Wednesday, May 19, 2010

I Got Rhythm

I Got RhythmThe PokerStars Spring Championship of Online Poker concluded on Monday evening. Drizz and I did a live blog for the Main Event’s final table, which actually went much faster than it seemed like it should have.

In the live blog, Drizz made a note once they’d gotten down to three-handed (around 9:15 p.m. ET) of how ridiculously deep each player was in terms of big blinds (166, 119, and 95 respectively). Find a comfortable seat and grab some popcorn, was his advice.

Indeed, as we’d both experienced several times over during the course of SCOOP, we were expecting a long, long time of it, especially with the 30-minute levels. On top of that, the final three couldn’t come to terms regarding a deal. First awarded $1,162,350, second $851,775, and third $627,300. The trio’s discussion had been amiable, but one player preferred to play it out, and so they did. With more than half a million dollars separating first and third, it surely felt like no one would be in too big of a hurry to gamble it up.

However, it was just a few minutes later we’d see one player surprisingly bluff off his entire stack. Then after 15-20 minutes or so of heads-up the two remaining players were both dealt pocket pairs, they got it all in preflop, and BOOM we were done before 10 o’clock.

I spent another hour or so finishing up the last wrap of SCOOP (detailing all of Day 2 of the Main Event), and hit the sack. Was dead to the world just a few minutes later.

But by 1 a.m. I was wide awake. And hungry. Next thing I know I’m up making myself a roast beef sandwich.

Now it’s Wednesday morning and I’m still feeling like the body rhythms are a bit skewy. Am I tired? Am I hungry? I can’t tell.

Thankfully I’ve got one more week here to get everything back into some semblance of normal before heading out to Las Vegas to help cover the World Series of Poker once again. Will be taking off early next week, then the first events begin on Friday, May 28. I’ll be there for the start, then will have a one-week excursion down to Lima, Peru to help cover the Latin American Poker Tour event there (first week of June). Then I’ll be back in Vegas for the remainder of the Series.

It goes without saying I’m excited (and grateful) to be heading back out for a third go-round at the WSOP.

Long time readers recall my reporting on my first trip out in 2008. All was brand new, fresh, stirring.

Last year’s return tour of duty was also fun and satisfying, although necessarily the experience was different -- perhaps a little more routinized in some respects, although still pretty fascinating to be there helping chronicle the spectacle that is the WSOP.

I expect this year will be still different, with a lot that’s familiar, but a lot that will have changed, too. Mentally speaking, I’m already settling into a “go with the flow”-type, open-minded approach to it all. Not unlike a player sitting down at a table full of new opponents. The game is the same, but let’s just play a round or two and see what we’re dealing with here, why don’t we?

I mentioned rhythms above. It is fascinating how the human animal seeks out these patterns, rhythms, what have you -- almost as part of that complicated survival instinct we all possess (I’d say). That’s something I already know I’ll have to be ready for this time around, whenever something ain’t exactly as it was before (which will happen, no doubt).

My detective novel, 'Same Difference'In my detective novel, Same Difference (which has nothing to do with poker, by the way), I tried to make that facet of human nature -- the way we seek & slip into patterns -- a theme of sorts. It is at least a recurring motif, I suppose -- namely, the notion that we have these rhythms, routines, patterns that help us organize our ideas of ourselves.

In fact, the title -- which has a couple of different connotations -- is partly meant to refer to how the detective looks for patterns in people’s behavior, i.e., searches for that “same difference” coming up more than once, thereby becoming meaningful (like a clue). You know, like when we notice a poker player looking back at his stack of chips when an especially good river card lands. A new, different behavior, that when repeated becomes significant.

Anyhow, as I say, I am greatly looking forward to finding my rhythm once again when back on the WSOP beat. Who could ask for anything more?

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