the chip leader in front, but while the [poker card="Ks"] maintained that advantage, the [poker card="9s"] river gave Ronconi a miraculous gutshot straight to see Lazrus lead reduced only doubling his opponents stack. The final hand was around the corner, and Ronconi ahead got it in with the worst hand, four-bet jamming with [poker card="Tc"][poker card="7h"], with Lazrus making a quick call with [poker card="As"][poker card="Jh"] and surviving the board of [poker card="9h"][poker card="9d"][poker card="8h"][poker card="Kc"][poker card="4s"] to win his second WSOP bracelet and a career high score of $1,000,000, condemning Ronconi to second place and $500,125. WSOP Event #17 $1,500 Millionaire Maker Final Table Results: Daniel Lazrus - $1,000,000 Darryl Ronconi - $500,125 Jeffrey Gencarelli - $377,125 Michael Gathy - $288,715 Ignacio Moron - $222,430 Kevin Palmer - 172,455 Todd Saffron - $124,570 Adam Sherman - $105,690 Sertac Turker - $83,545 Drinian Denied As Ryan Leng Wins $1,500 Eight Game Mix In Event #23, a thrilling denouement to the Eight-Game Mix saw Ryan Leng crowned champion at Connor Drinan’s expense as six final table players played down to the latest bracelet winner. The $1,500-entry event saw some great names make the final six, with Ryan Hughes first to bust for $19,317 before Schuyler Thornton joined him on the rail in fifth place for $27,038. It was WSOP bracelet winner Dan Zack who busted next, taking the fourth place prize of $38,752 before Brett Shaffer went one place further in third for $56,839. Heads-up saw Drinan begin with the lead and he grew that advantage to a point where he had ten times Leng’s chips. But the pair of two-time WSOP bracelet holders were closesly matched skill-wise and Leng managed to double back into contention before takig the lead. With the chip advantage for the first time, Leng saw it out with back-to-back hands in 2-7 Triple Draw and took down the tournament, winning $137,969 and his first mixed game bracelet, with Drinan’s score of $85,273 scant consolation to the man who was bidding to win his second live WSOP bracelet since the WSOP began, a feat attained by no-one to date. WSOP Event #23 $1,500 Eight-Game Mix Final Table Results: Ryan Leng - $137,969 Connor Drinan - $85,273 Brett Shaffer - $56,839 Daniel Zack - $38,752 Schuyler Thornton - $27,038 Ryan Hughes - $19,317 Prendergast Becomes PLO Champ Three people won WSOP bracelets on Day 14, and the last one of those to do so was Michael Prendergast, who won the $600-entry PLO Deepstack Event #24. Heading into the final table, it was Joao Simao who was the most recognizable name at the felt, but the Brazilian pro crashed out in fourth place to miss out on the podium places and win $42,272. Heads-up began with Jeffrey Barnes in command of proceedings, with a 5:1 chip lead and all the momentum, but Prendergast turned it round, doubling up several times to switch the power in the duel to his side of the table. A few hands later, pocket aces would see him win the bracelet and claim the $127,428 top prize at Barnes’ expense, the runner-up collecting $78,755. WSOP Event #24 $600 Pot Limit Omaha Deepstack Final Table Results: Michael Prendergast - $127,428 Jeffrey Barnes - $78,755 Jungwoong Park - $57,386 Joao Simao - $42,272 Daniel Wasserberg - $31,485 Donnie Phan - $23,713 Eric Polirer - $18,062 John Bunch - $13,915 Joseph Sanders - $10,845 Aoki Leads Final Five in Ladies Championship In the Ladies Championship, the overnight chip leader Mikiyo Aoki went wire-to-wire to lead the final five heading to the Thunderdome to play for the bracelet. With just 17 players starting the day, a dozen would-be busted, with players such as Amanda Baker cashing in 15th place for $4,670 but not making the final. https://twitter.com/mandy22baker/status/1448374643509764096 Elsewhere, Thi Nguyen (10th for $7,023), Cherish Andrews (8th for $11,341) and MArle Cordeiro (7th for $14,791) all got close but Aoki leads the final five with over 4.8 million chips from Debora Brooke (4.4m), while each of the other three ladies to make the final table have more than 1.2 million but less than 1.3m, meaning some exciting early action is guaranteed. WSOP Event #22 $1,000 Ladies Championship Final Table Chipcounts: Mikiyo Aoki - 4,880,000 Debora Brooke - 4,280,000 Diane Cooley - 1,265,000 JJ Liu - 1,250,000 Lara Eisenberg - 1,200,000 Negreanu, Dzivielevski Made $5K Six Max Day 3 In Event #25, the $5,000-entry six-handed tournament, there were 31 survivors to Day 3 as John Racener bagged up the biggest stack of 1,949,000 chips. He is followed in the counts by Jared Jaffe (1.9m) and Craig Mason (1.86m), while stars of the felt such as Bin Weng (1,692,000), Ben Yu (1,493,000), and Anthony Spinella (1,050,000) all made the overnight chip counts. Daniel Negreanu also survived, bagging up over 30 big blinds with 773,000, though ‘Kid Poker’ might be wishing he had walked away from the table with an hour to go, sitting as he did on double those chips with the overall lead in the room. Others to survive with healthy stacks include Yuri Dzivielevski (1,211,000), Vanessa Kade (982,000), and George Wolff (842,000). WSOP Event #25 $5,000 Six-Handed No Limit Hold'em Top 10 Chipcounts: John Racener - 1,949,000 Jared Jaffe - 1,900,000 Craig Mason - 1,860,000 Scott Drobes - 1,825,000 Bin Weng - 1,692,000 Ben Yu - 1,493,000 Arie Kliper - 1,358,000 Justin Liberto - 1,192,000 Vicent Bosh - 1,100,000 Anthony Spinella - 1,050,000 Klump Tops $1K Freezeout Leaderboard In Event #26, the $1,0000 Freezeout event, Levi Klump bagged the biggest stack at the end of the night as 1,358 players were whittled down to just 38 on a fast-paced Day that took 11 hours to complete. With Klump on 2,230,000 chips, he was followed in the counts by Rittie Chuaprasert (1,805,000) and Richard Talerico (1,480,000). Others to cash but not make the final day included Erik Cajelais, Michael Perrone and Dylan Linde, but others were not so fortunate, with just 204 places paid. With almost three dozen players left, there is only one previous bracelet winner among them, with Pete Chen bagging up 920,000 chips with which to attack the final day’s play. WSOP Event #26 $1,000 Freezeout Top 10 Chipcounts: Levi Klump - 2,230,000 Rittie Chuaprasert - 1,805,000 Richard Talerico - 1,480,000 Evan Sandberg - 1,215,000 Kazuki Ikeuchi - 1,210,000 Cole Ferraro - 1,195,000 Axel Reese - 1,110,000 Anthony Askey - 1,045,000 Clement Van Driessche - 1,000,000 David Flood - 945,000 Adam Owen, Josh Arieh In Top 10 of $1,500 H.O.R.S.E Finally, a field of superstars gathered to play the $1,500 H.O.R.S.E. Event #27, with 594 players taking to the felt and only 207 remaining. Only 90 players will cash, and on Day 1, some who failed to do so included Benny Glaser, Eli Elezra, Mike Matusow, Brian Rast, Dan Zack, Dylan Linde, Andre Akkari, and Christina Hill. At the close of play, Mark Dickstein (300,000) led from Adam Owen (220,000), but others such as 2021 bracelet winner John Monnette (162,500), Barry Greenstein (148,500) and Jason Somerville (120,000) will each hold out hope of becoming the latest WSOP winner on Day 15. WSOP Event #27 $1,500 H.O.R.S.E. Top 10 Chipcounts: Mark Dickstein - 300,000 Adam Owen - 220,000 John Holley - 209,500 David Funkhouser - 188,000 Koray Aldermir - 186,500 Barry Ingram - 176,500 Donny Rubenstein - 173,000 Ben Landowski - 173,000 Josh Arieh - 171,000 Michael Coombs - 170,500 Finally, with much talk of player respect and rulings over the last 48 hours, should the last word go to a man who coined his own effect? The 2003 world champion had some words for the man who won it 14 years before him in the row over, well... rows. https://twitter.com/CMONEYMAKER/status/1448301531732791304 Maybe Doyle Brunson’s latest World Series viral quote is about right. https://twitter.com/TexDolly/status/1446959357661384707
  2. This summer, a 16-year association between the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino and the World Series of Poker comes to a close. With poker’s biggest annual festival rumored to be heading to Bally’s Las Vegas Hotel and Casino Event Center starting in the summer of 2022, the curtain comes down on the Rio’s time as host of poker’s signature series of life-changing tournaments. The Rio has been what the WSOP has needed, exactly at the time it needed it. For some, the lasting images of the World Series of Poker come from yesteryear, with legends of the game such as Doyle Brunson, Phil Hellmuth, Stu Ungar, and Johnny Chan winning big at Binion’s. While Binion’s has a great history, the Rio is where poker’s boom led to the growth of the game and its cavernous corridors have provided us with some of the most memorable moments ever witnessed at the felt. Many dramatic moments have followed in the Thunderdome, from Daniel Negreanu’s collapse after near-bubbling the final table to Phil Hellmuth’s record-breaking WSOP bracelet win in 2007 to Mark Newhouse’s celebrated reverse-curse on himself in WSOP the subsequent WSOP Main Event to his career-high score. https://twitter.com/mark_hizzle/status/486037130632638465 Binion’s had the gloriously claustrophobic nature of a state-wide game only much bigger. They hosted the WSOP while it was predominantly an American-attended festival. Fans were four or five deep at the rail, so close to Johnny Chan during his victory against Erik Seidel that