Turned out to be a short shift for yr humble gumshoe, just three two-hour levels’ worth of live blogging. While most of us are working every day through this first stretch of the Main Event, some are getting some extra hours off here and there to decompress. Was my turn to leave early last night, and so I got to head back to the home-away-from-home at the dinner break.
Forgot to mention how on Thursday (Day 1a) I had finally gotten the chance to meet Otis (of Up for Poker). Sort of funny. We kind of get to know each other a bit via the blogs, then spend about eight hours working almost side by side in the Media Press Box before finally figuring out who the other is. Finally got to chat a bit during the dinner break. Nice dude, and he contributes to an excellent poker blog, as I’m sure most of youse already know.
Yesterday (Day 1b) started with another fun visit as I got a chance to meet up with Scott Long, co-host of Ante Up! As those of you who’ve listened to show would imagine -- and really, if you haven’t heard the show, go check it out already -- Scott is a friendly, quick-witted, funny guy with whom it’s a lot of fun to hang out. Sincerely wished I’d had more than the half-hour to shoot the breeze.
Scott and I talked for a while about my crazy summer and his fun week of playing and checking out the happenings at the Gambling Expo. We also discussed his new venture with his co-host, Chris Cosenza, the Ante Up! Magazine. Pretty exciting stuff. After three years-plus of uninterrupted podcasting, the duo is striking out on their own, leaving the auspices of the St. Petersburg Times to produce their own magazine and podcast independently.
I’ve repeatedly spoken favorably of Ante Up! here at Hard-Boiled Poker, and allow me once more point you, dear reader, to Ante Up! Still pretty much the only poker podcast out there that primarily focuses on the amateur player. Definitely worth finding an hour or so each week to enjoy these guys.
As far as the rest of the day went yesterday, I spent all of my time over in the corner of the Amazon Room, just behind Blue Table #1 where Jamie Gold had been assigned Seat 1. As you might imagine, ESPN had its cameras over there pretty much without interruption throughout the day.
F-Train and I noticed how Gold had gradually accumulated extra patches on his shirt throughout the afternoon, obviously taking pecuniary advantage of the extra attention. Since F-Train and I were apparently being included in so many shots (the camera was pointing right in our direction for most of the day), I joked with him that we should have gotten some patches, too, given how much camera time we were getting.
The dealer who began the day on Table #1 screwed up and put out blinds of 25/50 rather than 50/100 (as the schedule of play dictated). We noticed the mistake right away, but no one at the table did. (I think they were all too mesmerized by Gold.) We didn’t say anything, of course, since we have all been instructed not to do or say anything whatsoever that might affect play. Finally, when a new dealer came in after 30 minutes of play, the error was corrected. No one at the table seemed all that concerned about the mistake.
We overheard a lot of tabletalk at Gold’s table today, much more than we could reasonably report in the blog. At one point, one player told him how 2006 was the best year to win the Main Event, since we aren’t likely to see that big of a prize pool for the Main Event again anytime soon. Indeed, pointed out another player, Gold still holds the record for having won the biggest ever cash prize ($12 million) in the history of the WSOP.
“I don’t want to have that record,” answered Gold. “I want poker to become bigger and bigger and bigger.” He could just be talking, but I’m inclined to believe him.
The one woman who was seated at the table busted out first, and Gold was especially patient and gracious with her as she shook his hand afterwards and told him what a privilege it was for her to play at his table.
We all know how Gold hasn’t seen a lot of tourney success since winning the Main Event in 2006. And his not-so-great reputation wasn’t helped much today, as he managed to bust out before the end of Level 3. Still, even though I’m as cynical as anyone about Gold’s poker-playing prowess, I’m gonna give the man some credit for his apparently being so ready and willing to play the role into which he was cast with his ME victory. Everyone at his table wanted to shake his hand when he finally busted, and he did so without hesitation, despite the obvious ignominy associated with his early exit. It was a truly a friggin’ circus for him from start to finish today, but he seemed (to me) to have endured it with a certain dignity.
Back this afternoon for Day 1c -- I’ll be there for all five levels. The numbers were down yesterday, though the talk in the Rio was that the Fourth of July holiday kept some runners away, and that we’ll likely see much bigger fields on Days 1c and 1d.
Remember to follow along over at PokerNews.