Wednesday, June 04, 2008

2008 WSOP, Day 6: Lights, Camera, Action!

Lights, Camera, Action!So this afternoon I’ll be heading back over to help cover the final table of Event No. 4, the $5,000 Mixed Hold’em (Limit/No-Limit) event for PokerNews. Event No. 3, the $1,500 Pot-limit Hold’em tourney, has its final table as well this afternoon, but I believe ours is the one that is going to be televised on ESPN on August 5th.

The schedule that had been announced a month ago said the final table of either No. 3 or No. 4 would be chosen to be aired, and as I mentioned last post, our final table is pretty stacked with familiar names/faces. If indeed ours is the one chosen, today’s final table will likely be the only one I work that is going to get the full-blown ESPN treatment. Might oughta wear a nice shirt today, wouldn’t you say?

I assume some other final tables will still be staged in that little Milwaukee’s Best Light mini-arena they’ve constructed in the corner of the Amazon. I also assume they’ll do at least some filming of those, too, especially if a Hellmuth or Negreanu or Brunson makes one of them. But according to the planned TV schedule only these first few events, the $50K H.O.R.S.E., and the Main Event will be shown.

I suppose it is possible (though not likely) I could be put on the H.O.R.S.E. event, though I’d think PokerNews probably would want the veteran bloggers on that one. And of course I’m pretty sure I’ll be thousands of miles away when they finally get around to that Main Event final table in November.

Chris 'Jesus' FergusonIn my recap of last night, I didn’t mention the fact that we were seated right outside the final table arena, and thus couldn’t help but be affected by the spectacle of Chris “Jesus” Ferguson’s final table appearance at the Event No. 2 FT last night. Lots of oohing and aahing from behind us, as fans reacted to Ferguson’s tumultuous night. (He eventually finished third.) Also experienced a bit of claustrophobia more than once when fans gathered around our table waiting to enter the arena and at other moments during the proceedings.

Ferguson, by the way, is a rock star. He posed for several pictures with members of the adoring mob right next to our location. And everyone, it seemed, was talking about him. Constantly.

I’ve had a few highly incidental interactions with pros thus far, e.g., Greg Raymer asking me as we waited in line at the Poker Kitchen what was inside the eggplant wrap I’d chosen for dinner; Jennifer Harman coming over to our table and borrowing a pen; etc. And frankly just about all of these folks we have watched on TV come off as “normal,” for the most part. And by “normal” I don’t mean anything more particular than “of our species.”

But there’s something about Jesus, what with the hat and beard and flowing mane. Something unspeakably cool that causes him to stand out from the rest, most especially for the casual poker fan.

For us hardcore types, though, there’s lots else that interests us, too. Like the rest of today’s packed schedule, for instance.

Besides the two final tables, two other events -- Event No. 5, the $1,000 No-Limit Hold’em w/rebuys event, and Event No. 6, the $1,500 Omaha/8 event -- continue into their Day Twos, with each tourney planning to play down to the final nine.

And two more events get started as well. Just a few minutes from now the next “donkament” begins, a $2,000 No-Limit Hold’em event (Event No. 7). Then later in the afternoon Event No. 8 kicks off, that so-called “World Championship Mixed Event” that combines eight different games ($10,000 buy-in). My idea of using the term “S.P.L.E.N.D.O.R.” as a shorthand moniker referring to this one had a few backers, but never really took off. You can read my proposal here, a post from last December titled “A H.O.R.S.E. With No Name.”

Of course, my idea wouldn’t have jibed with the order with which the games are going to be played. I actually like how they’ve arranged the sequence, starting with 2-7 triple draw and the two limit flop games (LHE, O/8), then moving to the three stud games (Stud, Stud/8, Razz), then ending with the non-limit games (PLO, NLHE). So they’ve basically put the eight games into three groups, and the plan is to spent twenty minutes each hour rotating among the games in a given group. (Make sense?)

Cranky Olde Coot makes a good observation over on the Poker Blog about how the planned structure for this event has at least one flaw, namely, that since the split games (O/8 and Stud/8) take a bit longer to play on average, there will be fewer of those hands played than of the other six. I think other headaches might emerge as well as they try to put this plan in action, too, besides the very likely problem of dealers perhaps struggling now and then to deal all of the games correctly. May well have to run over there during our breaks tonight to catch a glimpse of the action.

I say the dealers might struggle with eight different games. How about PokerNews’ task today? Six different tourneys to report. Should be an interesting day (and evening . . . and perhaps morning).

See you over there.

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Anonymous gtycoon said...

I can bet ESPN loves it when big name poker players make the final table.

Chris Jesus Ferguson is one of the most recognizable figures in poker and I can understand why the fans were pretty much all for Chris.

And that other final table today of David Rheem, David Williams, Justin Bonomo, Erick Lindgren, Howard Lederer, Roland de Wolfe, Andrew Robl, Isaac Haxton, and Pat Pezzin.

SHould be great!

6/04/2008 8:04 PM  

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