Saturday, November 05, 2011

Post No. 1,500: When Will It End? Or, the Story of ElkY’s Uncle

A glimpsePost No. 1,500 today. Bertrand “ElkY” Grospellier’s favorite Twitter hashtag “#whenwillitend” comes to mind.

The 2011 World Series of Poker Main Event final table cranks up just a little over 24 hours from now. I may have to come back here tomorrow and post a bit while watching it all “almost live” on ESPN2. Then again, I can see being too distracted to do so. Besides, after this many posts I should probably think about taking a day off.

Meanwhile, I thought I’d use this milestone post to point back to what I wrote here on Hard-Boiled Poker while helping cover the Main Event for PokerNews back in July. Here are those posts:
Day 1a: Mirror, Mirror on the Wall
The Main Event begins, and a player dressed as Snow White plays, as does the Poker Grump (not a dwarf).

Day 1b: KK vs. AA
Having a day off, I play a “deepstack” event at the Rio and run kings into aces relatively early, thereby allowing me to get away from poker for much of the day and evening.

Day 1c: The Utility Player
Back to work at the Main Event, I spend Day 1c running around to various sections of the Amazon, filling in wherever needed.

Day 1d: The Lottery
Reporting from the super busy Day 1d of the Main Event, my favorite story involves a player who won his seat via the North Carolina lottery, and played like it.

Day 2a: 6,865 & Other Numbers
Crunching a few of the numbers regarding Main Event entrants, the total way over most folks’ expectations.

Day 2b: A Glimpse
I’m back at the Main Event, helping cover Day 2b, and am moved to remark on how fast it is all going, and how hard -- or impossible -- it is to keep up with it all.

Off-day: Unwind
The WSOP takes a day off, I play in the media tournament, then join up with others to play some pub trivia.

Day 3: Places, Everyone!
Day 3 of the Main Event, and the ESPN cameras are all around us, shooting everything. Starting to feel a bit like we are all -- staff, media, players -- actors on a set, with the directors guiding our every move.

Day 4: A Short-Stacked Story
We’re already up to Day 4 of the Main Event and the money bubble bursts. Moments before, I find myself becoming most interested in the shortest stack in the room, wondering whether he’s gonna make it or not.

Day 5: Thinking Poker
Moving on to Day 5, highlighted by dinner with Andrew “Foucault” Brokos and Nate Meyvis, both of whom would crack the top 100 of the ME.

Day 6: Access
By the time we reach Day 6, the number of people covering the Main Event well exceeds the number playing it, and space becomes limited.

Day 7: In the Thick of It
Getting down to just three tables on Day 7 of the Main Event, and my friggin’ laptop won’t seem to fire up.

Day 8: Smile
The November Nine is set. And they are all smiles. And so is everyone else, it seems.
Speaking of Grospellier, there was one story from the WSOP Main Event I don’t believe I shared here during the summer.

It was near the end of the Main Event, somewhere around Day 6 or so, I believe. Most of the tables had been moved out, and the WSOP staff had reoriented the ropes to surround the remaining three or four outer tables there in the center of the Amazon room. I was stationed some distance away, but would frequently come over and duck inside the ropes to check on the action.

Sometimes, though, when I walked over I’d remain outside the ropes if we had plenty of reporters already by the tables. There were a number of spectators gathered about the outer tables -- not a huge number, but enough to make the scene a touch more festive. Most of those watching had wandered over from elsewhere in the Rio, many having carried various adult beverages with them from wherever they had come.

I had just walked over and was standing by the ropes when a dude with a beer in hand looked up at me and with a laugh asked me the following, wholly unexpected question:

“Are you ElkY’s uncle?”

I am not making this up. Otis (whom I mentioned yesterday) was nearby, and can confirm the story as true. The question inspired laughter from both the asker and his buddy, and an uncertain “Um... no?” from your humble scribbler.

Bertrand 'ElkY' Grospellier busting out from the 2011 WSOP Main Event (from the PokerStars blog)Soon the inquisitive reveler wandered off and out of our lives, thus sparing me from having to make additional denials that I was related to the PokerStars pro. Who, by the way, wasn’t anywhere in sight at the time of this here applesauce, having busted on Day 1d. (That photo from the PokerStars blog, taken about 10 days prior to this little story takes place, shows Grospellier exiting the 2011 WSOP ME.)

Not that being ElkY’s uncle would be a bad thing. I’m sure he’s a great nephew to have, probably full of interesting stories at Christmas. And the gifts he gives are probably so seeek!

Do I look like Grospellier? Nah. Not that uncles necessarily resemble their nephews. I am an uncle, and I suppose look like I could be one to people who don’t know me. But all in all, just an absurd anecdote....

Did get me a cool nickname, tho’.

Thanks as always to everyone for reading all of my stories, including the absurd ones.

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