Saturday, June 06, 2009

2009 WSOP, Day 10: Life Passes By

Reporting live from the WSOPWas around 2:30 a.m. last night when I found myself slowly shuffling down the long hallway that runs from the Amazon ballroom to the parking lot out back of the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino.

After about 13 hours after my event -- the $2,500 Pot-Limit Hold’em/Pot-Limit Omaha (Event No. 10) -- had begun, we finally had a winner. Started the day with 18 players. Down to five by the dinner break, then it took ’em four hours or something to lose another. When five were left one fellow (Najib Bennani) was down to just 50,000 chips, then tripled up, doubled up a few times, and ended up managing to finish second (to Rami Boukai).

Thus ended my three days covering that event, which in the end totaled something close to 40 hours of work. And I’m back over there again today and tomorrow to finish out Event No. 13, a $2,500 No-Limit Hold’em affair. There are 175 players coming back today from their starting field of 1,088, so this looks like yet another event that is going to run up against that Rule No. 96 -- the one that says they’ll stop at 3 a.m. regardless of how many players are remaining.

Which means I’m looking at continuing my streak of 13-plus hour workdays through Sunday, then, thankfully, I’ll have Monday off to try and recharge.

It’s fun. And somewhat rewarding, still. A grind, for sure, though. And when all yr doing is writing up poker hands, eating here and there, and sleeping, it’s hard not to feel a little bit like life might be passing you by.

Like I say, I was shuffling slowly down the Rio hallway. Hands in pockets, media badge swinging from my neck, laptop over my shoulder. Half-formed poker hands flitting through my consciousness.

My partner, FerricRamsium, and I were taking turns last night filling the roles of reporter and blogger, with one of us watching the action and reporting to the other who’d enter hands, chip counts, and other items into the blog. Once they’d gotten down to five or so, I was writing down every single hand when it was my turn to stand over by the table (though we’d only report the more significant ones). Actually ended up writing the final hand on the cardboard back of the notepad, having gone through all of the sheets of yet another one.

Not a lot of chance to relax yr mental faculties in that situation, although I did have the pleasure at one juncture of visiting some with bellatrix who came by after playing in Event No. 14 (the $2,500 Limit Hold’em event). After our visit, she’d headed over to see what was happening in the cash games in the front right quadrant of the Rio. When my day was done I wandered over but didn’t spot her. She’d either left, or the dense fog that had settled in my brain had made it too difficult for me to see clearly anymore.

Doyle Brunson passes Shamus on the rightBut I did find the ballroom exit okay, and so made my way out and down the hall. Was nearing the doors leading to the parking lot on the left when suddenly I hear a faint whirring sound behind me. Was just about to turn around to look when the sound careened past on my right.

I looked up somewhat woozily as the cowboy hat-wearing man on the scooter roared past, moving at what seemed to my dazed self the speed of thought itself.

Might ought to look into getting one of those.

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