they could have reached out and helped him push his chips over the line. The Rio, however, ushered in a new age of poker. During a time when poker enjoyed its years of growth and became more appealing to the mainstream, the rail increased and had to be moved back. Seating was erected in the Thunderdome, and in other rooms, with fans being kept at a modest distance. Antonio Esfandiari’s victory in the $1 million-entry Big One for One Drop in 2012 remains a watershed moment in poker and it all took place in the Thunderdome. From Sam Trickett’s quad threes against Brian Rast to ‘The Magician’ winning the bracelet and being held aloft by his friends and family after he got the better of the Brit heads-up, the event lived in the glow of flashbulbs. When thinking of the World Series of Poker at the Rio what comes to mind to this reporter is one hand in particular. In 2010, Jonathan Duhamel took down the WSOP Main Event to win $8.9 million when he dominated the final table. But in truth, Duhamel took the biggest step to victory when he won possibly the best hand the Rio has ever seen against Matt Affleck. Affleck had pocket aces, Duhamel had pocket jacks and somehow, all the money went in on a turn that saw Affleck a 4:1 favorite. Duhamel needed his straight draw or a jack to come in on the river and when it did, Affleck’s subsequent reaction was heartbreaking and incredible in equal measure. To the legendary commentary of Norman Chad and Lon McEachern, two men whose partnership has itself flourished at the Rio, a “thunderstruck” Affleck burst out of the Thunderdome and threw his water bottle against the wall. A few minutes later, Affleck returned to shake the hand of everyone at the table, ending in Duhamel himself. If the moment started awkwardly, it ended by transcending poker and showing the humanity that exists between poker players. Sure the Rio has its flaws. Poker can be about stepping into a teeming mass of sweat and closeness, shoulder-to-shoulder with your best friend and your biggest enemy - who, in a poker tournament, can be exactly the same person. It can feel like a cauldron. The Rio is often the opposite - it's a ‘cooler’. It's famous for its ice-cold temperatures forcing players to wrap up warm once they walk out of the Vegas sunshine and into the building where the last 15 World Champions have been crowned. Players who don’t insulate or consume enough vitamins have complained of the ‘Rio Flu’ years before COVID came along. In recent years, though, the WSOP Player of the Year has captivated fans for entire summers. With dozens of flags depicting former winners adorning every side of the two main cardrooms, each race has gathered its own momentum inside its echo chambers populated by thousands of poker players. From queues for the restroom and registration desk that snake through the labyrinthine pathways that criss-cross the Rio hallways to the stands of phone battery sellers and massage machines, there is no place like it. The Rio will go down in poker history as the venue where poker grew up, where it became the beast that can now never be tamed. The World Series of Poker will move on in 2022, but the memories of poker's time at the Rio will echo forever. How many more become eternal this Autumn remains as poker should, in the hands of the players who make the game what it is.
  3. It was late in London. The early morning actually, and Erik Seidel, one of poker’s most iconic figures, was back on the grind. Already in the United Kingdom to celebrate his youngest daughter’s wedding, the poker legend decided to extend his stay in the UK’s capital to take care of some business. Specifically, the business of high-stakes poker. And at this moment, his deep run in GGPoker WSOP Online Event #11 ($10,000 Super MILLION$ High Roller) was taking him back to the beginning of his career. “I haven’t stayed up that late for poker since I was in my 20’s,” Seidel said, referring to the overnight hours of Day 1 of the gold bracelet event. “London isn’t ideal for me because I’m a morning person and Day One lasted ’til the next morning.” Even casual fans are familiar with Seidel’s impact on poker and his history that took him from the early days of Mayfair Club in New York to the Poker Hall of Fame in Las Vegas. His career has spanned 40 years and in that time he’s earned nearly $38 million in recorded live earnings. He’s a World Poker Tour champion and, prior to the online high roller he was playing in, had previously won eight WSOP bracelets, making him one of the most prolific players in WSOP history. Seidel didn’t know it at the time but after that sleepless night, he was just days away from adding to his legacy with WSOP bracelet #9. For a player who has experienced just about everything there is to experience in the game of poker, Seidel admits he still feels “out of [his] element online”, making his victory one of the most unique moments of his career. [caption id="attachment_636078" align="alignleft" width="300"] Seidel's online winning moment.