Inspiration from Stu

I was at the cage in the Bellagio the other day. While I was hanging about waiting to get my affairs sorted out I overheard a conversation between two of the cashiers. They were looking at two photographs of a guy and one said to the other : “This can’t be the same guy, he looks forty years older.” They seemed a little distressed so I decided to help them out. I suggested that maybe it was indeed the same guy but that he’d been playing tournaments in the Rio for five weeks. I was quite surprised when they didn’t thank me for my invaluable assistance but maybe they’ve never play the world series and just didn’t understand. The TV shows millionaires being created, they forget to explain that for every new millionaire dozens of guys go broke.

I played day 1C of the main event. It seemed as good a day as any. I didn’t sleep too good the night before. I kept waking up thinking that if the Ladies event got four hundred less runners than they expected and the Seniors got an extra four hundred there had to be a connection. I had to stop myself from jumping out of bed to look at photographs on the net from last year’s Ladies and this year’s Seniors just to see if this is more than a coincidence. Either I’m sick or I’m onto something really big.

They announced at the start of play that they’d stuck in a few more levels to make the event more fair. They didn’t explain why it hasn’t been fair up to now. I’d like to think that they made the world championships a championship event out of the goodness of their heart but the cynic in me keeps whispering that it’s because ESPN and all their dollars are fed up with final tables that look like a random day one table. Then some country singer I’d never heard of sang a song I could do without hearing again. Marvellous! When that was finished they excitedly announced that the best tournament director in the world would do the “shuffle up and deal” bit. Unfortunately, he was busy running a tournament in the Bellagio at the time so some other guy did it instead. Everything went fine until the dinner break. Then we had to queue for twelve minutes to get down the corridor in the Rio because some guy was signing books or something and required a lot of space. I thought they had a trade fair for that kind of stuff. I had a bit of a rough ride after dinner and managed to finish the day off with less chips than I started with. The good news is that Poker Trillion who’ve sponsored me at this year’s WSOP are running a freeroll tournament on their site on the 20th of July with a prize fund being determined by how many guys I finish ahead of in the main event. They’ve generously agreed to donate a similar amount to Simon Poker Day, the Irish poker players’ annual fund raising event for the homeless. Some wag on two plus two estimated that on my performance so far at the WSOP it wouldn’t come to more than a hundred bucks and I don’t blame him. Fortunately it will in excess of three thousand dollars at the moment and maybe I’ll even manage to beat another couple of guys.

There’s a lot of hanging about during this event so Kevin O’Connell brought a bunch of poker players to dinner at the Wynn. Thank God he was paying. During dinner I asked an English guy I like how Simon Zach was getting on. I was told he survived day one with nine thousand in chips after hitting the 60K mark at some stage. As a Stu Ungar fan, he’d gone to visit Stu’s grave, hoping to get a bit of inspiration for day 2. It seemed like a good idea to me until Julian Gardner pointed out that perhaps he should have gone to see Stuey when he had the 60K because for sure Stuey whould have known what to do with that.