Friday, July 29, 2011

Elvis Is Back At The Vegas Hilton

Not one Elvis, but many... and the women who love them. Elvisfest is in full swing at the Vegas Hilton.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Downtown: The Other Vegas

Downtown: a Vegas within a Vegas, not just Fremont St - potential means "luxury" high-rise apartments, but who can afford them?

Friday, July 22, 2011

The July Ten

Matt Giammetti survives elimination, but can't look

Kara Scott does her job amidst the mayhem (John Hewitt, standing in the hoodie, was the one eliminated)

Pius Heinz is happy to be there
The leap from the July Ten to the November Nine is usually the longest moment during the WSOP - nobody wants to leave and they're playing super carefully, usually till the wee hours of the morning.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The November Nine

Moment of victory - on life support most of the time, Bounih Bounahra dances with joy
Anton Makievskyi from the Ukraine
Although fighting for the biggest prize purse in any competition - $8 million+ first place - is exciting, any one single poker tournament is a crap shoot. All these players are good, especially Ben Lamb (green Aria T-shirt) who already won a bracelet this year. None of the winners from the past few years have been heard from again - maybe it should be a series of tournaments played over a year to determine who the very best really is.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Down To The Wire At The Main Event

Ben Lamb, in the running for Player Of The Year, and Erick Lindgren at the featured table

Claudia Crawford finished in 85th

Erika Moutinho is the last woman standing
Fewer than a hundred left, it's down to the wire at the Main  Event.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

The Main Event: Struggle For Survival

Like a giant Breugel painting, a teeming mass of players - each table an epic struggle to survive - just make it to the money. 90% will go away crushed and 1% will do really well. For the biggest prize in any competition, it's well worth a shot.

Friday, July 15, 2011

The Annie Duke Lecture

Some little girls want to be like Britney Spears, others like Annie Duke
Annie Duke was promoting her new book at the WSOP "Decide To Play Great Poker" and gave a couple of lectures. She arrived in a pair of high-heels and asked our permission to take them off - Annie makes much better decisions in poker than accessories. Very engaging speaker and a great teacher.

Monday, July 11, 2011


Doyle Brunson is to poker what Queen Elizabeth 2 is to British monarchy - gives the whole enterprise a sense of history and continuity. Lately Doyle has been unhappy with his tournament play and wasn't going to participate in the Main Event, but Dewey Tomko put up the money. Unfortunately didn't last long, but he's still competing.

Friday, July 8, 2011

$50,000 Buy-in Poker Players Championship

Brian Rast (addressing the crowd in the middle) wins the prestigious Poker Players Championship

Six left at the final table

Phil Helmuth was the runner up three times this year - still playing good poker, but it must be frustrating.
As a photographer, I prefer poker players against a subdued background - classier. When ESPN is filming, it becomes a cross between The Price Is Right and a Saturday morning cereal commercial aimed at kids. Can you even see the players?

Monday, July 4, 2011

Pregnant Lady Makes It To Final Table

8-month pregnant Karina Jett was the runner up, Marsha Wolak (left) won

The whole room was rooting for Karina in her year of tragedy

Not enough women
The Ladies' Tournament always has a fun vibe. Electrifying energy at final table - the whole place was rooting for Karina, who had lost a young son in a drowning accident earlier this year.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Women Of Poker

All champions - Jennifers Harman and Tilly, Vanessa Selbst, Barbara Enright and more

Jennifer Tilly can always sense a camera upon her

It's a Ladies' Tournament
There's always a controversy about the Ladies' Tournament and, by law, men can enter - why not?

Friday, July 1, 2011

In The Thick Of It At The WSOP

Mizrachi on top, ElkY on the bottom, two different tournaments heading towards final table

Michael Mizrachi was chip leader, but succumbed to Owais Ahmed from Pakistan (left) heads up in the $2000 Omaha/Stud Hi-Low Event

Mike Matusow, Jason Mercier and Eli Elezra seated next to each other. Eli lost a bet to Matusow and had to shave his head.
Crowded conditions at the WSOP, but the great players seem to make it to final tables.