Monday, March 11, 2013

Travel Report: 2012-13 WSOP-C Caesars Atlantic City Main Event, Day 2 -- The Grind

It’s a grind, man. These WSOP-C events, I mean.

Was lamenting the lost hour (to the start of Daylight Savings time) in yesterday’s post, and how much we all missed that extra time to rest and recover following a 15-hour day. Had another 15-hour one yesterday for Day 2. Longer, actually, as play started at noon, ended around 2:30 a.m., with work starting before and ending after.

Today’s Day 3 may well match the first two days, too, I imagine, as far as how long it will take is concerned. With the late re-entries, yesterday the tourney began with 299 players and over the course of all those levels and hands of poker just 19 made it through to the final day of play that again will start at noon. They will have to play down to a winner today and tonight, so I imagine it’ll be some time after midnight again before it’s all done and dusted.

I definitely felt myself wearing down a bit yesterday, with all the standing, running back and forth between the floor and the laptop, and constant mental challenge to blog, count chips, keep track of bustouts and winners, and so on reminding me over and over how much I’d missed getting a decent night’s sleep.

I didn’t even mention yesterday how about an hour after hitting the hay there was an alarm that went off down in the casino that kept on bleating for nearly 15 minutes, long enough to wake up the whole hotel including yours truly. Was one of those “whoop whoop whoop” repeaters that after grabbing the attention went on long enough to inspire first a studied analysis of the slightly different pitches of the three notes, then plunged the listener into terror-filled anxieties that it would never, ever, ever stop.

But stop it did, and we all got a few more hours of slumber before play began. The afternoon saw over 200 players eliminated, then after dinner the bubble burst. Lana O’Brien who was of the blogging crowd some time back (working for CardRunners along the way, I believe) made the money, but just barely as she was knocked out along with another player, Patrick Chan, during hand-for-hand play which meant the two of them split 54th-place money. Basically amounted to getting not quite the buy-in back, but better than getting none back at all.

Both Christian Harder and Matt Glantz made the money, but both were short when the bubble burst and ended up going out in 35th and 27th places, respectively. The big leader heading into today is Joseph McKeehen with about 1.9 million.

McKeehen was involved in what was easily the most memorable sequence of the day when he managed to pick up pocket aces on consecutive hands to knock out two opponents, with one of those pots being over a million. Was kind of funny as earlier in the night after the money bubble had burst he’d said something to me about how the “made-for-TV” hands were coming after we’d seen a K-K-versus-A-K encounter knock out another player.

I’ve commented before here how covering these events amounts to a kind of intense immersion into the very specific experience of a tournament, made even more so when you find yourself spending two-thirds of your waking hours with it. And, really, nothing else. Everything happening outside of the room kind of fades away as long as the tournament lasts -- at least that’s the case for me, as I have trouble being able to do much of anything else when I’m covering a tourney.

My blogging partner Kevin (“tayke2”) helped make things easier for me during the long day, of course, as did Nolan Dalla here reporting for the WSOP site. Also going a long way were several statements of support from players during the day expressing appreciation for the updates. I can easily see how the bloggers who regularly work these WSOP-C events begin to develop a kind of camaraderie with the players who frequently play in them. Hard not to pull for them all, especially when it gets late in a tourney and everyone has similarly fought through the exhaustion and other challenges to persevere.

No alarms last night, so somewhat better rested this morning. Click over to PokerNews today for coverage of Day 3 from Caesars Atlantic City, where Kevin and I will be using DeAndre Jordan as inspiration as we slam through the final day.

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