That made my ninth final table of the series. And the last. Indeed, no one will be seeing anymore final tables this summer once that one for Event No. 53, the Shootout event, finally concludes tonight. Or tomorrow morning. (PokerNews won’t be covering the Casino Employees event, Event No. 55.)
Seven of those nine final tables took place over in the Milwaukee’s Best Light No Limit Lounge -- that little arena-like structure surrounding the ESPN main stage, although only the first of those, Event No. 4 (the one Erick Lindgren won), will be televised on ESPN proper (on August 4th). The others were all streamed live on ESPN360.com. I never saw any of those broadcasts; indeed, my sense is not many people were able to. But I heard good things, and it appeared to be a nifty way to follow the action for true poker fans.
While I am certainly a poker fan, I’ll admit there was nothing particularly compelling about last night’s final table. I hadn’t worked the first two days of this one, so I hadn’t had the chance to follow the storylines of any of the final nine. As a result, reporting all the hands didn’t carry a heckuva lot of drama for yr humble gumshoe. So all in all, it was mostly business for me last night. Given I was a newbie four weeks ago, I suppose it’s a sign I’ve learned a little something if certain aspects of the job have already become old hat.
A one-hour dinner break came up when they got down to three-handed, at the end of which one of the remaining players came over to ask me what the chip counts were. I jotted them down and handed the slip of paper to him. Then another came over to ask about the payouts. Did the same for him. Then sat and watched the two of them discussing a possible chop. Didn’t sound as though they were able to come to any terms, though.
A couple of hours later we were done, and everyone immediately started looking forward to the Big One. Even the winner, David Daneshgar, said in the post-tourney interview that he was hoping to score a second bracelet “in two weeks . . . plus three months.” He also said he didn’t enter the final table with any particular plan. Worked for him.
For most of those seven final tables on the main stage (and one of the ones that wasn’t on the main stage, too) I had the pleasure of working with tournament director Robbie Thompson, who did all of the announcing at the televised tables. (That’s him standing behind the table in the picture above.) Robbie was incredibly helpful and a pleasure to work with throughout, almost always announcing all of the pertinent info clearly and quickly, and also coming over and offering additional info or aiding us in other ways. The other guys who did the job were good also, but I didn’t get to know them as well. As I won’t imagine I’ll be working with Robbie again here this summer, I just wanted to acknowledge him here as a terrific representative of the WSOP staff.
They also held that “Ante Up for Africa” charity tournament down in the Brasilia Room yesterday. I wandered down there during a break to see what was up. They’d been playing a few hours by then, and were down to two tables. Phil Hellmuth had the microphone and was yammering on about the play. Found the whole scene a bit claustrophobic, I’m afraid, and left within a couple of minutes. Don’t believe I missed too much. Have a feeling I’ll be seeing more than enough celebrities and other assorted oddities over the next few days.
PokerNews will have the entire crew out for these four Day Ones of the Main Event, so I imagine the “Live Reporting” blog should be pretty well packed with posts as the days go by. Have heard various things from the ones who’ve been here before, but I’m mainly going in without too many expectations.
Worked pretty well for that dude last night.