Sunday, December 16, 2012

Travel Report: Sands Bethlehem DeepStack Extravaganza Main Event, Day 1b

As expected, the second Day 1 flight of the Sands Bethlehem DeepStack Extravaganza Main Event saw a larger turnout than did the first. In the end there were 188 entries total into the $2,500 buy-in event (including re-entries), which meant some overlay thanks to the $500,000 guarantee.

Ended up being a longer day for us than was the case on Friday, as things got started a little later and with more players there was a little more end-of-the-night tying up of loose ends needing to be done. The pace during the day also seemed to slow down at times, especially once we crossed out of the late registration period and into the portion of the night where re-entries were no longer an option. The blinds hadn’t quite gotten big enough for players to have to push, so a number of the short-to-medium stacks tightened up so as to try to make their tourney runs last a little longer.

I believe the event had around 50 or so players win their way in via satellites, and while we didn’t necessarily know which players had won their seats and which had not, there were instances during Day 1a and the first half of Day 1b -- when re-entering was still possible -- that the difference between the two categories of players would become apparent. While some were clearly ready and able to buy back into the event should they bust, others were not, and so sometimes that difference would appear to manifest itself in players’ styles. And in other ways, too.

I’m remembering one player, Jason Roth, kind of spelling out the distinction in concrete terms at one point on Friday. Roth is an amiable guy who ended up delivering a few good lines along the way during Day 1a, including a couple that made it into the live blog. He was playing at a table with Chris Klodnicki (who’d end Day 1a as chip leader) and a couple of other poker pros, and I’m assuming Roth was one of those who’d gotten in via a satellite.

“This is just another tournament for you guys,” he said. “But it’s like Christmas for us!”

I know those running the tourney would’ve liked to have had even more satellites and ultimately seen a larger turnout, but I believe the time to do so might have been limited in this case. Still, I think things so far have run well and hopefully this event will inspire more tourneys at what is a very nice and comfortable venue, perhaps helping make the Sands Bethlehem a better known destination for poker players outside of the area.

Speaking of making Bethlehem a destination, there was one interesting side story yesterday involving Andy Frankenberger who got a little misdirected on his way to coming to play Day 1b. As he tweeted about afterwards, he’d mistakenly set his GPS for Matt Glantz’s place in Bensalem, Pennsylvania rather than Bethlehem. That’s over an hour away, and so that detour necessarily made him later in arriving than he’d planned.

As someone with an especially bad sense of direction who relies heavily on GPS to point me in the right direction, I could totally identify with Frankenberger’s plight. I also felt bad for him when he busted fairly quickly after arriving to the event yesterday, although despite what had to be a frustrating day he was in good spirits nonetheless.

Glantz busted a short while after Frankenberger did, and in fact to go back to that distinction between the satellite winners (whom one might assume are mostly amateurs) and the pros, I noticed a lot of players talking afterwards about how friendly Glantz and Frankenberger were. That is to say, I think at least some of the amateurs enjoyed sitting alongside the pros, competing with them while getting to know them a little, too.

All of that helped contribute further to what I was suggesting yesterday regarding the overall atmosphere of the event being quite upbeat and even jovial. People are enjoying themselves so far, and as I’ve remarked before here, when the players are having fun at a tournament that always makes covering these suckers more fun, too.

From the first two Day 1 flights just 70 players will be coming back for today’s Day 2, and I imagine the mood will become increasingly serious as they reach the final 18 and the money, then work their way down to a final table. Check over at PokerNews’ live updates for details where Mickey Doft and I will be writing all about it while Joe Giron provides the pictures (as he did above).

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