28 June 2006

Twenty Four Hours in a Day

Phil Hellmuth provides an explanation for others at the table.

On the bubble, Isabelle Mercier doubles up shoving all-in with K-J, being called by A-Q, then catching her king on the turn. She would cash but wouldn't last much longer.

Chip leader Carlos Mortensen is an amateur architect, building Madrid's answer to the Eiffel Tower.

John Pharo from Scottsdale (in red) held on to his last three chips literally on the bubble, peaking at his pocket aces then mucking then. He made it to the money (the ole laying down aces routine).

Players who make it through Day 1 are still there fourteen hours after they started. How do they do it? I'm not sure, as I'm absolutely on fumes after pretty much doing nothing other than walking around. First, let me get all the gripes out of the way. Internet access that Pauly always used to whine about is horrible. Most of the time, I get knocked off midstream. There is still nothing much to eat, and the Media room is fairly spartan. I brought a power cord from the ATL and had to pipe in juice from the hall. If I hadn't done that, Otis and I wouldn't have had any electricity.

It is a fascinating time for poker as it is going through significant growing pains. I'll probably do an article on it, but let me lay out the basics. Harrah's has feverishly negotiated exclusive agreements with a variety of concerns, from the official watch of the World Series of Poker (watch meaning wristwatch, and I must confess that I don't know what it is) to the official beer to the security system (Honeywell). On the media side, exclusive deals have been cut with CardPlayer, FullTilt, and ESPN. With ESPN, you have a strong engine to power televised poker, so this is no concern in my opinion. The significant problem is that CardPlayer doesn't seem mature or robust enough to get their job done. Poker has been winging it, covered by bloggers, European websites, American magazines, and online poker sites. Some are great, some are horrendous, but if you're like me you check out several covering sites simultaneously, hitting reload after reload as you go. Now it funnels through one source, CardPlayer. When you take that on, you better be good, and they have not been good. The data collectors seemed totally green listening to their chatter, lacking an understanding of the context of events happening around them. More later on all this.

I got to meet Vince Van Patten, who I interviewed over the phone Saturday. Very good guy, and he was really positive about the article. Linda joined me for dinner, and folks she introduced me to and I'll be interviewing: Robert Williamson III, Carlos Mortensen, Kristy Gazes, Erik Seidel, Sean Sheikhan, and Mike Sexton, who I interview tomorrow. I rustled up David Benyamine myself, which was nice. I'll probably transition to focusing on interviews over the next couple days, but I need to get on the felt myself to gain some sanity.

Hitting the sack as I have to get up early to prepare for the Sexton interview. Thanks for stopping by.

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