Sunday, December 09, 2012

Travel Report: 2012-13 WSOP-C Harrah’s Resort Atlantic City, Main Event, Day 1

Hello from Atlantic City. Am holed up in the Harrah’s Resort, up on one of the higher floors and looking out on an overcast Sunday morning. I’m here for the next couple of days helping cover the WSOP Circuit event, a $1,675 buy-in event that marks the seventh of 20 stops on the 2012-13 WSOP-C schedule.

The trip in on Friday was fine, although as I flew into Philadelphia that meant taking a cab, then a train, then another cab to reach my final destination. Met up with Mickey (my reporting partner for this event) at the train station in Philly and so we were able to travel together from there.

The two of us got checked in, then had a delicious pasta meal at one of the several restaurants here at the venue. We then played some poker in the evening, with Mickey doing very well hitting a big score in a warm-up session prior playing a tourney in which he also cashed.

Meanwhile I sat with the old folks at the low limit table for an hour-and-a-half or so, making a small profit before hitting the hay relatively early. Game was predictably tight (and a little tedious), and I was the only player at the table ever to venture a three-bet. Conversations were mostly about house repairs and insurance, with everyone relating the extent of damage they’d suffered from Hurricane Sandy some six weeks ago.

As it turned out, I was glad I’d chosen the sleep option, as yesterday’s first day of play was very long and fairly exhausting. For this event there is a Day 1a and Day 1b, although both flights are played on the same day, which meant we covered nine 40-minute levels (1a), then had dinner (burgers and shakes this time), then went back for nine more levels (1b). It’s a re-entry event, too, meaning some of those who busted in the afternoon came back to play at night. In fact, late registration allows people to buy in as late as the start of Day 2, although I don’t think we’ll see too many taking that option.

All that added up to about a 15-hour day, with your humble scribbler not getting back to bed until around 3 a.m. Was a decent day of blogging, though, with a few interesting moments. Was also able to reunite with and chat briefly with a few players along the way, among them Matt Glantz, Lee Childs, Brian Ali, Aaron Massey, and Victor Ramdin.

Probably the most memorable moment of the day occurred right at the end of Day 1a when Will “The Thrill” Failla and Dwyte Pilgrim arrived and bought in at the start of the very last level. There was much fanfare among the field when the two arrived, both of whom are popular on the WSOP-C and especially so on the east coast. Both immediately tried to double up and failed, and were soon on the rail waiting to come back for Day 1b.

Another funny moment happened late in the evening when a player suddenly yelled out from one end of the room to someone on the other side. “I made a blog!” he said, and I immediately thought of a funny Twitter convo from a while back involving Kara Scott, B.J. Nemeth, and others regarding how some use that phrase to announce having posted a new blog entry. (And how it sounds a little like a toddler after a successful potty visit.)

The meaning was different here, however, as the player subsequently tried to explain. He was referring to the fact that someone had mentioned him in a blog post. He wasn’t in our reports for the Main Event, but I think he might have been referring to having cashed in an earlier event here at WSOP-C Harrah’s Resort Atlantic City, and thus having earned a mention in a report on that tournament.

Anyhow, the calling out of “I made a blog” had people laughing all over the room, with the conversations at the tables in some cases focused on trying to figure out just what a blog was. Meanwhile back at the player’s table the idea of “making a blog” became an ongoing theme, with players following hands with recommendations to each other “to make a blog” about everything of interest.

Have other work to do this morning before heading back down for the restart at noon today, so I’ll end things here. About 320 players (of the 600) made it through to today’s Day 2, and the plan today will be to play to 2 a.m. If they somehow get down to nine players before then, they’ll stop, but chances are there will probably still be 20-plus left once we hit two o’clock, which means another long day today, and likely a long final day on Monday as well.

Should be fun, though, with the sweating of my NFL picks adding a little extra something to focus on along the way. Back tomorrow with more from AC.

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