SHOOTOUT AT DAWN
Well, it was past dawn actually, as today’s event finished at the face-sagging hour of 7am. Somehow, an event that I was initially relieved to be covering after the torment of watching seven-card stud for three days, had suddenly become more painful than waxing my ball sack.
The first sign of danger was when one table ran right through the scheduled dinner break, but even then I hoped it was an exception. At 6am, after 18 hours of play, there were still a few tables left and Dana and I were running on nothing but coffee and hope, the latter slowly dispersing as players refused to fall.
This event has a terrible payout structure. The poor sod departing at 7am after finishing second in his round two heat wins the same paltry sum as the guy who came last in round two 10 hours earlier. Even if you do make the final table, you are only guaranteed a profit of $5k, tenth getting $7k and first a ridiculously top heavy $333k. This means you can play for hours, win two tables, yet get unlucky on the final table and go home with peanuts.
The final player to win his table barely possessed enough energy to raise a smile when he won. He wore a shirt that read “Some people work for money. I play poker.” I think he may be second-guessing that slogan now, because he’s just worked his ass off.
Annoyingly, the scheduled final table time of 2pm remains (apparently the ten hour rule only applies to TV tables), meaning that we are facing four or five, at best, hours sleep, before returning for another day. Boy, this job can be gruelling at times.
You have to watch what you say down in the Amazon Room, because there is always someone listening in ready to quote you for their blog. Pauly, of Tao of Poker fame, is always armed with notepad and pen and whenever we have a conversation he pulls out his weapon of choice and jots down a few vital notes, much in the way Bruce Forsyth used to do at the start of the Generation Game.
I’m equally guilty, a number of times Benjo has caught me writing down his comments as he is actually in the process of saying them. I think it’s made him think twice before opening his mouth.
Nevertheless, there are some cracking WSOP blogs on offer, many of which have added me to their list of links.
In return, here are some of the blogs I urge to check out:
Tao of Poker
Milkybarkid's Poker Blog
And if you're French and somehow not heard of Benjo...
Las Vegas, off the record: WSOP Blog