Tuesday, October 28, 2008

World Series Interruptus

Pause (then go like hell)Had the World Series on last night -- the baseball one, not the poker one -- and watched the Phillies and Rays play through that hard driving rain for an hour or more before the umps (or whoever was in charge) finally decided enough was enough. Seemed a little sketchy, frankly, the way they waited until Tampa Bay had tied the score 2-2 before suspending play in the sixth inning.

Later this morning I plan to read what Phillies fan Hoyazo has to say about all of this. I cannot imagine he is pleased. If they had stopped things a half-hour earlier -- say, the bottom of the fifth when Philadelphia was ahead -- the Phillies would be world champs right now.

Of course, as I’m reading over on the ESPN website this morning, there has never been a rain-shortened game in the history of the World Series. Seems amazing, but I guess it is true. And this was apparently the first-ever suspended game. They’ll pick it back up tonight at 8:00 p.m. Eastern time.

Also picking back up tonight will be the last two hours of coverage of that other World Series. This will be Day 7 of the WSOP Main Event -- the last day of play this summer. ESPN will show them playing down from 27 to the final nine during these two hours of programming. Expect hour one to culminate with the ouster of Tiffany Michelle (third in chips when the day began) in 17th place, then the second hour to end with a couple of hands in which Craig Marquis takes all of Dean Hamrick’s chips to land Hamrick in 10th.

I was there that night, not reporting but sitting in the stands watching the feature table with my buddy who’d come to visit during the last days of the WSOP. We stuck around until they’d gotten down to 11 or 12 -- something like 11 p.m. or so -- as we both had an early flight outta Vegas to catch the next morning.

It had been a long, exhausting summer. Had been there from the very start, seeing the UNLV Marching Band play “Viva Las Vegas” and Doyle Brunson tell everyone back on Day 1 that “We’re in for six solid weeks of poker.” (I made a joke then that Brusnon -- perhaps pointedly -- did not say we were in for “six weeks of solid poker.”) For the couple of hundred or so who were huddled there in the far corner of the cavernous Amazon Room watching those last moments play out, the whole scene was an odd mixture of commotion and comedown. Or amusement and anticlimax.

The few players who’d survived the starting field of 6,844 to be there for those last moments we’re probably experiencing a whole host of other emotions as well. This afternoon I’ll be interviewing one of them, Dennis Phillips, the fellow who has been chip leader longer than anyone else in the history of the World Series of Poker. Hell, in the history of tournament poker in general, probably. When play ended that night, Phillips was in first place with more than 26 million chips. And there he remains today, some 100-plus days later.

As I say, barring any snafus, I’ll be talking with Phillips later today. My plan is to write up a post tomorrow describing our chat. It’ll be a brief conversation, so I’ll have a limited amount of time for questions, but if you have any suggestions about what to ask Phillips, feel free to pass ’em along.

Meanwhile, we’ll all sit and wait just a little while longer. At least the Phillies and Rays will be able to get back at it tonight and not have to wait ’til February to finish up.

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2 Comments:

Blogger cheer_dad said...

Dennis Phillips seems to be a very likeable guy, who is truly in awe of the people with whom he got to play against in the WSOP. How does it make him feel to have others now looking up to him and what he has accomplished thus far?

Also, nothing seems to agitate him, and he appears to just "be happy to there" but was there anything (or anyone) that really got on his last nerve during the Main Event, or at least what we've seen thus far?

Regards,

cheer_dad

10/28/2008 11:10 AM  
Blogger pokerpeaker said...

Shamus, I just interviewed him today for pokerworks.com. I'll post that in a couple days. First of all, he's a great, great guy, and you'll really enjoy talking to him. I got some great, humble stuff from him regarding his goals before the WSOP - that's going to be my lead - but you also might ask him about his brother, Don, and what life is like for him.

10/28/2008 12:11 PM  

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