Friday, December 06, 2013

Travel Report: Season XII WPT Doyle Brunson Five Diamond World Poker Classic, Arrival -- Chilly Vegas

Hello Las Vegas. Again.

Arrived safely last night, kind of surprised at the chilly conditions in LV, being so used to spending many weeks here in the middle of summer when the temps are routinely triple digits. Coldest stretch in four years here currently, I read somewhere, which would matter more if it weren’t for the fact that I’ll mostly be indoors from here to next Thursday. Got down into the 20s overnight and they’re talking snow, which seems wrong here in the desert.

By the time I got to my new home-away-from-home for the next week it was past 9 p.m. here last night -- midnight my time -- and so I was already pretty tuckered. I was also in need of nourishment thanks to the fact that the nearly five-hour second leg of my trip didn’t provide a meal. Managed to feed myself and get a good night’s sleep, and after securing some caffeine this morning am excited for today’s Day 1 of the World Poker Tour Doyle Brunson Five Diamond World Poker Classic at the Bellagio where the holiday decorations are up (see above).

The tourney sports a $10,000+$300 buy-in (with re-entries available through the first eight levels). Means a somewhat different crowd will be involved with this one than was the case at the WPT bestbet Jacksonville Fall Poker Scramble a couple of weeks ago which had a $3,500 price tag. Will also be a slower event throughout with 90-minute levels from the start.

Ravi Raghavan won this event last year, topping a big field of 503 entries including a final table featuring Shawn Buchanan, Andrew Lichtenberger, and Antonio Esfandiari (who won the Five Diamond in 2010 and also final tabled in 2011). Raghavan picked up $1,268,571 for the win, the biggest chunk of a $4,879,100 prize pool.

I believe these first few starting days will feature just five levels and thus end mid-evening, which might give me a chance to do a little visiting and other extra-curriculars while here. Meanwhile, I have to take care of some last business before heading over for Day 1. Check the WPT site to follow the live updates and see who else comes in out of the cold to play today.

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