W-Day Plus 2: Colossus

You sort of have to wonder what the artist was thinking when he depicted the Colossus as just barely large enough to admit a ship into the harbor of Rhodes. Was it a commentary on his opinion of engineers that the statue is shown with nearly zero tolerance to the sides of the yard? Or to the top of the mast itself, which nearly spikes the Colossus’s nether regions? Maybe that was the whole point of doing the painting, some sort of inside joke where an artist can slip a titillating concept into a work that’s supposedly about one of the Seven Wonders of the Classical World.

In any case, you also sort of have to wonder what the people who came up with the World Series of Poker Colossus were thinking when they decided to make the biggest-ever live tournament last year. There’s about as much spare room right now at the Rio as there is between the mast and the Colossus’s dingle in the picture. And if the estimates are correct, it’s only going to get crazier today, the last day of entries for this year’s event.

I hung some picture, moved some furniture, and assembled a vacuum at the house during the day, then headed out to the Rio with what I though was going to be plenty of time to get there. Somehow, between traffic, finding a parking space, and walking in the hot sun to the entrance, I lost twenty minutes of lead time (maybe I can blame Joe Brandenburg, who I chatted with on my way in from the car….)

I got to the live reporters’ room with just a few minutes before the event start. The Colossus is spread out through most of the rooms, and since everyone’s already out on the floor, I don’t have anyone to ask in person about where to go. Messages on the Slack channel are flying fast and thick, and I can’t get anyone’s attention—or I can’t see anyone’s instructions. Can’t find our reporting table in the Pavilion Room, then finally go over to Brasilia and find some of the team.

However, I’m the only person in the room covering the afternoon flight. Most of the room is Flight C, so I get to work familiarizing myself with the players in the quarter of the room that are in Flight D. Even within the rails of that quarter, some of it is ‘C’ tables, which I realize after wondering how such big stacks got built up in less than a level. Then I have to figure out where the demarkation line is.

I get to work doing chip counts, looking for big names, and writing up some hands. Run across a guy early on who’s a “character” that I follow through the rest of the night off and on.


Had Greg Raymer and Carlos Mortensen and Leo Wolpert all at the same table. Scotty Nguyen. Spotted some local players and dealers. But after a while, I noticed that none of my updates were getting onto the site. So I had to get that technical issue fixed, but by then hand histories I’d posted were rather stale. Overall, not a great start for my day. A day that started at 4pm.

Eventually, tables started to break and I was moved into the Pavilion Room with the rest of the Flight D reporters. Got a little section, got told who to cover (Kessler), and kept on the move, trying to work on my chip-counting skills and face memory. Why can’t we put numbers on the players like they do for marathon runners?

The day wrapped up sometime around 3am and I headed back to the house. More folks are arriving, the rooms are full, there was someone sleeping on the living room floor. I collapsed and got ready to do the whole thing again (hopefully, without the hitches) tomorrow (today?)