Thursday, July 07, 2005

Championship WSOP Event is running!
My main man, Pauly, is live blogging it.
WSOP Blog.

Ah, back to the ranks of the unemployed professional poker.
How sweet it is.

Now if I could only get someone to sponsor this freaking blog, I'd be set.

In that vein, let's get the shilling out of the way first, shall we?

Party Poker (Bonus Code IGGY damnit!) is offering a freeroll for a PORSCHE CARRERA 911 S if you can get in 10,000 hands by July 23.

Woohoo - easy as pie for a slacker such as myself.

And then I got this strange but compelling announcement from Noble Poker.

First of all, if you haven't tried Noble Poker, it's actually a great place to bonus whore.

And NOW - if you sign up through my damn banner or text links, you get a special deal. $800 Signup Bonus! That's pretty damn generous and worth doing. So please sign up thru this humble poker blog for this offer.

But here's that promotion I mentioned earlier:


One skillful player will scoop a $1,000,000 payout in Noble Poker's latest, most unique promotion to date.

All it will take to walk away with the $1,000,000 is for one champion player to win seven consecutive $10 Sit 'n' Go tournaments - easy!

The $1,000,000 challenge will begin on August 1st 2005 - so the countdown to $1,000,000 is ticking.

In addition, Noble Poker will give a $75,000 prize to any player who wins six consecutive Sit 'n' Go tournaments and a $25,000 prize to any player who wins five consecutive Sit 'N' Go tournaments.

The Million Dollar Challenge is Noble Poker's newest promotion, and there is no other online poker venue offering anything like it.

Please visit the Noble Poker site for further details about this amazing promotion:
Noble Poker Challenge

Crazy. A million dollars?
I'm thinking I should bankroll SNG Specialist PokerNerd for this one.

And I'm not bitter about this news, trust me.
One of my blogging heroes just made the announcement that he's hit the big-time per blogging. Congrats and it's a perfect damn fit.

Paul Phillips has a great link to a CardPlayer video interview with a clearly insane yet blessed Phil Helmuth. Pure comedy.

Today is the Day!
The Big One, the Championship Main Event, begins in just a bit. I'm gonna have to do a few uber-posts just to keep up.
Here's a couple WSOP stories to help you pass the time.


Subject: Is Vinny Vinh an incredible pussy?

According to Pokerwire, he called the TD over and got Rafi Amit a penalty when they were heads up for the bracelet because Amit used profanity during/before a hand that basically crippled Vinh. That seems like the biggest pussy move of all time, if it went down as described below. He seemed like a real asshole when I saw him play on
the WPT, but this leaves no doubt. Thankfully he lost anyway, but if he had won, that would have been sick.

2005 WSOP
[Event 35]$10,000
Pot Limit Omaha
05:23:47 EDT

Wait, there's more...
In a previous hand, Amit was heard by Vinh using foul language at the table. When Jack Effel asked the dealer if Amit had, in fact, used profanity, the dealer couldn't be sure.

After losing the hand that crippled him, Vinh again brought up the issue that the hand shouldn't have happened because Amit should have gotten a ten minute penalty. Jack, the tournament director, again asked the dealer to verify whether or not profanity had been used. The dealer admitted that it had. After pushing Amit his stack, Jack gave Amit a 10 minute penalty.

There was confusion among the crowd and security had to be called. Amit pleaded with the tournament director to substain from penalizing him. Amit mentioned previous situations which involved Vinny Vinh using profanity and threating comments, to no avail. Jack Effel was firm and Amit was escorted from the table.

The hands will continue to be dealt at this limit for the next ten minutes without Amit's participation.

And here is the latest in the bumping of heads between Barry Greenstein and Simon Trumper. This is quite a tale....


Barry Greenstein is peeved. He probably would show signs of anger if this wasn't
about 12 hours after an episode that occurred early Sunday morning in the
$10,000 buy-in Pot Limit Omaha tournament.

"I'm fourth in chips with about $45,000 or so,'' Greenstein begins. "I hadn't
been raising that many hands before the flop, and I picked up K-K-J-10, spades
and clubs. A couple people limped in and I raised the pot to make it $1,650. Two
people called, so the pot was a little over $5,000. I got a good flop: Q-J-6
with two spades, so I had an overpair, straight draw and the second-nut flush
draw. I bet $4,500, almost the size of the pot. One guy called, Simon Trumper.
Now the pot is a little under $15,000.

