Friday, October 21, 2005

Vegas Day 5 – WPT Final Event Day 3

The action here in Vegas gets more intense by the hour. The WPT Tournament played down to the final 6 players, but it took until after 3am to get there. You can read more about the hands and finalist at and Here are the finalists and their chipcounts courtesy of Dr. Pauly and Poker Wire:

Seat 1: Tony Grand 118K
Seat 2: Minh Ly 3.056M
Seat 3: Dan Harrington 2.937M
Seat 4: Don Zewin 552K
Seat 5: Gavin Smith 1.368M
Seat 6: Jan Sorensen 370K

After watching these guys play for three days straight, I would not want to have my money on the line against any one of them. They are fearless and smart. I would watch out for Gavin Smith if I were one of them. Gavin talks a lot, but really appears to be in the game. It looks like he has major aura working this week. Tonight will tell.

It was tough shooting as they moved the 5 tables left in the tournament back to the main poker room. It was cramped as regular players, staff, press, and the pros were all having to navigate in very narrow isles. I got some good shots, but didn't spend as much time working the floor as on other days. I figured they could use the room.

Taping for the TV broadcase starts at 7pm tonight and I’ve got my credentials lined up finally. I’ve been shooting without actually having credentials, though the WPT and Bellagio staff are aware of who I am working with, so it’s not like I’m really getting away with anything. I do have to be a bit warry of the security staff. But they’ve actually been great as well. I can’t imagine where the Bellagio gets these people, the security staff, that is. Everyone of them is big and in shape, but as nice and helpful as anyone I know. It is an awesome combination and they should be congratulated.

Last night’s poker was just down right weird. I started at the Excalur’s poker room playing $2-4 limit (aka donky poker). I sat down and won the first hand. I played there for another 2 hours and I don’t remember winning another hand. I left when I got down about $40. I cut through NYNY, looking to see if they had a poker room (they apparently do not) and went back to the only poker room that loves me, the Monte Carlo.

The love was still there early on. I started with $100 and quickly built it up to $160 or so. This was with some of the locals in a loose/passive game. Then the donkeys came and the game changed to a bit tighter and more aggressive. That would have been OK, but my cards dried up again as well. Anytime I got a hand worth playing, someone else got a little better hand and took my pot.

I had had enough donkey poker and decided to try something different, $1-2 no limit. Boy was that a change. I sat down at about 1:00 am and got AA on my second hand. They held up and I doubled up my new $100 stake. I had a couple hands not win which got me back close to $100. Then I played a JQs and flopped 9 10 K for a straight. I took all four betting rounds to push all my chips in and got called by 2 players. The straight won and I tripled up. Shortly thereafter, the table broke up and I split, now slightly up for Vegas.

Today, I lunch with Mrs. K’s aunt and her husband, meet with a fellow from Rounders Magizine, and stay up into the wee hours watching some poker player win a million dollars. Just another day in Vegas baby.

(I'll post more pictures later)

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