Thankfully I had my notebook handy to jot down the official figures! I was taking my daily stroll through the Amazon Room taking in all the action, realizing that there's only 9 days left and then the 2007 WSOP will come to a close. I'll miss the dealers, the chips, the action, the players, the excitement, the bad beats, the tall tales told in the hallway, and of course the media room. No time for reminiscing though, Phil Hellmuth is at the ESPN T.V. Table, Erik Lindgren is scooping a pot across the room, Daniel Negreanu is chatting up his table and Dutch Boyd is staring me down as I pass his table.
My first impression of the Main Event this year is that things seem to be in order. Harrah's made a great move by only allowing a certain amount of spectators in at a time. What a difference this makes! I could easily navigate the aisles, there was room for me to breathe and actually stretch out a bit, I recognized faces, I got a spot next to the rail everywhere I went, and nobody ran into me or knocked me over! This is truly a great experience. I had to laugh when I walked up to the bouncer guarding the gates to the Amazon Room. It looked like a line of people waiting to get into a nightclub except that the people waiting to get in weren't wearing Gucci or Prada, they were wearing Full Tilt and PokerStars gear. Just like being a member has its privileges, so does wearing a media pass, because I completely bypassed the line and walked right in.
The parking lot was manageable today, the lines weren't long in the food kitchen, and since the Media Room is too small to accommodate all of us, they decided to give us the entire hallway! The Rio set up long banquet tables and provided us with ample power supply. I have to admit, I was worried that I wouldn't have a place to sit or plug in my laptop, but they took care of us. Harrah's is working hard to improve the WSOP experience and I'm quite impressed.
Security is tighter right now, the bathrooms are in mint condition, there is free food in the Media Room every night and there is an endless supply of bottled water for the hard working writers. I was once told that when you are tired, drinking water is the best cure. Maybe Harrah's heard the same thing because they certainly hooked it up.
At last glance Michael Craig was kicking some serious poker ass, Cindy Violette was holding her own, Jamie Gold has been eliminated, Gus Hansen was doing the deal, Brandi Hawbaker was making sure everyone in the room knew that she is a "serious player" and Vinny Vinh is missing in action. If he doesn't show up soon, he won't make it to Day 2.
Play will continue until about 4 in the morning tonight/tomorrow and then we'll have a much better idea of who to keep our sights on. Will it be Daniel Negreanu? How about John Phan, maybe Carlos Mortensen or maybe the 2006 50K HORSE Champion Chip Reese? I know one thing for sure, I'll be speeding over to the Rio tomorrow after work to get my daily dose of excitement and share it with you.