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Joseph Smith

James Garner Dead at 86

by Joseph Smith Sr.

Los Angeles Police reported today that actor James Garner was found dead from natural causes in his  Los Angeles home Saturday evening. 

When I was growing up I knew one for-sure fact about poker, 'Don't play with Maverick because you  would not win'. Years later when I first saw the remake of the “Maverick” movie with James Garner as  the father of the next poker playing Maverick I thought it was a parody of the early WSOP. 

Poker greats from all over the globe gathered to trade chips,lies and bluffs while determining who  could do it the best. While photographing the 2006 WSOP Main Event at the Rio Resort in Las Vegas  I was thrilled to see Maverick himself sitting at one of the tables with a few stacks of chips playing in  the greatest poker game of them all. 

James Garner was no longer the dashing young man but he was definitely the older version. He was  most kind and easy going that day. No, he didn't win and was eliminated that day. I did win and I  wasn't even playing. Getting to meet James “Maverick” Garner sitting at a poker table was quite a  thrill and for a few moments I was again a kid in Texas watching the great Maverick take them all. 

Thanks for the entertaining memories Mr. Garner. R.I.P.

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Download and Read the Poker Player Digital Edition for July 14th, 2014 (Vol. 18 Number 2)

June 2nd, 2014 Issue of Poker Player NewspaperDownload the July 14th Digital edition PDF of Poker Player Newspaper.

Featured Articles:
Calling Out Sexism in Poker — Beyond Maguire, Molly’s Game, and “The Mouth” - by Wendeen H. Eolis

Featured Strategy - Mike Caro: Today's Word is Revenge

Tournament Results:
World Series of Poker Events 53 to the Main Event (#65)

AND MUCH MORE, Download the new Issue PDF now!

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2014 WSOP Event #65 $10,000 Main Event Championship

by Joseph Smith Sr.

Monday evening saw the 2014 World Series of Poker play down to the nine entrants that will return in November and take a seat at the final table.  For one of those November Nine this is his second journey to the fabled finish.  Mark Newhouse of Chapel Hill, North Carolina earned a seat at the 2013 final table.
 

Back-to-back Main Event final tables is something we've not seen since 1995 WSOP Champion Dan Harrington made a return trip to the 2004 Main Event final table after making the 2003 Main Event final table.
 

Newhouse was the final table short stack in his 2013 appearance where he finished in 9th place to collect $733,224.  His presence at the 2014 November final table will probably end with a higher place finish since he's third on the chip leader board with 26,000,000.  No one will be surprised if the 29-year-old player wins it all. 

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2014 WSOP Event #65 $10,000 Main Event Championship Day 7

by Joseph Smith Sr.

World Series of Poker Main Event played the final time this summer at the Rio Resort in Las Vegas.  Event #65 Day 7 stopped play when there were nine players remaining from the field of 6,683 entrants that began the event ten days ago.  The 2014 “November Nine” will be on break until November.

Come fall they will return to the Penn & Teller Theater at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino and continue playing over a two day period until a 2014 WSOP World Champion of Poker is determined.  The nine players will split the $28,480,121 reserved for the final table from the $62,820,200 prize pool.

Early Tuesday morning the nine players were determined when Luis Velador was eliminated by Mark Newhouse.  Velador went all-in with pocket fours and after spending a few minutes in the tank Newhouse called and turned over pocket fives.  The flop showed a of Aces, the turn was a third Ace and Newhouse's Aces full of fives beat Velador's Aces full of fours.  The room erupted in celebration of the setting of the November Nine.

The 2014 November Nine players are as follows listed by final table seat number.  Each players chip count follows their name:

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2014 WSOP Event #65 $10,000 Main Event Championship Day 6

by Joseph Smith Sr.

Day 6 of the World Series of Poker Main Event is now history.  This is the eve of the Day 7 which will produce the nine players making up the November Nine, an elite group of highly paid poker players.  Each will receive ninth place money amounting to $730,725 before leaving the Rio Pavilion on a nearly four month hiatus.

The November Nine group not only receive the cash but each has an invitation and golden ticket that includes a seat at the fabled Main Event Final Table in November.  Once again the conclusion of the 2014 WSOP will occur over a two day period in November at the Penn & Teller Theater located within the Rio Resort in Las Vegas.  

Seven of the November Nine will leave as a WSOP Millionaire.  Five of those seven players will be multi-millionaires and one, the winner, will be holding all the chips and that allows him to claim the $10,000,000 guaranteed first place prize money, the unique 2014 WSOP Championship bracelet and a place on poker's most exclusive list, WSOP Main Event World Champion of Poker.

Day 5's last two-hour level #30 began a few minutes after midnight with 34 players remaining.  WSOP official decided the level would be halted when 27 players remained or time expired.  Players eliminated 34th through 28th received $230,487 from the $62,820,200 prize pool.

