Posted: Sunday July 10, 2005 3:09PM; Updated: Sunday July 10, 2005 3:09PM
Meanwhile, a few tables over, two WSOP officials are glancing toward "Shoes" and conferring. "I think we should cut him off."
Gambony is amassing as impressive a stack of empties under the table as he is a chip stack above the table.
"Shoes is a great player," says one man who plays against him regularly at Casino Arizona in Scottsdale. "The problem is, he's an ... he'll drink all night. Then he'll get an hour's sleep before tomorrow's session starts."
"Shoes"' poison is alcohol. "The Mouth"'s is drugs. (he's been known to drink a beer or three at the table, too). Last year, Matusow was sentenced to six months in Clark County Jail on a felony drug count. The jail, ironically, is located just a block away from Binion's Horseshoe Casino, where the final table of this event has been held each year since its inception.
"No, I don't play long hours any more, man," Matusow tells the table at about 1:40 a.m. "Once I quit drugs, I had to cut the long hours. Right now, I'm chemically whacked out."
Meanwhile, a diagonal table away, "Shoes" is bullying yet another player into folding with a re-raise. A few railbirds in their twenties call him over and invite him out for a drink after play stops. Ever-affable, "Shoes" is happy to accept. "Gotta wait a half hour until the tournament's over, then I can drink," he tells them.
"The Mouth" stands up for about the 1,000th time, and looks over at "Shoes"' acolytes. "Can y'all keep it down there, please," he says with a grin. "I'm a little bit tired."
"Shoes" and "The Mouth". The Chemical brothers of poker.
Noteworthy casualties of the last two days include former WSOP main event champions Doyle Brunson, Phil Hellmuth, Jr. and Daniel Negreanu. Actor James Woods fell out Saturday as did former NFL Pro Bowl tight end Shannon Sharpe. The former Super Bowl champ with the Denver Broncos and Baltimore Ravens, who has only been playing for five months, lasted until 11:15 p.m. That is longer than Brunson, at 72 years old the game's most legendary figure, lasted today.
"I went all in," said Sharpe of his final hand. "I had ace-queen, and the other guy had bullets."
Sharpe added that Brunson's seminal How-To tome, Super/System, was his bible in preparing for this event. "Oh yeah, I studied that book," he said. "And then I met Doyle in the bathroom on a break. I wished I'd had the book with me so he could have autographed it."
The term "all in" could also be applied to the men's room closest to the Brasilia during the 20-minute breaks that come every two hours. The next closest bathroom is at least a 7-minute walk down the green mile, which means that the 8 urinals and 8 toilets of the Brasilia men's room do better business than Starbucks. The crowd outside of it so big you'd think it was a $2 blackjack table. If you could land a Port-a-John concession at the WSOP, you'd be able to take care of your buy-in for next years' WSOP.
How worldly is the World Series of Poker? The following countries were represented on just Day 1B (Friday) of the main event: Canada, England, Denmark, France, Sweden, South Africa, Greece, Germany, The Netherlands, Japan, Scotland, Wales, Ireland, Norway, Russia, Spain, Finland and Switzerland. Also, a Paul "X-22" Magriel claimed to hail from a Planet X.
The chip leader of Day 1B, by the way, was Haakon Waerstad of Oslo, Norway, with $169,200. The "Chris Moneymaker Award" for surname that would provide the most free publicity for this year's WSOP belongs to Matt Treasure of New York City, who begins today's action with $21,100. The "I've Got Tinkerbell on My Side" award goes to Peter J. Pan of El Cerrito, Calif.
Notable Day 1C survivors included David Williams, Howard Lederer, Phil Ivey, John Juanda and Erick Lindgren.