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

Day 37 – Paparazzi And The Poker Palooza

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I'm a big fan of Ante Up For Africa for several reasons. First, it's for a great cause (although I could argue that there are causes that need attention in the United States, but that's one of the great things about our country is we've always gone out of our ways to provide aid to others who don't have it as good as we do). Second, it brings poker to the forefront for at least one day with big names like Ben Affleck, Matt Damon, and Don Cheadle partaking in the festivities.

The one thing I don't like, however, is the f'in paparazzi. They come in and act like they own the world and they don't care who is in their way, if they have a shot they want to get, they are going to do whatever it takes to get to it.

Here's a perfect example of what I'm talking about. I was watching from the enclosed moat area they had for the media (since we weren't allowed inside the actual tournament area) and they were trying to clear out the media members who had not listened to the countless announcements saying, “No media allowed.”

Maybe I should be more of a rebel and follow the crowd and have gone inside the ropes but I usually listen to those types of announcements. Anyway, one member of the paparazzi with his huge television camera wasn't going anywhere. Finally, Jack Effel came up to him, red faced, and told him to take his stuff and get out. The guy didn't budge and Effel yelled at him, “Get out now or I'll have security escort you off the premises!”

I'd never seen Effel that angry.

The guy leaves and I'm continuing to stand there watching the throng of media crowd Matt Damon's table. I'm doing so from a pretty safe distance but I have a good angle at Damon. I'm standing with a wide stance because I know I have to protect my footing here or I'll end up on the ground. All of a sudden the same guy that Effel had just yelled up starts to push up on me and he says, “Excuse me, I need in there.”

There isn't any room next to me and I turn and say calmly, “I'm standing here, sorry.”

The guy glares at me, almost shoving his camera into my face. “Are you media?” he demands to know.

I think to myself, “Dude, I've been here for two months, you've been here for two hours.” I flash my media badge and stand my ground. He leaves. The girls from the poker media next to me laugh. I join them. F'in paparazzi.

I almost feel bad for the one final table that is going on today. They've been relegated to a small section of the Amazon Room and are definitely the “side show” today. There is a small group of loyal friends there watching, but if you didn't know there was a final table taking place today you'd have figured it was just a bunch of guys hanging out and playing poker, not playing for a million dollars and a WSOP bracelet.

The Poker Palooza, the annual show where people try and hawk their poker (and non-poker) related goods to unsuspecting poker fans and people who got lost in the Rio, started today. I took a quick walk through. As usual, it was the normal mix of poker publications, poker tournaments trying to publicize their tournament, people selling various poker related paraphernalia, and poker training sites trying to sucker, err I mean convince, people to sign up for training from them. There was some cool poker art and some really lame poker art (one painting I saw had a bed of daisies and other flowers with some type of poker game going on. **gag**) but for the most part it was the same exact stuff I've seen in the previous years.

I did manage to lose $10 prop betting with Rick Fuller whether this big dude could make it up another rock on this rock climbing wall. I thought he would. He didn't. Damn Palooza cost me money. That's my bad beat story for the day.

Back to “real” poker tomorrow with the Main Event, Day 1A, getting underway. Until then...

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