Saturday, June 21, 2008

2008 WSOP, Day 22: Be the Ball

Reported every hand from the final table of Event No. 34Last night’s final table of Event No. 34, the $1,500 Pot-Limit Omaha w/rebuys event, was pretty much a blur for me. When the night began Marc and I decided I’d do hands and he’d take care of chip counts and color.

Next I knew, eight hours had passed.

We didn’t have to do every hand. Not generally expected to do so in Omaha events, because of the extra cards to track. But I realized after the first orbit or so it was easier for me just to do each one rather than try and decide on the fly which ones were more significant. So I did, typing incessantly with only a couple of twenty-minute breaks which I usually spent speed-reading back through what I had written.

A weird mental test, that. Got into a kind of zone where it was just me, the announcer's voice, the soundless ESPN360 broadcast projected above, the tourney clock, and my laptop upon which my fingers were flying. Had one little spell about three-and-half hours in when I suddenly couldn’t remember how to spell “Makowsky” (the eventual runner-up’s name), but that passed within seconds. Felt pretty good about how it all turned out by night’s end.

Layne Flack won the thing -- his sixth bracelet -- and was very impressive (in my view) in the way he pressured his opponents pretty much from the start of the final table. He played lots of pots early on, and almost always entered hands by open raising the pot, especially later once he’d started accumulating chips. Every now and then he’d flat call others’ raises (in or out of position), but then usually would be the one taking charge of hands after the flop.

Wrapped up relatively early (I think it was just after 10 p.m. or so) and met up with Karridy, SitNGo Steve, Tom Schneider, and Tom’s wife Julie for some bowling over at the Gold Coast. A very fun crowd. Tom crushed us all in the first game, then everyone other than Tom improved vastly in the second (won by Steve).

For me it was just a matter of concentrating, though a couple of tips from Karridy and Tom definitely helped me keep the ball between the gutters. I was particularly pleased to have cracked triple digits in game two, making an even hundred on my very last ball of the night. Karridy had mentioned something early on about the overall loser having to moonwalk out of the alley, but somehow everyone forgot about that and yr humble gumshoe was able to walk out face first like all the other humans.

All four of them are playing in WSOP events this weekend. Karridy and Sit-n-Go Steve are playing in the “donkament” today, i.e., the $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em event (Event No. 39), and Tom and Julie will both be in the $2,500 Deuce-to-Seven Triple Draw Lowball event (Event No. 40) tomorrow. I’m covering the latter one, and so asked Tom a bit about terminology for describing hands. I’ll be paired up with F-Train, who I imagine has some background with the game being the Razz fiend he is.

Day off today, though I’m gonna head over to the Rio anyway in just a bit to sweat the K-man (of whom I have a tiny piece) and SNG Steve. And tomorrow Vera arrives for a week-long visit. These last four weeks have flown by thanks to my having been kept so busy. But I’ve missed Vera a lot -- her not being here has been the only downside to this here entire adventure, really.

I have had some fun, to be sure, but I’ve been looking forward to June 22 for a month now. Can’t wait to see her.

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