Monday, August 27, 2007

Just a Fly on the Wall

I always find it amusing the things you can overhear from time to time, as far as the discussions people have in perfectly public places. I just had breakfast at the Eden Lobby restaurant here at Commerce, and the only other people in the place were Barry Shulman and two young guys involved with, Eric Seidel at another table, and a third guy who was still in the WPT Legends event but also involved with a betting syndicate of some sort, based on the cell phone conversations he was having.

And me, all by my lonesome, sitting there playing my Nintendo DS.

Pretty interesting listening to Shulman and the folks discuss assorted things, including their displeasure at the WPT for even allowing other poker media outlets to be present at all. To be fair, Shulman wasn't quite as cocky and douchebaggy as the two younger guys, who were vowing to make life miserable starting today (and moving forward, not just at this tournament but the remaining WPT events) for any other media outlet that had the audacity to show up and try to cover the event, even if they play by the rules and follow the media restrictions as currently outlined.

Again, there's a good argument that if you pays the money, you gets to make the rules, but I can't help but think that you're asking for some bad karmic mojo to come your way if you sit there and openly gloat about the shuttering of PokerWire, as things tend to move in circles.

Pretty cool to listen to the betting syndicate guy, as he was basically leaving instructions with someone lower on the totem pole about what the plan for the day was, who was playing what, who to shift from this sport to that, and who hadn't been performing well and needed to be cut loose. Also interesting all the references to higher ups, including "The Man", as far as what people who'd been struggling of late needed to do to get back in the good graces of "The Man". I mean, seriously, it was pretty much exactly the cliched conversation you'd expect to hear, except I can't see any reason to think the guy was full of shit, as we're talking a detailed twenty minute conversation with a ridiculous numbers of lines, facts, plans, and figures touched on.

Coming back from the Bike last night, I overheard a youngish guy at the valet window asking about getting a cab to Commerce, so we rode back together. (After waiting for like half an hour for a cab. I mean, Jebus, are there like two cabs total in this entire huge honking city?) He'd just busted out of the WPT event, and we talked a bit, and it turns out that he'd just won the WPT Mandalay Bay event a few months ago, cashing for almost $800,000.

Donked around a little in the silly $2/3 $100 max buy-in NL game at the Bike yesterday. It was pretty much what you'd expect, but the play was actually better than I'd have guessed as far as the general skill level. I hit a couple of nice hands early and ran my $100 into about $350, but ended up giving it all back, finishing at -$50 for the day.

QQ couldn't take down 36s in a big pot, and I lost two big hands when I hit two pair on the flop with A4s and A8s (limping in both times along with approximately 172 other people) and got action from someone with just a pair of aces with AQ and AJ, and both times they hit their kicker on the river for a bigger two pair.

Also lost another pretty big pot when I limped with 35c and got frisky on a flop of 2c 4c Kd, ending up lumping in a lot of chips but missing all of my draws. Had a good time, though, and it was a pretty friendly game. There's obviously better games to play in, as a max buy-in of $100 renders a $2/3 blind structure pretty silly and not a lot more skillful than playing slots, but it's also not the most stressful of games to play if you just want to kill some time, or are technically on the clock doing the reporting thing and jumping in and out to write updates.


Craig Cunningham said...

I definitely wonder about the impact on all of this going forward. Negreanu had a good post on his blog, and I definitely agreed with a bunch of his thoughts on the subject. eMail me at; I'd be very interested in your off-the-record take on some of this.

kurokitty said...

It always amazes me that the smaller the media, the more unprofessional they act.

I can't tell you how many times another news outlet or news organization has helped me in one way or another -- and vice versa during the act of real news gathering.

Sure, we're competitors. But we all have a job to do. And you score the most points when you write about something that the competition doesn't even know exists, not a sports/poker event.

The smaller media outlets also don't seem to realize that more is better -- the more reporters covering poker, the more interest by advertisers and mainstream media. If the pond is filled with lots of fish, the big fish will come and check it out. And that's good for everybody.

But just keeping poker coverage as one exclusive club seems to answer the Zen koan of "If a tree falls in the forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?" The answer: No one will care.