I tend to focus on the results of the tournaments and the actual play of the hands in my posts, but I've had a few requests to give a little more color instead of being so black and white. So here are a few unrelated stories, observations and feelings I had at this years WSOP.
In the $2,500 6 handed no limit tournament I played against a guy who gave a new meaning to not caring about the money. Often people tell stories or say things at the poker table that are clearly total bullshit. Stuff like "yeah my cousin bet $100 on 15 at the roulette table and when it hit he let the whole $3,600 ride and hit 15 again!" I'm almost 100% sure this guy was telling the truth.
We were playing the day after game 2 of the NBA finals. He said he'd been at the game the night before and that one of the casinos got him tickets. Got him tickets and CHARTERED HIM A PRIVATE PLANE! They flew him from Vegas to the game and then back all for free! You might wonder what type of gambling you would have to do to earn comps like that. Well he was talking to one of his friends how he had $220,000 bet on the game (which he won) and $220,000 bet on the number of points scored in the second half (which lost because of a missed 3 point shot at the end of the game!). That would be a wash, but the bets were both $220,000 to win $200,000 (that's how the casinos make their money) so he lost $20,000 on the deal just because of the juice!
He was also talking to Antonio Esfandiari and it came out that this guy had lost $100,000 to Antonio playing backamond. He also wanted to make a $500,000 bet with Antonio on who would last longer in the tournament we were playing, but Antonio wouldn't do it because it was too much money. The guy said he'd come to Vegas intending on being there for two days and he'd been there for 3 weeks!
In other insane gambling news apparently Phil Ivey had a bet where he put up $2,000,000 to win $5,000,000 that he would win one of the 57 WSOP events this year. He won one of the tournaments and the first place prize money (which would be enough to change my life) was a drop in the bucket compared to his side bet. When he won his second event of this year he won another $8,000,000 in side bets! Winning these two tournaments netted him more than the main event championship!
One of the things that is great about poker is it attracts people from all walks of life. There's almost no where else where you'll see a 25 year old Asian guy with a bunch of dragon tattoos bullshitting with a white 60 year old cowboy and an African American middle aged stock broker like they're all old friends.
Of course sometimes you're forced by the circumstances to be around some real ass holes. I was at a table with one guy who's every movement seemed annoying. He was maybe 60ish and was listening to a discman. It seems like half of the players at the WSOP have an ipod these days, but I've never seen anyone with a discman. But the oddity of that was nothing compared to the fact that HE WAS WEARING A CAPE! A black cape that had the word "Prince" in two inch high blue letters written on the back. He was giving all the dealers a hard time which as an ex dealer bothers me a little and he was just loaded with sarcasm. I wanted to be like "Hey! Cape face! Why don't take your 1990's technology, and your 1,390's clothes and take a flight back to Transylvania you vampire looking shit head!"
Another group of players that bothers me is the super smug players who are 21 or 22 and think they are the best poker players who have ever been dealt a hand. They often come in little gaggles and smugly share their results while waiting in line to sign up for the day's tournament. They talk about how bad their opponents play and it always sounds like they've all won enough in the last two weeks to buy Fort Knox. But then it comes out that they are living in a house with 4 other dudes or they work as a waiter or an accountant or they do this or that. Then they smugly sit at the table trying to look like real bad asses with the sunglasses and the hats and the headphones (I'm not against those things since they all have their uses, but some people seem to be doing it just for the look).
This one fellow in particular was exceptional in the attempting to act like a great player, but couldn't play at all. He'd furrow his brow and stare quizzically at the board cards every time he'd get raised. This was in the $1,500 no limit and the other players weren't exactly super stars either. In fact some of them were as clear as glass. I wanted to scream at this kid "quit furrowing your brow and staring at the flop for 4 minutes before you fold your f-ing Q6! The flop is AK6 and some dude who has never bluffed in his life just moved all in on your ass! And take off those damn sunglasses! You could be behind a f-ing brick wall and I'd still know exactly what you have you clown!"
Actually despite the examples I mentioned above, most of the players at the WSOP were very pleasant to be around. Typically the more money you play for the classier your opposition will be. Since I started off 9 years ago playing against toothless dirtbags who were so stupid I wondered how they manged to put gas in their car so they could drive to the casino it's always nice to play against friendly, intelligent people.
I'll make an effort to make my main event experience a little more detailed in terms of the people, sights, smells and sounds as well as the cards.