Was overall kind of a slow day in terms of reporting. After the first couple of hours or so the pace slowed down somewhat, and the day became quite different from Day 4 which never let up. Still a lot going on, though. Several big elimination hands and/or hands in which a ton of chips were exchanged. And, of course, when Phil Hellmuth and Mike Matusow were seated next to one another at the ESPN feature table during the last level of the night, there was a lot of interest happening over there (we had TassieDevil on that table). Hellmuth actually ended the evening incurring a one-orbit penalty for his applesauce, so he’ll be in the “penalty box” (as F-Train put it) when play starts this afternoon.
Probably the wildest hand I posted about was the one where Sean Sheikhan lost almost all of his stack pushing his pocket jacks and getting snuffed by pocket aces. He had raised from late position, and got reraised by Jamal Kunbuz who was on the button. Sounded like this sort of thing might have been happening a lot, where Sheikhan kept getting bet out of pots with reraises. So this time he shoved his stack of 1.5 million or so, and Kunbuz snap-called him with A-A. Sheikhan lost all but 75,000 of his chips on that one, and was out shortly thereafter.
Also posted about a fun one in which Aussie David Saab needled Hellmuth, showing him a bluff on the end. Hellmuth blew up, as is his custom, and Saab gave it back pretty effectively. (In fact, the scenario -- Hellmuth getting bluffed out of a hand and his opponent showing -- was very similar to the one that took place in that last hand of the night after which Hellmuth got the penalty.)
My colleagues yesterday came up with several neat, interesting color posts that added a lot to the proceedings.
Loganmark published a few posts about the payouts and what would be the case if, say, the last 99 players decided to chop up the remaining money. If they did, Logan determined they’d all get better than 13th place money, actually. F-Train wrote what I thought was a very interesting post called “How Do I Get My Money?” in which he described the process a player goes through when busting out of the tournament. He wrote that one from experience, of course, as he finished 33rd and thus cashed in the Razz event a few weeks ago.
Mean Gene wrote another called “Strike the Sets” in which he told about how the tables were being taken apart and stored away as the field continued to shrink. Yes, when they broke tables they literally broke them down. And Change100 wrote one about the recovery of Doyle Brunson’s scooter, which someone apparently stole and had kept for much of last week.
As we moved into the last hour of play, it occurred to me I was looking at a last chance to contribute something along those lines, too -- something beyond just reporting another hand. But I just couldn’t summon the energy to do so. Truth be told, I was starting to feel myself already kind of disengaging from the whole scene. Not sure why, but I think the feeling resulted from a combination of knowing I wouldn’t be there to see the thing through (indeed, none of us are, not here in July, anyway) and a kind of mental exhaustion after six straight weeks of writing about poker nonstop.
Gonna hold off on the heavy philosophizing about the whole thing for later when I’ve got a little distance and more energy for it. I will say that as I left the Rio yesterday, I was strangely reminded of the one summer I went off to camp. I was about ten years old, and had spent a couple of weeks with a horde of other kids playing games, sharing meals, and sleeping in bunk beds -- the usual summer camp stuff. Finally the last day came, and my parents came to pick me up. I remember riding off and suddenly feeling very sad, which was confusing to me because in my still-growing ten-year-old mind I hadn’t really realized how strongly I’d felt about all those people with whom I’d been spending the last two weeks.
Have to say I have a little of that going on inside again today. At least this time I’m smart enough to have some idea why.