Sunday, July 5, 2009

Today, I saw the Rio

We went to the Rio today with Debi and Joe to check out the WSOP and see what it was like. When there, we met up briefly with CardsChat members Pifan and Jamile, and Jamile was nice enough to give us a ride back to the hotel. Jamile's from Hawaii and his posts at CardsChat tends to make that pretty clear. I had pictured him to look like Rob Schneider's character "Ula" in 50 First Dates, but not quite.

Some observations about today:

Benjamin, 11 weeks old, was not allowed into any of the playing areas because they had a 21-year-old age limit. I assume this is according to law, but it still feels a bit dumb not to be able to bring an infant in a BabyBjörn into the tournament area (or many of the other areas) and it makes Lori's cheering me on during play all but impossible.


Party Poker had a pretty cool room set up for their players. They served drinks and food, had couches, full-body massage chairs, a Nintendo Wee and the staff was very nice. I don't know exactly how many have qualified for the series through Party Poker, but I think I overheard them saying that they had 20 people starting yesterday and 6 had been eliminated. If that's the case I'm guessing that there may be around 100 players total from PP.


When first arriving at the Rio, I felt a little intimidated by the whole thing. So many players, so many tables, so much pressure. That anxiety has now started to lift a bit and I'm approaching more of a lust to play. I keep reminding myself that I have nothing to lose and if I'm knocked out on Day 1, I'm in good company and shouldn't worry about it.


A rough estimate when walking around in the Amazon Room is that about 90% of the players seem to try to look as tough as possible. A lot of tough guys, or at least a lot of guys trying to look tough. Maybe it's their way of trying to look like pros. Who knows. I don't think that will be me on Monday; I don't look very tough and I don't think I particularly want to try that sort of posturing either. Joe put it nicely in pointing out that perhaps instead of looking like the toughest player at the table, I can just be the toughest player at the table instead.

It's really hard to gauge how good of a player I am compared to most of the other entrants, but the way I figure, someone beating 200NL for a healthy amount while 10-tabling has to at least have an edge over the field, if not even a pretty big edge. I'm a humble guy, but if I try to honestly assess my skill, I think I'll have gotten a tough draw if I get more than one player at the table who I feel has a big edge on me.


I can't do chip tricks. I don't know if this is something I have to know how to do, but it seemed to me like a lot of the players must have practised. The whole room has a constant chip-handling background noise to it. Joe compared it to crickets, which is pretty close to the truth.


Beat: While having some lunch in the Party Poker Hospitality Suite, I managed to break the (plastic) fork while cutting up a steak, and in the same motion managed to cut my left index finger.


I think that about sums up my day. Debi, Joe, a coworker of Joe's and his wife and me are going to some Italian place tonight. Lori took a raincheck; her lack of sleep last night (Benji was active) finally caught up with her when we got back to the hotel from the Rio. I'm not super-energetic myself but I need to eat and I think I'll have a good time. Meeting them downstairs in five minutes so I think I'll just wrap it up here.

1 comment:

Michael Rawdon said...

I've been to the Rio a couple of times when visiting Vegas. I was really disappointed at their tiny poker room when I first went, but realized they probably just clear all the banquet halls for the Main Event. Oddly, Binion's (where the WSOP started) has a way more interesting poker room, as far as visiting goes. (I haven't played at either one, so I don't really know what they're like on that score. I usually play at the Flamingo, MGM, or Mandalay Bay.)

I can't do chip tricks, either. My OCD causes me to mostly just rearrange my chips into different patterns when I'm not in a hand.