Photo Caption:  Highly-acclaimed actor and part-time poker player James Woods was in action at the WSOP on Thursday.  Woods, known for his memorable film roles in Once Upon a Time in America, Salvador, Nixon, Ghosts of Mississippi, Casino and countless other films, has been playing in WSOP events for the past seven years.  His most recent starring role was in the hit television show, "Shark."  Woods hopes to turn that fictional moniker into reality and win a WSOP gold bracelet.  Sitting to Woods' left in Thursday's Seven-Card Stud Event is someone who knows a little something about being a shark.  That's none other than Jonathan Duhamel, the 2010 WSOP Main Event Champion.

Writer's Note:  "The Daily Shuffle" will be posted exclusively at just prior to the start of the day's events.  Post time will be at about 11 am (Las Vegas time).  Players and fans may look to this page as a daily clearinghouse for important news and information about tournaments and other events happening at the Rio.  When applicable, "The Daily Shuffle" will also provide a brief overview of the highlights from the previous day.

Lief Force Wins Gold Bracelet in Heads-Up Mix
Corey Zeidman Wins Gold Bracelet in Eight-or-Better -- Chris Bjorin Second
Female Futility in Open Gold Bracelet Events Continues
Mike Sexton Cashes in Two Simultaneous Events
Pot-Limit Hold'em Down to Final Nine – Daniel Negreanu Among the Finalists

“Mixed-Max” Makes Its WSOP Debut -- Joe Tehan is Early Leader
Return of the Dinosaurs:  $1,500 Buy-In Seven-Card Stud Underway -- Rogerio Sousa Leads After Day One

Ever wonder why some WSOP events have 10 levels on the first day, while others have 11 levels?  It’s based on field size.  This year, the WSOP has an unwritten policy to play 10 levels on Day One when there are 1,499 entrants or less.  Events with 1,500 or more entrants play an extra hour on the first day, which means 11 levels of action.  

The explanation behind this policy is simple.  Since fields for some events have become so big, the Day Three sessions have occasionally been extended into a fourth day.  By adding an extra hour on the first day, players tend to play less hours, when possibly fatigued on the final day.   


It’s now official.  The longest drought for female gold bracelet winners has hit the 223-event mark.  That’s right --- 223 tournaments have been played at the WSOP since a female scooped the final pot of an open tournament.  This eclipses the seemingly endless string of events played between 1982 and 1996, which had zero female winners in open events over what amounted to a 14-year femme famine.  

Vanessa Selbst remains as the last female to win an open event, which took place in the $1,500 buy-in Pot-Limit Omaha championship, held in 2008.  With two more stag winners for Event #3 and Event #4, the longest void in WSOP history has now been surpassed – a dubious factoid, indeed.  No doubt, the time for a female gold bracelet winner is very long overdue.

(Note:  This discussion pertains only to open events, which excludes the Ladies World Championship, which is a gold bracelet event)


The WSOP is one of the few tournaments which allows for the possibility of participants playing in two events at the same time.  In years past, many players have played in two events simultaneously.  However, cashing in two events simultaneously -- where all three playing days are in conflict - is unprecedented.

Mike Sexton, a former gold bracelet winner and inductee into the Poker Hall of Fame two years ago, entered Event #3 and Event #4, which began the same day.  In fact, the two tournaments were very much at odds, since the overlap included three consecutive days.  Even though the Heads-Up format of Event #3 (which included mandatory down time) allowed Sexton more time to concentrate on the Eight-or-Better competition, he nonetheless entered the record books.

Sexton accomplished what is believed to be a first in poker history.  He entered both tournaments, and not only cashed in both but also managed to finish in the top 16 for both tournaments.  Indeed, two min-cashes would be quite impressive.  But to think that Sexton ran deep into two overlapping events is phenomenal.

Furthermore, Sexton has proven once again that he’s among the very best at Seven-Card Stud High-Low Split.  This was his 11th time to cash in this event since 1985, which is a phenomenal feat.  In fact, he finished as the runner up in 2011, and then ended up as the 15th-place finisher this year.  Oh one more thing -- Sexton also won this event – back in 1989.

My parents, they wanted to name me “LIFE,” but they thought it would be hard on me growing up with a name like that.  So, instead they named me “LEIF,” which obviously isn’t much better.  By the time I was like 12, basically everyone was making fun of me.  You know, kids, when they’re young, they suck.  They’re just like boys.  Whatever.  But after that, it paid off.  It was actually a cool name, and girls started liking it.  In the end, it’s definitely worked out for the best.

