Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Travel Report: Season XII WPT bestbet Jacksonville Fall Poker Scramble, Day 3 -- Stacks in Jax

Ended a little before midnight last night, which meant getting to bed a little earlier and in fact sleeping a little later, too, as we aren’t starting today’s final day of play at the World Poker Tour bestbet Jacksonville Fall Poker Scramble until 2 p.m.

They’ve reached a final table, now, with Jared Jaffee enjoying a big chip lead among the final six with 3.65 million chips, nearly 2 million clear of second-place Margo Costa who hopes to be the first woman to win an open WPT Main Event. (Van Nguyen won one in an invitational.)

The day went well and involved some extracurricular distraction as that wild Carolina Panthers-New England Patriots MNF game played out on the television screens up above. Have to say after the Panthers’ go-ahead TD drive then the crazy finale with the picked-up penalty flag on the Pats’ final play, I was emotionally exhausted. Don’t even know how to feel after seeing my team win a couple of nail-biters like this after losing so many in similar fashion over the last several years.

I’ve been mentioning here how inviting the bestbet Jacksonville poker room is, which seems especially well run and has been a nice stop all around for those of us reporting. The players in this WPT event have been having fun, too, with a lot of table talk and socializing and a generally positive atmosphere.

Was thinking a little about this whole idea of trying to make sure poker is enjoyable for everyone involved after posting the second part of Josh Cahlik’s interview with 2013 WSOP bracelet winner Calen McNeil over on Learn.PokerNews yesterday.

The focus of their discussion was “checking your ego at the door” when playing, and near the end McNeil tells a great story about playing in a WSOP Circuit prelim and finishing runner-up to an older, amateur player.

McNeil talks about having wanted the victory but also having been truly excited for the fellow who did manage to win, and the whole discussion really highlights a nice thought about poker really can be a social game. The point reminded me a bit of Brad Willis’s opinion piece “Before the Bubble” for the PokerStars blog from the summer in which he was talking about the need for established players to be more inviting and less critical of newcomers.

Check out the McNeil interview and read that last section in particular and see if you agree.

Looks like they are starting to unbag and stack the chips so I’ll sign off now. Again, check the WPT site for live updates of today’s finale and also watch the live stream which will be coming with a half-hour delay.

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