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Poker News | World Series of Poker | WSOP2009 | The Works

Day 8 Of The WSOP: It's A Small World After All

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My day starts off with a moment that isn't probably that big of a deal but it made me laugh. A media member sneezes a couple seats down from me and World Series of Poker Commissioner Jeffrey Pollack says “bless you.” I tell her that's Jeffrey Pollack and she gets up to introduce herself to him.

Pollack, in his usual formal charm, smiles and says “I'd shake your hand but you just sneezed.” I laughed. I guess I'm easily amused.

The 2.5K deuce to seven no limit event had quite a few big names left in the field so I went down to check out the action. Phil Hellmuth was seated to the immediate left of Mike Matusow and initially Hellmuth put in his earbuds to try and drown out the Matusow noise. It was to no avail though as they weren't powerful enough, so Hellmuth gave up and started talking with Mike. Matusow took the opportunity to ride Hellmuth about his lack of bracelets in events that weren't hold em and told Phil that he would probably sell his soul to the devil to win a bracelet in a non hold em event. Phil shook his head and said that he wouldn't.

Later on it would be Tony G's turn to ride Hellmuth. It got to Hellmuth so much that he called the floor over to force Tony G. to return to his seat. After Hellmuth busted, Tony didn't let up and Phil asked him to leave him alone since he'd just busted on the bubble. Tony said “I'm about to bust on the bubble too, I'll be joining you.” Tony wouldn't bust though and Phil was off to the 2.5K PLHE/PLO event (where he would bust out relatively quickly). A slow start thus far to Hellmuth's World Series, while Tony G. is off to a good start with his 2nd cash already.

At one time today, there were six events going off simultaneously in the Amazon Room. The 1K final table, the 10K stud final table, the 1.5K PLO final table, day two of the deuce to seven, day two of the 1.5K NLHE, and the 1.5K six handed event. Add in the 2.5K PLO/PLHE in the Brasilia Room and it was a busy poker day at the Rio. It was a mad house but a majority of the fans gravitated to the deuce to seven because of players like Lindgren, Ivey, Matusow, and Hellmuth still left in it.

As they approached the bubble in the 1.5K NLHE event, the floor person kept coming over the microphone to repeat the bubble instructions and to ask the players to sit down so that he could see the dealers. The players of course ignored the floor person and were wandering from table to table looking to see if anyone was about to bust. The floor person would repeat himself and the players would continue to ignore him. After about the fifth time, you could sense the aggravation in the floor person's voice. I think if he had a gun, he would have shot it into the air to get every one’s attention.

When they finally did make the money and it was announced, a loud roar went through half the Amazon room. It was nothing like the Main Event celebration, mind you, but still impressive for a donkament. The players were given a break and people filed out of the room smiling and laughing, calling and texting on their cell phones to tell friends and family the good news. I think I even saw someone skipping while singing “Zippity Doo Dah.”

A couple days ago I was sitting in the media are and this young woman walked by that looked very familiar to me. She had on a media pass so I just assumed that it was someone I had met in the past two years at the World Series of Poker. Something still bugged me though. I felt like I knew her from somewhere else. Today, she sat up next to Jennifer Newell and I and as she was talking to Jennifer I heard her say that she used to be a lawyer. A light bulb went off in my head. I had gone to law school at the University of Minnesota and I was sure she had been one of my classmates. Still the odds of that were monumental and I didn't want to embarrass myself, especially since I'd been doing a lot of that lately.

Later that day, I asked her how long she had been working in the poker industry and she told me April. Now I was even more sure that I was right so I asked her what she used to do. “I was a lawyer,” she said. I decided to ask her a question that would definitely be out of the ordinary. “Where did you go to law school,” I asked. “The University of Minnesota my first year and NYU my last two,” she said. “I went to the U too,” I laughed, the recollection of her being in my law school section now firmly entrenched in my head. She took a 2nd glance at me and I think it then hit her as well. We ended up catching up for the next hour, talking about classes we had shared and classmates we knew.

It's a small world after all indeed.

A lot more going on tomorrow. Until then...

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