-- Leif Force (Winner of Gold Bracelet Number 3 at the 2012 WSOP)


9:00 AM
As will be the case on most WSOP mornings, a $75 buy-in TURBO MEGA-SATELLITE is the first tournament of the day.

EVENT #8 is a $1,500 buy-in OMAHA HIGH-LOW SPLIT tournament.  Registration is expected to be open for the first four levels of play (plus two 20-minute breaks).  This means registration will close at approximately 4:40 pm.  Action will take place inside Brasilia.

EVENT #8 is listed as a three-day event.  Day One will play from noon until about 12:45 am.  There will be a 90-minute dinner break -- expected to take place between 6:40 and 8:10.
EVENT #8 surviving players are expected to bag up at the conclusion of 10 playing levels and return to play on Friday for Day Two.  That session will begin Saturday at 1 pm.
EVENT #8 updates can be followed at  Coverage includes almost-live chip counts as well as written updates supplied from the tournament floor by our friends at

The official Structure Sheet for EVENT #8 can be viewed HERE.
1:00 PM
EVENT #5, the $1,500 buy-in POT-LIMIT HOLD’EM tournament continues with the final table.  There are 9 survivors who will return for today’s action.  Play will take place inside Amazon, with the finale expected to take place on the ESPN main stage.  Dinner break is expected to take place around 7:40 and will last one hour.
EVENT #6, the $5,000 buy-in NO-LIMIT HOLD’EM MIXED-MAX continues with the play of Day Two.  There are 112 survivors entering the second day.  This session will include all tables at being played six-handed and will continue until exactly 32 players remain.  All action will take place inside Amazon.  Dinner break is expected to take place around 7:40 and will last one hour.

2:00 PM
EVENT #7, the $1,500 buy-in SEVEN-CARD STUD tournament continues with the play of Day Two.  There are 110 survivors who will return for today’s action.  Play will take place inside Amazon.  Dinner break is expected to take place around 8:40 and will last one hour.

The first daily DEEP STACK NO-LIMIT HOLD’EM tournament begins.  The entry fee is $235.  Registration is open for four (30 minute) levels, plus one break – which means until about 4:20 pm.
2:20 PM
The official WSOP gold bracelet ceremony takes place inside Brasilia, on the main stage.  Two gold bracelets will be presented today.  First, Leif Force (Tallahassee, FL) gets the gold.  Next, Corey Zeidman (Syosset, NY) takes center stage.  Media and the public may take photos and video of the ceremony – which includes a gold bracelet presentation, the playing of the national anthem of the winner’s country, and optional remarks from the latest champion.  The ceremony takes place at the end of the first break of the noon tournament.

4:00 PM
The first MEGA-SATELLITE begins.  The entry fee is $330.

6:00 PM
The second DEEP STACK NO-LIMIT HOLD’EM tournament begins.  The entry fee is $185.  Registration is open for four (30 minute) levels, plus one break – which means until about 8:20 pm.

8:00 PM

The second MEGA-SATELLITE of the day begins.  The entry fee is $550.

10:00 PM
The third and final DEEP STACK NO-LIMIT HOLD’EM tournament begins at 10 pm.  The entry fee is $135.  Registration is open for four (30 minute) levels, plus one break – which means until about 12:20 am.

3:00 AM
All WSOP gold bracelet tournaments end for the night.

Another oddity of the MIXED-MAX event is how to seat players between Days Two and Three, when players condense from 32 players (playing six-handed) to brackets of heads-up matches.  Essentially, the 32 players are seeded by chip count.  The matches then take place with 1 playing 32, 2 playing 31, 3 playing 30, and so on.  This aspect of the tournament clearly requires a different playing strategy than conventional tournaments and is yet another alternative test of poker skills.

Daniel Negreanu's appearance at the PLHE final table on Friday should draw a big crowd of spectators -- both in person and over the Internet.  The ever-popular poker superstar will take a seat on the ESPN Main Stage, with play starting at 1 pm.  The finale table will be shown on a nearly-live stream (five-minute delay) which can be seen at  The current chip leader is Bryan Pellegrino who appears to be in a dominant chip position entering the final day. 
Lief Force, a professional poker player from Tallahassee, Florida won EVENT #3, the $3,000 buy-in HEADS-UP NO-LIMIT HOLD’EM / POT-LIMIT OMAHA tournament.  He collected $207,708 in prize money.  Force was also presented with his first WSOP gold bracelet.  Prior to this victory, Force was best-known for his 11th-place finish in the largest live poker tournament in history, the 2006 WSOP Main Event Championship, for which he earned $1.1 million.
With this victory, Force has accumulated more than $1 .5 million in career winnings in WSOP events alone.  This was his 9th time to cash at the WSOP, and second final table appearance.  He defeated runner up Jason Koon in a heads-up match that lasted about 90 minutes.
Among those who made deep runs in EVENT #3 were former gold bracelet winners Andy Frankenberger, Annette Obrestad, Josh Arieh, David Williams, Mike Sexton, Matt Jarvis, and others.  Final results can be viewed HERE.

