The Story So Far

Thursday, June 4th, 2009, 12:43 am

So far so good at the World Series of Poker. My sore throat and cough cleared up, my appetite has returned, and I’d say I’m operating at around 95% efficiency. I’m getting six hours of sleep a night, I’ve eaten the occasional vegetable, and three times I’ve wisely hit the breaks when out drinking. I’ve written some good stuff, taken some cool photos, and spent about 85 hours at the Rio in the past week.

It’s weird not working for PokerNews and covering one tournament from start to finish. To be honest I usually have no clue what’s going on out there. I’m following the UltimateBet players, natch, and I keep my ears and eyes and mind open to possible stories or photos to work on. I really haven’t had a chance to chat with many of the UB players (heck, or even to introduce myself) but that’s no biggie. I just do my thing, like I always do.

There are some logistical issues that have me on Category-4 worktilt right now, but to be honest the ride so far has been smoother than I expected. My roommate for the first two weeks couldn’t make it, so I’ll have the room to myself through mid-June. I’ve got my seat locked up on Media Row, I’ve only lost $50 playing video poker (and gotten about 8 beers out of it, a wash) and I won my first prop bet of the WSOP with Pauly. To be honest I’m so relieved that I’m feeling good that I can fade a lot of nonsense. I’m a professional; I can deal.

Anyway, here’s a few pics I’ve taken the last week or so.

Harrah’s invited 21 former World Champions to play in a Champions Invitational, with the winner going home with a restored 1970 Corvette Stingray and a trophy called the Binion Cup. The gathered the champions around a table and while I wasn’t able to get down there on the floor to get a good shot, I elbowed and shouldered my way into position in the lounge above to get this shot:

ESPN filmed a competition between Annie Duke and Norman Chad to see who could sell the most lemonade to fans waiting to get into the Amazon Room. I’m hoping I don’t end up on TV, but I got some good shots of Annie and Norm having fun selling tart drinks:

There’s less media here than in year’s past (that pesky economy) but that doesn’t mean there aren’t a lot of folks out there with pens and cameras following the action. Here’s a shot of the media recording the first bracelet ceremony of the WSOP:

A wide shot of the Amazon Room, the biggest of the three rooms used for the WSOP. That doesn’t include various nooks and crannies they stick tables when there’s a serious overflow. Basically this is my office for seven weeks out of the year:

The plan was to do some “creative” photography at the WSOP, and to that end I was studying up on Lightroom and composition and coming up with neato ideas. So far I’m not happy with the pics I’ve taken, but I have a few that I think are neato.

Phil Hellmuth, petulant, zeroed out but for the yellows:

Robert Varkonkyi, 2002 World Champion, looking at the felt during the Champions Invitational tournament:

This really isn’t a good pic, I just dig it because I shot from the hip (figuratively speaking) and got a pict with seven World Champs. Fuzzed it up a lot, it’s just this haphazard collection of faces and frames I think looks neat:

So that’s it, so far. One week down, six more to go. So far so good, I guess. The trick now is coming up with good content every day without repeating myself. But I feel confident I can come up with interesting crap or, failing that, fake some interesting crap. All the photos I’ve taken (and will take) at the World Series will be posted at my Flickr page. Check it out, and follow along with the WSOP.

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One Response to “The Story So Far”

  1. Short-Stacked Shamus Says:

    Cool stuff. Esp. like the last one of the seven champs… all sorts of interesting contrasts there (never mind the personalities, also a curious mix)

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