Saturday, July 02, 2011

2011 WSOP, Day 32: Snapshot

2011 WSOP, Event No. 53Yesterday I went over to the Rio early and went to the Pavilion room to see how the first day of Event No. 53, the $1,000 Ladies No-Limit Hold’em Championship was going. I covered Days 2 and 3 of that event last year (and wrote about the experience some here). While I’m not on it this time around, I was nonetheless intrigued to see how the first day was going.

I missed the “flash mob” that apparently entertained everyone with a planned-for dance routine at the outset. I also didn’t bother seeking out glimpses of the many men who entered the event -- about 15, I believe (or so I was hearing later in the day).

The scene was fairly serene by the time I arrived, about one hour into play. While there I ended up having a nice conversation with Wolynski, whose excellent photo blogs Vegas Images and Wolynski I’ve enjoyed after being introduced to them via PokerGrump. If you haven’t seen them, check them out -- great stuff all around.

She was there taking a few photos of much higher quality than the couple I snapped with my iPhone. Notice our friend B.J. Nemeth to the right of center in that one above, there taking photos himself. And yes, the woman in the foreground does appear to have blue hair, something I hadn’t noticed when taking the picture.

Wolynski and I chatted about the Series, the women’s event, tournaments versus cash games (we both prefer the latter), and photography, too. We talked about how painstaking it can be for a photographer, but also how different things were today in the digital age where one can take so many more pictures more easily, thereby giving oneself a lot more to choose from when it comes to selecting the best, most successfully achieved shots.

She told me how in earlier days she’d only have to take one or two shots to get what she needed, which made me think about how technology has also changed the way we write, too. It’s a blessing and a curse, I suppose. Producing multiple drafts is a much simpler task now that we aren’t bound to typewriters and white-out, but it also perhaps encourages a lack of focus when one engages in the creative process (pun intended).

I soon left the Ladies event to go help cover Day 2 of Event No. 51, the $1,500 PLO/8 event that ultimately played down to a final (but not really “final”) ten-handed table. Was a relatively smooth day working alongside Ben and Harley that like most days went by quickly, filled with writing, chip counting, and other accounting tasks.

By day’s end I was remembering my conversation with Wolynski, thinking again about differences between quantity and quality and how what we talked about might apply to this business of live blogging WSOP events. Near the end of the night I’d had another conversation with another excellent photographer, Joe Giron, who is working for PokerNews this summer, and so perhaps that got me thinking again about the idea of taking pictures.

Since then I had written dozens of short posts, mostly about hands although occasionally about other matters of interest and/or relevance to the story of the tournament. But really I was just snapping away (so to speak), not stopping to think a lot about what sort of “framing” or “balance” or other method might enable me to capture and convey my subject most effectively. Or the “big picture,” either, which only seems to occur to me when I’m away from the Rio and back in my hotel room, reflecting and contemplating the meaning of it all -- to me and/or to anyone else.

People Come and GoIt’s important for us to take these snapshots, though. Even if we haven’t the time to consider them properly when we take them. The present is one big blur. People come and go. It’s important to stop and talk about it all once in a while.

And to take a picture.

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