The $10,000,000 smell wafting around the remaining poker tables tends to slow down the players abilities to subject their chip stacks to decisions that could remove them from the competition.  In turn, eliminations also tend to occur more slowly.  Another factor affecting the speed of eliminations is the massive chip stacks the remaining players are guarding.

End of Day 6 chip leader is Martin Jacobson of Stockholm, Sweden with 22,335,000 in play money followed by a distant 2nd place on the chip leader board Luis Velador from Corona, California with 16,600,000.  Third is Las Vegan Dan Sindelar holding 16,345,000, fourth finds Andoni Larrabe of Spain with 15,280,000 and William Pappaconstantinou from Dracut, Maine guarding his 14,640,000 rounds out the top five on the chip list.

Mark Newhouse, Day 6 starting chip leader and only 2013 November Nine player left in the action, finished Day 6 with 6,820,000 placing him 11th on the leader board.  Scott Palmer is the end of Day 6 short stack and the only player left with less than a million in chips when he starts Day 7 on Monday at High Noon with 760,000 checkers.

The final remaining woman in the event, Maria Ho, was eliminated in 77th place early into Day 6 and collected $86,812 for her efforts. 

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2014 WSOP Event #65 $10,000 Main Event Championship Day 5

by Joseph Smith Sr.

Mark NewhouseDay 5 of the World Series of Poker Main Event in now inscribed on the stone tablets of The Big Poker History Book.  A few millennium from now historians will dwell on the facts of what's taking place at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas.  They will know that 86 poker players remained from the field of 6,683 starters.

Additional Day 5 points of interest show the field of 79 is without any big name poker superstars.  They have all been eliminated by this group of not so well known, but great poker players, including at least nine that will join the stars.

Ironically, perhaps the best known player remaining in the hunt,  Mark Newhouse, is also the Day 5 chip leader with 7,400,000 chips.  For those of us with a short memory we only need to recall the 2013 November Nine players.  Mark Newhouse was included in that elite group and collected $733,224 for his 9th place finish.  He came to the 2013 final table 8th on the chip leader board with 7,350,000 in play money.  He currently has almost a million more chips than the next player, Kyle Keranen holding 6,670,000 or Scott Palmer in 3rd place with 6,595,000.

Sunday's Day 6 starting short stack belongs to Maria Ho.  She's also the only woman remaining in the field and has only 435,000 chips separating her from the rail.  Ho will need to put some winning hands together quickly in order stay and play with the boys.  Don't be surprised if she does exactly that.

Day 6 promises to be another great day for the fan club lining the rails.  Although many of the players are complete unknowns this will certainly change as play progresses through the day's scheduled five  levels.       

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2014 WSOP Event #65 $10,000 Main Event Championship Day 4

by Joseph Smith Sr.

Today is money day at the 2014 World Series of Poker.  Returning to the Rio Resort's Pavilion Convention Center, now serving as the world's largest and most important poker room, are the 746 Main Event players that still have chips.  The prize money from the $62,820,200 Main Event purse will begin flowing when the survivors reach 693.  The player to go out 694th will not collect any money but will leave with a paid-up buy-in for the 2015 Main Event.

During the first hour of play the last remaining WSOP Main Event winner, 1996 Champion Huck Seed, was eliminated.  This guarantees the 2014 Main Event World Champion crowned in November will be another first time winner collecting the guaranteed $10,000,000 purse.

As predicted the rush to the money bubble slowed to a crawl as players desperately attempted to protect their chip stacks.  When tournament Director Jack Effel called for hand-to-hand play signaling the next player out would place everyone left into the money there were five simultaneous all-in hands.  Once the WSOP officials sorted everything out and continued John Dryer was first to go when his full house ran into quads.

Zhen Cai was the second player to be eliminated of the five when his pocket Queens were trumped by pocket Aces.  Kori Hunter left next when his pocket Aces were outpointed by two pair.  The final two all-in hands didn't result in an elimination after the short stacks doubled up.

The three players eliminated split the $18,406 offered for 693rd place.  A high card draw decided which of the three would receive the 2015 Main Event prepaid seat.  Zhen Cai took the seat with a King while the other two both drew a Six.

Allen Cunningham, 2006 Main Event 4th place finish, went out just ten spots from the money when his pocket Queens were bested by David Feldman's pocket Aces.

Ronnie Bardah managed to hand onto his chips long enough to make the pay sheet and set a WSOP record.  He was sharing the record for four consecutive cashes in the WSOP Main Event with 6 other players; but, today he cashed for the fifth consecutive time and now stands alone with the most consecutive cashes.  He has cashed every year starting in the 2010 Main event.

Another item of interest is female player, Mikiyo Aoki, of Bozeman, Montana listed in the 29th spot on the chip leader board with 1,546,000 in play money.  Well known professional player, Maria Ho, has 544,000 in chips placing her in the 162nd position.