Corey Zeidman, from Syosset, New York, won EVENT #4, the $1,500 buy-in SEVEN-CARD STUD HIGH-LOW SPLIT tournament.  Zeidman, a 51-year-old sports marketing executive collected $201,559 in prize money.  He was also presented with his first WSOP gold bracelet.  Zeidman finished sixth in this same event held last year, and returned once again to outdo himself with the ultimate prize.
Among those who made deep runs in EVENT #4 were several former gold bracelet winners.  In fact, ten of the top 20 finishers were former WSOP champs.  Final results can be viewed HERE.

On Day Two, EVENT #5, the $1,500 buy-in POT-LIMIT HOLD’EM tournament, played from 77 all the way down to 9 survivors.  Bryan Pellegrino currently leads the pack, ahead by more than 2 to 1 in chips over all but one player.   Remaining players can be viewed HERE.

Yesterday, EVENT #6, the “NO-LIMIT HOLD’EM MIXED-MAX” made its WSOP debut.  This followed a highly-successful inaugural showing at 2011 WSOP Europe, held in Cannes, France.  This new tournament format is also known as NO-LIMIT HOLD’EM (SPLIT FORMAT).  Day One was played 9-handed.  Day Two (Friday) is to be played 6-handed -- and will end when the 32 player-mark has been reached.  Day Three includes the heads-up bracket sessions -- to be played at 1 pm, 4 pm, and 7 pm (where winners advance to the next round).    Day Four play includes the last four players, with two heads-up matches.  Next, the two survivors play down to a winner.  Hence, the No-Limit Hold’em tournament includes a full-table session, a 6-handed session, and multiple heads-up sessions (for advancing players).       

On Day One, in EVENT #6, the $5,000 buy-in NO-LIIMT HOLD’EM MIXED MAX tournament, played from 409 starters down to 112 survivors.  Joe Tehan currenlty leads the pack.   But there is still a lot of poker to be played.  Remaining players can be viewed HERE.

The EVENT #6 prize pool totals $1,922,300.  The top 44 finishers will finish in-the-money.  The winner receives $480,564 and a WSOP gold bracelet.

On Day One, in EVENT #7, the $1,500 buy-in SEVEN-CARD STUD tournament, played from 367 starters down to 110 survivors.  Rogerio Souza leads the pack.   Remaining players can be viewed HERE.

The EVENT #7 prize pool totals $495,450.  The top 40 finishers will finish in-the-money.  The winner receives $126,363 and a WSOP gold bracelet. 
Many WSOP attendees this year have commented about the tournament not seeming quite as “busy” as years past.  No doubt, the look and feel of previous years consisted of quite simply too many people bunched inside jam-packed tournament rooms.  But this year, the Rio has added 92 more poker tables to the WSOP facility, which now creates a gargantuan 470-table complex (500 tables are actually available for use, when factoring in tables located inside the Rio Poker Room – which will be used for massively overflow events).  This means the 2012 WSOP is the largest live venue in poker history.  Tournament action takes place in three large rooms – Pavilion, Brasilia, and Amazon.  Moreover, ESPN’s main stage has returned from a spectacular debut at last year’s WSOP.  Final table action is now more spectator friendly than ever before.  The bottom line is that while the WSOP may not have the combustible energy of the past, which was created by inadequate space, this year, basic comforts for poker player have never been more obvious.

Cash games are starting to seriously rock and should be huge this coming busy weekend.  There are now 82 poker tables dedicated to cash games inside Pavilion, plus an additional 14 poker tables dedicated to cash games inside the Rio (Main Casino).  Right now, the most popular game spread is $1-3 No-Limit Hold'em.  However, games of virtually all limits will be held in the coming days and weeks ahead.

Single-table satellites are being held 24/7 inside the Pavilion.  All satellite winners receive $500 buy-in tournament chips.
* Please note that all listed times are estimates and subject to change
-- Nolan Dalla