Sunday, June 29, 2008

2008 WSOP, Day 31: Kafkaesque, It Was

Kafkaesque, it wasFirst three hours were a breeze. Well, I shouldn’t say “breeze.” I was still feeling a bit unwell and was fatigued, but the bustouts were happening quickly and it looked like beddy-bye wasn’t going to be that far away.

By 5 p.m. -- after just 69 hands -- four of the six players who’d made the final table of Event No. 48, the $5,000 No-Limit Hold’em Six-Handed event, had already been eliminated. We began heads up with Joe Commisso enjoying a 2-to-1 chip advantage over the tricky-to-type Richard Lyndaker. Didn’t think heads up would go all that quickly, as Lyndaker had not shown a predilection for chancy play up to that point. And Commisso didn’t strike me as much of a thrillseeker either.

But I didn’t think it would go that long. Don’t believe anyone did.

They traded small pots for the first hour, then eventually Commisso had chipped up to about 6 million versus Lyndaker’s 2 million. After gaining a few more chips, Commisso finally pushed and Lyndaker called.

Here we go, I thought. Hello sleep.

Lyndaker showed Ac7h. Commisso showed Kd4d. Okay, c’mon diamonds. The board blanked out, and we were still playing.

That set the pattern, with Commisso slowly chipping up then giving it back in a big chunk after Lyndaker survived yet another all in. In most cases, Lyndaker had Commisso crushed going in (e.g., Q-J vs. Q-6). The night wore on. We reached 50 hands of heads up. Then 100. Then 150.

Joe CommissoPeople started talking about longevity records. By the time I had typed “Joe Commisso raised from the button, and Richard Lyndaker folded” for the 20th time, I was starting to believe this bewildering mental exercise might be causing some permanent damage to the ol’ cerbral cortex. Lyndaker became Lydanker became Lynkander became Linklater. Joe Commisso was turning into Lewis Black, then Eraserhead.

Three hours. Four hours. Five hours. Then the players appeared to crack and the all ins started coming faster, with Lyndaker surviving again and again and again -- usually coming from behind to do so, now. Commisso actually lost the advantage at one point and had to suck out a straight to survive.

How did I get here? What crime did I commit? Is this my punishment, or is something worse awaiting me? Just call me Shamus K.

Finally, on the 209th friggin’ hand of heads-up, around 11:30 p.m., Commisso took the last of Lyndaker’s chips and we were all free. He played well and certainly deserved it. Sheesh did it take a while, though.

I pumped out a quick wrap-up post and Vera carried me back to the home-away-from home. Vera had watched the whole thing, actually, finding it very entertaining. It was, in fact, a compelling final table. But I was just too damn tired to enjoy it.

Slept very well last night and came back into the Rio today to help cover Day 2 of Event No. 49, another of the “donkaments” -- i.e., a $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em event. Started the day with 215 players and we have to play down to nine, so I’m expecting to be here ’til sunrise. Am feeling much, much better though, and not at all bummed about being here. Am still really enjoying the whole WSOP experience.

Vera heads home today. Was a terrific week with her here. Her coming here in the middle of the adventure has really made the whole thing more doable, I think.

I haven’t gotten to see any of the $50K H.O.R.S.E. I hear they are down to five. Remember you can follow that one, or this here Event No. 49 on which I am reporting, over at PokerNews.

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