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My Top 5 Favorite WSOP Moments

5 April 2010, By: compncards
John Phan2008WSOP 214x300
John Phan2008WSOP 214x300

The WSOP is just 55 days away! Now is the time many sites begin to ramp up their WSOP coverage, previews, etc. I figured that I would talk in this blog about some of my personal favorite WSOP moments from the WSOP's that I have attended since 2006.

#5. Meeting Erik Seidel my very first event.

In 2006, I sat down to Event #4 - $1,500 Limit Holdem and to my immediate left was Erik Seidel. Little did I know at the time that Richard Brodie was at my table, but I didn't really care. I was beside a multi-bracelet winner. My biggest thrill was taking a nice pot of him when I was short to put me back into contention. I picked off an attempted bluff with just my lowly pair of nines.

#4. Mike Matusow rants at me during a break at random.

In 2008, I was working for PokerNews at the WSOP and one of the final tables that I covered was the $10,000 Omaha 8 or Better World Championship. While the event was eventually won by David Benyamine, it was Mike Matusow that was the crowd favorite. During a break, Matusow was standing off to the side and I happened to look his way and make eye contact. He then proceeded to rant at me for five minutes straight about how his final table was going. He barely stopped to breathe. Then, just as abruptly as he started, he said "What can you do" and walks off. I love covering Mike.

#3. The final 10 minutes of Event #29 of the 2008 WSOP

John Phan and Johnny Neckar made it heads up of Event #29, the $3,000 NL Holdem event. They cut a deal with each other and then played heads-up for several hours. Just when it seemed we were destined to be there a while longer, the two all of a sudden decided to start taking flips for the bracelet.

Those of us covering the event assumed that the two cut another deal as out of nowhere, Phan and Neckar decided to go all-in blind. They convinced the tournament director to let them not look at their cards and run the board. The two were even allowed to squeeze. Then they flipped over their cards one at a time. Neckar won the first hand when his 9-7 turned two pair against the Q-4 of Phan. The two then decided to play the next hand the same way. This time the board ran out J-8-Q-Q-5 and both players turned over a four as their first card. Neckar turned over a deuce as his second card and Phan turned over a seven. It played and Phan doubled up. They decided to play blind again. The board ran A-3-9-5-4. Phan had K-Q and Neckar 6-4 to double up. The energy was high, the crowd was into it and it was the most fun I had covering a WSOP final table. The two went back to playing normally after that, but Phan emerged victorious a short time later to win.

#2. Winning $100 prop bet off Mickey Appleman

In 2007, I played Event #6 - $1,500 Limit Holdem. To my left in this event was Mickey Appleman. He had pretty much tried to focus on the game and refused to place any sports bets. That was until a little prop bet went sour for him. Mickey noticed that Day 2 of another event was going on over in the green section of the room. He asked what event it was. I told him it was the $2,500 1/2 Omaha 8 1/2 Stud 8 event. He said, "No, that can't be. I would have played that." Well, I knew it was because I had skipped the event to rest up for the Limit Holdem event. (It was a 5 P.M. start time the day before) I told him this and he indignantly asked me "How much you want to bet?" I didn't want to scare him off with a big bet so I just said $100. He said, "Ok, you're on." He asked a person on the rail what the event was over on the side, and that person told him. "It's the half and half. Half stud hi-lo, half Omaha hi-lo." Mickey said, "Really?" The guy said, "Yup." He looked at me and said "I really owe you 100 bucks?" I nodded. He then took out a wad of $100 bills and gave me one. Mickey then picked up his phone and proceeded to make about $20,000 in bets on several baseball games going on that day. I guess I put him on betting tilt.

#1. Cashing in the $1,500 Limit Event back to back years.

I had the fortune to cash in my first ever WSOP event in 2006 when I finished 87th in Event #4. This was the largest Limit Holdem tournament in history. The following year, I finished 47th in Event #6 in what was the 2nd largest Limit Holdem event ever. Obviously my most memorable of the two was my first cash. My first WSOP, my first event, and my first WSOP cash all in one day. The next year, I played well and got deep in Day 2. Also found out later that I was one of only three people to cash in that event in back to back years. I was, and am, still pretty proud of that accomplishment.

The WSOP is just around the corner, and hopefully this year I will be able to add to my favorites list both at and away from the table.

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