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Barny Boatman
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Watch out for those Cameras

World Series of Poker, Las Vegas
$1,500 Limit Hold'em
Report by Barny on Monday, 26 April 2004 at 6:37 am

It’s a lot like having a job. Every day we get in the car and do the half hour commute Downtown to Binion’s, punch in and go to work. We always pick a CD to get us in the right mood; ‘The Harder They Come’, ‘The Score’… Today it was the Black Eyed Peas, and I was still singing along in the empty rest room just before kick off: ‘Where is the Love?’ ‘Well it sure as hell ain’t in Binion’s!’ came the reply from one of the cubicles.

The fields are massive, particularly for the events that are being filmed by ESPN. By and large the camera crews seem unobtrusive although I have noticed that they seem to be the kiss of death for anyone they focus on. Poor Chris Ferguson could have done without today’s six-hundredth place finish being recorded for posterity.
There is one massive crane camera that constantly sweeps about two feet above us. This is the land of litigation and players are constantly popping up from their seats trying to accidentally get hit on the head so they can sue. It’s like a cross between a Mexican wave and that fairground game where moles pop out of holes and you whack them with a stick. Sadly I’m too short for this game so I have to stay in my seat and try to win tournaments.

Today was the $1,500 limit hold-em and for the third day in a row I slogged it out for six or seven levels, got a lot of chips and lost them a little way off the money. I had thought that they were paying too many places this year – about ten percent of the runners- , but I’m thinking of suggesting that they pay everyone who makes it to the dinner break. Certainly the buffet itself is no consolation.

You’ve got to take your hat off to Matt Savage. Every day in the tournament area there are hundreds of people milling around, registering for the tournament, waiting for the final of the previous days event or buying in for a super satellite. It feels like chaos. The tournament tables fill the huge upstairs hall and most of downstairs as well. Matt runs the events, commentates on the finals and gives (good) rulings without ever getting phased or raising his voice. And guess what? The tournaments which are scheduled to begin at midday start at exactly twelve noon; something no British card room seems able to do.

Finally, congratulations to James Vogl who by all accounts played brilliantly in yesterday’s final and now has more WSOP bracelets than the whole Hendon Mob put together. James, an application to join The Mob would receive favourable consideration!


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