(Photo by Jay “WhoJedi” Newnum):  
Photo Caption:  Here’s the deal.  There are some extraordinary dealers working at the 2012 WSOP.  Often unnoticed and always underappreciated, many of these dedicated professionals take their craft very seriously.  They come from all over the country to shine in the world’s biggest poker event, prideful of the fact they are an integral part of the game.  If you don’t agree, imagine the alternative which would be poker without any dealers.  Pictured is Shawn Harris -- one of the very finest in the business.  He’s originally from New York City and now resides in Las Vegas.  Harris has been dealing at the WSOP since 2005.  We salute him and his fellow staffers and thank them all for their tireless service to the game of poker (see a few additional words of wisdom from Harris below, in today’s update).   To see more photos from the 2012 WSOP, please visit the official WSOP PHOTO BLOG.

Max Steinberg Wins 1K Buy-In NLHE (Event #33)

23-Year-Old Poker Pro Collects $440,238 in Prize Money
Phil Ivey Express Continues – Fifth Final Table Appearance in 2012

Mixed Hold’em Approaches Final Day – Nine Players Remain

Six-Handed Pot-Limit Omaha Down to 11 Survivors – Newcomer Naoya Kihara Has Big Lead

27 of 33 Gold Bracelets Won By Americans – To Date


Max Steinberg won the most recent World Series of Poker tournament, which ended late Tuesday night at the Rio in Las Vegas.  He overcame a massive field size and three long days and nights of intense competition.
Steinberg pocketed the sum of $440,238 in prize money -- which more than doubles all of his previous combined WSOP earnings.  He also received poker’s supreme symbol of excellence – the WSOP gold bracelet.  This marked his first such victory.
Steinberg is a 23-year-old professional poker player, who learned much of his craft from playing online.  The Washington, DC native how resides in Oakland, CA.  After surviving an initial field size totaling 2,795 players, Steinberg defeated a formidable final table lineup. It took six hours to whittle the field from nine down to the final three, and they then battled for nearly four more hours, trading the chip lead back and forth several times.  No doubt, one of Steinberg’s toughest foes proved to be Matt Stout (Las Vegas, NV), who finished third.
The eventual runner up, Samuel Gerber (Brugg, Switzerland), was even more problematic.  The last two players shared at least one defining characteristic aside from both being in their early 20s.  Both had finished second events played two years ago.  Naturally, Steinberg and Gerber were both equally motivated for another chance to earn a victory, with Steinberg gaining the upper hand on this occasion.  As runner up, Gerber barely missed out on becoming only the second WSOP gold bracelet winner in history from the nation of Switzerland.
With this victory, Steinberg now has one win, two final table appearances, and four cashes on his WSOP resume.  He has also massed nearly $800,000 in career earnings, all won during the past three years.
This is getting ridiculous.  Things shouldn’t be this easy.  Not for Phil Ivey.  Not for any poker player.
Finishing in the money is supposed to be tough.  Theoretically, players should finish in-the-money only about ten percent of the time.  Approaching the final table should be even more difficult.  Most players would be happy with one, or perhaps two final table appearances over the entire duration of a series.  Expecting anything more than that is overly optimistic.
Indeed, the poker world is filled with poker optimists, perhaps no one more so than the supremely-confident Phil Ivey.  Once again, the eight-time gold bracelet winner is on the verge of taking another step towards immortality as a poker legend.  With his most recent showing in Event #35 (where he is still alive with nine players remaining), he is guaranteed a sixth WSOP cash this year -- and a fifth final table appearance.  Ivey's previous finales ended up 2nd, 3rd, 5th, and 7th place finishes.
Ivey has a bold task ahead on Wednesday.  He ranks seventh in chips coming into the final table, which will start at 2 pm.  His attempt to win that elusive ninth gold bracelet can be followed at
When the $50,000 buy-in Poker Players Championship first debuted as a H.O.R.S.E. in 2006, most poker purists rejoiced.  Finally, there was a comprehensive event that weighed multiple forms of poker on a more equitable scale -- rather than just the relatively narrow prism of No-Limit Hold’em.
Sure.  No-Limit Hold’em remains the so-called “Cadillac of poker games.”  It would be ludicrous to suggest that the Main Event Championship would be anything but this extraordinarily popular form of poker that has been the staple of the world’s Championship, since 1970.
That said, a conversation took place following the conclusion of one of the most recent WSOP gold bracelet events which bears repeating.  Two-time gold bracelet champion David “Bakes” Baker was asked after his victory if he thought H.O.R.S.E. was the real test of best all-around poker skill.
Speaking of H.O.R.S.E., Baker said:  “I think the game is really a good test of the best all-around player.  But I think that Draw (games) have gotten so big that you can’t just have a H.O.R.S.E. tourney anymore and have like an all-around player.  If there’s no Draw in the mix, then it’s just played so widely now that if a player isn’t good at Draw, then I don’t know if they can be one of the best overall players.”  
So, according to Baker, this coming Sunday, the seventh annual “Poker Players Championship,” begins, and its eight-game rotation will be the ultimate test of the best all-around players, even moreso than the H.O.R.S.E. bracelet he just won.  This prestigious tournament has taken on added significance in recent years, becoming synonymous with its inaugural winner, the late great David “Chip” Reese.
So, what’s the ultimate prize in poker?  Is it winning the WSOP Main Event?  Or is it the Poker Players Championship?  No doubt, the debate will continue.