[/caption] “I’m just never that comfortable online,” he said. “I like it, it’s nice to be able to play a tourney in bed, but I make mistakes. I had two misclicks at the final table. It’s easier for me to get distracted and there’s always that concern that I’ll lose connection.” In fact, he did lose connection at one point while playing in his hotel on spotty Wi-Fi. But, obviously, the man they call Seiborg recovered nicely. He navigated his way through the field of 624 entries, made the final table, and bested a final nine that included Rui Ferreira, Isaac Baron, Thomas Muehloecker, and eventual runner-up, Francisco Benitez. When it was all over, Seidel won more than $977,000 and made WSOP history. He earned that ninth bracelet and moved into a tie with poker legend Johnny Moss for fifth (third-most) in all-time WSOP bracelets. “Winning any WSOP event is special,” Seidel said when asked where his online bracelet ranks. “This one was extra great for me because it was so unexpected. Getting through 600+ players and then the prize was close to one million, which I think is my biggest WSOP cash, felt really amazing. Might be my favorite.” [caption id="attachment_636079" align="alignright" width="219"] 2007 WSOP victory in NL 2-7 Lowball for bracelet #8.[/caption] That said, as special as winning another bracelet is for him, 14 years after winning #8, Seidel hasn’t been consumed with the bracelet chase as, perhaps, some other pre-poker boom prominent players. “I can’t say I really get caught up in bracelet fever,” he said. “My focus has been much more on higher buy-in No Limit events. If you really want to rack up bracelets, you’ve got to play the high buy-in limit events at the WSOP, the No Limit fields are way too big. I play a limited amount of events at the WSOP, and I love playing them, but I’m not trying to maximize my chances by playing every event.” It would be tough for anyone to not want to push if given the chance to break into double-digit bracelets. It’s well-known that there are currently only four players with 10 or more. Phil Hellmuth is the all-time leader with 15. And then, tied for second, all with 10, are Doyle Brunson, Johnny Chan, and Phil Ivey - a club that’s hasn’t admitted a new member since 2014. Now, Seidel is knocking on the door. At 61, he says he has no intentions of slowing down and has set his sights on playing a healthy schedule at this year’s WSOP. “I love playing, I hope I can continue competing for a while. I expect to play 20-something events at the WSOP although I’m really disappointed in the WSOP schedule this year, the big NL events that I’d love to play in are all very close to Thanksgiving. I’ll have to see if I can play them.”
  4. It’s been nearly two years since the last live World Series of Poker took place and for poker players around the world, poker’s premier summer camp has been sorely missed. It's not just the massive amount of action, but also all of the little things that take place when one travels to Sin City to chase the glory of winning a bracelet, that makes for the total experience. With the World Series of Poker 50 days away, the PocketFives staff sat down and came up with 50 things, both big and small (and in no particular order), that we are looking forward to when the WSOP returns on September 30. 1. “Shuffle Up And Deal” Is there anything more exciting than taking your seat in a WSOP bracelet event and getting underway with the classic starting gun of “Shuffle Up and Deal!” 2. Daniel Negreanu’s poker vlogs. Over the past few years, one of the most fun pieces of content has been Daniel Negreanu allowing you to be his wingman as he chases WSOP bracelet number seven in his daily WSOP vlogs. Everything from cameos by some of poker’s biggest stars to behind-the-scenes access to his daily grind Negreanu lets those who can’t make the trip to the WSOP feel like they are part of the action. 3. The hustle back to the table. Speed walking the Rio hallway to make sure you don’t miss a hand after the break. Not only do you want to be in action, but we all know that if we miss a hand or two, somebody at the table will inevitably joke that “you got aces” upon your return. 