"The turn is the ace of clubs, which gives me the nuts and the second-nut flush
draw. I don't know if he's flopped a set. He checked to me on the button, and I
bet $12,000. He thought for 10 seconds and called. So, at this point, he's
supposed to have either the nut-flush draw or some straight draws. He doesn't
know I have the absolute nuts, so he might think his straight draws are good. He
probably thinks I have a set of aces or queens, unless he somehow has them.

"Whatever his call is, he's probably not getting the right odds. He doesn't know
I have the nuts. If he has a spade draw, I have two spades out of the deck. If
he has a set, I've got one of the cards. He's probably not getting full odds for
his call.

"I'm hoping for a small red card that doesn't pair. But a spade comes off (on
the river). Now I'm afraid he's going to bet into me if he has the nut-flush
draw. But he checks. Now, my question is, should I turn over the second nuts or
should I bet it? It might be right to turn it over. It's a real big pot. At this
point there's $39,000 in the pot, and I've only got about $27,000 left. So, I
said I'll make a big enough bet so that if he raises, he'd almost have to have
the nuts. So, I grabbed some chips and bet $17,500.

"And he went in the tank - this is with less than a half-hour to go in the
tournament (for the night) - for way more than five minutes. People are thinking
of calling the clock on him. It's the end of the night and people want to play.
But he's just sitting there, sitting there, sitting there. I'm being courteous
in not calling the clock on him. He's looking at me, he's looking at people.
Everyone's waiting for him to act. People want him to do something.

"Finally, after 10 minutes, he says, "OK, I raise.'' My last $8,000 or $9,000.
At this point, I'm saying the raise only makes sense if he's got the nuts,
because I've represented a strong hand. I thought I was beat, but I looked at
what I had left and it wouldn't be much if I fold, and it's going to be a pot of
$90,000 or so.''

At this point. Greenstein says he's pretty sure he beaten, but he has a specific
reason for not wanting to fold: He wanted to confirm that Trumper would sit
there for that long - look, three minutes of indecision at a poker table seems
like forever --and waste everyone's time when he was holding the nuts all along
and not trying to run a bluff with, say, a lower flush than Greenstein held.

"I said I would hate to condemn someone to be a (naughty word) for taking 10
minutes of everyone's time at the end of the night and somehow be mistaken,''
Greenstein said. "So, I called. Of course he had the nuts.

"That's something that real poker players would never do, because then you get
everyone doing stuff like that. It's kind of an accepted thing that you don't
cheat, you don't certain things, because if some people do it, then everyone now
feels they're forced to combat it by doing the same type of thing. You don't
slow-roll because then everyone else slow-rolls.

"But when you play in tournaments, you play with people who really don't have a
concept of this. I'm not saying everyone, but a lot of these people. These
people should be, frankly, eliminated from the sport, so we would have a cleaner
sport. People like this shouldn't be allowed to play. That's how severe it is.
These are the same types of people who, when they go to a new table and see it's
their big blind, they walk to a different table so they don't have to take the
big blind. It's this type of behavior that, frankly, shouldn't be allowed. These
people aren't real poker players, is all I can say about it. Very irritating to
deal with people like that.

"I got up and left. Everyone at the table looked at me like they knew what a
jerk he was. Now, when I talk to people - I'm letting people know this is what
this guy does; it's important to get the word out when people do stuff like this
- and what I've gotten from people is, 'Everyone knows he's a (naughty word).
You just didn't know.' His name is Simon 'Aces' Trumper and apparently he has a

"Ten minutes isn't what was necessary. He could've taken 15 seconds to give a
hint of doubt to me about whether he did have the nuts. There's poker; I
understand it. But there's a certain amount of time that's right and certain
amount of time that's wrong. No good players would ever do anything like this.''

But wait. It gets worse.

"Even when he turned his hand over,'' Greenstein said, "he turned over the 8 of
spades, and then the ace of spades. He slow-rolled his hand.''

