As I watched ESPN move back and forth from the two feature tables to the outer tables, I vividly recalled the layout and where most of the players had been seated. I remembered standing next to the table with Dennis Phillips and Lisa Parsons, watching several hands at that table (and reporting on a couple). Also remembered Phil Hellmuth’s various antics at the outer table, having been stationed close enough to hear the “Honey, I’m all in!” call more than once.
I hadn’t reported on many of the hands they showed last night, though I did report that one between Hellmuth and Brandon Cantu that ended with him chirping something about “That’s why I throw it away, boys!” I was outside the arena that day, and so didn’t see the craziness at night’s end over at the feature table (some of which they showed last night). F-Train put in a couple of last reports that night about the blow-up and the one-orbit penalty Hellmuth had received for treating Cristian Dragomir so poorly, a penalty that was eventually (unfairly) rescinded the following day. (See F-Train’s discussion of all that applesauce on his blog today.)
In truth, after a blistering Day 4 -- one of the most manic days of reporting of the entire summer -- Day 5 had been relatively quiet for me. We had a couple more bloggers than we probably needed that day, and I remember not being terribly busy. The wildest hand I reported on on Day 5 was one in which Shawn Sheikhan had lost nearly his entire stack (like 1.5 million or so) with pocket jacks versus Jamal Kunbuz’ A-A -- a truly insane hand, I had thought. While I wasn’t being hyper-attentive with my viewing last night, I didn’t see any Sheikhan (who busted in 105th) anywhere.
In fact, I remembered most of the hands that were shown, either from having watched them or read my colleagues’ reports of them as they happened. I certainly remembered both of those crazy Tiffany Michelle hands. There was the one in which she had A-A and spiked an ace on the turn to survive against Alex Outhred’s flopped set of fives. Then the other in which she eliminated Marc Podell with versus his pocket tens. She flopped an ace, he turned a ten, then she hit a third diamond on the river.
A couple of other quick responses to last night’s show. For one, it’s hard not to be damned impressed with the dead-on reads of Alex Outhred and David Rheem, both of whom were shown precisely calling their opponents’ hands. Looks all the more impressive without the dozens of hands of context preceding those reads, but still pretty wild (and intimidating for us amateurs).
Also, I know we’re all tired of the “one time!” thing -- where a player’s whose tourney life is on the line (and is usually behind) calls out “one time!” in the hopes of seeing a needed card. How many times did we hear that last night? Three times? Four? I guess on one occasion -- the hand in which Mike Matusow survived with 10-5 -- it was uttered semi-facetiously. Dragomir (I believe) said something like “all you have to say is ‘one time’ and the pot is yours,” so Matusow obliged.
At the end of Day 5, they were down to 79 players. After my PokerNews work had concluded, I ended up sticking around the Rio to watch some of both Day 6 and 7 from the bleachers. Saw Hellmuth bust out on Day 6, then saw quite a bit of the feature table on Day 7 when they were down to 15 and fewer. Am curious, then, to see some of them hole cards, so I will surely tune for these last two weeks of coverage (four hours) of the Main Event.
Then on November 4 there will be a one-hour preview show, before the final table is repackaged and shown in a two-hour broadcast on November 11. Still think the whole delay wrecks the tourney, frankly. But I’ll be watching how it plays out, for sure.