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Thursday, July 16, 2009

WSOP 2009: The good guys and the bad guy of the November Nine

The WSOP is over and I am back to Germany for several weeks now. But of course I followed the action closely. The WSOP main event was and is still one of the most impressive things in the world of poker. And this year everything was even better.

Compared to the last years there had been less problems then ever and almost everything went the right way. The only "glitch" was the sell-out at Day 1D ... but I think Harrah's made the right decision. It was and is my opinion that everyone who got shut out can blame nobody then himself!

The main event saw a lot of interesting names lately including Dennis Philips, Joe Sebok, Peter Eastgate, Antonio Esfandiary, Ludovic Lacay, Tom Schneider, Blair Rodman and many others. In addition the german Marco Mattes had a great run and ended 23rd out of 6,494.

Joe Sebok (the inventor of Pokerroad Nation) as well as Dennis Phillips (a great guy who showed an incredible performance again and was only stopped by a rather bad beat) clearly belonged to the favorites of the masses. It was a sad moment to see both getting busted in the 2009 main event.

Only one guy was able to go ahead of those two! Not only regarding fans but also regarding result. ESPN and Harrah's will obviously thank the poker gods that one of the best players alive made it to the "November Nine" in the 40th anniversary year of the WSOP. Although Phil Ivey is on the lower end of the chipcount he will be good for great TV and I assume that except for his eight tablemates and fans almost all people in the poker world would love to see him take down this event.

"Ivey is Jordan, Einstein, Picasso, and Mozart all rolled into a one professional gambler"
from Tao of Poker

Every year again there is the question "will a well known pro ever win the main event again"? Every year the answer was "No way, won't happen anymore". This year can be the year. It already was the year of the pros: Three bracelets for Jeffrey Lissandro and two for Phil Ivey, many cashes for Daniel Negreanu and final tables for many other well known names.

But Ivey has to face a stack more then six time bigger then his own. This stack belongs to Darvin Moon. The difference couldn't be bigger. Moon doesn't have any big results in the books so far. But from what I heard he got great cards and made the best of it. It will be hard to overcome this monster stack. Moon reminds me in many ways of Dennis Phillips. He's not a professional but the nice guy from your neighborhood. So different and down to earth compared to some other crazy guys in the pokerworld. To play good poker you don't have to enter the Amazon room as Julius Caesar ;-) Also I am rooting for Ivey to take it down I think I wouldn't mind if Darvin Moon would make it instead. Oh, and isn't it funny that today is the 40th anniversary of the first men landing on the moon. It's the "day of the Moon" ;-)

Enter the bad guy! Beside Ivey there is another well known name at the final table. If you had asked me a few days ago I would have loved to see Jeff Shulmann from Cardplayer Magazine at the final table. But since yesterday I lost every respect for this guy. Imagine there are thousands of players that have a dream - the dream of winning the main event one day. There are people like me that stay up all night to catch the action there because this is the event for almost all poker players.

And now this guy says that he will "throw the bracelet into the garbage" if he would take down the event! Isn't that horrible? I wouldn't mind if he said that he won't ever wear it because it doesn't look nice. But what he said lacked every possible respect against a great event and is a slap in the face of every poker player. Even worse is his reasoning. He thinks that Harrah's treated him and Cardplayer Magazine unfair by selling the media rights to Bluff Magazine. So why play here at all? This guy has a passion for business but no passion for poker.

Ivey winning the main event - great for poker. Moon winning the main event - good for poker. Anybody else except "Garbage Jeff" - probably good too. "Garbage Jeff" winning - horrible for poker.

I never ever did this before (not even for Jerry Yang) but this November I am rooting for Jeff Shulmann getting busted as soon as possible!

Isn't that great? A guy like Phil Ivey who already achieved so many things in poker still has a dream - the dream to reach a main event final table. This dream has now come true for the one and only Phil Ivey!


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