Saturday at the WSOP

Be sure to see all the posts below, including PokerStars player Brett Favre's cash in yesterday's event

At 6pm, the sun still hangs high in the sky over the Nevada mountains. Giant cranes sit dormant, sky-hugging towers under construction left unattended for the weekend. The Gold Coast Casino will have another showing of Forever Plaid tonight, curiously (if you believe the marquee) "the best reviewed show of 2005." The sky is as clear as one could ask, and the Vegas nightlife is yet to crawl from the shadows.

And hundreds of people have no idea what the outside looks like.

Now in its third week, the World Series of Poker still grinds at the Rio. The giant room is divided into quadrants. One corner hosts 24-hour satellites that range (depending on the day and interest) from $50 to $1000. Another corner is home to the cash games where players are playing everything from $1/$2 NL Hold'em to $25/$50 PL Omaha O8. Players sit, screaming for cocktails, hording bricks of hundreds and begrudgingly counting them out a thousand bucks at a time after a big loss.

The remaining two corners are dedicated to WSOP tournament play. Depending on the day and game, the rail flucuates between unbearably crowded and curiously sparse. Last night's marathon Stud Hi-Lo final table drew a crowd only when play got heads up. The Limit Hold'em Shoot-out final table lasted more than 12 hours before some sort of deal was struck between the final two players and ended in a flurry of betting and folding.

Today, the rail is again full as the big names have again arrived to compete in today's Limit Hold'em event. Our own William "Brett Favre" Jensen had the uneviable postion of being seated directly between Howard Lederer and Daniel Negreanu. Jensen held on for about six hours before succumbing.


In just a few days on the ground here, I've heard and overheard a lot. Most of what I've heard is unprintable here, but some of the elevator talk has been entertaining.

An "F" for a bad beat--A tattooed gentlemen saw my media badge and launched into his only bad beat story of the tournament. AQ on a AQ2 board. His opponent draws runner-runner for a full house with T2. "And then," he said, "I said the f-word and got a ten minute penalty and was blinded off for ten minutes." Hearing a muscled-up tattooed guy say "F-word" made me laugh. I guess he learned his lesson. If you're on your way out to the WSOP, know that while you can get by with a lot here, the f-word is verboten. Say it and you get penalized.

A bachelor party bad beat--"Damn, it's hot in here." The guy in the elevator was sweatinng bullets through his shaved scalp. It looked like he'd been shopping. Someone asked him if he'd been running. "Just running around. My cousin is getting married. We had booked a room at the Mirage for a bachelor party," he said. "But one of my cousin's friends saw us at the hotel." I'm not sure how this story ended, but I have to imagine it didn't end well.

Legal-ese--A man in a wrinkled shirt leaned against the mirrored elevators walls and sighed. A woman asked if he was on his way to donate some more money to the pit. "The Rio got all my money a long time ago." The woman suggested he divorce himself from he casino pit. "Divorce," he mused, closing his bloodshot eyes. "I think I need an order of protection."


There's the Staurday night update. I'll be keeping an eye out for our Stars players over the weekend. Hopefully we can score another bracelet for the home team.

Brad Willis
@BradWillis in World Series of Poker