A Paean to Bloggers

by Lou on June 18, 2005

The World Series of Poker has grown so big there’s no way for one person to cover it all. Often three events take place simultaneously: Day one of the latest event, Day two of the preceding day’s tournament and the final table of a three-day event are played like a three-ring circus, and you have to crane your neck all over to see what’s going on, and where.

So how does the casual observer tune into all the detail and ambiance of each event, as well as pick up every tidbit of gossip and rumor that swirls around whenever you get a lot of poker players competing for a lot of money all in one place? You go to the people who are closest to the action: the bloggers.

But you can’t just read one blog; you need to read most or all of them, because taken together they provide an incredible view of the World Series that neither the magazines nor broadcast media, nor any lone blogger can provide. But the bloggers’ collective effort gives you a rich tapestry of this event. And they’re all over the Series, providing an incredibly detailed, sometimes intense, usually irreverent, gossipy, opinionated, immediate, and compelling look at something that’s equally a poker tournament, a cultural phenomenon, a TV production in progress, and a six-week party.

The bloggers are mostly people you haven’t heard of, and if you have, it’s probably only a passing awareness. But they are there, frequently working 24 and 48 hours at a clip with no sleep, living on junk food and sugared energy drinks, while bringing you events in as near to real time as they can. Only the time required to type their reports separates what you read from when you read it.

Many of the bloggers, such as Amy Calistri and Mike Paulle, are covering the tournament for Poker Pages. Others, such as Pauly McGrupp is writing for his own blogs, which include The Tao of Poker (http://taopoker.blogspot.com/), and the Tao of Pauly, as well as online web sites such as www.lasvegasvegas.com.

Pauly is a terrific writer and seems to have transcended the need for sleep since he provides coverage for just about everything transpiring at any and every hour of the day and night. Mike Paulle brings you up-to-the-minute listings of player standings, and Amy Calistri knows everything about everybody and tells us all about it.

The bloggers are journalism’s poor relations much of the time. That they are overworked and underpaid goes without saying. That they do what they do more for the love of it than the money they are paid goes without saying. But if you want your view of the World Series that’s as immediate, as unscripted, as frequently politically incorrect as you can have it, then read these poker blogs each and every day.

Taken together you have an incredibly comprehensive view — sometimes it’s a bird’s eye overview, other times it’s a worm’s eye of more intimate details than you probably want to know; where the blogger’s subjective perspective on things is as significant as the event he or she is covering (the late Hunter S. Thompson would be proud) — of what’s going on each and every day at the Rio.

The blogger’s have my admiration, each and everyone. They’re working their tails off and I’m sitting here hoping that if you bother to read this far, you’ll take the time to seek out their blogs and read them. I think you’ll be glad you did.

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