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Poker Player Tweets of the Week: Florida brings out the degenerates

30 Aug 2013

By Dan Podheiser
A lot of weird stuff happens in Florida. It's the perfect place for professional poker players to gather for one of the most unique tournaments of the year. The Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open has been going on over the past couple weeks, but the main draw for pros across the world was the $10 million guarantee championship event, the largest ever prize pool guarantee for a live tournament. The $5,000 buy-in featured three separate Day 1s, but with a twist. Because it was a "re-entry" event, players were able to buy another stack into the tournament if they busted out, but were also able to buy a stack to Day 1B, even if they already had a stack alive from Day 1A. Once all of the Day 1s were over, only the player's largest stack was to remain in play. Several top pros spent $25,000 on five buy-ins, and the prize pool easily hit the guarantee with 2,384 entries ($11,920,000). It was easily the biggest degen-fest tournament of the year, as players were able to splash around going for big stacks with their early buy-ins, creating a lot of action in the process. In the end, 27-year-old pro Blair Hinkle took home first place for over $1.7 million, besting fellow pro Justin Bonomo heads-up. But fun was had by all during the week in Tampa, as we can see from these tweets: Thursday, Aug. 29: J.C. "@jctran23" Tran This tweet isn't really all that exciting, but it does give followers a glimpse into just how awesome J.C. Tran's life is right now. The longtime pro was already one of the most successful online and live players of the past decade, but his past few months have been off the charts. Tran is the chip leader of the 2013 World Series of Poker main event final table slated to play in November. He's by far the favorite to take home the $8.3 million first place prize. And just this week, Tran inked a sponsorship deal with 888 Poker, giving the guy a guaranteed monthly income -- like he needs it. As if that wasn't enough, Tran decided to enter the $100,000 buy-in World Poker Tour Alpha8 tournament, which kicked off Tuesday at the Hard Rock toward the end of the main event. Tran took second in the event for $526,890. So, it sounds like J.C. enjoyed his time in Florida. His view of the beach was just the icing on the cake. Tuesday, Aug. 27: Joseph "@subiime" Cheong The only thing more unbelievable than playing in a $100k poker tournament is losing a $100k poker tournament. Good lord. Joseph Cheong has plenty of money, so he clearly could afford to take the shot. He took third in the 2010 World Series of Poker Main Event for a little more than $4 million, and hit his second seven-figure score this April with a win in the Manila Millions. But losing 10 stacks of high society always hurts. Market 17, a restaurant in Florida, describes itself on its Twitter bio as a "Vibrant restaurant serving wine country cuisine, with the freshest farm products available." Yeah, I don't care how fresh your farm products are; no restaurant, or even the company of Doc Sands, is going to make me feel better after losing 100 large. I'd probably cry for a month straight. Tuesday, Aug. 27: Justin "@JustinBonomo" Bonomo Bonomo, who finished second for a cool $1.1 million and has had plenty of success of his own on the tournament circuit, couldn't believe what was happening. At least that's the way I interpret this tweet. The language is too succinct and banal to be an update for his friends -- I think Bonomo was truly shocked that he had that many chips. Again, Bonomo has been to his fair share of final tables, both live and online. But that doesn't mean it's not always a thrill when you get there. Monday, Aug. 26: Shawn "@shawnbuchanan1" Buchanan How come these guys never show up when I'm playing 1-2? But more importantly: what an odd way to kill time. If Shawn Buchanan wanted to bet $100 repeatedly for three hours, he should have at least played blackjack or roulette. When you play poker and bet $100 blind every hand, you are indeed creating a ton of action -- but only for the other players at the table. And chances are, the players that get involved in hands with you are going to have you crushed. So yeah, it is very surprising that Buchanan "did not lose very much" after shoving blind for three hours. Maybe there are just a bunch of nits at the 1-2 tables in Florida. Had I been there, I'd have called Buchanan with Q-9 offsuit or better every hand. Sunday, Aug. 25: Matt "@msalsberg" Salsberg No, it's not what it sounds like. Or maybe it is, but let's not speculate about that. Matt Salsberg had a lot of fun "needling" in Florida. The TV writer/producer turned poker pro went to Twitter to give all of his fellow pros a shoutout when they exited the main event. "Shower," in this case, refers to a player "hitting the showers," much like an athlete after a game. Somehow, Salsberg, the writer, turned "shower" into a verb that doesn't actually mean getting clean. In the poker world, to "shower" a tournament just means you got eliminated. I'm going to start using this in my everyday dialogue. "Yeah, I decided to shower work early today. It was boring."
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