I am not Pauly. When setting out for a long-haul trip, I always promise myself I will write more. Then, by the end of the 15-hour day, I don't want to look at a computer. Thus, most of my Vegas tales get relegated to an internal file from which I later pick a couple of dusty gems and pass them along.
That file is, at the moment, still closed. I'm just about decompressed, but not entirely.
That said, while in Vegas this year I worked alongside a couple of top poker writers who are exceptionally good at self-editing. During this trip, these guys started compiling lists that we contributed to over our three weeks on the ground.
While I still sort out what I could and should write about this year's World Series, I've gone back over the lists and thought I would share a few over the next few days.
Here is the first one. It's titled "The Requests."
See, during most of our time at the World Series, my team sat on the front row of the press box. While it gave us a great view, and two fewer steps to climb, it also made us the de facto information booth for people passing by who needed their questions answered. This is the short-list of things for which we were asked or questions we tried to answer with clinched jaws.
* Do you have a napkin?
* Does anybody have a paperclip?
* Where is the 'leaderboard'? (Answered by pointing to one of the two dozen plasma screens hanging all over the room.)
* Do you have a printed list of the players?
* Is my buddy (Nobody Jones) still in?
* Where's Michael Binger... BINGer?
* Is Erik Lindgren still in?
* Do you know Monika? She's in the Polish press!
* Where are the PokerNews guys? [We answer by pointing six inches to our left.]
* [On Day 6] Where is Daniel Negreanu? [Answer: He's been out for a week and half.]
* Where is Benjo?
* Everything alright? (Jeffrey Pollack)
* What's the chip average today? [We don't know.] What was it yesterday?
* Are there any of the big names in?
* The people with the most chips, are they winning? Do they have the best chance of getting through tomorrow?
* Where's the Poker Kings suite? [Hard to answer, because there was no such thing. We eventually figured out they were looking for the Poker Royalty suite.]
* My personal favorite... it's mid-way through the the four day one flights. Harrah's is keeping a tight reign on the hard numbers to avoid any perception that the WSOP is in trouble. T.J. Cloutier walks up and looks me in the face. He's tall enough that he is standing on the floor, I'm on a riser, and we're still looking eye-to-eye. He asks "'How many players are there?" I try to explain that nobody knows for sure yet. "Well, you're the media! I kind of figured that's the kind of thing you guys should be reporting."
* Where can I find PokerRoad?
* It's Day 6, when an older guy, likely drunk, and certainly wearing a leather fedora walks up and asks, "Could you tell me where I finished?" When asked his name and how long ago he busted out, he answers, with, "Some time on Day 1B."
* How much does the chip leader have?
* Who wants to go to Disneyworld?
* With a big fuck-off TV screen 10 feet away with all the answers on it in big letters... "How many players are left and how many started?"
* It's Day 7 and there are two tables still standing in the Amazon Room. Literally, every other poker table has been collapsed for storage. It's very late and most of the lights are off. A man walks through the darkness, through the quiet, through the absolute tension that is the final table bubble, and asks "Are the cash games still going here?
* Wassup guys? (Jeffrey Pollack)