WSOP Main Event: Picking up the flag

wsop2009_thn.gifKevin Schaffel is one of those guys who isn't afraid to set lofty goals. When he filled out bio questionairres for poker web sites, he listed his top ambition as winning the World Series of Poker Main Event. For most people, that would be like quitting their job to focus more on winning the lottery. For Schaffel, it would be like if that lottery gave him 27-1 real odds to win.

As of the start of play on Day 8, Schaffel had more than 11 million chips, good for a fifth place start. Now, he is among the 23 players remaining and has a chance to achieve what seemed an unreachable goal.

The 51 year-old father of two has cashed in the Main Event twice and coming into today held $168,000 in lifetime live tourney winnings.

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Schaffel has been begging for some time that he could win a big tournament so he could retire. Why?

He wants to play more.

Hailing from Coral Springs, suburb of Ft Lauderdale, Florida, Schaffel ran a printing and mailing firm for 30 years. He got rid of it last year while he worked out what he wanted to do with this life. In the meantime, he's been playing a lot of golf and poker.

Schaffel readily admits he is not a pro but is "a bit more than a recreational player." This is his best result to date but he came 42nd in 2004 and 324th last year.

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QUOTE OF THE HOUR


"It was as if they knew this would be my last Bobbie." -- Anonymous media representative who fell in love with the Capriotti's Bobbie sandwich (roasted turkey, stuffing, and cranberry sauce on a roll), having his final lunch of the 2009 WSOP and relishing it.


MIC CHECK OF THE HOUR

"One two three four five. This is the tournament announcer mic. One two three four five. Tournament announcer, tournament announcer, tournament announcer. One, two, three, four five.


STATISITIC OF THE HOUR

Number of people watching the main feature table from a position from where it's only possible to see the back of the cameraman's head: 13

THE HE-CAN'T-LOSE MOMENT OF THE HOUR

PokerStars sponsored player Nick Maimone told us yesterday he was card dead. Today, he's something else entirely. It's hard to even describe. After two come-from-behind wins last hour, he's managed to make the best hand hold up in a race.

Nick Maimone: Q♣Q♥

Marco Mattes: A♣K♥

The board ran out 8♠9♣8♣J♠3♦ and Maimone doubled for the third time today. He's nearing the ten million mark.


JOE GIRON PHOTO HOUR

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Nick Maimone does it again, again


TWEET OF THE HOUR

"9.5m running like God. So epic" Nick Maimone

FIELD REPORT OF THE HOUR
Courtesy of Mad Harper

John Tamayo has had what he described as a "pretty stressful" first level of the day. He got up to 5.8 million and but then lost a huge pot. The board came down 9-9-3-6-Q.

"I called the river and he showed pocket sixes, so I mucked. That took me down to 2.5 million,: he said.

Since that pot, Tamayo has been shoving a lot and has managed to build his stack back up to 3.6m.. he says that although he's had some bad luck, he still feels very lucky to be here on Day 8.

CONSPICUOUS RAILBIRDS OF THE HOUR

The four railbirds of Steven Begleiter who chant something like "Beg! Beg! Beg!" in quick succession whenever their guy plays a hand.

SARTORIAL EXCELLENCE OF THE HOUR

Harrah's tournament official Joshua Treat, who is today wearing a grey pinstripe suit, a yellow shirt and an orange tie.

INTERVENTION OF THE HOUR

"Can I ask where you are going, sir?"--Security guard to railbird, walking briskly in direction of obviously cordoned off third table, while chomping on a candy bar. "Oh. I'm going the wrong way."


VIDEO OF THE HOUR


Watch WSOP 2009: Rude Players on PokerStars.tv
Brad Willis
@BradWillis in World Series of Poker