2008 World Series: Sport of kings

There's likely a very good reason they call horse racing the sport of kings. Something about King Charles II, his mistress, and the king on the back of a horse. It's a sordid tale probably best left off the pages of a family poker blog. You don't see many kings anymore, not to mention one slapping the side of a pony while waiting for Oliver Cromwell to give up the ghost. History is as weird as the present day sometimes.

Tradition wills us, however, to give horse racing its due as the sport of kings. However, here in the Amazon room, a different HORSE competition will crown the king, or, as is still a real possibility, queen.

A bit ago, the tournament director announced that 148 players (the exact same number as last year) will be fighting for one of the top 16 money spots in this $50,000 HORSE event. First place will walk away with $1,989,120.

A look around the room sees a wide variety of styles and names. Dario Minieri sits behind his scarf-mask, quietly pounding a Stud-8 pot with the winning full house. On his right elbow, Isabelle Mercier switches back and forth between a book and a hard-core massage. This sport of kings won't end in two minutes and it certainly won't end with the victor winning by a nose. It's a five-day grind that will see all but one horse put down (although probably not by the same means as the racing kind).


Sport? Well that is a much debated topic, and one on which Joe Hachem has more than a couple of opinions. Check that out in the video blog below.

Watch WSOP 08: Joe Hachem On Poker As A Sport on PokerStars.tv

With Level 3 about to come to a close, the players here still look to play well into the morning hours. The chances of anybody heading for the glue factory tonight are slim, but stranger things have happened...like, say, a king slappping a horse's hindquarters while his mistress watches from the stands.

Brad Willis
@BradWillis in World Series of Poker