It’s been a somewhat strenuous journey already, as I flew into Providence, Rhode Island, then had to drive close to an hour to get to Mystic. Got off the plane in RI and as I made my way to the rental car counter I spotted a fellow sitting on a bench looking very relaxed and holding a sign. Obviously he was a driver waiting on an arrival, although looking a little too laid back for the part.
Then I read his sign -- Providence Zen Center -- and decided he did look the part after all. And I took a cue from his seemingly serene state going forward, going with flow as it hurtled me down I-95 toward my destination.
I’ve never really visited this part of the country before. In fact, I can’t remember ever having set foot in the country’s smallest state, not that I was there for very long on Friday. I do think I’ve been through Connecticut before, but never to Mystic which seems a friendly, tiny seaport.
I did spot the Mystic Pizza, although rather than think of the film after which it was named the town always makes me think of a random line from a fake news report on The Firesign Theatre’s Don’t Crush That Dwarf, Hand Me the Pliers comedy LP...
“And there’s hamburger all over the highway in Mystic, Connecticut.”
Got together with my blogging partner Chad on Friday and the two of us reunited with Jay (a.k.a. “WhoJedi”) who’s here covering things for the WSOP. Then yesterday our intrepid trio together reported all day and night on the two Day 1 flights, which as mentioned took up most of our waking hours.
It wasn’t until a few hours into play that Chad and I realized the two flights -- each comprised of a dozen 40-minute levels -- would actually be overlapping rather than there being a break in between. Which of course meant no dinner break for us, although we each managed to get away for a quick bite anyway so we could sustain ourselves adequately until things finally wound down sometime after 1:30 a.m.
There was some interesting poker along the way, probably the most interesting hands watched by your humble scribbler coming between Andy Frankenberger and Danny “Middleboro” Smith near the end of the first Day 1 flight. I won’t rewrite both hands, but you can read about them here and here. The second was actually kind of a standard cooler that saw Smith get eliminated, but the first saw Smith interestingly decide to fold bottom set on the flop.
Was a little distracted a couple of times yesterday as those two NCAA semifinal games -- both nail-biters -- came to their respective conclusions. The players were predictably into those games as well, which briefly made for a sorta giddy atmosphere as everyone “oohed” and “aahed” at the plays on the big teevee screens.
Meanwhile there was a lot of talk during the day about how big the field turned out to be -- 578 entries total, with the possibility of a few more jumping in before play resumes at noon today. And there was a lot of scattered conversation as well about what’s been happening this week down in Cherokee, North Carolina, where the fields have been tremendous for the preliminary events and the Main promises to be huge as well.
Speaking of, Greg Raymer is here, and I spoke with him a little yesterday about whether or not he was planning to attend the Cherokee event. As most know, he lives in North Carolina, and I was glad to hear him tell me he thought he probably would make it to the WSOP-C event week. We obviously didn’t talk about the recent NC-based news about him, nor did anyone else it appeared as he was his usual friendly, chatty self at the tables. (He comes back to an above-average stack today.)
There will be around 200 players back to start things today, and it’ll be another lengthy one as the schedule calls for three more 40-minute levels, then 10 (gulp) more one-hour levels before play will be halted. Of course, we might again find things today turn out a little differently than planned, so we’ll be ready for any change-ups.
You know, trying to continue with the Zen thing going forward. And if somehow I’m unable to, I now know of a place nearby where I can go work on that.