Friday, July 02, 2010

2010 WSOP, Day 35: In Person

In PersonYesterday I helped cover Day 1a of the last of the $1,000 buy-in no-limit hold’em events (Event No. 54), an event I’ll be sticking with all of the way through the final table. Was kind of a fun day for me. As has happened with the other $1K buy-in events, I ended up having a lot of interactions with players -- more so than occurs with other events -- including meeting some new ones and also getting to meet a few folks whom I’d known previously but had never met in person.

A total of 2,340 registered to play in the event yesterday, and 331 were left when play was suspended halfway through Level 9. They do that now, after learning their lesson with the first of these “Grand Games” back in late May.

I had helped cover the first $1,000 NLHE event (Event No. 3) and so had been there at the end of Day 1b when that potential crisis arose (mentioned briefly here). In that one they had played 10 full levels on Day 1a, with 276 players surviving. They then began Day 1b, and after registration closed the payouts were determined and the top 441 players would cash.

They were moving into Level 10 on Day 1b of Event No. 3 when it started to look like enough players might be eliminated that they could possibly reach the money bubble before the end of Day 1b, which obviously wouldn’t be fair to those who played Day 1a. Fortunately that didn’t happen, but they set up a plan then to stop play short on Day 1a of these events if the field shrunk to a certain percentage. Which is why we had a shorter day yesterday, and will again today, since they’ll again stop things at the same point in Level 9 for the Day 1b group.

Anyhow, like I say I got a chance to meet a few players during the day. Some of my friends played in the event, including Marc Convey and Tim “Timtern” Fiorvanti, and it was fun seeing them at the tables.

I also met some new folks, too, including one player named Joe Singer who was involved in a weird hand in which a mistake caused him to get all of his chips in with 9h7h against two other players. Luckily for him, it worked out and he survived.

In the hand, Singer had failed to hear a player announce an all in before him and he had called thinking he was only calling a prior (smaller) raise when in fact he was committing nearly his entire stack. Then another player behind him shoved over the top and he was forced to put the rest in, too. But he very fortunately ended up making a straight and instead of getting knocked out essentially tripled up. He was a good sport about the whole thing, and glad to have the story of the hand included in the blog.

I was able to meet the player Jena Delk yesterday, someone with whom I have a lot of mutual friends. She arrived at the start of the day with boxes of donuts for AlCantHang, and was asking me where he was and what he looked like. I didn’t realize it was Jena until after, and so when I tweeted about her coming by I got a lot of responses clueing me in. I was glad to see her make it through Day 2.

I finally met Kara Scott in person yesterday as well, as she, too, played the event (and also made it through to Day 2). I interviewed Kara a couple of months ago for Betfair (via phone). Ended up reporting on one somewhat intriguing hand of hers during the day.

At night’s end Lynn Gilmartin of PokerNews came around to interview Kara. Lynn asked me if she’d been involved in anything interesting during the day, and I told her about the hand, which Lynn said she’d then ask Kara about. Am intrigued to know what Scott might have had on the hand (she won it without showing), and so am keeping an eye out for that video on PokerNews to see if Kara told Lynn what she had.

At the very end of the night I also got to say hello to Mike Johnson, co-host of the Two Plus Two PokerCast, and tell him how much I’ve enjoyed both that show and the old Rounders show that preceded it. Mike also played the event and survived to Day 2, and when play ended he was running over to the $1,500 Limit Hold’em Shootout (Event No. 53) to sweat both Dan Idema -- his co-host Adam Schwartz’s brother who has made two WSOP final tables this summer -- and Terrence Chan. Of those two, Chan did make it to today’s Event No. 53 final table.

Yesterday was also highlighted by an enjoyable dinner with Tom Schneider over at the Sports Deli. Tom busted from the event late in the afternoon, getting his aces cracked by pocket jacks in a hand I happened to see (and report on). Tom and I discussed a wide range of poker-related topics, including the current state of the “poker economy,” various personalities and characters in poker, what the future holds for poker in general and the WSOP in particular, and more.

I might share a bit of what Tom and I talked about in tomorrow’s post. Meanwhile, I’ll be curious to see who comes out today for Day 1b. If yr curious, too, check out the live reporting on PokerNews today and see what’s happening.

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