Monday, May 31, 2010

2010 WSOP, Day 3: Groundhog Day

Groundhog DayNot a lot of time available to me to write much about the third day of the WSOP. Was there at the Rio once again to help cover Event No. 3, the $1,000 no-limit hold’em, a.k.a., one of “The Grand Games” of this year’s Series. A few quick items to pass along regarding the day, then I’m off to Peru.

Covering a tournament with multiple Day Ones is always a bit strange. You push through ten long levels on one day, then come back and you’re back to the beginning. Which gives one that Groundhog Day-like feeling that one is living the same day over and over again. But of course, every day at the WSOP ends up being unique, even if some of the day’s features seem uncannily familiar.

When we arrived, the thought was the field for Day 1b would be larger than that of Day 1a, but as it turned out that wasn’t the case. After 2,601 had come out on Saturday, just 1,744 players were there on Sunday, making for 4,345 altogether.

The day started on a humorous note as I went over and set up again in the Amazon Room, anticipating a similar beginning to the day as we had on Saturday when 60 or so tables began over there before all were eventually moved into the larger Pavilion room. Was sitting there doing some preliminary work for several minutes before I finally realized -- there were no dealers or players or anything in there to indicate a tournament was about to happen!

Figuring it was probably best to be in the actual room where the tournament I was covering was taking place, I quickly hoofed it over to the Pavilion and set up shop with Danafish. As the day progressed, we experienced a few struggles with the website which definitely made it more challenging to report on the event. Not really much to say about that situation, which many hope becomes less of a situation here soon. Go read Dr. Pauly’s imaginative take on the matter over at Tao of Poker for a few grins.

One highlight of the day was having dinner with Donnie Peters (of PokerNews), Cory Dowd (who was playing in Event No. 3), and Shaun Deeb. Chatted with Deeb a little about some of the tourneys he's played that I've covered, including EPT Kyiv -- where he won the High Rollers event -- and his recent SCOOP win in Event No. 17-Medium, the $162 buy-in pot-limit Omaha event (six max. w/rebuys) (mentioned here).

The only real drama of the afternoon and evening was wondering what would happen if the Day 1b field managed to shrink enough to get close to bursting the money bubble. The top 441 players are cashing in Event No. 3, and with 276 surviving Day 1a, that meant by no means could they allow the Day 1b field to reach 165 and the money before the end of the scheduled ten levels.

We kept wondering what the contingency plan would be should that problem arise, and from what I gathered they would have stopped the tourney before the end of Level 10 in order to prevent the Day 1b group from getting there. The lesser of two evils, I guess. As it happened, there were about 200 left when they got to the end of the night, and thus the problem was averted.

Has been nice working again with some of the reporters and Danafish these couple of days, as well as working with new people, too. And it feels a little strange to be picking up and taking off for a week right here at the start, although I am looking forward to the trip and the experience of covering a poker tournament on yet another continent.

That alarm clock up there is from Groundhog Day, of course. But that's about what time I have to get up in the morning, too, and so I better get a few hours of shuteye here if I can. Will be traveling all day and into the evening on Monday, and am at present unsure about how easy it will be for me to post once in Lima. But I’ll see what I can do to post a few updates during the week. You can check in on the PokerStars blog to see the coverage of LAPT Lima as well.

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