My last day in Vegas began at the home away from home and ended back at the real home over here on the other side of the continent. There was a sorta-frantic hour of packing, a couple more hours to get to the airport and wait for departure, then an uneventful flight of just under four hours bringing me home by early evening.
Wasn’t too long after that I fell into about 15 hours of dreamless unconsciousness, waking to read about the long, long, long night my buds had covering yesterday’s Day 8 during which the November Nine was finally set.
Appears Scott “BigRiskky” Clements went out in 18th. And Hasan Habib nursed that short stack all of the way to 14th-place prize money -- over half a million dollars!
Michael “The Grinder” Mizrachi made it, and like Ivey last year will be returning in November to a below average stack in seventh place. And also like Ivey last year -- who won two bracelets and final tabled the ME -- there will be talk that Mizrachi really should be getting the WSOP POY this year, although he can only tie Frank Kassela by winning the sucker. (Jeff Lisandro won the POY last year.)
Had a suspicion this year’s final day wouldn’t go as quickly as happened in 2009, though cannot say I really thought they would go as long as they did. Indeed, they were still playing up until about 6 a.m. Vegas time. That’s an eighteen-hour day!
Looking over the names of the nine who made it through -- Mizrachi, Jonathan Duhamel, John Dolan, Joseph Cheong, John Racener, Matthew Jarvis, Filippo Candio, Soi Nguyen, and Jason Senti -- I don’t think too many knew a lot about most of these guys a couple of weeks ago, but we’ll surely learn more about all of them over the next three-and-a-half months.
As I said hastily yesterday, I’m very glad to be back home and with the lovely Vera Valmore. And to have the chance to resume a “normal” life in which things like sleeping, eating, and exercising can become part of the daily routine.
But let me add, too, to what I was saying about the group I left behind yesterday.
Everyone who spends the summer covering the WSOP alludes to how difficult it can be. But for those of us who love poker -- and to see poker played at the highest levels -- being at the Rio during June and July writing about the game we love is assuredly a great place to be. I can’t begin to say how grateful I am to have had the chance to work with and alongside such a bunch of talented, interesting, and incredibly supportive folks.
Started to do this yesterday -- that is, try to name all of those who helped make the summer all the better -- though didn’t have time. And I know I’ll forget someone, even now that I have the time to think about it. But I’ll try nonetheless.
Thanks to AlCantHang, Andrew Feldman, Benjo, B.J. Nemeth, Pokerati Dan, Jen Newell, Jess Wellman, Timtern, and Paul of Bluff, Mean Gene, Michele Lewis, Merchdawg, Nolan Dalla, Otis and the Pokerstars guys, Dr. Pauly, Seth Palansky and the whole WSOP team, Spaceman, and the Wicked Chops entities.
And on the PokerNews side, thank you Adam, Alex (ChipBitch), Alexander, Andy, Anne, BlocoDabarra, Ben, Brett, Change100, Danafish, Dave King, Disco Chad, Donnie, Ducky, ebhizzle, Elaine, Eric (FerricRamsium), FlipChip, F-Train, Glo, Greg, Heath (TassieDevil), JonBon, Kristy, Lynn, Matt P., Matt S., Matt W., 1-2-3 Mickey Doft, Mike the Driver, Rich, Cinema Sarah, Snoopy, and Will.
And special thanks to Vera, without whose support I also could never have done this again.
And thank you, readers, for coming back time and again.