Well, bend me over and call me Rover, I can’t believe the 2008 WSOP was amazingly well run.
Last year we had the back tent nearly blow away and depending on where you sat you either cooked thus sweating like a pig or you were freezing your ass off. In 2006 and 2007, we had the restroom breaks or was it the charging of the bulls and one thing is for sure, you didn’t want to order the Chardonnay when cocktails were announced.
The famous player cafeteria had their infamous chicken wrap - when you took a bite another wing would grow back.The structures were pathetic where in most limit events you wouldn’t lose anyone for the first 3 levels then when it was important to have some chips if you had average and lost a hand to the river heaven help you.
Okay, we learn by our mistakes and in 2008 there were huge improvements in all areas. The registration lines were well organised and the waiting time was minimal in most events. The payouts were also more efficient and there was a bonus for the foreigners who won less than $5,000 net profit - there was no 30% held (Yippee, something for the small shopkeeper!). In other words, if you played a $3,000 event and you cashed out for $7,500, there would be no 30% withheld. (Eg $7,500 less 3,000 entry = net profit of $4,500 which is less than $5,000 thus no withholding tax).
The structures for all the limit events were very good where if you actually won some hands early you could build up your chips with gradual increases late in the tournament. (Give yourselves the Degree checkmark).
Another good thing was the colour coding areas of the Amazon room, the use of the Brazilian room for many of the Day 2 of tournaments and the separate area for one table satellites.
There were many Aussies who attended this year with very good success as you will see later on. With such a long tournament schedule, I decided to pass on the first 15 events and I’m so glad I did as by the end I was just worn out (as were many other poker players) and had enough.
It wouldn’t be a surprise that when Joe Hachem and Shane Warne walked the halls of the casino together, they were frequently approached by fans wanting to take a photo. To Shane's surprise, it was he that had to hold the camera to take the picture of Joe with his fans. ( I guess the yanks don’t know a lot about cricket)
Mark Vos trying to be interviewed while drunk - Just click here and have a laugh.
Gus Hansen interview on women is another not to be missed. (Go to TV.PokerNews.com)
I walked in the Amazon room to finally see Michael Tomeny playing 100-200 limit Holdem. "Mike, where have you been?" I asked. "Mate, I have been changing nappies and taking care of the little one while waiting for my old lady to be knocked out," he replied. With Aussie Sarah cashing in 5 times, poor Mike was knee deep in baby crap for much longer than he anticipated. Thank your lucky stars, Mike for the babysitter you found later.
Sydneysider, Sammy Khouis who was over the moon to find a 100 a point game of Chinese poker at the Venetian with some Middle Eastern gentleman named Ernan and two others. I asked Mark Gregorich how good this guy was. “Well Croc, two years ago he was the bunny, but over the last 12 months he’s studied the game inside out with computer simulations and programs. He also used to be a Grand Chess champion so he’s no fool and I wouldn’t be playing him”
Anyway, enough from me – join me next time for Part 2 of “Croc’s Wrap at the 2008 WSOP.”
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