WSOP Main Event: My own private Ylon

wsop2009_thn.gifThe night before the 2008 World Series, the two other writers on this blog had the pleasure of meeting a man at the $3/$6 limit hold'em table at the Golden Nugget in downtown Las Vegas. Two weeks later, they were able to say they played low-limit hold'em with the fourth place finisher of the 2008 World Series Main Event. They wrote about it here and it has been an endless source of pride for them ever since. It has also been a thorn in my side. As they go off for beers and deep conversations with Schwartz, I'm left to mutter in the corner, "Someday, I'm going to be friends with Ylon." To date, it's not happened.

This year at the World Series, I was scanning the names of the entrants and PokerStars qualifiers. I happened across the name Wesley Ismay. The name rang a giant, cracked bell in my head. I knew the name, but couldn't figure out why. As the Main Event wore on, that name kept coming up on the results list. Every day, it became a greater source of frustration for me.

Tonight, as Ismay's stack climbed to the 4 million mark and put him among the tournament chip leaders, I did a deep and determined Google search to figure out exactly who Ismay is. Finally, I figured it out.

During last year's World Series, we had a day off and I used my day playing a little $340 tournament down at the Venetian. I spent my limited time at the tables there with a PokerStars Supernova named Wes Ismay. At the time he said, "Hopefully you'll be writing about me."

My curiosity sated, I sat back in my chair and retold the story to my colleagues. I had no sooner finished the tale when writer Howard Swains sprung up in his with a satisfied look and exclaimed, "He is your Ylon!"

Wes Ismay is my Ylon Schwartz.

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While I can't claim to have had beers with my man, I can claim to have seen him just moments ago with a giant stack of chips. The tournament directors have introduced the lavender 100,000 chips and Ismay has a stack worth a million to go with his greens and oranges...another 2.5 to 3 million.

Still a PokerStars Supernova, Ismay is making good use of his VIP Club benefits. He's currently sitting directly to Antonia Esfandiari's left with fewer than 100 players left in the field.

Now, if I can just get Ismay to finish higher than Ylon, I'll be able to stick it to my colleagues once and for all.

* * * * *


The Team PokerStars Pro Noah Boeken is out. After being crippled when his kings were cracked by A-Q, all in pre-flop, he lost his final 400,000 or so when he check-raised all in on a board of [10h]5♥2♥, holding 5♦6♥. Hung Pham, who also busted Thierry van den Berg earlier, called with top set and Boeken missed his flush draw.

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Players at the table during an all-in: 9
People not playing but at the table during the all-in, including cameramen, boom men, officials, etc: 11


"Aussie, Aussie, Aussie... Oi, oi, oi!"


Security guard: "I'll be glad to have next weekend off."

Brad Willis
@BradWillis in World Series of Poker