Sunday, April 14, 2013

Travel Report: 2012-13 WSOP-C Harrah’s Cherokee Main Event, Day 1b -- Vegetable of the Day

“You writin’ a story about me?”

Said the elderly gentleman sitting in Seat 7 to me as he noticed me standing just a few feet away from his table. It was the first level of Day 1b, and while there was another player at his table I’d recognized and was checking in on, I didn’t know him as yet.

“I’m writing a story about everyone,” I replied, and he nodded with a grin.

The second Day 1 flight at the WSOP Circuit Main Event at Harrah’s Cherokee drew a bigger field than Day 1a, with 502 players including a number re-entering after busting on Friday. That made the overall total 856 entries for the event, making for a prize pool more than $1.28 million and a first place prize of just over $250K.

I think some had hoped to have gotten 1,000 for the ME, but most seemed very pleased at that turnout, which actually makes Harrah’s Cherokee the fourth largest WSOP-C ME this year out of the 17 that have been played thus far.

We’ve been looking in occasionally on the reports from the WSOP Asia Pacific that is reaching its climax this weekend with the Main Event and that non-bracelet High Roller event finishing out. Kind of marveled a little at how the first prize here at the WSOP-C Main Event ($250,380) is greater than the first prizes at each of the first four bracelet events at WSOP APAC. And, of course, dwarfs the $51,840 (AUD; i.e., not quite $55K USD) Phil Ivey earned for winning Event No. 3 down under (the $2,200 mixed event).

Yesterday went reasonably well from the reporting side of things. Less crazy for us when the two Day 1 flights are actually played on separate days rather than all on one day (as was the case in Foxwoods), although that’s dictated by the expected turnouts. In terms of hours, it’s still a long haul, but a tad less chaotic in terms of following everything and presenting it in the blog. Thus even if the hours are about the same, we feel less like vegetables at day’s end.

Speaking of not feeling like vegetables, we made it to dinner break in decent shape and decided to walk over to the other side of the complex and eat at Paula Deen’s Kitchen. You pass through a large gift shop in order to reach the entrance, filled with endless cookbooks, bakeware, cookware, kitchware, keychains, pastel-colored t-shirts with “Hey Y’all” written in glittery cursive, and more. Most items featured conspicuous Paula Deen branding, including pictures of her smiling face.

As we waited in a short line to be seated, Rich commented on the scene.

“There’s too much Paula Deen going on here.”

Upon being seated, we ordered our meals. Rich had a moment with the waitress that reminded us both of Dumb and Dumber when Jim Carrey’s character asks what the soup du jour, is told “it’s the soup of the day,” and responds “mmmm... that sounds good, I’ll have that.”

“Would you like the vegetable of the day?” the waitress asked Rich. “Yes, I would!” said Rich eagerly, adding “What is it?” “It’s brussel sprouts,” she responded. “No, I would not!” he said with equal enthusiasm.

After tweeting that exchange, our buddy Eric Ramsey tweeted back the funniest response: “Too bad you weren’t there on Wednesday when the vegetable of the day is butter.”

I ended up ordering a “low country” combo plate that featured fried shrimp, fried flounder, fried chicken, a baked potato with butter and sour cream, and hush puppies to follow the “cheesy biscuits” they’d brought us. Probably ate about a fifth of what was on the plate, and even after that was still moving slowly as we walked back.

Then Nolan Dalla supplied us with huge enormous chunks of locally-produced chocolate fudge on our return, which seemed a fitting postscript to our meal.

Post-dinner poker was dominated by Rufus “Rick” Hensley of Morganton, NC who went on a wild heater to go from about 120,000 up to just over 400,000 chips to end the day. Only a couple of other players have more than 300,000 at the moment, and only those in the top 10 have 200,000-plus.

But 201 are left, and so there’s still a lot more poker to be played. And walking around for Rich and I. Click over to PokerNews today to see how the story continues.

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