Twenty grand is nothing at the World Series of Poker. Really. If you said you had $20,000 in your pocket, a great many people would look at you and say, "So? I had a poached egg for breakfast. I win." Unless, they are an internet kid, and then they say, "Poached egg, FTW." And they really use the letters.
How little does $20,000 buy these days at the WSOP?
Well, that was the number being thrown around in the room for what poker sites were paying for small piece of real estate on people's chests when there were still 75 players left.
Top Ten Ways to Spend $20,000 at the 2008 WSOP
1) Pay $20K for a patch on the shirt of [name redacted] for five minutes.
True story. One player got a deal and wore his patch for just five minutes before busting out. Another story...one "pro" got a patch and hat which he wore until he took his first bad beat. He stood, ripped off the hat and patch and threw them at his agent. One day later, the pro was wearing a patch for another site.
2) 20,000 $1 spins on the giant wheel in the Rio.
I'm still not even sure that big wheel is actually a game. The poor dealer who has to stand there spinning the wheel always looks like the second most miserable person at the Rio.
3) A straight seven hours of I Dream of Jeannie slot play
One of my colleagues tried to reach Grubby-style epic slot play while in Vegas. He fell in love with the I Dream of Jeannie machine because it regularly moaned, in a way too sexual manner, "Oh, yes, master! You win, master!"
4) 4,000 tips to the custodian of the All-In Energy Drinks
Desperate times call for desperate consumption decisions. When the Poker Kitchen shut down, we were left without a ready source of caffeine. Enter Super Secret Back Hall bartender, who, for $5, would let us take as many Grape All-In Energy drinks as we wanted. Later, the a $10 tip got us an many beers as we wanted. With an hour to go in the 2008 WSOP, we went to the well for the final time. The dude's boss busted him and we went thirsty.
5) Lose 4,000 games of Keno to a luckbox poker writer
With a constant need to stay in action, my team and I took to playing three-way Keno during our dinner breaks for $5 a head. We'd pick our numbers and whoever got the most right won $5 from each player. One of my team could not lose (and it wasn't me). The only joy I got out of the game was watching the Keno runner zip up to our table when we pulled out the crayons. "We got it covered," we'd always say.
6) Add 25 seconds to a strip tease's first act
The aforementioned tease played a big party after Day 1. Word on the street was, she didn't come cheap.
7) 3,333 four day old cardboard pizzas from Pizza Hut corridor
The shutting down of the Poker Kitchen also took away our Capriotti's sandwiches and cold sushi. We were left with the days-old Pizza Hut personal pan pizzas in the hallway. I'm not sure I've ever eaten worse pie.
8) Hire a full time assistant for [poker writer name redacted]
Some writers at the WSOP work very hard. Some do not.
9) Golf buggy for [poker agent name redacted]
The agent-game at the WSOP was a rough one this year. These are stories I cannot fully tell. However, anyone in the room during the WSOP knows who needed a golf cart by the end.
10) One week of a flying advertising airplane extolling the virtues of [poker pro name redacted]
Advertising takes many forms at the WSOP. One form flew overhead.
Want a better way to spend your money? How about helping Pauly celebrate his five-year anniversary at Tao of Poker. We'll be celebrating our five year in about a month, but chances are we won't be giving away a seat to a $5,000 event. So, take this chance while you've got it.