WSOP Main: it's getting hot here
Back in the early days of PokerStars, PokerStars blog, World Series qualification satellites and dreams becoming reality for Chris Moneymaker, Greg Raymer, et al, those qualifiers who didn't go all the way to the winner's enclosure used to be happy with a bag full of T-shirts, a baseball cap and a card protector with the esteemed PokerStars logo branded upon it. These days they're not happy unless they've had an invite to an exclusive party where a Grammy award winning artist has played just for them.
Fortunate then that that is precisely what they now get.
This missive comes to you moments after Nelly has left the stage at "Rain", the nightclub at the Palms casino where the rap star Nelly has just played one of the most spectacular sets ever seen by a gathering of the fortunate people; those PokerStars players who snagged a wristband to Las Vegas' party of the year.
"I'm setting the line at 'brilliant'," said a member of the media ahead of Nelly taking the stage tonight. That line was set way too low.
Rain erupted in the same way it does whenever it's powered by Las Vegas youth. A red carpet sea of hand waving enthusiasts cheered the high wire acrobatics served as an entree and busied themselves with the combat of a free bar. But as the temperature rose and the main event became the focus of everyone's attention Rain became a sea of waving hands as the PokerStars world gave themselves up to the land of Nelly and his kick-ass world. Drinks were spilled and the ice sculptures melted and he performed a best of medley in the most exclusive of Las Vegas resorts.
The winner of one main event Joe Hachem introduces another...
Introduced by former World Champion Joe Hachem, Nelly flabbergasted everyone, from those new to hip hop through to anyone well versed in the hip hop arts. People rocked, people sang and people screamed non-stop through the half hour set, oblivious to thoughts of tomorrow or the regrets of yesterday. This was a conversion to the church of Nelly, where poker players swore their allegiance and pledged to tell the world it was getting hot in here.
It seems almost a shame to point out that tomorrow joviality gives way to the tough world of tournament poker. But for tonight at least it was time for a celebration, not just of PokerStars and the achievements of its player, but for the main event itself. Sure, tomorrow you may hate the guy next to you for his bubble gum habit, but tonight he as standing next to you, making his hips move and yelling lyrics at the top of his voice.
The serious business begins tomorrow but for tonight at least the business of Las Vegas was about fun and it was a good day.