Finally I realized why. I’m not working. No one is. The World Series of Poker takes its first day off since it began on May 30, giving everyone a chance to regroup before we get back to it with Tuesday’s Day 2a. Gonna be a lot to deal with when we come back. Unlike was the case on the Day Ones, we will know everyone going in on the Day Twos, and so will potentially have a ton to cover as we move forward.
I’ve worked the last five days in a row, the longest streak of the Series for me. The last of the Day Ones went fairly smoothly. Over 2,400 runners came out for this one, pushing the overall total past 2007’s and up to 6,844. A few more than expected, I think. I’d spoken with Nolan Dalla, WSOP Media Director, during the dinner break on Day 1c, and he’d thought then it would be a tight race versus last year’s 6,358. So I’m sure the WSOP brass are all happy how things turned out registration-wise.
It was also announced yesterday how the total prize pool exceeded $64 million and how the winner would be taking home something in the neighborhood of $9.1 million. Of course, the winner should be getting more than that as they’re putting the moneys in an interest-bearing account between now and November. (I would think the WSOP would do a little math and spin that prize number upwards a bit right now.)
I was in the Brasilia room this time, where I was responsible for reporting on the back half of the room, about 30-some tables. We had some name pros in our section, including Layne Flack and Antonio Esfandiari who drew seats right next to one another. Those two provided a lot of color, including a renewal of the “how best to kill a bear” debate Flack had begun in an earlier tourney (and which I had reported on then, too, both at PokerNews and here). Flack never did seem to be able to build too much of a stack, and late in the day, after he was moved from our section, he busted. Esfandiari, on the other hand, added to his stack at every level. He ended up near 100,000 by day’s end.
Tom Schneider was in my section as well, and I got to talk to him briefly and watch a few hands. I wrote up one I saw, kind of a minor one from early on that made it to showdown. Then I ended up reporting on two more of his hands that my reporters brought me, neither of which went well for Tom. In both cases he’d gotten his money in good, then his opponent hit a draw to take the hand. The first depleted his stack and the other knocked him out.
Had Shane “Shaniac” Schleger and Joe Pelton in my section, too. After the first 2 p.m. break, Schleger had rushed back in just in time for the first hand dealt, and told the table about Phil Hellmuth’s ridiculous arrival at the Rio dressed as General Patton. Trapped in the Brasilia as I was, I hadn’t seen any of that, so I was as interested as the table was in hearing Schleger explain how the vehicles and whatnot had the “US Army” logo changed to read “UB Army.” “Kind of clever, actually” said Schleger, “but must have cost a lot.” Then, after pausing a beat, he added “I wonder if they had enough left after paying people back for the super-users?” (Good question.)
Schleger had Joe Pelton two seats to his left, and he eventually busted Pelton when he flopped a nut flush. Schleger appeared to be holding steady throughout the day, and when he finally was moved he still had 33,000. But it looks like he didn’t make it through the end of the day, either.
Also covered Allen Cunningham, whom I witnessed (and reported on) dealing with some drunk railbirds very graciously. Cunningham is one cool cat. He made it through Day 1 with about 50,000.
I stayed on after the dinner break yesterday even though I wasn’t scheduled to stay, mainly because I wanted to be there to help the others cover the massive field. Most of our tables ended up breaking by the end of the night, so Matt (my reporter) and I were helping out here and there to try and get chip counts and other occasional hands. So kind of a low stress day for me, overall.
Being in the Brasilia, I missed the whole Phil Laak spectacle over in the Amazon room, too. Although it sounds like everyone did. If you haven’t heard, Laak apparently played yesterday wearing some sort of latex mask and fake mustache, and somehow managed to play the tourney without anyone realizing who he was. Might have been the result of some sort of prop bet, I don’t know. Garry Gates wrote up the story over on Poker News at the end of the night in a post titled “The Amazing Phil Laak,” if yr curious.
Figured out at the dinner break yesterday I’d completely missed the damned Gaming Life Expo. The thing ran all four Day Ones, I believe, and I never did get a chance to hop over there to see what was what. Missed out on all of the freebies, too.
That post title is from something my brother keeps telling me when we have chatted this summer. Kind of an inside joke, with him repeatedly referring -- with some sincerity, actually -- to what I am doing here with that phrase. Am still enjoying the whole deal, but I am definitely looking forward to a couple of weeks from now when I won’t be so busy that days pass without my realizing it.
Various activities on the schedule today, including a get together with PN staff this afternoon (in which soccer is the focus, although I’m hoping to shoot a few hoops), a freeroll tournament for us all at dinner time (where I’ll be dead money, no doubt), and a PokerStars party over at the Palms later tonight.
Don’t plan on too late of an evening. Am sincerely aiming for a shorter response time when I wake tomorrow.