Friday, December 14, 2012

O Little Town

Have arrived safely and soundly in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania to cover my second event of the week, this $500K guaranteed DeepStack Extravaganza Main Event here at the Sands Casino.

Yesterday’s journey was mostly pleasant, although I did find myself feeling just a little stranded in Allentown for a short while. The small airport was nearly surreal thanks to the fact that there were so few people there waiting for departing flights. When walking out of the terminal and past security, I noticed there was only a single passenger coming the other way.

“No rush,” said the guard to the passenger in response to some question or action. “This is a stress-free airport,” he added.

I walked out front and asked about a cab, and was a little surprised when one had to be called. I was then told I’d have to wait 20 minutes for it to arrive. Was not a problem, as I was in no rush.

A half-hour later I was asking again, they were calling again, then telling me it would be 20 more minutes. We decided to call a different service, and after nearly an hour of waiting around I finally had my ride to nearby Bethlehem, located about seven miles away.

Bethlehem is even smaller than Allentown, population-wise, although I guess it isn’t really a “little town” but rather a small city. In any case, the Sands Resort is enormous. It opened very recently (in 2009), with the hotel only opening up last year, and it definitely feels brand new.

The accommodations are quite nice. The casino is big with a fairly hopping poker area. In fact, Mickey and I last night sat in a game for about 15 minutes before our colleague Joe showed up and we went for dinner. (That is a model of the resort to the left, incidentally, looking down on the casino.)

The tournament will be staged in one of the conference rooms, and from the looks of things it will probably be on the small side. Today and tomorrow will be Days 1a and 1b, with players given option to play one flight or both whether or not they happen to bust today. That is to say, if a player ends Day 1a with a small stack, he or she will be able to buy in and play once more tomorrow, then if the player survives Day 1b as well he or she would continue on Day 2 with the larger of the two stacks accumulated.

Kind of a quirky option, one I don’t believe I’ve never encountered before when covering a tournament. Will be interesting to see if it comes into play in any significant way.

Check over at PokerNews’ live reporting page if you’re curious to see who shows up and how things play out here in Bethlehem. The event runs through Monday.

(By the way, for anyone wondering, there will be a couple of Hard-Boiled Poker Home Games tournaments this Sunday, whether or not I play in them. I’ll set those tourneys up either today or tomorrow and mention it on Twitter.)

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