Tuesday, May 25, 2010

World Series of Poker...Here I Come!

A few weeks ago I pre-registered for event #3 of the 2010 WSOP. It is a $1,000 NLHE buy-in...the biggest tourney I have ever bought in for. Last year they had over 6,000 entrants and 1st place was around 800k!

I sent a cashiers check to the Rio WSOP office and received an email confirmation stating that I needed to go to will call to complete my registration and pick up my table and seat assignment.

The A group of this event starts at noon this Saturday so I thought it would be smart to get the registration complete before I had to wait in some disgusting line Saturday morning before the tourney began. Today I went to the Rio to take care of this.

Although it was a long walk from the parking lot the the WSOP convention hall it was worth all the calories I burned. It was very cool to catch the Rio WSOP team setting up for the events. I have seen the pictures on television, but I must say pictures do no justice for the size of this make-shift poker room. I took a few snapshots with my iPhone.

The sheer size really stunned me more than I expected. I was very happy I had the opportunity to come and see the place before it was packed by hordes of people just like myself. It was then I thought of Barry Greenstein's thoughts on poker tourneys. "Poker tournaments are like lotteries, but with much better odds and an element of skill thrown in." I thought back to the last few tourneys I played at the Venetian, remembering how I lost, within the first hour, near my whole stack all in pre-flop with AA vs QJ (84% favorite) and on another day AK vs AQ (71% favorite). Even if I played perfect poker, with 6,000 possible entrants how many times will these kinds of odds have to hold up just to make the money!??

Finally I found the will call booth. It had a couple of guys working to put it together. They were completely unfriendly and uninterested in the fact that I wanted to complete my registration. All I could drag out of them is that they could not do anything for me because the will call station was not ready. Finally I found someone who sounded like he cared and knew what he was talking about and directed me to the main cage in the Rio. After a some more walking I found the area of the main cage that dealt with registration.

There were a couple of young kids in front of me registering for an event and my mind began to wander. They reminded me of when I first played online with my xbox 360. Halo was a very cool first person shooter game, and when it came out I maybe played 10 hours a week...which was ALOT of my free time. I thought I was pretty good until I got online and got the most horrendous spanking from both teenagers and pre-teens. I swear a 6 year old had like 15 consecutive kills on me once. I remembered thinking it was impossible to compete with these kids because I was sure they were logging 60 or more hours of online play a week.

I know this sounds terribly judgmental but these two just looked like a couple of losers who had no life and spent all their time playing online poker. I am certain they have a loose aggressive style that is the antithesis of my play. I remember how at the last tourney at the Venetian I had a loose aggressive kid to my left, with a huge stack, who put the kabosh on any attempt I made or would have made to steal. I busted out 27th out of 139 and I'm certain I would have been able to accumulate more chips and place in the money if this turd was not next to me. I am sure my anger is more envy as I wish I was effective in loose aggressive play. So now while I am waiting on this line I am thinking more about how I am going to deal with the legions of young internet nerds with no life who play a good loose aggressive game.

Finally when its my turn the staff at this cage clearly had no idea what to do with me. They were basically taking buy-ins and printing out tickets there. They had no clue how to complete my registration. After 30 minutes of them asking their "higher-ups" they concluded since I pre-registered via mail, that the main office had my ticket in this undisclosed ethereal space and it would not be available until the dolts at the will call booth finished setting it up, which 'possibly' would be ready by Friday. Silly me thought I was on top of things...just wasted my time. It would have been nice if the WSOP email was a little more clear as to when I could complete my pre-registration and when the will call booth was going to be operational.

At any rate it was still worth the trip to get to see the poker rooms while they were still empty. It was definitely electrifying and got me more amped up for the event. I am going to do my best to eat right and exercise so I am of sound mind come Saturday. I will do my best and hope that both my brain and the odds are my friend. Wish me luck!

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