Thursday, June 24, 2010

2010 WSOP, Day 27: Boom Boom (Out Go the Lights)

Boom Boom (Out Go the Lights)Was reporting on the last day of Event No. 39, the $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em Shootout yesterday. Actually the event had turned into something other than a “shootout” since 14 players had made it through the first two rounds, so we were basically looking at a 14-person sit-n-go, eventually won by Steven Kelly around 2 a.m. this morning.

Event No. 39 was attracting a bit of attention during the first part of the day yesterday since both J.C. Tran and Annette Obrestad were part of the final day field. But both went out early -- boom, boom -- shy of the final table, and thus a lot of the potential drama for the event was eliminated with them.

Tran ran into some hard luck during the first couple of levels and went out in 13th. Meanwhile, Obrestad had the chip lead briefly early on, but doubled up a short stack twice in short succession, thereby becoming a short stack herself.

Then came a hand in which Derric Haynie opened from the button, Obrestad reraised all in from the small blind, then Michael Pesek reshoved from the big blind. Haynie thought a bit, then called (having both covered), turning over pocket tens. Pesek had AdQc, and Obrestad was in a tough spot with Ah7s. “Sevens!” was the yell from the rail, but none came and Haynie scored a double-knockout when his tens held.

We then scurried over to the main stage, where the remaining nine were quickly in their seats and awaiting a restart. As I got over there and began to set up, I heard the players laughing about something one of them had said a little while earlier. Soon I realized they were referring to a post I had written in which I’d reported some humorous table talk.

Michael Cooper, who ultimately finished eighth, had said something funny after surviving an all-in situation versus Dustin Dirksen, and I think Dirksen had read the post on his iPhone and shared it with the table. Here’s that post, if you are curious.

Last summer I wrote more than once about the whole Twitter-texting phenomenon in a post called “Land of a 1000 Reporters.” There I was remarking on how others -- namely the players themselves -- were also “reporting” on the event. Of course, once a tournament reaches the money players are made to put away those electronic devices, although they can pull them out during breaks and write or read to their heart’s content.

This was something a little different, though -- players reading and responding to what I had reported. Kind of uncanny, actually, to have the players on whom one is reporting almost immediately aware of what one writes about them. A little later in the evening we had a couple of final table spectators -- including the Hinkle brothers (Grant and Blair) -- let us know they were reading our reports, too.

Last summer I concluded that I didn’t mind all the Tweeting so much, regarding it more as a complement to the coverage we were trying to provide rather than competition. Feel the same way this year about it, and I also don’t mind so much that the players are themselves following the coverage as the tourney goes.

It is a little weird to think about, though. Compare any other sporting event and try to imagine those competing also directly interacting with the reporting on their event as it goes.

Our tourney eventually ended about 2 a.m., and as we were putting up the last post of the night the power unexpectedly went out in the Amazon Room. We heard it went out all over the Rio, and perhaps elsewhere on the strip, although those reports could have been exaggerated, I think.

Was a weird scene, having been suddenly plunged into total darkness. Not to mention a brief moment of total silence as the hum of all the machines had abruptly stopped. The quiet didn’t last long, however, as a loud roar soon went up, with someone loudly pleading “Cover your chips!” over the top.

The lights come back on at the RioAbout 15 seconds later some lights had come back on, and within about five minutes order seemed mostly restored, although for the tourneys still going they had to go on an unscheduled break to set things completely aright. That picture to the left is of WSOP Media Director Nolan Dalla and Bluff Magazine’s Jessica Welman with our event’s winner, Kelly, just after the brief blackout. Their interviewing of Kelly had been interrupted momentarily, and there they are trying to get back on track.

Luckily for us, we were done already so I got back to the hotel in time to spend one last night with Vera before taking her to the airport this morning. Tough stuff, this being apart, and as I mentioned last week this will probably be the last summer I spend entirely out here in Vegas. More likely in the future I look for a way just to come for a couple of weeks, perhaps for the Main Event only.

No time off for your humble gumshoe, as I’m back in the Rio again today to help with another event, Event No. 44, the $2,500 Mixed Limit/No-Limit Hold’em event. Join the players and people on the rail and follow the coverage yourselves over at PokerNews.

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Blogger MacAnthony said...

This leaves me with an interesting thought on players reading live reporting. How long before we see someone having their play affected by reading something from the live reporting? A negative/positive post on them or one of their table mates certainly could affect their play while they are playing it.

I'm sure stuff like this has already happened, but I haven't read anything where people admit this affected their play.

6/25/2010 11:38 AM  
Blogger Short-Stacked Shamus said...

cmitch (of O-Poker) told an anecdote last summer about something like this happening once... Vanessa Rousso tweeting about her table being soft and one of the players at the table reading that & perhaps taking it into account subsequently. Wrote about it some in a post "Twitter Can Be Bitter, or a Tweet Can Be Sweet," in which I link back to cmitch's story.

I agree -- I'm sure it is happening, maybe more often than we realize.

6/25/2010 12:37 PM  
Blogger MacAnthony said...

Players affecting one another at the table is one thing. I was more curious about the outside effect of some one reporting who isn't even playing having an effect on the game.

I think the player vs player aspect is just a nice new angle on the whole psychological warfare that can go on.

6/25/2010 1:06 PM  
Blogger Short-Stacked Shamus said...

Yes, you're right -- that is different. And from a reporter's POV potentially problematic.

Indeed, for those of us reporting, our not affecting the action is absolute requirement -- a primary rule we always, always keep in mind. But it has become more and more obvious that many players are reading the reports, and thus (as you suggest) could well be subsequently affected in some way.

6/25/2010 2:51 PM  

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