WSOP Diary - The Calm Before the World Series of Poker
May 28, 2022

It’s the calm before the storm.  The World Series of Poker kicks off tomorrow with the Casino Employees Event as well as the $50k Mixed Game Players’ Championship.  There’s no warming up, it’s going to get crazy real quick.  I’ve been in Vegas for three days now, and I almost forgot that starting tomorrow I’ll be putting in 15 hour days doing live coverage for PokerNews.  That said the last few days were a great way to get grasp on what the city’s like.

Besides penny slots and free vodka (who needs bottle service?) the highlight of the trip until now has been Wednesday’s beer pong championship hosted by Doyle Brunson and the rest of the Doyle’s Room team.  It took place at Hogs and Heifers, which is the last place you might expect to find a couple dozen Internet poker whiz kids mixing it up alongside burly bikers who could work as extras in Sons of Anarchy.  Throw in some well-known poker pros, and you have a real party.  It was also likely to be the only time one might ever see Shaun Deeb getting into a heated argument with a large tattooed dude with a goatee over beer pong technicalities.

I’m staying at the Hard Rock along with a dozen other bloggers and field reporters for PokerNews, and it absolutely rules.  I might slip into a deep depression caused by the Affliction-themed wallpaper, but it would be worth it.  They’ve got the best hotel pool I’ve ever seen, a great poker room, and a taco restaurant.  Deal.

Last night I decided to play in the nightly $120 NLHE tournament over at the Venetian.  The tournament had a good structure as far as daily events go, and with over 120 runners, it made for a pretty decent pay for the night’s winner, which of course, wasn’t me.  I managed to play pretty good most of the night, making it through half the field with a great table image which allowed me to steal a good number of pots, which was important considering I wasn’t getting much to work with as far as starting hands go.  The final hand of the night came when I forgot that my opponent knew I had no fold-equity when he re-raised me on the turn when I was holding middle pair and an open-ended straight draw.  He shoved and I called, only to see that he had top pair.  I wasn’t totally upset getting my money in with my hand, but I should have known that he was stronger than middle pair.

Tonight the plan is to watch the Suns beat the Lakers, go to a party with the PokerNews crew and hopefully get some rest for the big day tomorrow.  

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