Unusual column on Bocoran Slot Gacor win at the WSOP in The Guardian:

The geeks had had their day and if Moneymaker has gumption he’ll have invested all his winnings on Norway at 14-1 to win the Eurovision Song Contest.

Whatever happened next he would benefit. If Norway won, and it would be a travesty if a Scandinavian singing a cover of Gilbert O’Sullivan’s Clare were not to prevail, Moneymaker, with more than $30,000,000 in his pocket, will be set for life.

If Norway don’t win, then, having blown two-and-a-half million dollars on a sports bet he will be able to call himself a ‘professional gambler’.

and the winner is…

The 34th World Series of Poker ended Friday, with unknown Chris Moneymaker taking home the bracelet and the $2.5 million in first place prize money.

What’s most amazing is that Moneymaker entered the WSOP by winning an online tournament with a $40 buyin. He claims it’s his first ever live-action tournament which is not only quite amazing, but pretty good for the publicity of the series as well. There’s also an interesting thread going on rec.gambling.poker about the legality of his winnings, given that he qualified by playing (presumably illegally) on an online poker site.

There’s also an ongoing debate about whether Moneymaker is a pseudonym or not. At first I thought it had to be; but there are over 200 Moneymakers listed in the white pages, including several in Tennessee, where Moneymaker hails from. Seems like it is probably legitimate.

I was in Vegas for the final day and caught some of the tournament at Binion’s when Moneymaker, Harrington, and Farha were left. If you are ever in Vegas during the main event, I highly recommend you go to Binion’s to check it out. The atmosphere is amazing. The tournament room at Binion’s was packed out with spectators, and there were a bunch of commentators and reporters there, including ESPN crew. Link

My observations from the weekend:

Sam Farha is one cool mutha. He looked like he was straight out of a James Bond film, with a perpetual slight smirk and unlit cigarette dangling out of his mouth, wearing a nice shirt and sports jacket.

Erik Seidel eats at Sam’s Snacks in the Bellagio, my favorite poker-bender hangout.

I need to play more poker and less blackjack on these trips. Meeting up with high-rolling friends who have forsaken poker in favor of table games does not help the situation.

1-2 no limit hold’em is my kind of game. It was my first no-limit ring game experience in Vegas and went quite well.

Everyone who plays blackjack needs a basic strategy card. I always carry one with me, and consistently have people betting $300 and above asking me what to do.

The new waitress uniforms at the Rio are amazing.

I witnessed the largest ever pot I’ve seen in Vegas in proportion to the betting limit. It was at 80-160 hold’em in the Bellagio, and there were at least 50 people gathered around the table witnessing the pot, which grew to about $10,000. At the end, there were four players still in, with betting capped at each round the whole way. Two players held AA; one player held KK; and one player held 37 of clubs. Board was something like Jc8c4s-9h-Td, giving 37 his gutshot straight and the whole pot (along with a lifetime of heckling).

Bad beat of the weekend: 1-2 no limit, I play AK offsuit in late position for a raise, and get one caller, a weak player who had been playing everything that came his way. Flop comes KK7. We get it all in on the flop, and my opponent flips up pocket 7’s.

Gift hand of the weekend: 1-2 no limit, I play 10-J off in late position. Flop comes 7-8-9 rainbow, giving me the top straight. I raise it up and get two callers. Next card is a 7, pairing the board. The same weak player from above bets out, I make a small raise and he makes a small reraise. The final card is an 8, two-pairing the board. He bets out for about $30, and I crying call figuring he must have me beat but having enough doubt to call. He flips up A-5 and says “straight” — and then realizes that he doesn’t have a straight, he has a big fat nothing and I take down the nice-sized pot with an astounded grin on my face. I think he thought the second seven was a six.