Greenstein was so worked up a day later, poker pro Thor Hansen said, that he
marched over the to area where Trumper was playing the in the Pot Limit Omaha
event and told him to his face that he should be thrown out.

"I've known Barry 11 years,'' Hansen said, "and I've never seen him like that.''


Simon's reply

Now it's Simon "Aces' Trumper's turn to tell his side of the story.

In a hand I detailed in a blog a couple days ago, Trumper busted Barry Greenstein in the $10,000 buy-in Pot Limit Omaha tournament, prompting Greenstein to claim Trumper took as much as 10 minutes to raise with the nuts and then slow-rolled the best hand, and ultimately said people who act like that should not be allowed in tournaments.

My using only Greenstein's side of the story was unfair. I should've had Trumper respond in the same piece, especially after it stirred up a ruckus on poker forums, websites and generated talk among players. So now, pretty much unplugged, here's what Simon says.

"People were writing to me on my site, 'How dare you do that to Greenstein?' 'If you I see you at the table, I'm going to kick your teeth in.'

"Let me tell you what happened. But forget the hand for a minute. This is what happened since the hand. Bruno Fituossi, a tournament director who watched the hand, said to me (Tuesday), 'How come he never said anything when he got up?' He never said a word. I turned the hand over - and I'll explain what happened there - he got up from the table, he looked down at the hand, never showed his hand - so don't get too confident that he had what he said he had; no one ever saw his hand - and off he walked.

"The next thing I know is the next day, and (tournament director) Johnny Grooms comes up to me. He said, 'Are you Mr. Trumper?' I said yeah. He said, 'I have a complaint that you took 10 minutes to reraise with the nuts yesterday.' I said, 'I'll tell you what, Johnny, I don't even need to answer it. Sitting around this table are the players who were here yesterday evening; there's Huck Seed, there's Barny Boatman, there's Tommy Grimes and there's Peter Costa. Ask them. I won't say a word.'

"Now think about it. If I was an American who wants to try to protect myself, I'd say (to those players at the table), 'It couldn't have been more than three minutes; you agree, don't you?' Not me. I said, 'I'm not saying anything.' Huck Seed said, 'Two, three minutes at the most.' Barny Boatman: 'Couldn't have been that long.' Tommy Grimes, 'Well, I didn't think it was longer than two minutes.' Peter Costa: 'Yeah, I would say 2-21/2 tops.' There's four people who could verify it at the table. That was that.

"Twenty minutes later, in comes Barry. He comes straight over to the table, points at me in front of everyone and says, 'Players like you who take 10 minutes to re-raise with the nuts should be banned from poker.' Those were his exact words. And he walked off. Huck Seed and I were like, 'What the hell was that?' The players at the table were gobsmacked. So, off he goes. As far as I was concerned, that was finished. I went up and saw Johnny. I said, 'Listen, you've already verified from the table that that wasn't what happened. He's now come and said this, you need to say something to this guy.' He said, 'OK, I will.' He came up to me 15-20 minutes later and said, 'I saw him at the break and look, you can't do that, Barry. Blah, blah, blah.' As far as I was concerned, that was it. Sour grapes. No problem.

"Then I get home last night about 11:30, 12 o'clock, and I read on the Hendon Mob site somebody said, 'Has anyone see this (ESPN Poker Club) article?' So, I read your article, and I said, 'What the hell is that?' People are on the site saying, 'He's this, he's that.' Whatever. Then someone said, 'Have a look at this forum,' and if you go to the 2+2 forum, there's a whole massive thread on it. And Barry has replied, and in one of the replies, he admitted that he came in to try to upset me. He said 'I tried to rile him.'

"None of this bothered me until I read the whole article. Someone on the Hendon Mob (site) said, 'If you read the whole thing, it sounds to me like Simon did nothing wrong. If you forget the 10-minutes thing that could be wrong, I can't believe he slow-rolled him and it sounds like Barry played like an idiot and is very unhappy with himself, so he's taking it out on Simon.'

"So I read your whole article. Let me put you right on a few things. This is exactly what happened.

