WSOP 2011: Cupcakes and strippers as Day 1C begins

wsop2011-thumb-blog.pngAs we walked into the Rio this morning, we walked against a veritable cattle parade of loaded-down tourists. It seemed every second person we passed was juggling more cupcakes than the one before.

Yes, cupcakes.

One learns to not be surprised by anything he sees in Las Vegas. If a man can dress up like Little Richard, deal blackjack, and get paid for it, why in the world would we think odd about a woman trying to cradle five cupcakes against her ample stomach? Nevertheless, we'd never seen cupcake hoarding at the Rio, so it piqued our interest.

It took us about 45 minutes to find the source of the gluttony. In front of the television stage in the WSOP's Amazon Room was a tower of cupcakes with nipple-like cherries on their tops. It was obscene in a dozen different ways.

There is, apparently, an entire television program dedicated to some sort of cupcake cooking competition. This probably comes as no surprise to you, and it shouldn't come as a surprise to me. If reality TV producers can make a show out of people buying storage facility junk, what's to stop anyone from rolling tape on people fascinated with cupcakes?

It was around this phenomenon that the kickoff of Day 1C was centered. After WSOP Tournament Director Jack Effel expertly got the crowd's attention and filled everybody in on the rules of the day, he gave an exceedingly warm welcome to one of poker's more famous women, Annie Duke. This is where it all started to make sense. Sort of.

Because I'm out of the loop on cupcakes (Daddy has to lose another ten pounds before deep kissing any more pastry), I didn't know Annie Duke was on a show called "Cupcake Wars," nor that it was popular enough for everyone to start nodding when she talked about it. I also didn't know it was popular enough to warrant the sort of production that can kick off the biggest-yet day of the 2011 WSOP Main Event.

But it is.

Duke was called to the stage to introduce a cupcake cook from the show who, if her 98-pound frame was any indication, hasn't eaten a cupcake since she was six. Just when it all started to make some sense (as much as it was going to anyway), friends and comedic actors Brad Garrett and Ray Romano joined the cupcake women.

"Cupcake is my favorite stripper at the Crazy Horse," Romano explained.

I'm not a branding expert, but I'll be honest. The quickest way to get a roomful of men to stop thinking about your cupcake marketing is to start talking about strippers. Especially when the cupcakes you have provided look like creamy, creamy breasts.

"We're here because we just want to meet guys," Garrett quipped.

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The crowd eating it up (note: I am in this mass of people. If you can spot me, I'll buy your next cupcake)

Amidst all the cherries, frosting, sexual innuendo, and the Abbot and Costello routine, it suddenly became clear that something had been left undone. Everyone was too blissed out on sugar to remember what it was.

Oh, yes. There was the whole matter of getting the tournament started. There were a couple of thousand people looking to make it to the dinner break so they could get more treats. Somebody had to say something.

"Let the cupcake girl say it!" said someone on stage.

And so she did.

"Shuffle up and deal," she squealed.

The cupcake people gave us poker on Day 1C

* * * *
FACIAL HAIR OF THE HOUR
The player in the blue section who has decorated his goatee with two stripes, one red the other blue.

JUST TO BE SURE OF THE HOUR
Player arriving late into the Amazon Room, with hundreds of tables in action around him: "Is this the Amazon Room?"
Official: "Yes."
Player: "Are you sure, I mean this is the right place?"
Official: "Er, yes."
Player: "OK, I hope you're right."
Official, wryly: "Good luck."

SPORTING HERO OF THE HOUR
Australian cricket legend Shane Warne has spun his way into the purple section.


POINTLESS STATISTIC OF THE HOUR
Number of players in the Tan section wearing a full suit and tie: 1

Number of players in the Tan section wearing sports shirts: 6


THE WHAT DOES HE KNOW THAT WE DON'T OF THE HOUR
There is only one player wearing a surgical mask in the Amazon Room today.

PLEASE SEE THE POST ABOUT BEARDS OF THE HOUR
The man with the goatee dyed half red, half blue.


ECUMENICAL MATTER OF THE HOUR
The cap reading "John 6:54" (something about raising)