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Top-10 most colorful WSOP descriptions

2 Jul 2010

Nolan Dalla, the World Series of Poker Media Director, has a demanding job. He gets reporters the information and access they need to do their jobs covering the WSOP, whether they're at the event in person or covering it remotely. And he also writes up a tournament summary at the end of each event — a difficult task if you consider that there are often two and sometimes three final tables occurring each day and a winner often isn't crowned until the wee hours of the morning.

But Dalla does his job admirably and reliably. And maybe the best part for anyone who reads these tournament summaries is his amazing sense of humor.

Below are our top-10 lines from Dalla's 2010 WSOP tournament summaries. Links take you to the PDF of the full write-up.

10. Heimiller's German credentials - Event #21
The fourth-place finisher was former WSOP gold bracelet winner Dan Heimiller from Nevada, Arizona -- and perhaps as many as 48 other U.S. states. Heimiller, who always seems to be from a different city when he cashes at the WSOP, stuffed his wallet with another $40,544 in prize money. That makes three final table appearances so far for the red-headed captain of the German Team at "World Team Poker." No word on whether or not Heimiller has yet established German residency.

9. The Master's drink of choice – Event #10
(Men "The Master") Nguyen's trademark beverage of choice is Corona Beer. He often downs multiple six-packs in a single sitting. Nguyen is reported to have previously preferred Heineken (beer). But following his meltdown at the 1996 WSOP Main Event final table when he blew the chip lead while consuming numerous bottles of green-bottled brew, he switched over to Corona.

8. First – Event #49
(Michael) Linn is believed to be the first WSOP gold bracelet winner with a broken nose.

7. All he can eat – event #6
(Neil) Channing's name increasingly gets mentioned on the short list of players who have paid their dues in the game, but have yet to win a gold bracelet. When reminded of this following his second-place finish in a post-tournament interview, Channing snapped: "I think I deserve a gold bracelet, but all I get are these $10 food vouchers. I have like 600 ten-dollar food vouchers at my house!"

Lefrancois was one of several "firsts" Dalla noted at the WSOP this year.

Lefrancois was one of several "firsts" Dalla noted at the WSOP this year. (photo by GreasieWheels)

6. Team V-Neck - Event #8
Following his victory, (Pascal) Lefrancois ripped off his shirt and posed bare-skinned in the traditional winner's photo shot. It was the first time any player in the history of the WSOP had gone bare-chested for the champion's portrait. Lefrancois was inspired to do something different by his friends, who are part of a group which calls themselves, "Team V-Neck." The group routinely wears v-neck t-shirts.

5. Slurring stammering fans – Event #9
(James) Dempsey's win at the Rio in Las Vegas was amplified by the roars of several English supporters. The cheering section, numbering perhaps 15 to 20 slurring and stammering fans, chanted constantly for eight full hours, making the final table scene resemble a third-world soccer match rather than a poker event. Things got so loud at one point, Mike "the Mouth" Matusow who was sitting nearby, complained the boisterous fans were too noisy.

4. Chainsaw - Event #15 & Event #31
The runner up was Allen "Chainsaw" Kessler, the unrelentingly crabby touring pro and combative tournament demagogue, who came as close as ever to winning his first WSOP gold bracelet.

The 13th-place finisher Allen "Chainsaw" Kessler cashed for the fourth time at this year's WSOP, which currently places him near the top of that category. "Now, I've got a real shot at being 'Player of the Year," Chainsaw snapped to a crowd of bystanders, which drew several blank stares and various unintelligible comments.

3. Sugar Bear - Event #23
The sixth-place finisher was Al "Sugar Bear" Barbieri, originally from Philadelphia and now living in Los Angeles. The bombastic Barbieri ran completely card dead late in the tournament and was the first player eliminated from the final table. After dropping a few F-bombs, Barbieri went to the cashier and collected $30,399.

2. The hobo and the Thunderbird - Event #40
Once the money was reached, (Frank) Kassela had about an average-sized stack. He was emotionally freerolling, fortunate, he knew, just to be in-the-money. It was like the town hobo stumbling over a bottle of unopened Thunderbird -- temporary bliss, but still not much of a future. Over the next several hours, Kassela went from tournament hobo to bona fide contender.

BONUS: Razz = porno with a blindfold – 2005 Razz championship, included as addendum in Event #40
In every way, shape, and form the Razz finale was dreadful … It was about as interesting as watching porno while wearing a blindfold. A thrilling poker moment, this was not.

1. The most flattering description of Gavin Smith ever written - Event #44
On June 26th, 2010, when the local clock ticked to midnight, the shiny glass slipper fit. It fit perfectly. And "Cinderella" was none other than a long-haired, half-shaven, partially-balding, pork-bellied, man-child named Gavin Smith.

Smith has earned a near-astronomical sum of $3 million dollars since turning pro about six years ago. But the one achievement that had eluded the fast-living, hard-drinking, Butterball-shaped poker superstar was the long-coveted WSOP victory.
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