LAS VEGAS -- With the first big No Limit Hold’em Event starting as I write this, the World Series of Poker, the world’s most prestigious poker tournament began yesterday at the Rio Hotel And Casino under new management and a new tournament director.
Apparently, Harrah’s and its new ownership was surprised to see thousands of poker players turn up yesterday – registration lines for today’s events stretched out of the tournament room, around a corner and more than 70 meters down an interior hallway.
The phrase “staggering incompetence” has been heard more than once, and if you replace the word “staggering” with “fucking”, it’s been heard even more often. An arduous buy-in procedure, paperwork on the little satellite tournaments that function as feeders into the big events. I won one this morning at 4 am, and it took 20+ minutes to fill out the paperwork, get the payouts, etcetera. (It used to be, when someone won a satellite, the satellite director would come over, toss the winner the buy-in chips, and say “good luck”. Apparently, Harrah’s has been listening to lawyers. They’ve also been worrying about things like this.
I may be the only person accredited as media for both the WSOP and the Las Vegas Film Festival, and this is how I’m spending my summer vacation.
I hope to play tomorrow in the $2500 Omaha hi-lo/Stud hi-lo missed tournament, if I can pull myself out of my Cannes jetlag – I know I’m about six hours off, but I’m not sure in which direction. If I can’t focus for it, I won’t play – playing in a big tournament without being able to maintain focus is on a par with building a pile out of your money and setting fire to it, in terms of financial utility.