Tuesday began with me hitting the breakfast buffet over at the Gold Coast on my way to the Rio. There’s a reason why it’s so cheap (only six clams).
Wasn’t five minutes into my sloppily constructed plate of sausages, grits, a pancake, and a simulation of Eggs Benedict before my stomach started sayin’ “what in the HELL is going on here, Shamus?”
I decided not to throw bad food after bad, and left the meal unfinished, settling on a cup of Joe from the coffee stand in the hallway of the Rio.
I got set up a bit early yesterday. About twenty minutes before Event No. 19, the $1,500 Pot-Limit Omaha event kicked off, they started blaring the Black Eyed Peas’ “Let’s Get it Started” over the PA in the Amazon Room. First time I’d been there early enough for the musical fanfare. Can’t say I liked it too much, although when they shifted to “Play That Funky Music” and “I Feel Good,” it became relatively less of a bother.
I watched the players begin to trickle in for the PLO event, and my first impression was they were much better dressed (on average) than what you normally see at a poker tourney. Dapper, even. Lots of stylish hats, sweaters, and tucked-in shirts. I attributed the heightened style-consciousness to the preponderance of Europeans entered in the event. Not yr usual American poker player garb here.
Eventually 759 would take their seats for the event, about two hundred players more than entered last year. Omaha is on the rise, I’m tellin’ ya.
My partner yesterday was Marc Convey, an English poker player and writer who knows a lot more of the international players than I do. He was a big help early on identifying players, and I think we did a decent job amid the insanely-rapid pace of the first day. We played ten one-hour levels, and ended the night with just 46 players left (well into the money). That’s something like 71 or so eliminations per level.
There were a few frustrating moments. Omaha was a challenge for some of our reporters, who weren’t always as adept at recording hands or following the action as they might have been in a hold’em tourney. One disappointment came early when Terrence Chan was involved in a hand with Johnny Chan and one other player. It was kind of a complicated, three-way hand, in which Johnny Chan went busto, Terrence Chan won the side pot, and the third player took the main pot. The reporter got most of it, but not enough for me to be able to translate it into a coherent post. I was all fired up to do a “Terrence, Not Johnny” headline, too, but had to scrap it.
I’m a fan of Terrence Chan’s blog, and saw later in the day that he’d already written about the hand and how “all the media missed it.” Well, yes and no. We didn’t “miss” it, but I felt like it would’ve been worse to report it inaccurately than not to report the hand at all.
Experienced a couple of other vexing moments here and there when it seemed like we weren’t getting enough concrete stuff (i.e., friggin’ hands) to report on the blog. (Even jumped out from behind the laptop a few times to get my own hands to report.) Was at times feeling a little bit like Mean Gene said he had been in his post from yesterday -- like I was in a semi-nightmarish situation where I was being charged with the task of having to report on something that I simply couldn’t see.
In the end, though, I think we did reasonably well, and I do believe tomorrow should go much more smoothly what with only 46 runners to follow.
One last little tidbit that came up right at the end of the night that you may or may not find interesting . . . .
We had a player in our chip counts for a short while with the last name “Scheisser.” Kind of an unusual name, but then again, we were dealing with a number of relatively unfamiliar names with this field. Even had a dude come up to our table at one point to ask about the guy, because his last name was also Scheisser and, well, he’d never met anybody outside of his family with the same last name.
Long story short, we eventually discovered the name was incorrect, and in fact decided it might well have been a joke name given to our reporter. As it happens, “Scheisser” is a word of German origin with various scatological connotations -- look around on the net, if yr curious (and brave).
This happens now and then. Had one case already this summer where a player was trying to convince the reporter his last name was “Billy” and his first name “Hill.” I didn’t buy that one, and indeed it turned out to be a ruse. But this one -- whether or not it was a bona fide attempt to bullsh*t us -- made it into the counts, and a post or three.
Once the guy busted we got his correct name over at the payout table -- only real names work over there -- and it was not “Scheisser.” We fixed the chip count and payout pages, and the more recent posts. (There still might be one from earlier in the evening with the wrong name.)
In any event, in the midst of my searching around the web for “Scheisser,” I realized that CardPlayer had been reporting chip counts from our event and listing said “Scheisser,” which made me wonder where they got the name except from PokerNews’ (erroneous) reports? I suppose they could’ve gotten bad info the same way we did, but given what happened last summer, it did make me wonder . . . .
Will be back a little later on with more, probably after I’ve woken up and had my usual breakfast -- two cups of Joe and a side of nothing else.