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Featured tables stay empty on Day 2B

13 July 2011

LAS VEGAS -- Both the ESPN featured table and the secondary featured table were not in use for the first time in this year's Main Event on Day 2B, but it had nothing to do with the lack of quality players in the field.

Patrik Antonius, Phil Galfond, Barry Greenstein, Joe Hachem, Phil Laak, Erick Lindgren, Mike Matusow and Vanessa Rousso were among the many players competing on Day 2B who had plenty of experience in front of the ESPN cameras. However, both featured tables were out of play as ESPN and the WSOP prepared for the Day 3 live streams.

Starting on Thursday ESPN, ESPN2 and will be offering “live” coverage of the Main Event, where every hand will be aired and hole cards will be shown from any players still in a hand post-flop. Action will be shown on a 30-minute delay.
The ESPN stage, which stayed empty and dark on Tuesday.

The ESPN stage, which stayed empty and dark on Tuesday. (photo by Vin Narayanan)

This is the first time the WSOP has live-streamed the Main Event with unedited hole cards. Lon McEachern and David Tuchman will provide play-by-play with various poker professionals dropping in to provide analysis.

Wednesday is the only off day in the Main Event so production crews should have plenty of time to get everything ready for Day 3.


The strongest starting table of the day was found in the Pavilion Room as Antonius, Sam Trickett and Marvin Rettenmaier did battle at table 20. Antonius is one of the biggest names in poker. Trickett, a Titan Poker pro, won over $2.8 million at this year’s Aussie Millions and is considered one of the game’s rising stars. And Rettenmaier, another Titan Poker pro, has cashed in 13 events worldwide this year.

That table got even stronger as the day went on. Joe Hachem, the 2005 Main Event champion, was moved to table 20 midway through the day and was seated next to Trickett.

Hachem, who was nursing a short stack all day, was able to double up late in level four after he flopped a king-high straight to top a player's pocket kings. However, after his table broke, he moved to the Amazon Room and busted out during the fifth level.

Joe Hachem sat at a brutal table on Day 2B.

Joe Hachem sat at a brutal table on Day 2B. (photo by Vin Narayanan)

The Mizrachi brothers made history at last year's World Series of Poker when Michael, Robert, Donny and Eric all cashed in the Main Event.

That won't happen again this year. Bracelet winners Michael and Robert were eliminated on Day 1A and day 1D respectively. That left Donny and Eric to carry the family flag, and they both advanced to Tuesday's Day 2B. And in a random scheduling twist, they both started on the same table in the Amazon Room.

Donny Mizrachi occupied seat 1 on table 309 while Eric Mizrachi occupied seat 9. So essentially they were right next to each other, with only the dealer in between.

The Mizrachi family time ended rather quickly when Eric was moved to table 308 early in the day. Both brothers @TeamMizrachi made it through the dinner break.

Then Eric busted out during level 5 when his As-Ks couldn't best his opponent’s Kd-Kc. Eric had asked the dealer to wait before completing the hand to see if ESPN’s cameras were coming over. The cameras did come over, and documented every second of Mizrachi’s elimination, including him telling his brother he was done. Donny finished the day with 22,500 chips.

Not one to be camera-shy, Eric was interviewed afterwards by ESPN.


It was a family affair for the Galfonds as well at the Rio on Tuesday as Phil Galfond and his father, Glenn, both competed in the Main Event.
Eric Mizrachi was the focus of ESPN

Eric Mizrachi was the focus of ESPN's attention much of Day 2B. (photo by Vin Narayanan)

Both Galfonds were seated in the Pavilion a few tables away from each other. Phil, a WSOP bracelet winner back in 2008, started the day with 38,675 chips and cracked the 75,000 mark during the first two levels, but ultimately busted out before the dinner break.

Papa Galfond fared a lot better than his more famous son, despite being seated at the same table as 1996 Main Event champion Huck Seed. Glenn Galfond began the day with a chip stack of 54,225 chips and according to Seed’s Twitter feed, was “wreaking havoc on [him].”

Keeping up with the theme of dads lasting longer than sons, Thomas Dwan also competed on Day 2B. Thomas is the father of Tom “durrrr” Dwan and began the day with 15,275 chips. He busted out during play on Tuesday.

Both Joe and Tony Hachem (they're brothers) were seated in the Pavilion at the beginning of the day. Tony ended the day with 245,100 chips.


Antonius, a former model from Sweden, is known to have his fair share of admirers (including Norman Chad). But to the disappointment of many, he is married. His wife, Maya Geller, also plays poker. And wouldn’t you know it, both competed on Tuesday in the Pavilion Room.

Antonius had a very solid Day 2B, increasing his chip count from a starting stack of 89,100 to 361,000 chips. His wife, unfortunately, did not fare as well. She was eliminated before the dinner break.
Patrik Antonius survived Day 2B but his wife did not.

Patrik Antonius survived Day 2B but his wife did not. (photo by Vin Narayanan)

Geller busted out when her ace-high was bested by a pair of 10s that hit on the river. Antonius was able to see her move-in, but did not see her get eliminated because he had to rush back to his table to make sure he wasn’t dealt out of a hand.

Geller came by Antonius’s table to tell him she had busted out. She then kissed him on his bald head and wished him luck.


2006 Main Event champion Jamie Gold has largely stayed away from the poker spotlight following his major victory. But he still finds time to play in the Main Event, and was involved in a monster hand right before his table was broken up during level 4.

Gold started off the betting by raising in early position after the flop. Jeff Madsen, the 2006 WSOP Player of the Year, then re-raised. A player directly to Madsen’s left followed by moving all-in. Action folded to the player on Gold’s right, who also moved all-in.

“Wait, what?” Gold exclaimed. He went into the tank for a few minutes, just muttering, “Wow, wow, wow, wow.”

“I’m not ready to go home,” he said. “I got the room booked until Friday.” Gold folded and action went to Madsen, who tanked as well before folding.

The player to Gold’s right won the hand after his full house bested the original all-in player’s trip eights.

Gold will have plenty of time to stay in his room, however. He busted out of the tournament near the end of the night.
Featured tables stay empty on Day 2B is republished from