My birthday was on Saturday, and thus it was nice to be able to hang out at home to celebrate the day for a change rather than spend it 2,500 or so miles away.
Got to visit with my Mom and brother some. From my brother I learned about two new things. First he told me all about the Wilhelm scream. Then he taught me what a trebuchet was. He said he wanted one. I asked him what that was and he explained it to me. Then I asked him why he wanted one.
“Have some stuff I want to launch,” he said.
The WSOP launched nearly two weeks ago, and they are already up to starting Event Nos. 22 and 23 today. (See the full day-by-day schedule here.) After having been right in the thick of it there at the Rio from start to finish for the last several years, it is interesting -- and useful, I think -- to observe the Series from afar as it has progressed through these first couple of weeks.
The fact is, it is often difficult to have any sort of broader perspective at all about the WSOP when there. Especially when immersed in the business of closely covering a single event, which has generally been the case for me since I started covering the sucker in 2008. Point of view gets all narrowed down and blinkered.
One writer whose perspective I have particularly enjoyed following thus far is that of Dr. Pauly. Pauly gets a lot of accolades for his WSOP reports on Tao of Poker, so my chiming in (again) and adding another clapping of hands to the already loud applause ain’t gonna make a lot of difference. Indeed, anyone wandering over here during these first couple of weeks to see what I might be writing about prior to heading out to the WSOP is certainly already following Tao and so knows already how good it gets over there.
But if somehow you aren’t already reading Tao of Poker -- and if you have an interest in following what’s happening at the WSOP -- let me encourage you to go over and read Pauly’s account of the scene during the Event No. 16 final table from Saturday night: “2011 WSOP Day 12: Hellmuth Chokes and Prohibition Ends at the Mothership.” That was the $10,000 2-7 Draw Lowball (No-Limit) Championship in which John Juanda denied Phil Hellmuth his 12th WSOP bracelet.
There you will find...
And more. Then comes a postscript covering other WSOP events plus extracurricular activities at the Rio sportsbook and elsewhere, again peppered with lots of fun, generally unseen stuff that helps convey what it’s like to be there.
considered commentary on the make-up of the field (a mix of old school mixed-game vets and online-trained neophytes) a few behind-the-scenes tidbits regarding those who made the final day an account of the food-and-beverage-prohibition subplot at the so-called “Mothership,” theatrically lifted once play reached heads-up anecdotal sketches of various crowd characters, all of which add up to a comprehensive portrait of the audience’s attitude toward watching poker played with no community or “up” cards a glimpse at side action between ultra-keen bookmaker Neil Channing and underdog Benjo the shifts of momentum and mood during heads-up play
There are a few others whose WSOP reports I find myself actively seeking out day-after-day in addition to checking in on the usual news outlets. These include (but are not limited to) Jesse May’s Poker Farm posts, Snoopy’s articles and blog posts over on Black Belt Poker, Jess Welman’s nifty “WSOP By the Numbers” pieces on the BLUFF site (here’s the latest), and Nolan Dalla’s always awesome WSOP.com reports and wraps.
Am also every day checking out PKRGSSP’s great compilation posts, too, which often point me to other stuff worthy of attention. (I wonder if PKRGSSP knows he has successfully revived a tradition begun by the erstwhile Blogfather, Iggy, with his “uberposts” each weekday?)
But to get back to Pauly, it’s that ability to combine close details and “big picture” stuff that makes his reports special, one of many reasons why they are so worthwhile. Like I say, it’s hard enough to have any kind of larger perspective at all when there, let alone successfully convey it to an audience in a way that makes sense (and is entertaining, too).
Have about a week more to try to appreciate the “big picture” before I launch myself Vegas-ward. Looking forward to it, for sure, but also have been glad to have had this chance to “see” it all from afar via others’ POVs.