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Random WSOP10 Photos Part 2
03 August 2010

Mizrachis Everywhere

The Grinder and his family and friends pretty much dominated this year's WSOP. Michael and Robert made the final table of the $50K Players Championship, Michael won it, all four brothers cashed in the main event, and Michael made the November Nine. And to top it all off, the Mizrachi rooting section clearly had the best looking women!

Michael "The Grinder" Mizrachi begins his reign as WSOP $50K Players Champion

Poker Everywhere

The Rio wasn't the only poker hotspot in town. The Aria poker room was packed every time we walked past it, and we hear that there were some juicy cash games and tournaments running at the Venetian.

But the highest-profile non-WSOP event was Bellagio's rather awkwardly scheduled World Poker Tour Bellagio Cup series. Registration was extended until day 3 of the Bellagio Cup main event, evidently to allow more WSOP Main Event bustouts to enter. We took a break from the WSOP to rail the WPT TV table. And although Phil Ivey didn't win it, his ninth WPT final table appearance set a new record.

Ted Forrest looked rich and thin at Bellagio. He won a $2 million weight-loss prop bet: 50 pounds in 2 months.

The Bellagio Conservatory & Botanical Gardens never disappoints

iDevices Everywhere

We noticed three iPads in the feature table grandstands during WSOP Main Event play. Andy Bloch periodically tapped on his iPad as he played, and at least one guy in the poker media was using an iPad to keep track of things. Quite a few iPhone 4s were around as well, only two weeks after their release. And the media seemed to be sporting a higher percentage of MacBooks than ever before. Apple has reached a tipping point at the WSOP.

Matthew Jarvis watches a video of his Main Event feature table play on an iPad.

The poker media rocked quite a few MacBooks this year.

Beautiful Women Everywhere

Women players, wives, girlfriends, and female friends-of-friends were all over the Rio, and many of them were exceptionally pretty. The Mizrachis dominated this aspect of the WSOP as well, with far more than their share of attractive women in their entourage.

"Mrs. Grinder," Aidiliy Elviro, watches her husband play the $50K Players Championship.

Tony Dunst with his railbird harem. (Hey, is that an iPhone 4?)

Matthew Jarvis' sister (left) and girlfriend (right)

Tracy, girlfriend of one of the Mizrachi brothers

Michelle Lau, co-founder and CEO of FIDPA and friend of the Mizrachis

Aria at City Center

We stayed at Aria for the first time, and we weren't disappointed. The first thing that happened when we walked into the room was the curtains automatically sliding open. Impressive, as was the view.

Aria's glass-and-metal external theme continues through many areas of the building, with stone-and-metal taking over in others. And although there are two mythological Xilin statues guarding the main entrance, there isn't very much of an Asian vibe inside. Perhaps the designers left that to the neighboring Mandarin Oriental.

Despite its airport-like vastness, the main valet pickup can get very congested. On a Friday afternoon, we counted 12 cars in 3 lanes delivered and waiting for their owners to drive them off. It took more than ten minutes for ours to show up, and we were forced to wait behind a couple unzipping and re-packing bags inside their SUV because we were completely boxed in.

The solution is to use the north valet. Finding it the first time is tricky, but once you've discovered it, it's easy to get to. It's worth the effort because we never had to wait on dropoff or pickup.

To get to the Aria north valet, take Harmon East from The Strip, then veer right up the first ramp toward Vdara. Turn left at the top of the ramp, cross the overpass to Aria, and you're at the north valet dropoff. Pickup is one floor down, so you'll need to go down the escalators from the lobby level to get to the north valet pickup.

For some reason Palms was vastly more expensive than normal, so Aria was actually cheaper. But next time we'll probably stay somewhere less fancy. Maybe we'll try Mandalay Bay.

Our 21st floor "Deluxe Room City View"

Two fierce Xilin (aka Kirin) guard Aria's main entrance. Good feng shui.

Lots of action at Aria's plush poker room. Some day we might actually have time to play there...

Still life at our favorite little secluded Aria bar - MacBook Pro, Rum & Coke, Vegas Robaina Famoso

Back in November

We'll be heading back to the Rio to rail the WSOP Main Event November Nine. It's quite possible that Harrah's will move the WSOP to either Caesar's or Planet Hollywood next year, which would be just fine by us. We're sick of that horrid carpet in the Rio...

Next: 2010 WSOP November Nine part 1

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