Tuesday, June 03, 2008

2008 WSOP, Day 4: Into the Fire

Very hectic, reporting from the WSOPLast night was my first night covering the WSOP for PokerNews. A fairly intense, ten-hour shift chronicling the first day of Event No. 4, the $5,000 Mixed Hold’em (Limit/No-Limit) event.

Was paired up with Steve Horton, who worked last year’s Series and has done several WSOP Circuit events, and he was a terrific partner to have for my first time out. Had a half-dozen solid field reporters helping us out as well, plus an editor and several other folks running around supporting our efforts. All in all I think we did a decent job keeping up with the action.

332 entrants in this one, which is a good bit down from the 451 who entered the same event last year. Of course, in 2007 that one was Event No. 1, so more might’ve entered then because it kicked off the Series. Last night they started out ten-handed (causing a bit of fuss at the start as there were only nine chairs at each of the tables), meaning there were a total of thirty-five or so tables to cover. After an initial flurry of gathering names and getting the chip count page going, the rapid-fire documenting of hands and other interesting tidbits commenced.

I’d already developed a sincere appreciation for the difficulties faced by tourney reporters from working with them in different capacities before. That appreciation was certainly bolstered for me last night. It ain’t as easy as it looks, lemme tell ya. Very hectic, updating chip counts, composing posts, and constantly handling four or five things at once like yr playing some kind of weirdly cerebral game of Whack-a-Mole.

I was slightly obsessive about how my first few posts looked, going back over them a couple of times afterwards in order to gauge their relative clarity and/or cleverness. Pretty soon, though, I was publishing away without looking back, too busy to fuss much over my bon mots. Looking back, I see I reported bustout hands for Doyle Brunson, Phil Ivey, and Barry Greenstein, though to be honest I hardly remember doing so, the reports were coming so fast and furiously.

I was able to pull off a decent one-liner here and there. My favorite headline of the evening might have been “Noah Builds Boat on River,” introducing a hand in which Noah Boeken filled up on fifth to take a pot from Sam Grizzle. Had a couple of other funnies in there, but mostly just focused on getting the action correct and sharing it in a manner that made sense.

Per usual, Phil Hellmuth arrived a couple of hours late, and a couple of hours after that began with his antics, thus affording us the chance to write some entertaining posts. Here’s one of mine that came fairly late in the proceedings:

No Shooting Stars . . . Yet
The fun continues over at Hellmuth's table. After the verbal sparring between him and another player had gone on for a while longer, Marcel Luske had an idea.

Luske got up and went over to ask the security guard if he had a gun with which he could shoot them both. Not sure what the guard responded, but it seems to have quieted down over there.

Started getting a little punchy during the last hour (we finished around 3 a.m.). So were the players, actually. There was an interesting hand near the end of the night when Jay Rosencrantz tried to bet 6,000 during the 600/1,200 round of limit (obviously mistaking that they weren’t playing no-limit HE at the time).

For the most part, the night was largely free of any real problems -- for us or for the tourney, generally speaking. However, I did experience one somewhat embarrassing moment I must relate here.

Early on a reporter came back to me with news that Tom Schneider had been seated late. The reporter -- who did a heck of a job all night, by the way -- returned a while later with a hand, which I promptly entered into the blog.

Tom Schneider, 2007 WSOP POYAbout an hour later came word that Schneider wasn’t in the event at all, meaning I had to rectify the situation with a “Whoops” post explaining that the fellow spotted as the Donkey Bomber was in fact a different player. Those of you who happened to have read Hard-Boiled during last year’s Series would agree how absurd it is for “Shamus” to be out there misidentifying Tom like that.

California Jen (who snapped that photo of Tom’s poster on the wall, by the way) had come around early in the evening to say hello and ask how things were going. And around 1:30 or 2 a.m., Dr. Pauly and Pokerati Dan stopped by as well to check in and offer some supportive words. There’s a nice “we’re-all-in-this-together” feel among a lot of folks out here, which helps out a newbie like me a lot.

Definitely something different seeing all of this go down “from the inside” as opposed to watching it from without. I’ll have to do it for awhile to be able to articulate how exactly it is different, but watching a tournament like this up close, played by some of the world’s best, tends to make one think about the game a little differently.

There’s something about watching all of these guys working so hard at playing. I’ll see if I can put my finger on it after I play work some more.

Day 2 coverage of Event No. 4 cranks up at 3 p.m. Vegas time. Do tune in over at PokerNews. Meanwhile, I’m gonna go back and catch a few more winks.

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Blogger cheer_dad said...

Excellent job! The zingers and one-liners were great. I cited a few of them in my morning post. Hope you got some sleep...and more importantly that you're enjoying yourself.



6/03/2008 1:03 PM  
Blogger Kelly said...

Definitely a strong showing for your first go, well done. You definitely loosened up, and I imagine it's got to be a challenge to try to stay creative and interesting as hours 6, 7 and 8 of the shift tick by. Keep it up though!


6/03/2008 1:11 PM  
Blogger Short-Stacked Shamus said...

Thx a ton, Kelly & cheer_dad! Them good vibes very much appreciated.

6/03/2008 2:57 PM  
Blogger Waldo's Wild Kingdom said...


Knocking it out of the park sir, they did a great job picking you up! Sorry I've been out and about...earning the scratch to come down and play in a week or so.



6/03/2008 3:04 PM  
Anonymous gtycoon said...

You're doing a great job as a "newbie" if you can call yourself that.

That "Noah builds a boat on the river" is gold I tell ya!

Day 5 and the fun is just beginning ;-)

6/03/2008 5:02 PM  

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