1.Against All Odds


Los Angeles poker classics


Bad Beat Poker

Pot-Limit Omaha

Spooky Hand

World Poker Challenge

Pot-Limit Hold'em Tournaments

Foxwood's Poker

Five-Star World Poker

World Series of Poker-2000

World Series Poker Championship

2.World Series of Poker Hands

Youngest World Champion

World Series Poker-1999

World Series Poker-1998

World Series Poker-2002





U.S.. Poker Championship-1999


WSOP's Winner-2000


WSOP's Record-2003

"Big One" in WSOP-2003

3.World Poker Tour


World Poker Tour-2002

WPT's winner-2003



World Poker Tournament-2003

WPT's Event-2003

Foxwood's World Poker

Amir's Big Call

4.European Poker Tour

The Poker em

Poker In Amsterdam-1998

The Poker em-2000

Late Night Poker 3-2000


5.Reading other Player's mail


Tournaments of Champion-1999

A Tale Of Four Bluffs


Commerce Casino-2002

No-Limit Hold'em Event-2002


Please, Someone, “Split This Pot”

Let’s make public, in the cold light of day, an incident that took place during the World Series of Poker in 2000.  In order to get this story 100 percent right, I wrote down all of the details within seconds of the incident occurring.  This incident has already been widely discussed within the poker community-as well it should be.  It was also written up in Jim McManus’s excellent book, Positively Fifth Street high low poker.

            First off, let me say that I thought that Bob Thompson did a terrific job at the WSOP 2000.  My opinion of him was further elevated when he said to me, “Phil, you write this article even if it makes me look bad.  I’m the tournament director, and I’m willing to take the heat if I do something wrong.”  Spoken like a real man, bob.  But before we go throwing rocks at Bob Thompson, remember that there were at least 20 other people standing around the table, and 9 players at the table, all of whom also missed what happened.

With 18 people left in the “Big One,” Hassan Habib (with over $900,000 in chips) raised the pot to about $25,000 to go with Ac-9c, Taso Lazarou called his last $25,000 or so with A-6 off suit.  The hands were turned faceup and everyone in the room (at least 200 people) saw or heard that the board came down 5-8-K-5-J.  It was announced that Taso was eliminated, to finish 18th, at which point Taso got up from the table, the cards were turned facedown, and Hassan was awarded the pot limit hold'em poker game.

After about 20 seconds (20 seconds is a long time in this case, especially since Hassan already had the chips in his stack), I informed Taso that it was actually a split pot.  Taso went back to the table and announced that he thought poker it was a split pot, and the pot was reconstructed and split accordingly.

Did I do something wrong here?  Obviously, if I hadn’t said anything, the tournament would have continued on, with Taso in his car headed home.  After the fourth card was turned up (5-8-K-5), I said to myself, “It will be a split pot if a face card is turned up.” A face card, a jack, was turned up, and I announced out loud (several times) that it was a split pot.  But at, that point, no one heard me.

I had never in my life met Taso Lazarou.  I thought I was doing the right thing.  Moreover, this hand was being covered by a lot of cameras and press.  Can you imagine what they would have done to the image of poker if this mistake hadn’t been rectified?

 Had I done the right thing?  To a person, everyone said yes, but still I wasn’t sure.  I felt really terrible that I had interfered in the WSOP, but if Taso had been eliminated in this way, I would have felt that he had been cheated (and I can’t abide cheating).

I was happy that T.J.Cloutier turned to me and said, “Of course you did the night poker thing.”  Especially since, two hand later, Taso moved all-in for $30,000 with Js-7s and T.J. called him with A-9.  The board came down A-7-4-2-J (another jack on the river for Taso!) and I had already cost T.J.$30,000 by opening my mouth.  Of course, things would have worked out perfectly (for me and my guilt) if Taso had missed the jack or the seven card stud on the river.  He would have finished 18th anyway, and I wouldn’t have had to worry about what happened next.

I was already getting knots in my stomach and considered just leaving the room for a few minutes when in the very next had Taso moved all-in for $90,000 with J-J against Buddy Pitcock’s 9-9.  You don’t know how hard I was rooting for a nine so that this sense of guilt would back down and Taso could finish 18th (again).  Taso won the pot limit omaha and now, within two minutes, I had cost T.J. $30,000 and Buddy $90,000.  Considered another way, of course, I had rightfully won Taso $30,000 and $90,000.  Taso then had over $200,000 in chips.

Within the next nine hands, two players were eliminated at the other table, and Taso was moved to that table.  From then on, I saw Taso move up to over $300,000 in chips, but he didn’t seem to really hurt anyone from then on.  After Buddy was eliminated about 45 minutes later, I apologized to him, in case he thought I had done the wrong thing.  He said, “Phil, you absolutely did the right thing.”  He then asked me to sign an autograph for his son, who was in military school (and apparently doing quite well).  The fact that Buddy supported me in what I did made me feel a lot better, and I began to forget the whole thing.

Do cards “read” when they are sitting on the table faceup or not?  Should spectators be allowed to assist the tournament directors when a mistake has been made?  I know that most high-limit players card games at the Bellagio like the fact that cards don’t read in their game.  (If you have the winning hand, they will not say anything, even though your hand is faceup on the table.)  I was taught in poker that cards read if they are sitting faceup on the table, and I have always called the winning hand in such a case.  I guess the lines are drawn now, and I will always tell someone when they  have the winning poker hand, if it is sitting faceup on the table.

For the record, I felt I was on the side of justice, and I continue to fell that I did the right thing.


6.From The Other Side Of Table


Commerce Casino-1999



Bellagio Poker

Ladies World Championship

High Limit Action in Houston

Commerce Casino's California-1999

Party Poker Million-2002

WSOP's Winner-2002

WSOP seven card stud-2000

Foxwood's Casino

Pot-Limit Hold'em Event

World Heads-Up Poker Tour

United States Poker Championship

7.Poker Hollywood Style

Chinese Poker

Bicycle Club Casino


Celebrity Poker

Hustler Casino

8.Cheesehead Poker

Poker in Madison


Sportsmen Club

Pot-Limit Hold'em At Nora's Bar

Big Game in Wisconsin