Friday, May 30, 2008

In the running for a seat at the WSOP

OK, I admit it...I'm just a little bit excited. As of the moment I am in the running for a sponsored $10,000 seat at the 2008 World Series of Poker.

Realistically, I have less than a 5% chance but, hey, that's better than no chance at all. PSO ( will be awarding as many as four seats to the main event between now and June 7th to its top players. With two days left for qualifying I am in 4th place in my league. I only need to finish in the top 50 to advance to the next level.

I will be back with the details later and will include links that will allow anyone interested to view the online qualifying tournaments while they are in progress. You don't have to be a member of PSO to watch.

You can look at the schedule of events for the World Series of Poker 2008 on The $10,000 main event starts July 3rd in Las Vegas. Please come back for updates.

Update #1: The 100-player qualifying event is Sunday, June 1st at noon central time (10 AM PDT). I was seeded into this event by virtue of my 4th place finish in the 207-member gold league. The top 50 from the gold league, top 30 from the silver league, and top 20 from the bronze league each recieved a seat in this event.

The top 20 finishers from today's (Sunday) event will advance to the Main Event Final next weekend (June 7th) where three WSOP $10,000 seats are up for grabs. The first and second place finishers today will be invited to the so-called Elite Final, where another $10,000 WSOP seat will be awarded.

You can observe the tournament while it is in progress by downloading the client software at either pokerpages, Bugsy's Club, or PokerSchoolOnline. It is not necessary to be a member of PSO to watch, but you will need to select a screen name and password. In fact, poker pages offers a very popular free play site (referred to as the "blue side" for reasons that will quickly become obvious). PSO is the "red side". Bugsy's Club (the real money affiliate) is the "gold side". You only need to click the tabs in the tournament lobby to navigate between the sites.

Once you are in the PSO section, look for the "Learn to Be A Champ" qualifying event and double click on it. That will bring up a tournament window. The tables will be listed in a white box on the lower left side of the tourament window. Select the table you want and click the tab "Observe Table" and you will be brought to the rail. You won't be able to use the chat feature unless you are a PSO member, but you can see the action at the table, chip stack sizes, read other people's chat comments, etc. and easily follow what is going on. My PSO screen name is, of course, ChessSafari.

Update #2: The tournament has started. 100 players on ten tables. 10,000 starting chips. My table number is #7492939. Next update at the break, or when I double up or bust out.

Update #3, Status at the First Break:
Players remaining = 89
Average Stack 11,236
My Stack 9,400
Largest Stack 39,800 (Sailor Moe - at my table)
Hands played = 102
Saw Flop = 18 (4 as BB, 5 as SB, 9 from other positions)
Hands Won = 13
Won at showdown = 2; uncontested = 11

Update #4: I am still at table #7492939, seat 4. My stack is now 11,250 (won a hand with AK). Avg. Stack = 11,363 with 88 remaining. Top 20 advance to next week's finals.

Update #5, Status at the second break:
Players remaining = 73
Average Stack 13,698
My Stack 7,300
Largest Stack 65,775 (hurricane - good player from UK)
Hands played = 179
Saw Flop = 29 (6 as BB, 8 as SB, 15 from other positions)
Hands Won = 18
Won at showdown = 3; uncontested = 15
I lost a couple of big pots just before the break.
Blinds going up to 200/400 with 50 ante.

Update #6: I busted out in 45th place. Lost with pocket 4's vs. AJ when my opponent hit his ace. 2009 will have to be my year. Thanks to those who stopped by to cheer me on. I appreciate it very much.

Update #7: These are the PSO players who will be competing at the 2008 WSOP main event:
Sailor Moe (Leon Morford)
NvFlag (Steven D'Argenio)
xxPiratexx (Jerry Garver)
SeekingPlumb (Christina Schroeder)
Dealmein (John Dobbs)
Runngunnin (Robert Reifendifer)
itpro800 (James Fisher)
AirborneDaddy (Jimmy Burgess)

In addition, YeahDonkey (Chris Davis) won a seat but has deferred until 2009. He has a new born and says he wants to utilize PSO and get his game even better!

I will be back with further updates regarding the results for my PSO friends, as well as my own progress towards a seat at the 2009 main event.

66-year-old Leon Morford from Chicago will lead a group of 8 PokerSchoolOnline members in this year's World Series of Poker Main event in Las Vegas beginning July 3rd.