"Now, let's put things in perspective. I'm chip leader in the tournament. I've been moved to the worst possible table; they're all good players. I'm not going to be able to dominate with my stack. I've got the second-chip leader on my left, Peter Costa. I've got third- or fourth-chip leader, Barry Greenstein. I'd say he had about $48,000 when the average was probably about $25,000. I had a lot more, probably $70,000. We're in the last level.

"Now, I do know what I'm doing in tournament poker. I am No. 1 in Europe in Omaha. So, I know what I'm doing. So, in the last level, I've got absolutely no need to get involved. I'm just passing, passing, passing. Barry is pretty much in control of the table. He's not interested in just cashing. Barry's making lots of small raises preflop and picking up pots. He's positionally raising and stealing a lot of pots.

"So, this pot comes up. I've limped in for the first time in about half an hour with A-A-8-8-10, double suited -- 8-10 of diamonds, A-8 of spades. Barry raises on the button. I think Tommy Grimes called and I called. The flop comes rag-J-Q, two spades. So, as far as I'm concerned, I'm drawing to a 9 for a straight - obviously the wrong end of the straight, but a straight - a king for the straight or the nut flush. That's my hand.

"Tommy checks. I check. Barry leads out. I think he bet about $4,000. Tommy passes. I'm calling, and the reason I'm calling - two reasons: One is the outs I've got, but the second reason is I'm playing a guy with a lot of chips, therefore if I hit my hand, I might get paid and further increase my chip lead.

"So I call. The turn comes ace of clubs. I check. Now he bets $12,000. Although I'm No. 1 in Omaha, I'm actually better known for No Limit. I've got 29 major No Limit finals. The reason I'm good at No Limit is I have a gut feeling for putting people on hands. Now he says, according to your article, he has K-K-J-10, which means that on the turn he had the nut straight. Maybe he's telling the truth, but that's not what I put him on. I put him on something like A-K-K-something or K-K-spade.

"I'll tell you why: If he had the nuts on the turn with the king flush draw, why is he betting the pot? He wants to keep me in. He's sitting there with the nuts with the backup of the second-nut flush draw. If I had flopped two pair or whatever, why would he want to bet me out of the pot? So, when he bet the $12,000, I thought about it, and in the end, I put him on kings with a king flush draw, and I would've made exactly the same play if I had the blockers with his king flush draw. I could represent the straight and I've got the king flush for backup. That's the hand I put him on.

"If I'm right, then I'm winning with aces. If I'm also right, the 9 is going to be good for me; the king, if I'm wrong, would give me the same straight; and if a spade comes, I'm certain he has the king of spades and I could win a big pot. So, on implied odds, I call.

"The river is a deuce of spades. I check. I did not hesitate. I just checked. He sits there for 30 seconds to a minute. He starts counting his chips down. I'm not looking at him. I'm looking at the pot. He finally bets $17,500. The pot was about $36,000. He had about $11,000-$12,000 left. I'm sitting there thinking to myself, 'I can't believe he bet this.' I'm certain he's got the king flush and I'm certain what's happened here is he did have the straight on the turn and he did make the king flush, he thinks that I also had the straight on the turn and I called because I'm scared of the flush, and on the end I've checked into him and now he can bet into me and I might be stupid enough to call with the straight, hoping he's on a bluff with the bare king. This is why I think he bet. Why would you bet if you think I've called on the turn with the nut flush draw and the worst card comes? Why would you bet when at that stage of the tournament, you've got average chips for the following day? Why would you risk another $17,500 of your chips?

"So, how do I get a world-class player to give me the other $11,000? First, I've checked into him. Secondly, I have to make him think that I think that he's got it and I have only got the straight. So, I separated $17,500 from my stack. I've still got like $60,000. I'm making him think I'm going to call. At this point, he's thinking, 'Great, he's going to call; I'm going to get paid off here with the king flush.' I then count the rest of my chips as if to say, 'If I'm wrong, if he has the flush, at least I've still got $50,000.' This was my process. And then I did what you don't know about in your article: I raised double.

"Now, any professional player should know that when someone re-raises you double, you are in big trouble, especially if you've only got $11,000 or $12,000 left. He now starts thinking and thinking and thinking. His first comment to me was, 'Were you thinking that long with the nuts?' It was about two or three minutes I was thinking. It might've seemed like 10 minutes to him because he was the one sitting there with the second nuts.

