Got a little closer and saw the “HELLMUTH” stitched in yellow down the side of his pants leg. As I approached the group I noticed one of his listeners was Allen Cunningham. Truly looked as though the 11-bracelet winner in the race car get-up had trapped Cunningham and the others like so many helpless opponents, having somehow suckered them into listening to his diatribe.
“Fold, fold, fold, fold . . . then kings, baby!” he said as I walked by.
I made my way out the door and into the parking lot. Luckily for me, I couldn’t be trapped so easily. I was making my escape, having finished covering Event No. 11 and looking forward to having today off.
Indeed, today is the first day since the World Series of Poker started that I am not going to set foot inside the Rio. I think I can safely let those six events being played today proceed without my being there.
Two events are getting started today: Event No. 17, another No-Limit Hold’em Shootout event (this time with a $1,500 buy-in), and Event No. 18, the $5,000 No-Limit 2-7 Draw Lowball with Rebuys event.
The Shootout cranked up at noon today, and it looks as though they capped it at 1,000 entrants, so the winner will have to win three ten-handed tables to take the bracelet in that one. The 2-7 Lowball event gets going about an hour from now. Last year this one had only 78 entrants, probably the smallest field of any of the events. That was the very last one before the Main Event last year, in which Erik Seidel outlasted Chad Brown to take his eighth WSOP bracelet. Don’t think Seidel will be defending his title today, as he is at the final table of the Seven Card Stud event (see below).
It’s Day 2 for two other events. Event No. 15, the $1,000 Ladies No-Limit Hold’em event, plays down to its final table today. Only 61 of the 1,190 who entered survived to play today. I didn’t have a lot of time yesterday to watch the Ladies event, although it was an interesting scene there in the Amazon to see that many tables full of women. I would estimate the typical male-to-female ratio among players in the other events has to be at least 9-to-1, with most tables either being all men or perhaps one woman and the rest men. When I got there, Jennifer Tilly was posing for a picture with a fan right in the middle of the Amazon (I believe she had already busted from the event that she’d won back in 2005).
Event No. 16, the $2,000 Omaha Hi-Low Split-8 or Better event, continues as well today. They had 553 runners sign up for that one, and 169 remain heading into Day 2. This one only started up again about an hour ago, and if they are playing down to the final nine (as I assume is the plan), they may be in for a long night.
Finally, there will be two more bracelets awarded today, one for Event No. 13, the $2,500 No-Limit Hold’em event, and one for Event No. 14, the $10,000 World Championship Seven Card Stud event. Between the two, I’m definitely more interested in the latter, where Minh Ly, David Oppenheim, Seidel, and five others’ll battle it out. Not seeing any big names at the NLHE final table. They played until 4 a.m. last night in that one, so the players (and reporters) will be feeling some fatigue, I’d imagine.
No, like I said I’m gonna assume the Series can proceed without me for one day. Might check in over at PokerNews now and then just to see what’s happening, though. Also will probably pay visits to Pokerati and Tao of Poker, as should you if yr interested in reading about what else is going on at the Rio.
I’ll be back over there tomorrow. Here, too.