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Best of Ryan McLane
WSOP rail - A southern belle, Shirley Williams and former champs10 July 2007
By Ryan McLane
If you've never heard the name Dee Dozier, it's probably because she's not a professional player, nor has she cashed in any major tournaments.
But that hasn't stopped ESPN from extensively featuring the young woman who originally hails from Auburn, Ala. Full Tilt Poker also noticed Dozier's pretty smile and genial table manners and quickly signed her to an endorsement deal.
Dozier just missed qualifying for the Main Event in a $500 WSOP satellite at the Borgata. She finished 14th in the tournament, missing one of the 10 available packages. She returned to her New York City home in tears, only to find that her friends had decided to ante up and pay for her Main Event buy-in.
Dozier hasn't discussed how much she'll be paid by the online poker site for wearing its patch on her dress and sleeve.
The television camera crews have been obsessed with one table all day.
Shirley Williams, mother of professional David Williams, has had a camera and a boom microphone in her face all day. Every time she enters a pot, ESPN is there, waiting to capture the moment she busts from the tournament.
She's been all-in a few times, surviving each of her attempts before the dinner break. She had A-K once and flopped a straight with a nut-flush redraw to double up. A little later, a player at her table went all-in and she turned to Casino City editor Vin Narayanan to exclaim that it wasn't her all-in this time.
Once Jane Gold, mother of 2006 champ Jamie Gold, was busted from the tournament, she became the most popular female player in the room with a reporter or two at her table at all times.
Obviously, the commotion is drawing a massive crowd of fans and other media members, causing a bottleneck in the area where she's playing.
King of the celebrities
With celebrities playing better than ever at this year's Main Event, it's no surprise to find one of them has vaulted to the top of the leaderboard.
Todd Phillips, writer and producer of the comedies Old School and Road Trip, was third in chips on Day 2A with more than 350,000 just before the dinner break.
But Phillips is hardly new to poker. He made a World Poker Tour final table in 2005 at the Legends of Poker in Los Angeles and earned more than $250,000.
Spiderman's Tobey McGuire played well into the evening on Tuesday, but Everybody Loves Raymond star Brad Garrett did not make it through the afternoon. He did, however, break his personal record of playing in the Main Event for more than seven hours. Montel Williams, the daytime television host who held the chip lead for some time on Day 1B, was the first player to bust today.
Former World Champion Huck Seed, who has been as quiet as usual during this year's Main Event, put his tournament life on the line late Tuesday afternoon with middle pair and a flush draw.
Holding Jh-6h, Seed pushed his remaining 17,000 chips into the middle on a board of Ah-6s-3h. His opponent, the initial raiser, called the bet and flipped over pocket Tens.
Seed spiked a Jack on the river to stay alive and double his stack.
"Unreal," yelled his opponent.
"Unreal what, that the best hand won?" Seed replied.
"You didn't have the best hand," the amateur said.
"I had the best hand on the flop," Seed said before sitting back down.
Seed was actually a 51-percent favorite to win the hand on the flop, according to the www.pokerzone.com hand calculator.
Guess this Seed guys knows a little bit about poker.
Former champs holding strong
Day 2A featured a slew of former Main Event champions including Seed, Berry Johnston, Tom McEvoy, Scotty Nguyen, and Joe Hachem.
Hachem busted out early, but the other four were holding strong.
Seed has been all gambles getting the better end of several coin flips to remain active. McEvoy has nursed his small stack all day, refusing to get into a confrontation that would cost him his tournament life. Johnston, a name unfamiliar to many in the new-age poker crowd, was chipped up for a time, but lost a ton of checks in the level before the break.
Scotty Nguyen is again at the secondary featured table, putting on a show for the fans who have watched him play all day. He has left the Amazon Ballroom on several occasions, having to say "thank you baby" to all his supporters who wish him well as he moves through the hallways.
WSOP rail - A southern belle, Shirley Williams and former champs is republished from Online.CasinoCity.com.