4. The Poker Kitchen. Trying to decide between chicken strips or a pre-packaged sandwich from the poker kitchen. Complaining about the food at the poker kitchen has become as much of a WSOP tradition as the bracelets themselves. But we’d all rather eat the $18 cobb salad than getting stuck in traffic trying to get back to the Rio after the dinner break. 5. Standing in line at Starbucks behind Huck Seed. Hitting the long line at the Rio Starbucks to get some caffeine to shake off the night before and get ready for a long grind at the tables and see some of your favorite poker players doing the same thing. 6. Behold the bracelet! One can’t help but appreciate the moment when WSOP tournament director Jack Effel presents the gold bracelet to the series most recent champion. 7. Grinding for lammers. Getting your satellite grind on, grabbing pink lammers, and then wandering the hallways looking for someone who is buying into the next event to sell them to. 8. The Amazon Room. There was a time when all of the rooms had the dim lighting currently held by the Amazon Room, but whether you start there or are moved into the back ballroom as the money draws near - there’s nothing like playing in the Amazon Room. 9. Killing time in the “Mothership.” Not everything is going to go your way at the WSOP, but when you’ve busted the latest tournament and you’re ready to dive into the next one, the ample seating of the Final Table spaceship has a spot for you to watch the kind of action you are hoping to be playing in. 10. Squeaking into the money. Of course, everyone would prefer to be the big stack heading into the money bubble. But when the choice is not your own and you gotta grind out those last few big blinds to make the money, sometimes trying to survive on fumes is a game unto itself. 11. Acting like you’ve been there before. Tap, tap. Nice hand. Good luck everyone. 12. Mean mugging for poker photogs. You’re a poker player at a poker table in the middle of a poker game. Now, let’s see that poker face. 13. Friendly reunions… It’s been nearly two years since the last World Series of Poker and, for many, the same amount of time since they’ve seen some of their friends from poker player summer camp in person. Raise a glass to reunions! 14. …at the Hooker Bar. The last stop on the way out of the Rio is the iconic “Hooker Bar” where many of the WSOP’s greatest late-night stories have taken place. There’s always time for one more. 15. Getting harassed by phone charging vendors. The bad boys of the WSOP hallway will be back for one more shot at upselling you a phone accessory at four times what you can get it for online. A sight for sore eyes for sure. 16. Phil Hellmuth rants. Love him or hate him, the Poker Brat is woven into the fabric of the WSOP. The 15 bracelets are only half of what makes Hellmuth, well, Hellmuth. The other is the antics and temper tantrums that have helped make him famous. At some point during the seven weeks of action, somebody is going to do something to set Hellmuth off. And the ensuing rant about how bad his opponents play and/or how well he is playing will serve as a tell-tale sign that the WSOP is back. 17. Finding a GTO way to beating the crowds to the restroom. Maybe this isn’t something to look forward to but it’s key to make life a little more comfortable during the series. No one wants to miss a hand, what you don’t know won’t hurt you and standing in a long line to use the restroom is one of the worst ways to spend a break. 18. Mid-day table-side massages. Long days of grinding can wear a person down, luckily there’s a swarm of top-tier professionals ready to help work out the kinks while you are trying to build a stack at the table. 19. Picking up big hands in big spots. Who wouldn’t be excited to look down at pocket aces in a bracelet event? 20. Getting featured on an upcoming vlog (battling for Bradley Bucks). Whether it’s at the Rio or another one of Las Vegas’ many poker rooms, during the WSOP most of the well-known vloggers will be in action. Whether it’s Brad or Andrew, Jaman or Johnnie or another up-and-coming poker cinematographer like Mariano, there’s a chance that if you play cash games in Sin City you might just get to guest star in an upcoming YouTube vlog. 21. Kevmath’s Daily Deepstack Updates. There simply isn’t a more beloved figure in poker than Kevin Mathers and following along as the man known as the WSOP social media czar or guru navigates his way through a Michelob Ultra or two while playing in one of the Rio Daily Deepstacks gives everybody the feels. 22. Having a drink with Niall Farrell at Hal’s hallway bar. As long as it’s not the first or second level of the day, you can find Niall Farrell in one of two places. The first is the Daily Deepstack where he’s blasting away while a Corona or two deep. The other is in the hallway bar with his good friend Hal the Bartender. Either way, Niall’s a good enough sport that he just might buy you a beer and listen to your bad beat story. 