"If it was possible to trap a world-class player, would you not check into the guy and if he's dumb enough to bet into you, would you immediately say, 'I raise''? He falls straight into the trap and the guy's got an enormous ego. He feels like an idiot. Don't forget, he hasn't just given me all his chips when he could've checked the hand and come out the next day with an average chip count. How many people would've been thrilled not to have put their last $30,000 in in the last level and done it in front of his peers?

"Now, he thinks and thinks and thinks, and he finally says, 'Nuts is good.' Those were his words. 'Nuts is good.' I said yeah, and turned over my cards. So, obviously he's saying, "I have the king flush.' He pushed his last $12,000 in. Before I've actually re-raised, because we can all make mistakes, I've double-checked my hand. At the bottom I have the 10-8 of diamonds, at the top I have the A-8 of spades, but I couldn't remember which order they were in. I knew they were the top two cards - at which time, by the way, we've got people five-deep around the table - I'm not showboating or anything. I turn the top two cards over. It just so happens, the 8 was the first card. It goes 8-A. I didn't go 'nah-nah-nah-nah' or slow-rolled it or any of that rubbish. I went 8-A. And he just got up and shrugged and didn't say a word.

"So, this morning. Bruno Fituossi says to me, 'If he had a problem, surely he would've said, "I can't believe you did that. How dare you do that?''' He never said a word. Bruno said, 'You didn't slow-roll him.'

"Now, in your article, he says, 'I have the nuts on the turn. I wanted the deuce of hearts to come, but the deuce of spades comes. When he checked to me, I was worried that he might have the nut flush, and really I should've checked it down because I had the king flush and it was a big pot anyway. But I decided to bet $17,500 of my remaining chips, and if he raises me, I know he's got the nuts.'

"Yeah, that's intelligent. Like somebody said, I trapped him beautifully, and obviously, he doesn't like it. Then he said in your article, 'I didn't know who this guy was' and someone said, 'Didn't you know he was some naughty word?' Subsequently, he said, 'People like him shouldn't be allowed to play' and 'Did you know he's got a website?'

"What the hell is he talking about my website for? He's done me a huge favor. The hits have gone through the roof. I normally get 100 a day; I'm getting 500 a day. Unfortunately, I'm also getting people threatening to kick my head in. So, now it's been blown out of all proportion. Two things have been picked up: the slow-roll and the 10 minutes. Neither happened. As a result, I'm getting all these threats. It's disgusting.''

"One other thing: He said in your article, 'When I left the table, all the other players looked at Trumper as if he was a jerk.' You know what actually happened? Tommy Grimes and Barny Boatman said, 'Fantastic play.' They tapped the table and said, 'Great play.' They didn't call me a jerk at all. They thought he was an idiot. Barney couldn't believe the guy called me.

"He said in your article that the reason he called was to prove to the rest of the table that I would think so long with the nut flush. Wow. That's an intelligent reason for calling.

Trumper's version of the events was backed up by Seed and Grooms. As for the time that Trumper took to raise at the end, Seed said it was 2-5 minutes, as did all the other players whom Trumper asked the tournament director to survey.

"It was verified by players that it wasn't 10 minutes,'' Grooms said.

Overall, Seed said, "I didn't think he did anything wrong. It might've been kind of a slow-roll, but I've done it by accident before going through my cards.''

And here's proof enough: On the 2+2 forum, Greenstein himself posted this Tuesday afternoon: "I talked to Huck Seed (who was at the table) and he said it was between two and five minutes.''

And this: "I didn't think Simon should have been barred, but I didn't like what he did and I decided to rile him up.''

Later Tuesday, Trumper approached Greenstein at the table, and Greenstein said they had to talk, Trumper said. Trumper said Greenstein reconsidered how long he believed Trumper waited to re-raise -- five minutes now -- and they eventually agreed to end any kind of festering ill will and carry on playing poker.

Link of the Day:
Driving on the Intercourse
From this point forward, the deer-in-the-headlights look should be renamed the contortionist Japanese couple in the compact car photographed by surprise while having sex look.

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Information on this site is intended for news and entertainment purposes only.

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