Of course, that's not to say I didn't have trouble falling asleep last night. You see, I left Vegas on the very day the WSOP Main Event started, the day Doyle Brunson, the Godfather of Poker - who everyone feared wouldn't play the Main this year - kicked things off with the familiar "shuffle up and deal!", and the day 897 people entered to take their shot at the Big One.
And remember, this is only Day One. There will be 4 Day Ones, and 2 Day Twos. If you make it past your starting draw, you still have five long days (12-15 hours each) of poker to navigate before finding yourself part of the lucky few who'll make up this year's November Nine.Yesterday, 560 fortunate players crossed that hurdle and will start again, in four or five days, depending on what Day 2 they drew.
Regardless of whether the numbers are down from last year (which I don't see happening, but we'll see), the field will be massive. What other sport draws competitive numbers like that? I can't *wait* to see the stories of some new faces...that's always the best part.
I'm also really glad to see some of the changes in the reporting. If you can't be in Vegas but love watching the action, you really need to be checking out ESPN's live streaming coverage (follow @ESPN_Poker for reports and links to same). The reporting is excellent and the commentary is even better, as they're using actual poker pros to discuss hands and strategy and to obtain interviews with the players. It's kind of a 2+2er's dream, imo.
In addition, I really think ESPN scored a coup when they signed Kara Scott, @KaraOTR, to assist, because while she rocks the camera with her looks, that's actually secondary to her ability to speak to the issues, get players to open up (which is a unique skill and talent that you either have or you don't - and she does, in spades), and (more importantly) ask the questions that you find yourself wanting to hear answers to. There's no way all that coverage will end up on TV so don't miss out by skipping the livestreams. I only hope that this won't keep Kara from playing because she's good.
Despite my inability to run deep or cash in anything this year (which I'm bitter about, but starting to deal with), I had an amazing trip. I met everybody I wanted to meet (well, except for @kimshannon, who was too busy killing cash games in AC with @OnAFoldDraw, slackers) and played a ton of poker.
I'm amazed at the people who make up the poker community. Sit down at any table, cash or tournament, and you will find people from every walk of life and from every corner of the world. As someone who loves stories, this is so right up my alley it's not even funny. And part of my problem with playing this game of late is that I find myself focusing more on the people and their stories than my hand and the proper play. There's a time and a place to be that voyeur...trying to actually *win* at poker is not that time.
I also think the trip helped me either get comfortable with, or give myself over to, my total Twitter/poker addiction. I mean, I guess I could try to fight it...but why? It is what it is and so long as I'm not neglecting the really important things in my life, I need to just accept it and quit worrying about what people think about it. Soon as I start trying to censor myself, things get stupid, so what you see is pretty much what you get, folks. I used to joke that Twitter isn't real, but I'm kind of starting to think differently (not that it's a real living thing, but that the connections it brings are or can be).
That said, I was asked about what I get out of Twitter and what is it for me. I don't know that I can really describe it...I believe we're all social creatures. Everyone wants to be loved and validated and appreciated. There are lots of ways we get that in life and real people in your day to day activities are key. Because I work solo, and often all day in my office in front of a computer, Twitter is an immediate social outlet. So that's a big part of it.
And after this trip, I have to say - without Twitter, I never would've met any of the people I met while in Vegas. I mean, come on! Twitter put me in a position to meet Doyle Brunson, @TexDolly. Can you believe that? Honestly, I can't. But it's true. THAT ALONE IS WORTH A KAJILLION BILLION DOLLARS TO ME. (ok...well, maybe not a kajillion, but you know what I mean).
But I also got to meet @WriterJen, @AlCantHang, @WhoJedi, @Maridu, @DMBakes (HELLO!), @KaraOTR, @PokerCurious, @NicolakPoker (I bet you'll like his blog) @3dgar, @JenShahade, @two_isles, @pinkladiespt, and so many other people (from Sweden to England, Mexico to AfriCAH! as PitBull might say). I mean, it's crazy incredible. And I know there's people I'm leaving off (I'm sorry, but I'm totally following you on the Twitters). Now...if I could just meet Ballz from @TheMicros, my life would be complete.
I got on Twitter when I started my own practice. That official "work" Twitter fell quickly to the wayside as soon as I found Daniel Negreanu (the first person I followed on my @PokerLawyer account) and other players online.
So to the question - what are you hoping to get out of Twitter? Nothing...it's given me plenty so far and I don't think I could ask for anything more.
Thanks for making my trip amazing, people. I was only halfway kidding about the "come home with me/live in sin" thing. If I could get away with it, I'd totally try. ;-)
I hope you won't forget me, Vegas (despite your making me feel like Ben Folds in the video below)...Until I get to see everyone again - safe travels and lots of run good, from me to you.