Tournament chip leader is Matthew Haugen of Chicago with 2,808,000 checkers followed closely by Zach Jiganti from San Francisco holding 2,364,000.  Only 291 players will be returning on Saturday for Day 5.  This will be the day when players push to build huge stacks that will hopefully carry them into a spot with the 2014 November Nine and a seat at the Main Event final table.

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2014 WSOP Event #65 $10,000 Main Event Championship Day 3

by Joseph Smith Sr.

Day 3 got under way at high noon with 1,864 players taking their seats as the cards flew through the air.  Excitement usually begun to build on Day 3 in past WSOP Main Events.  It's on this day that the smell of money slowly snakes its way into the cavernous poker rooms at the Rio Resort and levels its magic on the players.  Knowing the money will be reached on Day 4 affects the play because you can't collect a dime if you lose chips before the money is reached.

The day ended with 53 minutes left in Level 15 and 746 players remaining with chips.  Only 53 players separate the field from prize money so expect Day 4 to start off slowly with most players taking a protective attitude towards their chips and lots of marginal hands thrown into the muck.  Once the money bubble breaks there will be an apparent rush to the rail as play once more opens up and players began gunning for a final table seat.

Day 3 saw the first million chip stack reached late in Level 13 when Mehrdad Yousefzadeh had 1,050,000 in play money piled in front of him.  By the close of Day 3 there were two million plus stacks.  Yousefzadeh's first million chip stack had been eclipsed by Day 3 chip leader, Andrew Liporace.  Only 4,000 separated the two top chip stacks.

Day 3 saw the rack of previous WSOP Main Event Champions trimmed down to one, Huck Seed, 1996 Main Event winner.  Also gone late in the day was NBA Superstar Paul Pierce, a ten time all-star selection kept the rail packed with fans during those days he played.  Pierce also bought the same competitive drive and spirit to the poker table and made quite a showing for himself as he outlasted many well known poker pros.

Poker Superstar and ten WSOP bracelet man Phil Ivey began Day 3 as the chip leader.  He maintained a close rein on his chips and played a solid game to finish the Day 3 with 522,500.  Ivey is listed in 72nd place on the chip leader board.  Considering this player's skills and the volatility of no-limit hold'em poker we can expect to see him move up through the ranks of the remaining players.

Day 4 is shaping up to be another fan favorite.  If you're in the Las Vegas area stop by the Rio Resort and watch poker history in the making.  We will get to meet the unluckiest player in all of poker, the WSOP Main Event money bubble player.  Usually the bubbleboy (girl) is sent to the rail with empty pockets but with a buy-in for the next year's WSOP Main Event.  Maybe they're not so unlucky afterall.

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2014 WSOP Event #65 $10,000 Main Event Championship Day 2C

by Joseph Smith Sr.

Phil Ivey leads the pack with 505,500 in play money going into Day 3 of the 2014 World Series of Poker Main Event.  With ten WSOP bracelets including one picked up earlier this year in WSOP Event #50 $1,500 Eight Game Mix, Ivey would pull within 2 bracelets of record holder Phil Hellmuth.  He would also have a win in the world's most prestigious poker tournament, The WSOP Main Event, to bolster the claim of world's greatest poker player.  Word around the Amazon Room at the Rio Resort is saying Ivey is now an even money bet to make the November Nine final table.

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2014 WSOP Event #65 $10,000 Main Event Championship Day 2A/B

by Joseph Smith Sr.

Players that survived Day 1A and Day 1B representing approximately half the remaining field came together on Tuesday for Day 2A/B.  At the stroke of noon the cards flew and the second day of play began for the 1933 players returning from their Day 1 with chips.

The schedule format remains the same with players sitting through 5 two hour levels with a twenty minute break after each level and a ninety minute dinner break after three levels have been completed.  Players from Day 1A played in one of the WSOP poker rooms while players from Day 1B played in separate rooms.  The entire field will not be united as one until Day 3.

Chip leaders from this first of two Day 2s are approaching the half million mark.  Atop the chip leader board is Tim Stansifer whom enjoyed a late rush to push his stacks to 481,500.  He is closely followed by Tom Cannuli with 407,800, Tony Roberto at 402,700, Joe Ruberto with 402,700 and Zhen Cai holding 367,900 in play money rounds out the top five.

Some of the notables sent to the rail on Day 2A/B includes Josh Arieh, Mike Sexton, Tuan Le, Dennis Phillips, Lauren Kling, Vanessa Selbst, Annette Obrestad and David Slansky.  Television star Ray Romano was hanging on to 15,100 in chips for a return to Day 3.

Wednesday will see the players that escaped Day 1C with chips return to the Rio for Five levels of 2 hours each.  In this group will ne poker royalty including Phil Hellmuth and Phil Ivey.  Ivey is listed as second in chips with 187,025 while the chip leader is Eric Tracy holding 206,175.  

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