As I write the smoke filled air in the L.A. valley's is just a hazy memory in my mind and maybe a thin layer of ash in my lungs. It took two weeks and the lives of two firefighters to contain the worst wildfire in L.A.'s recent history.
The 2009 Legends of poker is also history. The media event took place at the beginning of the tournament so that the media could have a preview of the new events centre. I was drawn in seat 3 facing Playmate Jayde Nicole (thanks Heff for sending one girl.) with Jamie Gold in seat 1 and Annie Duke in seat 4. I outlasted the model and the former world champ but not Howard's lil sister who won the tournie, the only time she would play here.
Jay Siegal, who previously wrote the final table reports here, was unveiled as the new TD. That is like Bolton replacing Gary Megson with the Reebok announcer. Actually, that would be a popular move with the fans. With final tables starting at 3pm, noon and finally 7pm it was no surprise the new FT reporter moved into a room across the street, just a five minute from bed to tableside move.
The WPT event arrived but top players departed. Chino Rheem, Nam Le, Quinn Do and JC Tran to Asia and TJ Cloutier, Clonie Gowen, Kido Pham, Men Nguyen, Allen Kessler and the Mizrachi brothers to the $2k with a half a million overlay tournie, Winstar OK.
Normally, the September tournament at the Commerce would be held for the locals without too much fuss. However, this year Matt Savage has revitalised the event. Starting on Thursday with a $200 buy in with a $500k guarantee where players can enter all three day ones and cash three times. Rob is going to love typing up the results for this one!
Less confusing but more challenging is the Ironman tournament, predicted to play non-stop for 24 hours, with tableside food. The tournament plays until a last man standing who will take home 50% of the pool as well as some B.O.
If your sponsor doesn't require your presence in Europe, take a plane to LAX and join in the fun. The staff at the Commerce are beautiful and friendly, the weather should be perfect and if, like me, you like some music after your poker, then this month you can see Scotland's Paulo Nutini, Wales' Manic St. Preachers and Liverpool's World Party in concert. The cancellation of the Charlatans was a blow though.
World Team poker is still looking for a British and an Irish team for the series. If you are interested say so in the forum.