Tuesday, July 19, 2011

2011 WSOP, Day 49: In the Thick of It

2011 WSOP Main Event, Day 7 (main feature table)I woke up this morning and for two solid minutes had no clue where I was. Could not have been more disoriented. A month in the desert will do that to a person, I guess.

Or maybe it was that crazy day yesterday.

Was a somewhat stressful day for your humble scribbler, actually, thanks to a laptop surprisingly failing me at the very start of Day 7 of the World Series of Poker Main Event. I was able to work on others’ computers during the day, the extra mental energy needed to negotiate unfamiliar keyboards and tracking pads making the whole day like running with weights or something. But all worked out.

During the dinner break, B.J. Nemeth generously shepherded me to a couple of different Apple stores here in Vegas, and I ended up leaving my MacBook Air at one. They called later in the night to tell me whatever had been ailing my laptop had been cured, and this morning I was able to get back over there, grab the sucker, and get back over to the Rio today in time for today’s Day 8.

2011 WSOP Main Event, Day 7 (secondary feature table)Eliminations happened at a rapid clip yesterday. They went from 57 to 22 in five 120-minute levels, meaning an average of seven knockouts per level. There was a lot of what seemed to be crazy shipping of chips going on with less-than-premium hands (not unusual), although there were a number of “cooler”-type situations that helped move things along, too.

Kind of exciting, I have to admit, once the redraw for the final three tables was taking place. Fun to be in the thick of it, with all of the madness swirling about as players, staff, and spectators were relocating, readying for play to resume. I snapped photos of all three as they were readying to resume. That’s the main feature table up above, followed by the secondary feature table (left) and the lone outer table (below).

I’ve been lucky enough to be at the Main Event at this point in the proceedings a few times now, and while there’s a lot about the tournament that becomes less than riveting the more times you see it, this moment when they reach the last 27 continues to provide some thrills.

The payouts jump up above $300,000, reason enough to get keyed up. And all of those left, even the shortest stacks, know the November Nine is possible.

2011 WSOP Main Event, Day 7 (outer table)Thanks to dealing with those laptop troubles -- and those extra couple of minutes I wasted this morning figuring out where I am -- I have to cut it short today.

Check over at PokerNews’ live reporting to see who makes it through to the final nine, and also check out ESPN2 (if you can) for sorta-live coverage as well.

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