I was determined that after a five-day hiatus between the previous two posts, I would get back to daily updates. As it’s now been two weeks, you can see how well that’s gone.
Like so many other dreams in Las Vegas, that one’s been broken. It’s bad, because it not only means that I’ve broken the chain of daily info, but that I have to leave out material in order to keep this post at a manageable length, if I remember them at all, that is.
We’re now just over a week to the start of the Main Event, which is #68 on the calendar this year. The day I started this post, two events got under way: Events #41 and #42, the $1.5K NLHE Monster Stack and the $3K NLHE Shootout. I’m getting back to it as Event #53, the PLO/O8/Big O is a couple hours off. Determination, eh?
The day after my last post was the beginning of Event #26, the $1,500 Omaha 8 tournament. One of my concerns about taking this job was my ability to remember faces and attach them to names. Much better with remembering trivia, numbers, and dates than people I’ve met. It’s not an age thing, just one of those little quirks I’ve had to live with all my life. But apparently faces and names of poker players that I don’t talk to for the most part are more like trivia than the faces and names of poker players, dealers, or anyone else in daily life that I do talk to, so over the course of two HORSE tournaments I’d picked up a certain amount of familiarity with the people who play limit tournaments at the WSOP. Benny Glaser won the $1,500 a couple of days before winning the $10K version of the same game.
I played five Bovada tournaments on Sunday—Father’s Day—after the O8 tournament and min-cashed in just one—my only positive poker experience since the Survivor at the Venetian a couple of days after I got here. Played the Orleans HORSE tournament and only made it about three hours in.
Had the next day off, as well, and bricked three Bovada tournaments, then got halfway through the Orleans O8 tournament. Then the next day it was back to reporting, this time on Event #36, a $2.5K O8/Stud 8.
Let me just note: keeping track of actions and cards in limit split-pot games is not an easy task. For one thing, there are a lot more cards exposed in stud and Omaha games to start with. Sometimes it’s difficult for players to see what’s out there, and as live reporters, we’re supposed to be as unobtrusive as possible, so despite the occasional stink-eye from players who think we’re crowding them, we really are trying to give them room. And it’s just not all that clear sometimes where the chips are going, who got the high, who got a low, if there’s a quarter, etc. I do my best for someone with crappy handwriting.
Keeping track of moving players isn’t any easier.
The night Hani Awad won the bracelet he’s been heads up for in 2015, I headed over to the Orleans to play some poker myself since we wrapped up around 11:30pm instead of my usual 2:20am. All the O8 tables were full—it was the day of the first flight of the Monster Stack—but after about 5 minutes, I got a seat at a 1/3 NLHE game. Called a raise to $8 with [kx jx], with me, the original raiser, and the blinds into the pot, flop [kx jx tx], small blind bets $25, original raiser calls, and I put $80 in only to have the original raiser put me all in and suck out with [kx qx] on the turn. I wasn’t about to go to the cash machine for more,
Played 0.5/1 PLO8 on for a total of about 20 minutes and blew 100bb and went to the Golden Nugget to try out the PLO8/O8/Big O format that I’ll be covering starting today (assuming I get this post up on time). Had a couple of good hands, but busted out after about four-and-a-half hours.
I had been scheduled to report on the $10K Stud 8 tournament, but the Monster Stack grew to monstrous size. We had three people covering a Day 1B field of 4,507, which meant about 1,500 players—or 150 10-handed tables—apiece, and even with much simpler hands to write down, it was still a little bit of nightmare just trying to find and update people. I wrote an early post about Portland’s Steven Harper, who turned out to be the Day 2 chip leader. I’ve been kind of out of touch except with my particular events, but I did manage to plug the PDX players a little:
Only 276 left @WSOP #MonsterStack lots of #PDXpoker: #27 Moshe, #34 James, #36 Zhu #83 Harper #84 Grube #247 Dumdeang
— Poker Mutant (@pokermutant) June 27, 2016
I was also the first reporter (I think) to notice Arizona economics professor Mitchell Towner, the guy who won the thing. But I wasn’t there by then. I headed home to Portland for a couple of days. Now it’s back to work in half an hour. I promise not to take so long on the next one.