Saturday, June 07, 2008

2008 WSOP, Day 8: Keep Up the Pace

Keep Up the PaceThe first day of Event No. 11, the $5,000 No-Limit Hold’em Shootout, went reasonably well, I thought. Steve and I managed to keep up with quite a lot of the action at all 36 tables.

I was particularly proud of the fact that we got just about all of the final hands on all of the tables, and also caught most (not all) of the bustouts of the big names. Have gotten comments from several folks that the two of us are churning out posts at a high clip, which I’m glad to hear, as I don’t necessarily have a feel for how fast or slow it all appears.

As I’ve said before, it gets a bit hectic just trying to keep up, never mind be clear (or even witty or creative now and then), so getting to the end of the night with a sense that we’ve “covered” the action reasonably well is definitely satisfying.

Speaking of getting to the end of the night, we had one of the 36 tables linger well past all of the others, extending our work shift an extra three hours or so. Mike Sterling and Gregg Turk kept their heads up battle going for something like four-and-a-half hours before Turk finally won his way into today’s Round 2, and so we all stuck around to the very end to make our coverage complete.

The schedule of play for this event is kind of curious, I think, as players began yesterday with 10,000 chips and blinds of 100/200 in Level 1. The announcer at the start described the structure as “slow” and I reported him saying that in the blog, but soon after play began players were complaining that they only had 50 BB to start -- not enough (thought some) for a $5,000 buy-in event. (I reported those complaints, too.) I noticed posters debating this topic a bit over in the Two Plus Two threads sweating Event No. 11, as well.

But while starting with 50 BB might indicate a “fast” structure, I think the structure did slow down somewhat thereafter. Seemed that way, anyway. We noticed that once tables got down to four or fewer players, in most cases the blinds were quite small relative to the stack sizes.

For example, most of the tables were at heads up by Level 5 or 6 (each level lasted an hour). The blinds in Level 5 were 300/600, meaning the two players, who together had 100,000 chips, had an average of over 80 BB. Depending on the players’ styles, that could (and in some cases did) lead to some lengthy heads up battles. I think it was Level 7, when the blinds were 1,000/2,000, when Sterling and Turk started their heads up marathon, at which time they each had about 50 BB. Still allows for a lot of play heads up, yes?

Kind of curious to hear what people’s opinions are on this issue of the structure being fast, slow, or both. Today the schedule of play is almost identical to that of yesterday. They are starting with 100,000 chips today rather than 10,000, but the blinds and antes have all been multiplied by 10 as well. One big difference today, of course, is that they’ll be starting six-handed, rather than ten-handed as they did yesterday. (There are a couple of small differences with regard to the antes, too, though they aren’t terribly significant, I don’t think.)

I was pretty whipped by the time we wrapped things up around 11:30 p.m. We had not gotten a dinner break, and I hadn’t brought a lot in the way of snacks and whatnot, so I essentially hadn’t eaten anything since that bowl of Golden Grahams early yesterday morning. But some of my buds from the Vegaspalooza gang were descending on the MGM to play a mixed game, and I did want to get over there at least to meet some of them, if not actually play a bit.

So after a quick run over to my temporary summer digs, I drove up to the strip, parked the rental at the MGM, then walked the long, long walk from the parking deck to the poker room where I arrived some time after midnight. Put my name on a long list for the 2-4 mix game, then rang Gadzooks up on the cell to find out where they were. The other side of the poker room, she told me, all gathered at a table in the back. I made it over and finally “met” ’Zooks, Columbo (of the terrific “One Minute-Mystery” one can hear on Ante Up!), Falstaff, and a few others. The PokerGrump was there as well (with whom you’ll recall I’d got together last week).

The H.O.R.S.E. game was wild and loose and despite my fatigue I sincerely wished I could have gotten in on it, but I understood why no one was giving up their seat. Too damn fun, clearly. I enjoyed hanging out, nonetheless, chatting with ’Zooks, Falstaff, the Poker Grump, and fellow PokerNews blogger F-Train who arrived shortly after I did. All cool folks whom I hope perhaps to see again before they all go back home some time next week.

The game broke up about an hour after I arrived, as a number of the contingent had plans thereafter to visit one of the many adult-oriented establishments one finds in Vegas. Though invited, I took a pass -- Dr. Pauly, I clearly ain’t -- and made it back to the home-away-from-home by 2:30 or so, at which time I cooked up some pasta and finally fed myself.

I see the PokerGrump has a write-up of the night (with pics), and Gadzooks just posted a synopsis as well, if yr interested. And I’m sure all of the others will be chronicling Vegaspalooza on their blogs as well, so follow them links, too.

For now I think I’m gonna grab a bite, as I know now not to count on that dinner break later today. As Vera reminds me, I have to take care of myself if I hope to keep up.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think the shootout structure is fine considering how long it takes to play anyways.

Sounds like you all are having fun "working" in Vegas. Perhaps I'll do some "work" there myself next year. ;-)

6/07/2008 7:49 PM  
Blogger BWoP said...

It was nice to finally meet. Even if only for a brief moment.

6/07/2008 9:14 PM  
Blogger Short-Stacked Shamus said...

Thx gtycoon. Hey, BWoP . . . didn't even make the connection there last night. Hope to see you again before the circus is over.

6/07/2008 11:16 PM  

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