WSOP 2012: Dead or Alive, an educational, interactive blog post

wsop-130x100.pngIn the anthropological study of the World Series of Poker, it takes a keen eye to tell the living from the dead. Like the beginning days of the future inevitable apocalypse, the walking dead's rot doesn't really get stinking for a few days. Given just the cursory glance, you could overlook the fact that a zombie is getting ready to bite through your clavicle. That's why you have us. We've been around for a while, and we've learned to spot the dead at forty paces.

At the beginning of this day, 1,765 players were alive. Now, only 1,170 are breathing. Do the math, and ask yourself how safe you would feel in the hallways of the Rio Convention Center.

With that in mind, we offer you this helpful quiz to prepare you for the soul-numbing carnage still to come. Read closely, and you might make it to Day 4 without becoming the amuse-bouche for a brain-hungry WSOP zombie.


Q. A man who looks like he hasn't exercised since Doyle Brunson was a baby is engaged in a wild-eyed, breakneck sprint down the hallway. His eyes are blank, and he running in your direction. Dead or Alive?

A. The dude is alive, but you'd best get out of his way, anyway. He's either running to the bathroom or back from the bathroom. See, he was trying to do his business between hands. While he might be breathing, he doesn't see you and will run you over if you stand in the way, because Lord knows, that hand he is about to miss is 100% pocket aces.

Q. You're standing next to a man who is speaking into a cell phone and says, "I slow-played pocket kings..." Dead or Alive?

A. Back away slowly. While the guy may still have the power of speech, he's dead. He's just called his backers (or his still living wife--who, for the record, is probably already shacked up with a new man who owns a Mossberg) to tell them how he expertly trapped the table maniac and got "unlucky." The next call he makes will be to whatever restaurant serves your brains over quinoa.

Q. A quiet man appears to be doing math with his fingers while his lips mumble "Nine, ten, eleven..." Dead or Alive?

A. Run. Run fast. This guy has been dead for a while. He's reached the stage at which he is no longer stunned-dumb or weeping uncontrollably. He's reached "Counting How Many Outs I Had on That Draw" stage. You're just minutes away from watching maggots squirm out of his cake-hole.

Q. You are walking through the Rio and see something valuable fly by your head ($500 sunglasses, $300 smartphone, $700 iPad, a $5,000 wrap of $100 bills). Fifty feet away stands a 23-year-old kid in basketball shorts. Dead or Alive?

A. He may look youthful, but he's dead inside. There is a 99% chance he just dusted off his $10,000 buy-in on a gutshot straight draw. Once that money is gone, all other things of value apparently cease to matter. Best bet: pick up the iPad and run in the other direction.

Q. Two young men begin to berate a 60-year-old woman at the table and tell her to "Hit the showers" when she busts. Dead or Alive?

A. While their ability to be decent human beings likely atrophied ages ago, these guys are almost certainly still alive. Zombies only destroy people out of instinct. It takes a real, living human being to be that disgusting.


The Las Vegas Zombie Apocalypse store



Tables left in the Brasilia room: 41 from 88.


Both "Spiderman" and "Umbrella hat man" are still in the Main Event.

Brad Willis
@BradWillis in World Series of Poker