Around the WSOP: Laak funny in defeat; Sexton underappreciated

2 June 2008

Around the WSOP: Laak funny in defeat; Sexton underappreciated

The 2008 World Series of Poker rocketed out of the gates this weekend with a final table that must have had ESPN executives drooling. In the $10,000 Pot-Limit Hold'em World Championship (Event #1), heavyweights Nenad Medic, Andy Bloch, Kathy Liebert, Mike Sexton, Patrik Antonius and Phil Laak all reached the final table.

Medic beat Bloch heads up to walk away with first place and $794,000, but Laak looks like he provided the most entertainment. The "Unabomber" brought a stack of post-it notes with him. And whenever he was engaged in a hand, he would right a note on the post-it and show it to the ESPN television camera. Once, while his opponent was contemplating a decision, Laak flashed at note to the camera that said "Please Fold!"

Nenad Medic

Nenad Medic enjoys his victory the World Chamionship Pot-Limit Hold'em event at the WSOP (photo by IMPDI for the 2008 WSOP)

Laak was involved in two of the more memorable hands of the final. In the first hand at the final table, Laak went all in with pocket jacks and ran into Antonius' pocket kings. Laak hit a jack on the flop, which prompted a nice little dance. But Antonius rivered a king, crippling Laak. Laak was eliminated a few hands later when his pocket jacks (he must hate that hand now) couldn't crack Medic's pocket aces.

Mike Sexton is really, really good

With all the work Mike Sexton does as an announcer for the WPT and as a poker ambassador in general, it's sometimes easy to forget that he's a really good poker player. Consider this: As good as the final table at the PLH World Championship was, Sexton still had more career WSOP final table appearances (20) than the rest of the table combined. He finished fourth in this event to win $248,160.

What did Shannon Elizabeth do?

We're not sure if she actually played, but Wicked Chops Poker reports seeing her catch a cab from the Rio about 30 minutes after play started for Event #1. If she did bust out that early, it's not a good start to the WSOP for her.

Event #2 breaks WSOP record

The WSOP's second event, a $1,500 No-Limit Hold'em tournament, saw 3,929 players register for play, making it the fourth-largest poker tournament of all-time and the largest non-Main Event field the WSOP has ever seen. The previous high for non-Main Events fields was 3,151 players, in last year's WSOP. That tournament (Event #49) was also a $1,500 No-Limit Hold'em tournament. The 2006 Main Event holds the overall record for field size with 8,773 players.


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