Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Hello, Vegas

Have arrived at the home-away-from-home here in Las Vegas, having mostly unpacked and more or less gotten settled already. Was in a kind of serene state of mind flying out, with an hour-long delay, a super-sized neighbor sitting next to me, and a mother traveling with four children one row up all failing to cause any undue stress along the way.

The delay didn’t matter so much as I wasn’t needing to arrive at any particular time, the fellow in the next seat was amiable enough, and the kids (aged one to eight) did remarkably well keeping busy with coloring books and making faces throughout the five hours or so we were in the air.

Landed around seven-thirty local time and immediately noticed the Ultimate Poker and WSOP.com online poker advertising in McCarran. Got bag, car, and within an hour had reached my destination. Then I ran over for a quick visit to the Amazon Room in the Rio last night to pick up my credentials and see who was there.

Everything was pretty much where I’d left it a year ago.

Reunited with several folks including a lot of the PokerNews guys, some of whom were working and some of whom were not. I arrive during what is in fact a relative lull in the WSOP schedule with just four events running yesterday, two of which had shrunk down to a final table and the final three tables.

Those two were all that was playing out in the Amazon, which meant most of the spacious ballroom was empty last night. One was Event No. 29, the $5,000 H.O.R.S.E. at which Tom Schneider was sitting and in fact would end play late in the night with a big chip lead with four remaining. Going for a second bracelet of the summer after winning the $1,500 H.O.R.S.E. event just last week, is the Donkey Bomber, and a fourth in his career.

I shook Tom’s hand at the break, then also shook another 2013 WSOP bracelet winner’s hand soon after, my colleague Chad Holloway. I had grabbed a copy of Poker Player Newspaper from the hallway with Chad grinning on the cover and before saying anything to him asked him if he could sign it which got a laugh from the others.

Chad missed an opportunity, as he pointed out afterwards, as he might have grabbed the pen, scribbled his name quickly, and moved on as though he had more important things to do. In any case, he made the most of an opportunity a couple of weeks ago when he won Event No. 1, that’s for sure.

Ended up grabbing a late dinner with BLUFF writer and Hard-Boiled Poker Home Games Season 3 winner Tim and had fun getting caught up with him and with how the WSOP has been going thus far. Tim is playing the $2,500 razz event later today, for which I am sure the HBP Home Games have served him well as a valuable tune-up.

After that I headed back to get some rest, leaving the unpacking until this morning, in fact. Still need to make a grocery run and get settled for real, although today I think I’ve already got a full schedule as I’ll meet Jen Newell for breakfast, then run over with a bunch of others to the Golden Nugget to play the noon $125 NLHE tourney.

Hoping also to be able to get together with folks for Game 6 of the Heat-Spurs series tonight, on which I might just have to find a reasonable bet to make. (Can the Spurs do it? Can they?)

I expect I’ll soon settle into making some daily WSOP reports here as I’ve done in the past. More to come!

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