I was going to drive home a couple of days ago, after I busted out of event seventeen, but PokerStars gave me an opportunity to stay here in Vegas, and write about the World Series of Poker for the official PokerStars Blog. See, this year, the media rules make it impossible to get the minute-to-minute coverage that was popularized by guys like Dr. Pauly and Otis in 2005, so I get to contribute various narrative features, similar to the story I wrote for The AV Club about Guitar Hero II at E3.
As a writer, I couldn't ask for a better place to find inspiration; you have to work very, very hard to not find a story here. In fact, my notebook is so filled with observations and notes for potential stories, I'm currently enjoying optional paralysis as I look at them all.
So at this very moment, I'm the PokerStars hospitality suite at the Rio, updating the PokerStars blog and my blog from one of our ultra-modern couches, before I grab my notebook and head back out to find the next story to tell:
Continued from like a skillet full of oil . . .This is really fun, and a great gig. I love poker, I love writing, and I love writing about poker. I kinda flopped the nuts on this one, you know?
Just before noon, I took my seat at table 15. I felt confident, prepared, and relaxed right up until about five minutes before the tourney began and my fellow author and poker blogger Double As came over and sat two seats to my right.
"Are you f-" I stopped myself. I didn't want to get a stupid F-bomb penalty before the cards were even in the air, "Are you kidding me? 2300 entrants and I have to sit with you?!"
He smiled a lazy and confident smile. "There are a lot of us in this event today."
In fact there were. This last weekend, the WPBT had another blogger gathering in Vegas (which I wasn't able to attend) and many of us stuck around to play in this event. "I know," I said. I pointed around the room where I knew other poker bloggers were seated. "Maybe one of us will make it deep."
Maybe it'll be me. I sure hope it's me.
50K HORSE, Day One.
I glanced to the left and saw Doyle Brunson, Devilfish, Johnny World, and Paul Phillips (who is my favorite to win the whole thing, because he's my closest friend in the field.) Seats one and eight were empty (they're playing eight handed) and I couldn't help but wonder, Who in the world puts up 50K and misses the first hour? Is Hellmuth in this event? I found out later that he was. In true Hellmuthian fashion, he showed up late. With 50K and a bracelet on the line. Incredible.
As I scribbled down in my notebook, a guy shoved past me on my right, excitedly pointed into the tournament area, and turned around to shout at someone, "There's Phil Ivey! He's right there with Fossilman!" I winced, partially because he was so loud, but mostly to lessen the impact of beer and partially digested meat that was blown into my face.
Barry Greenstein Finishes 12th in HORSE.
. . . walking through the halls last night, I heard several pros comment that the incredibly long days and surprisingly fast tournament structure was having as much of an impact on their game as the level of competition. You always need to get lucky to make it deep in a tournament, and near the end Barry found himself in and out of Lady Luck's good graces.
I'll be in here for much of the weekend, usually from ten in the morning until the middle of the afternoon. So if you're in Vegas between now and Monday, come on over and say hello.