I worked the 5PM tournament at the WSOP yesterday, $1,500 Omaha Hi-Lo. Ugh. Split-pot games are a challenge. You watch a hand, a big pot builds...and then it's chopped up. And a chopped pot, with very few exceptions (there was one at the final table filmed yesterday) is not dramatic. By the end of the day the guys I worked with yesterday had glazed eyes and were mumbling, "You can't believe how many chopped pots I've watched."
But if the action at the tables lacked suspense early in the tournament, the insanity going on outside more than made up for it. The tournament was held in the "Poker Pavilion" that Harrah's built outside next to the Amazon Room. It's a big tent that holds around 60 tables, and we've had some problems with it before. Like, we can't connect to the 'Net out there. I picked up the signal all right, but like everyone else I couldn't get anything to load.
I found myself wondering if the wind had anything to do with it. Because the wind had been HOWLING all day through Vegas. When Dan and I left yesterday morning two palm trees outside the condo were bent nearly in half, and, to pointedly demonstrate the wind's power, somebody's Yellow Pages had blown off their stoop and was now sitting in the middle of the road.
And that wind was still blowing as I sat in the Pavilion trying to get a signal. The fabric walls were rippling, the light fixtures above the tables were swaying, and it was pretty noisy in there. This picture just gives you some idea of what the place looks like:
So I set up shop inside and the young guys we have to get the hands and chip counts and bring them to me say that the players inside the tent are FURIOUS about the conditions. The structure is creaking and moaning and the lights are dancing and every time someone opens the doors the wind rushes in and does unfortunate things like blow cards over. You could only get in through the front doors because the others had signs on them like this:
So I'm writing stuff up and one of our runners says, "You gotta come see this, it's total chaos>" I run out there, go inside, and, holy crap. The whole structure, including the metal supports and pillars and crossbeams, is shaking and swaying. As I wrote in an update for PokerNews, it was like being inside some kind of funhouse attraction, like if they're trying to simulate an earthquake.
The players did not like this, not one bit. "Let's go play down at Bellagio!" one player shouted, and from what the guys told me the level of displeasure had been far worse a bit earlier.
Harrah's finally made the only call they could--they sent everyone on dinner break and found room for the remaning players indoors. They'd been moving tables as fast as they could break them in the Amazon Room, but there were 2 huge tournaments going on along with cash games and satellites and empty tables didn't fill up fast enough. By the time we got back from dinner, they'd found room.
And not a second too soon, as a big section of the wall in the rear-left portion of the tent tore away, leaving a huge hole. I don't want to think about what would've happened had the players still been inside at the time.
After than insanity the day ran out quietly. We got down to about 180 players and hopefully there will be interesting action to report. Though not quite as interesting as yesterday, as Dan's friend Tom Schneider won the bracelet in $2,500 Omaha/Stud Hi-Lo. As you might expect they were out partying and I took a cab home from the Rio around 3:30AM and lucked into a chatty driver who made the ride fairly pleasant. I gave her the address and she said, "Wow, I don't think I've ever gone that far out on Blue Diamond before". The condo isn't THAT far out, but I guess it's a bit remote. Dan is probably sleeping in his car at the Rio as we speak so I might be calling her again to get a ride in. At least she knows where our place is.