Notes from the Floor: Day 4

Would the Real Chris Savage Please Stand Up?

Halfway through the Day 1b of Event #2 ($1,500 No Limit Hold’em) the hard-working live update team at had reported that Chris Savage was the chip leader – and by quite a margin. There was only one problem. After the players returned from a dinner break nobody could find Savage, a well-known online player who goes by the name “brsavage”.  After scouring the remaining players numerous times it appeared that he was gone. He’d either busted out or was somehow not recognizable by the reporting team.

Monday the solution became apparent as it was discovered the Savage was still near the top of the chip lead – only it wasn’t the player otherwise known as “brsavage”, it was another Chris Savage of no relation. It’s since been learned that “brsavage” is at home, in Louisiana.

The 10-Seat Controversy

The record-setting field of 3,929 players in Event #2 ($1,500 No Limit Hold’em) had an impact on the players in Event #4 ($5,000 Mixed Hold’em). The record setting field spread over two days produced a record setting restart. At 2 pm the 446 remaining players had taken up a good chunk of the available tables. By the 5 pm start time of the Mixed Hold’em event there simply were not enough tables to play nine-handed. Tournament organizers were forced to make the decision on the fly to pay ten-handed forcing some players to be shuffled around before even seeing a single card.

The Stanley Cup Distraction

In Event #4 ($5,000 Mixed Hold’em) the players on table Blue-16 were somewhat distracted. The plasma screens were tuned into NBC’s coverage of Game 5 of the Stanley Cup finals between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Detroit Red Wings. When Maxime Talbot, who played in the 2007 Main Event, scored to tie the game with only :35 left it meant the distraction would continue. Even Antonio Esfandiari, who admits to not being a fan, was into the game. “It’s a big game, it’s close and everybody else is into it,” joked Esfandiari as he joined his table mates and other players as they watched the overtime periods. The game ended when Petr Sykora scored in the third overtime – while the tournament was on break and, aside from the dealer, the table was empty.

Resurrecting Chris Ferguson

It might seem like an automatic call. In the big blind with 9,000 chips invested already and only another 7,500 behind, Ferguson was looking at a raise from the button that would have meant his tournament life was on the line. The five-time bracelet winner went into the tank for a few minutes and seemed poised to toss in his chips. Instead he folded and showed 7-2 off suit. Ferguson’s layodwn of the worst hand in poker seemed like it was delaying the inevitable. But on the next hand he tripled up and nearly three hours later was still alive with 215,000 in chips.

Matusow Claiming Victory in Weight Loss Prop Bet

It was one year ago that Ted Forrest and Mike Matusow made one of the more memorable prop bets of 2007. Matusow, who weighed 231 lbs at the time, bet Forrest $100,000 he could lose 50 pounds within the year. According to Forrest, the man known as “the Mouth” weighed in at 179 lbs. – 2 lbs better than what was needed to win. Granted, Matusow used his own scales, at home, for the weigh-in while Forrest was still playing Event #4 ($5,000 Mixed Hold’em). “He’s claiming victory, but I’m not so sure,” said Forrest. The official weigh-in is scheduled for Wednesday.

Toughest Table Nominee

Event #4 ($5,000 Mixed Hold’em) included a field full of names and faces that even the most casual poker fan would recognize. That made for some ridiculously strong tables, but in the early stages of play none were as star-studded as table Blue-19. When the cards were in the first dealt the table included Doyle Brunson, Isabelle Mercier, Daniel Negreanu, Eric Froehlich, Thomas Keller and 2007 Bluff Magazine Player of the Year Bill Edler. Things didn’t get too much easier when Negreanu busted. His seat was immediately filled by Dewey Tomko.