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Poker News | World Series of Poker | WSOP2008 | The Works

The 2008 World Series Of Poker Official Cluster**** - Day 34 Of The WSOP

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Last year, I missed the Ante Up For Africa event because it was one of the few days off I had. This year, I wanted to see it and made it a priority to come to. Wow, I had no idea what I was in for. Now I know why celebrities like Lindsay Lohan and Britney Spears go a little crazy with all the paparazzi chasing them around. It was/is a madhouse here. Throw in a Ben Affleck, Adam Sandler, and Matt Damon and all of a sudden 200 members of the media show up. Whatever you do, don't get in their way either, because they will run your ass over to get a shot of the celebrity they are after.

I'm not a big “fan boy” but I have to admit it was pretty cool seeing some of my favorite actors up close and personal. The big three (as listed above) were all very accommodating with the cameras and interviews being thrown their way. Ben Affleck on the very first hand he was dealt picked up pocket queens, flopped a set, turned a full house, and managed to take most of the chips of a buxom blonde actress from the UK that I'd never heard of. Affleck said, “I didn't want to bust her on the first hand” when someone asked him why he didn't go all in. “Why didn't you check then,” they asked. Ben laughed and answered, “I didn't want to check either.”

Phil Hellmuth ran around the room introducing different poker personalities and celebrities and of course took the opportunity to talk about himself as much as possible. He brought up the Tournament of Champions loss he had to Annie Duke and someone at the table that I was watching at the time said, “wasn't that like ten years ago?”

Beth Shak ended up winning the Budding Ivey charity tournament last night. She told me even though it was a charity tournament, she tried her best and was happy to come away with the win and a nice big trophy.

Media row is a mess right now too as there are people I've never seen before sitting right next to me. The focus of their conversation is mainly the celebrities that are here. In fact, I had to give them the name of the player that they didn't know who took 2nd in the 50K H.O.R.S.E. event. Ahhhhh, rookies.

There is a mega satellite going on in front of me and from what I heard from one of the players they are giving away 43 seats. Wow, that's a nice prize pool for a live mega. They'll be running mega's all the way through Saturday as the final day one of the Main Event does not start until Sunday.

They have blackjack tables set up in the Amazon Room. I am so doomed. I need to go home and put all my cash up. Like right now.

4:15 p.m.

I just now saw the longest line I've seen at the Amazon Room all year. People are lined up to register for one of the mega's. I'm not sure if it is for the $500 one that was supposed to start 15 minutes ago but hasn't, or if it is for the $300 one that starts at 6, but it is at least 100 people long if not 200. I'm tempted to go jump in line and join them.

I ran into a friend of mine, Jimmy, from back home. I've known Jimmy for some time. He was an officer in the Army, but was recently discharged. Jimmy is a former student of mine who won a seat into the Main Event through the site I used to mentor programs for. He had never been to Vegas before so he got the thrill of walking into the Amazon Room for the first time. As a poker player, there might not be another sight quite like it. “It looks so small on tv, but when you walk in the actual room it's overwhelming,” he told me. We talked about family and poker and I gave him a few pointers and bought 1% of him. Probably $100 thrown down the drain (it's such a long shot to cash in the Main Event) but I have to show faith in my friends.

6:00 p.m.

For the first time at the WSOP, I am discontent with the way Harrah's and their staff handled things. The way they dealt with the Ante Up For Africa tournament, particularly with members of the poker media that have been hyping up their event and working hard for the past four to five weeks was inexcusable in my opinion. We were essentially tossed to the side today if we were not a member of some huge media conglomeration. The least they could have done is set up a roped off area for the media where they can wait in line and get 15 minutes of access on a rotating basis. They did this for the Main Event last year and it worked well. This year, after the initial fifteen minutes of access, the media were given the boot and basically shoved out of the Brasilia room. Not very “charitable” if you ask me.

At least the Main Event starts tomorrow. I'll be back then to report on all that craziness! Maybe if I'm lucky in the mega satellite tonight, it'll even be as a player. Yea, who am I kidding. I'll see ya'll tomorrow from this side of the table.

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