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LA, Part 2, WPT Uncovered

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  • LA, Part 2, WPT Uncovered

    Monday, I actually slept until noon. What a night…I get dressed and head out, only to discover that it is STILL raining. I decide to get some lunch and try out an outlet mall I had seen earlier and do a little browsing. Found a nice leather jacket on sale for $50 (been wanting one of those) and that’s about it. Nothing else interesting so I head back to the car…its raining harder now (why didn’t I think to buy an umbrella???). :? A nap was in order and did wonders to get me adjusted to local time.

    Monday night I spent 7 hours in the $3-5 NL game and cashed out up $318…not a bad hourly rate.

    Tuesday…guess what…it’s raining…there are scattered patches of sun among the drizzle, but it is still not a day you want to be outside. I’ve got bigger plans, anyway…today is the World Poker Tour taping of the final table of the LA Poker Classic…and I want to get a seat in the audience.

    According to the WPT flyer, doors for the audience open at 1pm, and seating begins at 3pm. I made it to the room at about 2:30 and was given my ‘souvenier WPT poker chip’ :? with number 41 on it, and was told to come back to the waiting room at 3:30. When I returned at 3:30, I was told they would start seating at 4pm…well, it was more like 5pm before they started calling numbers. First they had to seat all the folks with ‘preferred seating’ tickets (basically friends & family of the 6 remaining players) and then they started calling numbers.

    I was starting to think they were out of seats, as the pauses between numbers got longer and longer. Then they called for 40 through 50…and we were told to wait in the hall outside the room where the ‘studio’ was set up, until they found out if any seats were left. Well, #42 and I were let in and directed to two seats in the FRONT ROW, CENTER!! Now these seats aren’t exactly the best seats, because the view of the table is somewhat obstructed by the monitor, (I have photos; trying to find a place to post them online) which is right in front of the rail, but I was jazzed just to make it in the room!

    WPT Uncovered

    If you don’t want to know the dirty little secrets about what goes on behind the scenes at the WPT taping, don’t read this section. I may also give away who the final 6 players are and where they finish, so if you don’t want to ruin the surprise for when you watch this episode, (which will not air until May 25th) you should stop reading now. 8)

    Once the audience was all seated, Linda Johnson came out and announced that no logo-wear on shirts or hats would be allowed – especially no dot-coms! Hats could be removed or they would put tape over the logo. Shirts could either be changed, taped over, or covered with a WPT shirt. They had camera operators pointing out logos they spotted in the audience and crew members would deal with the people. Some very small logos were allowed as they wouldn’t show up legibly on camera.

    Once the audience had been ‘sanitized’ for WPT, they started taping ‘audience reaction shots’. (I warned you this could tarnish your view of the WPT shows.) There were three sections of audience (one at each end of the table, and the wide section behind it where I was seated) and Linda took each section through a series of tapings that would be cut into the show. Each section went through ‘polite applause’, ‘roaring applause’, ‘intense stare’, ‘dissapointed reaction’, and the ‘split reaction’ (where those born on an even number day would cheer and those born on odd would show disappointment).

    When we finally made it through our acting exercises, Linda was killing time and told an off-color joke that we were all sworn not to repeat. Then they finally got the tournament underway with announcement of the players.

    Linda was announcing the tournament for the audience and although no one in the studio (not even Mike & Vince) could see the hole cards, there were techs in another room somewhere who could and they would talk to Linda’s earpiece and let her know when they were not able to see a players cards. She would tell the player to show their cards to the camera again – of course all this is cut out of the final show. (Mike & Vince add their commentary on the hole cards later in post-production.)

    Back to my fabulous front row seats…Andy Bloch, who had busted out of the tournament in 13th place was sitting 3 seats to my right…and after some people left, Josh Arieh and Men the Master came in and sat down 3 seats to my left.

    About half-way through the final table, Doyle Brunson and Robert Duvall came in and took seats in the end section. Funny thing about this is that Linda Johnson made an announcement about Doyle Brunson joining us, but she didn’t mention Robert Duvall :wink: .

    During the breaks, the players would wander around and chat with their peeps and us folks on the rail. Erick Lindgren busted out in 5th place and later took a seat in the audience. Ted Forest busted out in 4th place.

    Hung La was the short stack at the beginning of the final table, but managed to hang on and finished in 3rd place. Once we were down to two players, everything stopped while they prepared for the ‘money presentation’. This consisted of a parade of long legs in short skirts carrying silver trays full of cash, which they dumped on the table. Then we all took another break while the crew ‘artistically’ arranged the cash and trophy on the table.

    Michael Mizrahi was the chip leader at the beginning of the final 6 and kept that chip lead all day until he was heads up with Haralobos Vulgaris, and at one point had a 4 to 1 chip advantage. Then there was a momentum shift and Haralobos took the chip lead with 4 to 1 advantage. These two were battling hard and neither showed signs of surrender, even after playing for 5 hours with no dinner break. Unfortunately Haralobos gave the lead back when his K2 ran into Michael’s AK…and it was over shortly after that. Michael “The Grinder” Mizrahi wins the LA Poker Classic (10K event).

    Now we paused while Mike & Vince set up the shot with the final 2 to make the Amber Bock toast. On the monitor, I could see me between the heads of Mike and Michael as he was doing the ‘chat’, so I think I’ll make it on TV…look for me in the front row…I’m wearing a pink shirt.

    ...more to come...

  • #2
    Re: LA, Part 2, WPT Uncovered

    Originally posted by kaelaine
    When we finally made it through our acting exercises, Linda was killing time and told an off-color joke that we were all sworn not to repeat. Then they finally got the tournament underway with announcement of the players.
    Would that be her Phil Hellmuth small ***** joke?


    • #3
      How did you know? She must be using this bit a lot. :lol:



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