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It’s that time of the year when the World Series of Poker (WSOP), that has just moved into its sixth week, continues to enthrall us and hold us hostage to the magnetic pull of the fame and fortune that its bracelet events bring! And while we have been tuned to all the WSOP action, there are many stories of unexpected losses, wins, shocking bust outs and even instances of players sitting down to play at the wrong table coming to us straight from Las Vegas! In this edition of our PokerGuru Gossip Column, we bring you five gossipy updates from Vegas and beyond.
If ‘wrong-tabling’ was a word that could be used on someone, then PokerBaazi Team pro Vikram ‘Lungi’ Kumar would be the right man to hold the title! Our first report is about Kumar who sat on the wrong table in the $888 Crazy Eights No-Limit Hold’em 8-Handed – $888,888 Guaranteed 1st Place and continued to play for more than an hour before he was approached by the player who was actually supposed to sit there!
We then take you to Brazil where UFC middleweight fighter, Antonio Braga Neto missed two flights from Rio to Florianopolis and decided to drive down, halted at Sao Paulo to play the $80 Big Chance poker tournament and ended up finishing fifth and pocketed $4,000!
In our next story, we talk about how five-time bracelet winner Jason Mercier was missing from the 2018 WSOP Main Event action and was instead spotted at Bobby’s Room at the Bellagio where he was playing a very juicy cash game with Gus Hansen and Dan Cates.
We then highlight how bracelet champion Max Steinberg found his Main Event plans cut short after busting out on the very first hand of the Day 1B flight that he had entered!
Wrapping up, poker brat Phil Hellmuth made another of his famous Main Event entries and this time, dressed as ‘Thor’!
So here’s a rundown of all the right action from the poker globe, tabled right here for you, get set, reading on it!
Founder of ‘Lungi TV productions, and PokerBaazi Team pro Vikram ‘Lungi’s Kumar infectious smile and witty take on many poker incidents and issues has entertained many winning him a huge fan-following on the domestic circuit. But when Kumar accidentally seated himself, and no, actually played for two whole levels on the wrong poker table in Event #62: $888 Crazy Eights No-Limit Hold’em 8-Handed – $888,888 Guaranteed 1st Place at WSOP 2018, the joke was on him for the moment!
Not that Kumar who has nicknamed himself as ‘Lungi’ would mind. Kumar reportedly registered late and instead of going to table 410 where he was supposed to sit on seat number 6, he went to table 411. No one stopped him, or objected since the player who was to sit there hadn’t turned up yet, and so Kumar went on to play for two levels before he realized that he was actually on the wrong table.
Approached by the player who was assigned the seat, Kumar confidently claimed his stake on the seat, and asked the player to go check with the late registration desk. As the tournament organizers saw this, they cleared up the issue and sent Kumar to table 410!
Will Kumar canvass his interesting ‘comedy of errors’ in any of his future Vlogs? We can’t wait to find out!
Missing a flight is never the most pleasant feeling, but if you ask UFC middleweight fighter, Antonio Braga Neto who missed not one but two flights over two days, and went on to play a poker tournament where he even ended up making $4,000, it just takes poker to turn a bad turn of events into a good one!
Neto, who intended to fly from Rio de Janeiro to Florianopolis in Brazil to hold a few jiu-jitsu classes and make some extra money, missed his flight. He bought himself another ticket, but the next day, missed that flight as well! The two tickets cost him $250.
Neto then decided to drive 700 miles down to Florianopolis and after his first day on the road, he halted for the evening in Sao Paulo. He discovered that the $80 Big Chance poker tournament that he’d played earlier and featured almost $80,000 in prizes was about to begin at the H2 Club Casino. Neto barely managed to enter before the registration closed, and then fielded through 1,586 runners to reach the final table where he finished fifth and pocketed $4,000!
“It was cool because of the money I made, the result, but I wanted more, man, I had played this tournament before, finishing second and fifth. It’s a good profit,” Neto said.
The Brazilian is going to face Andrew Sanchez in UFC Lincoln on August 25 and for him, making good money in a poker tournament ahead of a UFC fight brings good vibes. Last weekend, he lost his first match in BJJ Pro IBJJF Championship in Sao Paulo and exited the event. He now intends to play poker with 20-30 percent of his prize money and invest the rest in his online fight gear store project.
As huge groups of people who entered the 2018 WSOP Main Event were busy running up their stacks or railing out in huge and unexpected hands, there was one player who decided to blind out of the $10,000 buy-in Main Event! No, Jason Mercier was not ill, stuck in traffic or stressed out for any reason. All he was involved in was a really interesting cash game called Big Game at the famous Bobby’s Room at the Bellagio Casino!
Mercier’s wife Natasha tweeted a photo of her sitting by Mercier at a cash game table, and Adam Lamers guessed where they were.
