Vera was disappointed, however, when we received them and discovered the glasses were needlessly filled with ice cubes in addition to the Coke and scoop of vanilla on top. We used the long spoons to dig the cubes out and discard them before enjoying our floats, but when the server returned and asked how they were, Vera felt obligated to tell him that we didn’t care for the inclusion of the ice cubes.
What followed was an unexpected -- and truly hilarious -- explanation by the server that the ice cubes were necessary to prevent the floats from “exploding.” We nodded politely at this bit of applesauce, and I think Vera might have said something about making floats herself and never encountering such difficulties. “I’ll remember that,” she added as we exchanged a look.
We still had grins on our faces when the server returned again to check on us, armed (incredibly) with further proof of his ice-cube theory. They’d tested the Coke float-making procedure several different ways, he explained, and there was something to do with the acidity of the Coke that made the inclusion of ice cubes crucial. “You see, Coke isn’t the same as root beer,” he went on, and I continued to feign interest as I dug the last of the cubes out of my glass and deposited them in my water glass.
After he left, it was all we could do not to burst out laughing. Vera said something about how silly his theories were, but I kept a straight face.
“They’ve tested it, honey,” I said. “You can’t fight science.”
We’d tentatively planned an excursion to Fremont Street, but hearing about how the final table of Event No. 55, the $50,000 Poker Player’s Championship was going -- with Phil Hellmuth the chip leader with four left -- Vera was the one who wanted to go check things out, and so we headed over.
We found ourselves some good seats there in the “mothership” and stuck around for a couple of hours. Saw Lon McEachern and Norman Chad shooting segments for ESPN during play. Kara Scott, too.
Was definitely an exciting scene, the cheering crowd, the elaborate set, and Hellmuth’s custom-made hockey jersey making it all seem more like a sporting event than a group of guys playing cards.
I’m sure you know how things ended, with Hellmuth again coming up one spot shy of scoring that 12th WSOP bracelet, finishing runner-up to Brian Rast. Three missed flush draws in all-in situations punctuated the night for Hellmuth, who now moves into first place in this year’s WSOP Player of the Year race despite not winning a bracelet. Meanwhile, Rast becomes the first multi-bracelet winner this summer, and will very likely be the only one to pull off the feat in 2011.
The final page of the PokerNews’ live reporting blog for Event No. 55 details all three of those missed flush draws. Sort of like the dude who kept coming back with more explanations regarding the essential need for ice cubes in floats -- he kept trying, again and again, but it just wasn’t working for him.
Today the Main Event begins, and I’ll be there with everyone else helping with the reporting from Day 1a. I’ll be there nearly every day from here on out as well, with only a couple of days off along the way.
Was sad to see Vera off this morning, but I know these next two weeks are going to fly by faster than an exploding ice cream float.