How do I do this to myself? I’m starting to blog at 5:10AM and I’m not really sure how it got this late. Seriously, it was a pretty mundane day at WSOP; no final tables, no massive drama. I didn’t play a hand of poker today, so where did the time go?
For one, it went to some lengthy conversations about the main event final table. Get together a bunch of industry insiders and its almost inevitable at this point. Some are excited for the drama the four month delay will build, some think that it’s an ineffective way to achieve the goals of a PR boost and others still think the collusion issue is too big to ignore.
Me, I’m a fan. I don’t see the collusion as much more of an issue than it has been in the past and I’m not usually a fan of breaking with tradition, but as far as health of the industry goes, I think something drastic had to be tried in order to save us from ratings death and programming removal. Is this it? I’m not really sure, but at this point in time, both in the poker timeline and in the AM, I’m happy to try anything without much resistance.
The big thing I took from that gathering of minds is the fact that part of my enjoyment of WSOP routes from the reunion with the finest journalists in the industry. Talking about the past, present, future, winners, losers, TV, tourneys, cash games, players, executives and everything in between lets me geek out with people I respect and can always learn something from. The interaction inspires me, as should be obvious from my recent output.
Bluff’s Lance Bradley has been a joy to work with. Nolan Dalla of WSOP has always loaned me his mentorship and continues to be an inspiration as the hardest working man in the game.
BJ Nemeth provides the technical approach that supports my writer’s license, while Dr. Pauly surpassed my output while having the courage to talk about the darker (and therefore even more romantic0 side of the game. Dan Michalski, Jen Newell, Haley Hinte…these people have dedicated themselves to the game, and sharing the upper perch of the media partition with them provides constant inspiration.
The poker media doesn’t get enough love. It’s a mostly thankless task that doesn’t always pay what it should. Players possessed of ego or recoiling from contact can be difficult to approach, and being able to surpass all that is an underrated skill.
These folks give their all to the game, cheesy as that may sound, and while yeah, ‘geeked out’ makes a lot of sense sometimes, it better not be used in a derogatory fashion, because without these people who have dedicated their lives to supplementing the game, the people who have followed the likes of Andy Glazer, Mike Paulle and Max Shapiro before them, there wouldn’t be much worth reading on the Interweb. Thank them the next time you see them recording a card or hacking furiously at a keyboard. You can point a finger and laugh at me though.
Speaking of reading things on the interweb…
In a new ESPN column, I remember last night’s stunning turn of events and note how each of the final four had somehow been previously overlooked;