The 2006 WSOP Main Event Airs Tonight, So Let’s Start Recapping


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Tonight, ESPN begins airing coverage of the 2006 WSOP Main Event.


For a change, televised poker media is finally getting ahead of the curve in its coverage. Given the final table was broadcast live on PPV (kudos ESPN), not to mention the hundreds of people who were manically refreshing Card Player for updated chip counts and the literally billions who did the same on Wicked Chops Poker, it would seem very "yesterday’s news" to start broadcasting the Main Event in October or November (however, the prelim events won’t get their just due until then, but we’ll keep some of those stories fresh for you after the jump).

So in light of tonight’s airing and in the spirit of repackaging content, below are five major story lines that broke during this year’s WSOP prelim events (in no particular order of importance, who are we to play God?), followed by some things you may or may not see in tonight’s coverage of Days 1a and 1b…

Madsenclose_1_11) "Youngest Ever" Jeff "the Kid/Mad Dog" Madsen becomes the youngest ever to win two bracelets. Every year, it seems, someone gets hot and busts through at the WSOP as “the new star” on the scene. This year, that person was unquestionably Jeff Madsen. Madsen made four final tables, winning two. More importantly, by becoming the youngest ever to win two WSOP bracelets, he totally trumped his fictitious arch-nemesis E-Fro, who won his second this year as well in the invented-out-of-the-air $1,500 PLO + rebuys events. Madsen wasn’t the only multiple bracelet winner this year though. William Chen won two too. But since Chen’s not 21 years-old and since the sheer enormity of his head could change ocean tides, he won’t be getting the same amount of virtual ink. Madsen capped off his amazing WSOP run by signing with Full Tilt Poker and Poker Royalty.

2) Phil Hellmuth wins bracelet #10 (and almost claimed an 11th & 12th). No secret here, Phil Hellmuth wanted that record-tying 10th bracelet more than some analogy about someone wanting something really badly. He almost grabbed it in Event #9, but Jeff Cabanillas denied him. Hellmuth though stayed the course, truly showing why he is a champion, and captured number 10 in the $1,000 + rebuy event. Hellmuth made two other final tables, almost snatching sole possession of the most-bracelets-ever-title.

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3) Card Player sucks out exclusive WSOP coverage deal, then sucks at reporting it. The bad news: After being granted "exclusive" live coverage and access to the WSOP, Card Player screwed it all up by hiring a bunch of inexperienced interns and even worse, awful writers, denying poker fans the kind of insight and updates we deserve. The good news: their shitty coverage gave us some fantastic material to work with.

4) Chip Reese wins the $50,000 H.O.R.S.E. event. To enhance its credibility among the eyes of pro poker players, the WSOP needed to add this $50,000 H.O.R.S.E. event. Had to happen. The players were asking for it, and WSOP officials listened and delivered. The results certainly justified its addition, as the final table ended up being one of the most stacked ever in the history of the game. And one of the game’s all-time greats, Chip Reese, deservedly walked away with the title.

5) The World Series of Poker is only getting bigger. From the hot girls crawling all over the place to the Bodog, UB, and Full Tilt lounges, to the sheer enormity of every field, the WSOP proved it is the preeminent sporting event in the world. No question. Poker isn’t going anywhere but up.

Tonight’s Main Event Coverage

First, before we get the Main Event, we’d be remiss not to mention the off-the-chain (if we knew what that meant) Bodog party at Tao. Bedlam ensued like bedlam has never ensued before. It almost ruined our ability to provide thrilling WSOP coverage to you. But it didn’t. But had to get that out of the way, regardless.


Play got underway during Day 1a after James “Brett Maverick” Garner gave the ol’ shuffle up and deal. Celebs ranged from the aforementioned Garner, to Cindy Margolis, to Anthony Michael Hall and Ron Jeremy.


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Amazingly though, Day 1a was devoid of many good storylines. Besides the always entertaining Scotty Ngyuen at the featured table, we didn’t have much to work with, outside of Sister Barbara Silver and Gank looking like they were about to star in one of the more interesting buddy flicks in the history of cinema.


Milwaukeesbestlight3_1_2Otherwise, Day 1a was kind of a snoozer. Thank God for the Milwaukee’s Best girls (click to enlarge) and a few other babes, including Anna Benson, who didn’t exactly endear herself to her table. But these lovely young women all at least gave us a little extra spring in our step to keep grinding out reports each and every day.


What Day 1a lacked in overall excitement, Day 1b made up for in spades, if we knew what the meant.


Our Sweats were both put to the test. John “Fuel 55″ Veltheer and Jeff Sealey both faced some top-notch comp. Sealey in particular had one of the most brutally tough first table draws in the history of mankind, sitting next to Annie Duke, Chris “Jesus” Ferguson, Brent Carter, and Jason Lester at one time.


Bradgarrett3_1We also saw Brad Garrett make his loud, obnoxious, and fucking hilarious return to the WSOP. This year, Garrett was given a 10-minute f-bomb time-out, where he soon went on a tirade cracking on poker’s biggest names…race, weight, and religion be damned.


To the delight of everyone, Doyle Brunson, the legend, busted out.


And finally, Phil Hellmuth got the featured table spotlight for Day 1b, but of course he was late, and then didn’t last long, and for once in his life, he probably didn’t care, since he was still basking in the glow of that 10th bracelet win.

 

3 Responses

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