23. Punting a Saturday tournament to make a Sunday LV Raiders game. Okay, so maybe this isn’t something we missed since the Raiders weren’t in Vegas in 2019 and this is the first (and only) Fall WSOP, but knowing you can get over the bad beat by watching the Raiders the next day is something to look forward to. 24. Grabbing the latest in poker literature from D&B. Seeing Dan and Byron from D&B Poker selling the latest poker books from the likes of Chris Moorman, Jonathan Little, and PocketFives’ own Lance Bradley at their booth in the hallway. 25. Sitting to the left of one of your favorite pros (or anywhere with Phil Laak). One of the best parts about the World Series of Poker is that anyone, who can pony up a buy-in, can play. That means that recreational players get to mingle with the pros and no matter the bracelet event, there’s going to be some famous poker players in the field. Don’t pass up the chance to put in a three-bet when you think Phil Laak is raising light. 26. Diving out of the way of Doyle’s scooter. It was just a couple of years ago that Doyle said he was finished playing tournaments at the WSOP. But this year, he indicated that in 2021 - he’d be back scooting around the Amazon room for an encore (and a shot at bracelet #11). 27. Suffering through a bad beat story (while still in the tournament). Bad beat stories are rarely tolerable but when you still have a shot at a gold bracelet, you can lend an ear to a friend. After all, if and when you bust, you’ll be the one telling the story. 28. Cheering on a friend making a deep run - when you have a piece of them. Poker’s an individual game, but having (and being a part of) a support system is crucial. So, enjoy the ride from the sidelines when you have a small percentage of a pal and help them keep their head on straight in the middle of a deep run. 29. Bagging chips at the end of the day. No better way to end a day of play than to find a bag in a big event. Pass the pens around and write your name clearly so friends and family can find you in the chip counts. 30. Players complaining about a live update having bad info. Poker fans around the world consume content at a gluttonous pace during the WSOP. This includes live updates from every bracelet event. Inevitably, some of the reported include mistakes. A card is reported incorrectly, either the suit or the value is wrong. Sometimes bet sizes are wrong. These mistakes happen in the rush to get information to those hungry fans. This causes players involved in those hands to take their complaints to Twitter. 31. Playing the games your local card room never bothers to offer. No Limit Hold’em may be the “Cadillac of Poker” but the game has so much more to offer when you play other variants. During the WSOP, there are plenty of other games offered (both inside and outside of the Rio) to allow you to test your overall poker skills. 32. A deep run in the $50K by Phil Ivey. With all of his court cases officially behind him, Phil Ivey has indicated that he’s planning on making a return to the Rio this year. When he does, it’s expected he’ll be firing in the biggest tournaments on the schedule, including the $50,000 Poker Players Championship where he’ll be a favorite to make a deep run. 33. Late-night cash game action everywhere in Sin City. When the World Series of Poker tournaments are taking place, the cash game action all over the city reaches a fever pitch. Not only can you find great games, at every buy-in level, in nearly every poker room on the strip but poker rooms games that don’t typically run also show up on the board. It’s non-stop cash game action during the WSOP. 34. Treating yourself to an All-American Dave meal. Sure, the poker kitchen is good for a quick bite but it’s not exactly a quick bite that’s good FOR you. All-American Dave has serviced the WSOP poker playing public with healthy meals from his food truck. You don’t have to be a baller and get the meals delivered to the table, you can simply pop out back and treat yourself to something a little healthier to help get you through the day. 35. Forgetting what day of the week it is. The grind plays tricks on the mind. Just don’t miss your flight home. 36. Calling for a card and seeing it appear. Everything seems bigger when battling for a bracelet and it just feels so good when you spike the perfect card at the perfect time to keep the dream alive for another orbit. 