Thursday, December 12, 2013

Travel Report: Season XII WPT Doyle Brunson Five Diamond World Poker Classic, Day 6 -- Keeping the Beat

For the final table of the World Poker Tour Doyle Brunson Five Diamond World Poker Classic in Las Vegas, the action moved out of the poker room and into one of the ballrooms on the other side of the Bellagio. As usual, the WPT had a huge set constructed for the big finale, and unlike the previous WPT events I’ve worked this one was shot for TV broadcast (sometime in the spring, I think).

The playing down from six players to a winner in Dan Smith -- a.k.a. “King Dan” -- took around seven hours or so with only a few short breaks along the way. Smith, who I mentioned yesterday on Day 5 had enjoyed some good fortune to avoid going out with 16 players left, began the day with the chip lead. He kept the lead for the first part of Day 6, but at three-handed Eddy Sabat was in the top spot and appeared in good position to win.

Smith had some more run good, though, after doubling his short stack through Sabat with AdTc versus the latter’s 8c8d, then winning another big pot two hands later against Sabat when he flopped a flush. That one saw Smith getting Sabat to call on all three post-flop streets including the last all-in push, and so Smith doubled again to take a commanding lead before winning the event a couple of dozen hands later.

The last day saw me tracking chip counts after every hand while the posts were handled by my blogging partners B.J. Nemeth (who did hand reports) and Ryan Luchessi (who posted lots of cool features along the way). Was a little like moving over from playing lead guitar to sitting behind the drums in this power trio, and while I’ll admit it took me a little while in the early going to get the beat right I got acclimated before too long and ended up enjoying the night’s work.

Was also fun to see the shooting of the WPT program, something I’d never actually witnessed before. I want to write a little more about what that was like and so am going to save discussing that until tomorrow, but I will say it’s an impressive, finely-tuned production they have in place -- not that surprising considering they’ve been at it for over a decade now.

Flights back from Las Vegas were relatively smooth though I was pretty beat once I finally got home. Will be taking a little bit of a break from the traveling at the moment, but there will be more globetrotting to come.

Getting some rest now. More tomorrow about the final day at the WPT Five Diamond.

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