In case ur wondering why @JasonMercier is blinding out of the main event right now….I can tell you one thing: it is NOT because of the baby, and it is NOT because of me.
— Natasha Mercier (@natasha_mercier) July 4, 2018
— Adam Lamers (@adam_lamers12) July 4, 2018
Just a day before this Mercier was asking around on Twitter where he had to register for Day 1B of the Main Event. Instead of going the WSOP Main Event way, he completely got pulled into the Big Game where he was spotted playing against the likes of Gus Hansen and Dan ‘Jungleman’ Cates!
What time do I have to reg day 1b of the Main event by?
— Jason Mercier (@JasonMercier) July 3, 2018
The Big Game is usually a $2,000/$4,000 mix with some variations from table to table and can go as high as $3,000/$6,000. Recently, it even went as high as a $5,000/$10,000 four game mix. Dan Smith found the action too wild, though he didn’t really disclose who all were playing.
There’s currently a 5-10k 4game mix at Bellagio (PLO, 2-7, Razz, O8?) and a separate 5-10k 3 game mix (2-7, PLO, dunno?) Seems like this summer has the most nosebleed action ever…. pretty wild.
— Dan Smith (@DanSmithHolla) July 1, 2018
While Smith, Hansen, Mercier and Cates were in Bobby’s room for sure, we can’t say if they were playing on the same table. Hansen obviously didn’t have the same reservations as Smith, and posted a short video of the table he was playing on, on Instagram.
For Hansen it was a bumper weekend with a $1 Million stack of real money in front of him. Like him, Mercier has been hoping for favorable summer!
American Pro Max Steinberg had quite a few plans and moves up his sleeves when he bought his way into the 2018 WSOP Main Event. But his dreams of winning his second WSOP bracelet ran dry when Steinberg got eliminated on the very first hand he played that was also the first hand of Day 1B of the tournament!
Steinberg, who took home his first WSOP bracelet in 2012 when he won $1,000 NLHE has WSOP earnings totaling up to $4,032,510, practices transcendental meditation apart from playing poker professionally.
He looked calm enough on the Main Event table where he sat down to play. However in the very first hand a mere five minutes into the tournament, Michael Rack got it in before the flop from under-the-gun against Steinberg who was seated next to him. Steinberg had and Rack held . The board came Xx to give Rack a set of Kings and much to the shock of everyone, Steinberg busted out!
Later, he took to Twitter to share his run!
— Maxyface (@MaxJSteinberg) July 3, 2018
Steiberg’s tweet evoked quite a few responses!
We finally have an answer to the question: “So you pick up Aces first hand of the Main Event…” https://t.co/LvC2d28WcN
— William Shillibier (@Shillibier) July 3, 2018
Testament to how good the main is though, guy attempts to get entire stack in on first hand with KK ðŸ˜‚
— Dan W (@Dan_Watton) July 3, 2018
I don’t know the action but I’m probably folding KK to an accomplished player like yourself in that spot…
— Joel Doering (@BluffWhisperer) July 3, 2018
Tweets apart, Steinberg’s ‘claim to fame’ this summer has led to serious discussions. Theoretically, Steinberg holding pocket aces looked unbeatable and so he made the perfect decision to put all his chips in. But Main Event being such a large, unpredictable battleground, the move was foolhardy, according to many. A similar hand was witnessed in the 2005 WSOP Main Event when Oliver Hudson who held pocket tens and clipped a full house on the flop thought he was winning until he realized that his opponent, the legendary Sammy Farha’s ace-ten were the nuts on an ace-ace-ten flop. Overconfidence can backfire sometimes for sure!
Poker brat Phil Hellmuth who has 14 WSOP bracelets to his name and became the youngest player ever to win the WSOP Main Event in 1989, at the age of 24 doesn’t only have superb poker skills, he can also win an award for the number of times he has made grand entries at the WSOP Main Event! In 2009 Hellmuth entered the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino dressed as ‘Julies Caesar’! He was a race car driver once, an MMA fighter the next time. And now, Hellmuth has kept up with the expectations of his fans, riding right up to the entrance of Rio in a motorcycle and dressed up as The God of Thunder ‘Thor’! Not stopping at this, Hellmuth had an entire troupe of accompanying dancers dressed in the same theme, waiting for him to enter!
Here’s a video of Hellmuth’s entry as ‘Thor’ shared on YouTube by Best Poker Videos.
Meanwhile, Hellmuth’s dramatic entry also caught the attention of PokerNews, who shared the visuals and bytes with the poker megastar on its Facebook page.
Check out the video here.
Hellmuth admitted he had been wanting to dress up as ‘Gandalf’ but finally decided to go with ‘Thor’.
And that’s about it in this edition of our Gossip Column. We shall leave you here to return soon with more excitement, more thrills and gossip from Vegas and other poker hotspots, stay tuned!