Monday, June 30, 2008

Congratulations Scotty Nguyen! "Scotty Baby" took down the "player's championship" at this years WSOP by winning about 2 million playing in a $50k buy in mixed game event (HORSE) against about 150 of the world's best players. Now known as the Chip Reese memorial tournament (named after its first winner and one of the most respected high stakes cash players of all time), the pros view this as "their" championship vs. the 10k No Limit Hold Em open championship, even though anyone can enter. The $50k buy in and the mix of games (Hold Em, Omaha 8/b, Razz, Stud and Stud 8/b) scare even tournament professionals away as only the baddest sharks can survive in this pool. Anyway, I sat down with Scotty about a week before this event kicked off, you can find the interview up tomorrow at: (and archived for you folks that don't check daily...) at

Thursday, June 26, 2008

WSOP 2008, failure to follow plan = planning to follow failure. But I got some great photos.

Well folks, it looks like this year's World Series of Poker is not my year to take one down. As you know from my previous posts, I was in a bit of a slump generated from taking a lot of bigger shots than I should have in tournaments and cash games and trying to ramp up for this year's Series. Big surprise, that did not work quite as well as I had planned. However a late score at Oaks put some $$ in the roll and I slapped a rubber band around most of it and headed for the WSOP. (See where the great planning starts folks?)

There were a few reasons for this. First, I have done pretty well at the cash games and side action at the WSOP over the last 3 years. Enough that I paid for the event I played in (even if it was a side event), my hotel and my expenses while on the trip. A fairly positive experience for the common grinder. Not to mention, that last year and this year I have been generating interviews and photos for the fine folks over at (Yes, clicky clicky, check them some free stuff why don't ya.) So let me hit you with the bad/obvious news and then I'll get to the other projects.

Opened on Saturday after having drinks waaaay to late with Todd Brunson and at the Rio Friday night along with fellow Life's A Bluff writer Mr. Id (and his lovely lady for who I have no pseudonym yet) and Piggy. Mildly hung over, I went to try my chances at the Mega Stack event going on at the Caesar's Palace Card Room the next day at the crack of noon. That must have had something to do with it as I managed to pump off my stack about 6 hours in when I knew I was beat but was too stubborn to admit that the guy had stuck with second pair and hit trips on the turn. *Errrrt* out the $350 that that one cost, but hey, for that money the stacks were, indeed, Mega, and the levels left plenty of time to play. Were I JUST rounding at the series, I might have parked my budget ass there and played Caesar's until I wore a dent in the felt, but alas, I did not and found myself back at the Rio and in the cash games. Despite expectation to the contrary by some folks, the single table satellites were again, very soft, and your hero managed to run up some chips to take bigger shots a few times including a couple of $525 and $1030 STTMTTs. The problem was, I think, that I was doing this past midnight every night after having been up early (for a poker player) doing interviews and covering the events. The cash games were holding me aloft until I took two huge hits getting it in way ahead only to come out behind (the challenge of a soft game...hmmm), and the cost of living started to chew things up. $80 bucks on cab rides out to TPC and back to interview Negranue (not to mention day to day cab fare from the Tropicana.) , and as I promised myself, all food, expenses and side action coming out of the bankroll and not the bank account. Instead of focusing on the one event I really wanted to play, the $2500 6-max NLHE event, I wandered about in every direction trying to score a seat into the big show and that turned out to be some fiscal suicide brought on by a little case of tilt from some gawd-awful plays on the bubbles of those 1k events I mentioned. Well, I made it home with $ I didn't go completely broke.

On a good note though, I think I had a great time in spite of myself. A lot of the players that I had spent time with at other major events welcomed me warmly, the Poker Road crew took me under their wing again and let me use their tables, interviews were pretty well accepted and I think I have more lined out for my next stop at the Legends of Poker at my favorite place in LA, The Bike. Shronk-daddy and Joe Sebok saved my ass when my camera went busto by lending me one of the Flip Video Ultra cams to finish my interviews that I had scheduled. I highly recommend them and I cried a little when I had to give it back. (Go to their site if you need a great, cheap, easy solution for video.) I got interviews with Mark Newhouse, Scorry Nguyen, Jeff if you wanna see them, they even have a new and improved model, the Mino out now. I scored interviews with a ton of interesting folks at the WSOP including but not limited to: Mark Newhouse, ScottyLisandro, Gavin Smith, Jeff Madsen, Annette Oberstad, Andy Black, Bart Hansen, Daniel Negranue and Justin Shronk. All in all, a hell of a batch of videos. These will pop up about every Friday on Life's A Bluff so remember to drop in and check them out. Currently a very rushed G-Smith is profiling. TONS of photos, this year's much better than last years, of players with the new Nikon D40 and 55-200 lens playing a big part in that. Check those out at FLICKR and let me know if you want to use of buy a print. Always happy to be capitalistic.

Well, that is the short and sweet of the rundown...hopefully you have lots of links to click on and things went well.