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Stories from the WSOP Main Event Final Tables

8 August 2006

Although there are two WSOP events running simultaneously today, including the final three tables of the 2006 Main Event, the Rio All-Suites Hotel and Casino has the feel of a deserted warehouse.

There is a throng of spectators surrounding the ESPN televised poker stage, but gone are the cash game and satellite table players that have been a staple in the Amazon Room since the WSOP began in June.

Still, there's a buzz about the place even if there isn't a crowd. Monitors line the entire conference room with pockets of people rushing to the screen whenever it's announced that another Main Event competitor is all-in.

By far the fan favorite in this year's final grouping is consummate professional Allen Cunningham, who is looking to add to his already stellar poker reputation by grabbing a fifth gold bracelet and the coveted World Champion title.

As one fan in the bleachers put it to his wife, "That's Gary Cullingham…I mean Al, or Allen Cunningham. He's really good."

So far, Day Six is moving day for Cunningham, who started near the middle of the pack early in the day, but has vaulted to second place, close to Jamie Gold's monster stack of $18 million chips. Continuing his big-stack bullying, Gold continues to accumulate chips and is still the leader after days as the front runner.

WSOP officials continue to say that play will continue tonight (Aug. 8) until the final table is set. Because the tournament is ahead of schedule, there will be a day off tomorrow. Events 44 and 45, both $1,500 No-Limit Hold'em Tournaments will play to completion on Wednesday.

The Main Event final table will begin at 12 p.m. PST on Thursday. Because of contractual agreements with ESPN and pay-per-view telecasts, WSOP officials are forced to have tomorrow become a day off.

WSOP ANECDOTES

Nadia
I was walking down the corridor to the Amazon Room on my way to cover some more final table action when a member of the opposite sex caught my attention. I did the obligatory double take and thought to myself "not bad." Of course it wasn't bad. It was Shannon Elizabeth of American Pie fame. I immediately felt like an idiot for not recognizing one of the most famous faces in the 2006 WSOP. She's still playing well in Event #44 by the way, making her way towards her third cash this year.

Battle of the Coolest 2006 WSOP Names
ESPN couldn't have scripted it any better. Rob Rose went all in against Leif Force in the "should be in a WWE pay-per-view telecast hand." The affable Rose had A-J versus the Force's A-A and didn't improve. If Force wins this thing, how many endorsement deals is he going to get? And speaking of names, are you kidding me with Rhett Butler?

Phil and Barry
I don't know what's more interesting to watch at the Event #44 tables, Phil Hellmuth's insistence on leaving after every hand for prolonged periods of time, or the look of "Please God will this WSOP End" on Barry Greenstein's face. Both players are doing well as of 4 p.m. PST, but there is still plenty of play left in this event that won't end until tomorrow evening. Of course, when he's actually in his seat, Hellmuth looks pretty determined to grab that 11th bracelet.

The Agony of Poker
While searching out things of interest at the less crowded Event #44 tables, I witnessed two bad-beats that would make me quit poker.

1.) The first bad-beat was a gentleman who flopped a set of Tens on an A-K-10 flop, only to watch his opponent flip over A-K and catch an ace on the river. To make matters worse, a player at the table told him it was obvious from the start that the opponent had A-K. The distraught player, who was now eliminated, said "No kidding, which is why I bet the set, ass."

2.) The second bad-beat was an all-diamond flop that came A-7-3. Three players went all-in on the turn and the river produced an Ace. Of course, two gentlemen flopped a flush and the winner believed his A-3 two-pair was still good after several re-raises. Nonetheless his miracle full-house was rewarded handsomely.

Stories from the WSOP Main Event Final Tables is republished from CasinoVendors.com.
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Best of Ryan McLane
Ryan McLane

Ryan McLane was a poker reporter for Casino City. Although he has a strong background in reporting, the same can't be said for his poker skills. He has never won a major tournament nor is he a professional player. He applied for this job thinking it was a joke, only to find it out that it's true, people will pay you to write about poker. His favorite word is ridiculous.

After receiving his BA in History from Stonehill College in Easton, MA, he somehow ended up freelance reporting for a couple years before being deployed to Operation Iraqi Freedom III with the Massachusetts National Guard. He's back now and is a strong advocate of the phrase "God Bless America."

Currently, Ryan lives in Boston and occasionally makes international treks to cover tournament poker and news. Feature writing is his passion and there is no need to ask for his opinion, he'll probably offer it first - free of charge.
Ryan McLane
Ryan McLane was a poker reporter for Casino City. Although he has a strong background in reporting, the same can't be said for his poker skills. He has never won a major tournament nor is he a professional player. He applied for this job thinking it was a joke, only to find it out that it's true, people will pay you to write about poker. His favorite word is ridiculous.

After receiving his BA in History from Stonehill College in Easton, MA, he somehow ended up freelance reporting for a couple years before being deployed to Operation Iraqi Freedom III with the Massachusetts National Guard. He's back now and is a strong advocate of the phrase "God Bless America."

Currently, Ryan lives in Boston and occasionally makes international treks to cover tournament poker and news. Feature writing is his passion and there is no need to ask for his opinion, he'll probably offer it first - free of charge.