Going to the WSOP

by Lou on June 16, 2006

Well, I’ve made plans to go to Las Vegas for the WSOP. I’ll be arriving July 9 and coming home July 13, then returning to Las Vegas on July 26. If you’re gonna be there when I am and you see me, please say “hello.”

Right now I don’t know which events I plan to play in, or even if I’ll be sufficiently motivated to get up from the cash games and invest my time and money in a tournament. What I am looking forward to, in addtion to cash game play, is doing some radio braodcasting. Wade Andrews, who runs www.holdemradio.com will be setting up a remote broadcast facility at the Imperial Palace to supply a steady stream of WSOP color, interviews, and comments from that location.

Since Amy Calistri and I began our radio show, Keep Flopping Aces, I have enjoyed hosting a poker talk show (it’s every Thursday night at 9:00 EDT or 6:00 PM PDT, and if you haven’t listened yet, please tune in) about as much as anything I’ve ever done in the world of poker. So I’m looking forward to broadcasting as much as anything else I’ll do while I’m in Vegas. I even booked a room at the Imperial Palace, as opposed to my usual digs of choice, the Golden Nugget, because I can be close to the broadcast and have a short commute to the Rio too. I also intend to play at the Venetian’s new poker room, and at the Wynn.

The thing I’m looking forward to least is the main event. I know this sounds like heresy, but with Day One scheduled to take place over what seems an eternity, a media room that threatens to be jam packed beyond belief, a floor filled with 2,000 players at 200 tables and limited access for much of the media — really, it’s like an indoor football field full of poker tables — the best view of the action is online, reading real-time reports.

Since I can read online reports anywhere, and will have already infused myself with the look and feel of the event in the days leading up to the it, never mind a few dozen laps around the Gaming Life Expo that’s adjacent to the tournament area, I will probably just follow the $10,000 no-limit hold’em tournament from home.

Somehow the Day Ones eternity seems poorly planned. It’s sort of like the movie Groundhog Day, where things are played over and over again. I’d like to suggest to Harrah’s that they consider holding Day One, and maybe Day Two also, at Harrah’s properties in different areas of the United States.

A model to follow would be the NCAA College Basketball Championships. Regional play winnows 64 teams — OK, OK, it’s 65 if you want to be absolutely precise count the “play-in” to get that one, odd team eliminated — down to a final four, and they assemble for one weekend of play that concludes March Madness. The WSOP could do this for any event that threatens to see more than 2,000 entrants. It wouldn’t harm attendance at the World Series and might even create some additional action at Harrah’s properties in other locations that would be tapped to host these “Day One” events.

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