Sunday, February 23, 2014

Travel Report: Season XII WPT Fallsview Poker Classic, Day 1 -- Good View

I write from chilly Niagara Falls where the temps will be going down further over the course of my short visit for the three-day World Poker Tour Fallsview Poker Classic.

Didn’t get to start the trip until relatively late on Friday, meaning it was pushing midnight before I rolled in. But the hotel room is comfortable -- affording this fairly spectacular view of the falls -- and all’s gone well thus far.

The tournament is being played out in the Grand Hall here at the Fallsview Resort Casino, a spacious room that impressed my colleague Remko and I as nicely laid out with great lighting and lots of room between tables for us to mill about. A total of 383 ended up coming out for the $5,000 buy-in event (Canadian dollars), and after a full day of play there were just 114 left to return today.

Was impressed as well by the music selections early on, kind of laughing to hear tracks like “Take Up Thy Stethoscope and Walk” (Barrett’s Floyd), “Virginia Plain” (Roxy Music), and “Eight Miles High” (Byrds) playing overhead. However halfway through the day the mix gravitated away from psychedelia to nondescript contemporary dance stuff. Laughed a little, though, at Griffin Benger’s tweet early in the day that the music was “the devil’s anthem.”

Benger also didn’t care for the 10-handed play (which was the case for most of the early part of Day 1), which I know many tourney players aren’t crazy about. They eventually moved to nine-handed, though, once late registration closed.

Had fun working with Remko whose special fascination with barns I was able to satisfy with some pictures of the one Vera and I now own. Also was glad to meet Chris Tessaro of the Hardcore Poker Show. I remembered once doing a quick spot on there a long while back, and we had fun comparing our memories of that “Niagara Falls” bit I was writing about on Friday.

Chris pointed out that the Canadians remaining in the field are all going to be tired today after getting up early to watch the gold medal hockey match. I have it on (watching CBC) as I write this morning, with Canada trying to hold a 2-0 lead over Sweden as the third period begins. A lot of excitement about this match around here, as you might imagine.

Signing off to watch the finale and get some other business done before heading back to the tourney room. Check in over at the WPT site for our Day 2 live updates today.

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