37. Hearing Gus Hansen announce that “It’s going to be a great fall.” While in Las Vegas throughout 2018 and 2019 Gus Hansen let it be known that “it’s going to be a great summer.” With the WSOP playing out in the fall this year, we hope to see The Great Dane keep the good times going with an appropriate seasonal motto. 38. Watching your ODB Fantasy team struggle. Despite fielding a near-perfect roster, complete with a pair of sleeper picks you stole for the cheap, your fantasy team is still going to underperform. But that’s ok because it’s all about the sweat anyway. 39. Live episodes of The FIVES from the Amazon Room. You may be stuck behind a desk for the time being but the guys from The FIVES will be bringing you all of the latest news and results from the floor of the WSOP. A great way to kill an hour and keep tabs on the series. 40. Double bracelet winners. It's almost a certainty that at least one player will go on a heater and sun run their way to at least two bracelets during the series. Can't wait to see who emerges this year. 41. Allen Kessler finishing second in something. Four times in his WSOP career, Allen ‘the Chainsaw’ Kessler has made his way through all but one player in a WSOP event only to have that one player block him from winning his first WSOP bracelet. Kessler has served as bridesmaid to Lukas Zaskodny, Brian Rast, Frank Kassela, and Todd Brunson. 42. Short stacks "struggling" to find their new table. For a lot of players, cashing in a WSOP event is a lifelong dream. Some might be willing to, let’s say, bend the rules a little bit to check that item off of their bucket list. This includes the short stack being sent to their new table only to find the open seat is about to be in the big blind. It’s at this moment that a poker player with an aptitude for numbers fails to understand the elementary school level system of numbering tables as they walk right by that empty seat before getting “lost” in the tables some 30 feet away. 43. Getting called “baby” by Scotty Nguyen. In 1998, Scotty Nguyen looked at Kevin McBride at told him, “you call, gonna be all over, baby” on his way to winning the WSOP Main Event. Since then, Nguyen has won three more WSOP bracelets (for a total of five) and has called approximately 71 million other poker players “baby” in what has become his trademark phrase. 44. Walking past a closed Hash House. Dinner breaks at the WSOP can be chaos. Some players grab Ubers or taxis and head to local restaurants, but the majority of players look for something inside the Rio. On the busiest of days, that leads to long lines at All-American Bar & Grille, El Burro Borracho, and the dim sum joint. But on your way from the tournament area to those restaurants, you’ll inevitably walk past a closed Hash House A Go Go. The breakfast spot is apparently only allowed to be open during breakfast hours. 45. Making the correct decision in a big, big spot. Sometimes you gotta risk it for the biscuit and one of the best feelings in tournament poker is making the right decision in the most crucial of spots with what feels like all the eyes in the room on you. 46. That god damned carpet. There isn’t a casino in the world that doesn’t have tilt-inducing carpet and the Rio is no exception. But over the years, players have come to know the carpet well - much like the carpet in their parent's house. You don’t like it. You wouldn’t put it in your house. But at least it’s familiar. 47. Hopping in an Uber to head to your next tournament. Busting out of a WSOP tournament is a horrible, horrible feeling for any player. Thankfully, the WSOP isn’t the only tournament series in town and the next event is just a short Uber ride away. 48.Finally making it out of the bowling alley and into the Brazilia during the Reunion. Smaller buy-in WSOP tournaments draw massive turnouts every year. While that’s great for the prize pools and the eventual winner, sometimes players are forced to start their tournament journey in less-than-ideal settings. Any available square footage gets used and in past years that has included an empty bowling alley and the area right outside of Guy Fierri’s Mexican joint. Getting moved from there to the main tournament is a welcome sight for all. 49. Check-raising the flop with air. You defended the big blind against a 3X open with [5c][8d] and the flop came [jh][7s][2s]. You checked to the aggressor and he fired out a pretty standard continuation bet. At this point you really had two choices: fold and post the small blind for the next hand, or announce “raise” and put your opponent to the test. Maybe even because you put him on Ace-King? 50. The Main Event! There’s only one, true World Series of Poker Main Event and there’s nothing like it in the game of poker.
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