"When I’m dealing, I have a responsibility to my players.  They trust me.  They are putting their faith in me.  My goal is to give them the most favorable playing conditions possible.  As a poker player myself, I understand this.  I also love what I do because it’s the greatest learning opportunity you will ever have as a poker player – watching the best players do what they do.  The experience of dealing poker is really the best poker book there is to learn.  It’s a book I am fortunate to be able to read every time I deal out the cards.”
-- Shawn Harris (WSOP Poker Dealer)


Question of the Day:  What player hold the record for the most final table appearances at the WSOP within a single year?
Answer coming in tomorrow’s “WSOP Daily Shuffle.”

Yesterday’s Question of the Day:  Of all the names publicly displayed at the 2012 WSOP, which name is the most visible (defined as posted in a public place where everyone can easily see the name).  Hint:  This name is appears at 484 different locations inside the tournament room(s).

Answer:  This wasn’t exactly a fair question.  To get this answer, you have to actually be at the WSOP and walk through the rooms.  The name splattered in more places than anyone else isn’t Phil, nor Doyle, nor any of the other poker greats who might normally be mentioned.  The most popular name at this year’s WSOP is, in fact, “GARY PLATT.”  Huh?  Who’s Gary Platt?  Well, his name is in big block white letters on the back of every dealer’s chair at the WSOP.  His company makes the dealers’ chairs.  Your hint (484 locations) was a clue that there are 484 poker tables and dealer chairs in use at the Rio this year.


9:00 AM

Today’s first tournament is a $75 buy-in TURBO MEGA-SATELLITE.

12:00 NOON
EVENT #38, the $1,500 buy-in NO-LIMIT HOLD’EM tournament, begins with the play of Day One.  Limited registration will be available up through the completion of four levels, plus two breaks, which is estimated to be about 4:40 pm.  Action takes place inside Brasilia.  The Pavilion White and Black sections will be used for overflow.  This is a three-day event.  This same event on last year’s schedule drew 2,192 entries.

EVENT #38 UPDATES can be followed at  Coverage includes chip counts as well as written updates supplied from the tournament floor by our friends at

The official Structure Sheet for EVENT #38 can be viewed HERE.
1:00 PM
EVENT #34, the $5,000 buy-in SIX-HANDED POT-LIMIT OMAHA tournament continues with Day Three – including the final table.  There are only 11 players remaining from the starting field of 419.  The current chip leader is relative newcomer Naoya Kihara, who is looking to be the first Japanese bracelet winner in history.   Action will take place inside Amazon.  The list of survivors and chip counts is available HERE.

EVENT #36, the $3,000 buy-in NO-LIMIT HOLD’EM SHOOTOUT tournament, continues with Day Two.  There are 60 players remaining from the starting field of 587.  The top 60 finishers will make the money. -- so everyone from this point forward collects a payout.  Action will take place inside Amazon.  The list of survivors and chip counts is available HERE.

2:00 PM

EVENT #35 is a $2,500 buy-in MIXED HOLD’EM (LIMIT/NO-LIMIT) tournament continues with Day Three – including the final table.  There are nine players remaining from the starting field of 393.  Michael Gathy (winner of EVENT #21) is looking for his second bracelet this year. Ivey is the hunt for his ninth career gold bracelet.  The chip leader is Joep van den Bijgaart of the Netherlands, who has 605,000.  Action will take place inside Amazon.  The list of survivors and chip counts is available HERE.

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 gold bracelet ceremony includes two recent winners – David “Bakes” Baker (winner of Event #32) and Max Steinberg (winner of Event #33).  The U.S. anthem will be played in their honor.
4:00 PM
The first MEGA-SATELLITE begins.  The entry fee is $330
5:00 PM
There is no 5 pm tournament today.

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 game is Pot-Limit Omaha, which feeds into EVENT #39 (Note:  This event regularly features different games – so  be sure and check the schedule in advance).  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.
* Please note that all listed times are estimates and subject to change
-- by Nolan Dalla