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Poker News Round-up

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Poker News Round-up: Week #28

The last few weeks have seen results flying out daily from the Rio. This week results slow down as the main event gets into full swing. Of course, many players have already had their result; thousands of grandchildren everywhere will soon be regaled with horrific beats and certificate 18 exits from Days 1 and 2. However, many players took a beat before the event even started. Players are able to choose their starting day which means that Harrahs can’t load balance. With many people having alternative plans on the 4th July, day 1D was over-subscribed and registration closed. This left many people shut out, including Antonius, Cloutier, Seed, Forrest and Flack. Some eyebrows were raised when it was rumoured that Antonius was unaware he had been bought in by someone else and when Seed got in late from his NBC Heads Up victory which awarded a main event seat. All of a sudden, anyone famous playing 1D had their entry treated with suspicion by all those who didn’t get in. For once, Harrahs didn’t do much wrong; poker players inflicted it upon themselves. I wonder if all those who had their dreams crushed will learn to buy in a little earlier next year.

Going into Day 3, the top 20 of the 2044 survivors are predictably full of unknowns, with the exception of course of the omnipresent Mr Ivey. Most in that list won’t be likely to be there going into day 4. There are plenty of headline names in the top 100 to keep ESPN moist including Greg Mueller, JC and Kenny Tran, Lisandro and Benyamine. 4 bracelets would top off Lisandro’s year, but to crown it with the Main Event would be off the sickness scale.

Harrahs have promised to look into registration as their highest priority for 2010. Several other areas could do with a review too as stories of other unsavoury activities and angle-shooting loopholes emerge. First of all, it turns out that if you don’t like your seat draw (long rumoured to be not particularly random) you can unregister and register again until you theoretically get a draw you like. Maybe you keep doing it until you draw Phil Ivey, figuring you can sell a few patches for the TV table. Then it transpires that Ivey has been playing for 48 hours straight in Bobby’s Room and is granted a request not to be on the feature table. Bang goes another idea. Oh, and must be nice to be Ivey and be able to treat the main event with that much contempt. Maybe Todd Witteles (Dan Druff) had the same idea and lined up a feature table to go Hellmuth-bashing over UB scandals. I’m surprised it hadn’t happened a lot sooner. Hellmuth had presumably had some PR tuition and was happy to spar with Witteles, but the tournament officials nipped it in the bud and round 2 will have to wait for another day. Harrahs should also look very dimly on the reports that some of their brushes were deliberately keeping inactive lists on the boards so that they could offer to ‘spring’ players into a game in return for a token of their appreciation. I hope nobody paid.

Rounding off news from the WSOP, Scotty Nguyen was on record claiming he would quit poker if he failed to make $4million this year. (Rumour has it alcohol may have been involved.) With his main event over and only 1 minor cash, his aspirations have come up a little short. No one really expects him to quit, but just in case it wasn’t the beer talking, I wish him well in his next venture.

On UK soil, players have had the choice of festivals with smaller events at Brighton shortly coming to completion or larger events at The Vic leading up to the £2.5k Unibet Open. Unibet are buying in 150 online qualifiers from mainland Europe which may well tempt others to find the buyin from somewhere and take a shot at a few players that may have little or no live or major tournament experience. No GUKPT in July, next stop on their tour will be Luton, where yours truly will be found adding £1000 of extra value to the prize pool.


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