My blog and I were relegated to tournament coverage as there were four events in play yesterday.I was glad to donate the time and space.I know that another online site only had three-event coverage capacity, so it was fortuitous my blog was at the ready.But while I really enjoy getting the opportunity to do tournament coverage (in fact I volunteered to do day 1 of the stud the other day), four events stretched everyone's capacity yesterday, hence my gripe of the day.If you're going to have a Women’s event, run it like the other events.If you're going to have it as an "also-ran," don't bother.
The Women's event, predictably, had a record field of over 600 players.Unlike other events of this size, it was scheduled to run start to finish in one day.It, like in past years of the WSOP, was scheduled to start the same day as another first day event (in this case, the $5000 Pot Limit Omaha).
The women were competing not just against themselves, but for a little love.After some serious begging, they finally got announcement support.As media teams were stretching across four events, the women were going the extra mile by helping the teams gather information about the event.
When Jennifer Tilly took the chip lead at the final table, all of a sudden, the weary ESPN team shot some footage.While people were glad to see some recognition, I think the timing chaffed some, a bit.At about , ESPN, which too had been stretched all day, offered the women more coverage if they would agree to break for the "night" and start the next day.But one woman was unable to make it, and ESPN folded up shop and the women played on. (The women did agree to break when it got down to four, so we'll see what today brings as far as coverage).
I gave ESPN a little shit last night, and most of it undeserved (sorry about that guys).My read was that the Women's was suddenly of interest because of the celeb factor.But celeb or no celeb, this was bound to be a final table of caliber.But clearly in ESPN's defense, they did opt to cover the Women's event last year.And with four events in play yesterday, and this one looking to finish about , you can't expect a camera crew to cover four events and hoist equipment on their shoulders for 18 hours straight.
The solution is so easy.Treat the women's event like every other event at the WSOP.Make it two day event (three if televised).And don't pin it with the "other" tournament label by making it compete with another starting event.And without getting into the pros and cons of women-only events, either run it like a real event or take it out of the line-up.
Hey, everyone needs a little rant once in awhile.
Sorensen, Sexton, Efficiency and Stud: When one of the pokerpages team needed a day off, I volunteered to cover day one of the $5000 stud event.I would really love to develop my stud game.And I couldn't pass up the opportunity of watching the best names in the game take it to the felt.
I witnessed some outstanding play during the course of the day.Towards the end of the day, I was thinking about efficiency.Because of the additional betting rounds, the accepted wisdom is that key decisions in stud are made on fourth-street.But I spent the day being struck by the deadly incremental toll of sixth and seventh-street "might as well" calls.
Even though I wasn't covering day two, I spent a lot of my day following the play.It was clear that Chip Jett and John Phan were going to be stack factors.And one couldn't overlook the defending champion, Joe Awada (and with a little more ammo going into the final, Awada may have altered what ultimately occurred).But there were two players that were playing with almost elegant efficiency throughout the day; Keith Sexton and Jan Sorenson.And not to take away anything from the other talented players going into day three, I called a Sexton-Sorensen heads-up before the start of the final table.I also called Sorensen for the bracelet.
I know y'all are hold'em freaks, but the $5000 stud final table was a thing of beauty and I can't wait to see it on ESPN.
Cyndy and Sassy are Class Acts: I had never met Cyndy Violette in person before this year's WSOP.And it has been a real pleasure not only getting to know her, but to have been witness to her stunning performance this year.Cyndy leads a great health regimen on the road, and has her own chef, Sassy, to prepare a healthy (and delicious) diet throughout the series.So coveted are Sassy's meals that she usually has more than a half dozen players she is catering to throughout the day.So I was totally bowled over when Sassy called me over the other day to drop off "my" lunch.I can't tell you what that meant to me.And of course what Cyndy and Sassy were not aware of (or you if you didn’t read my "Stuff About Me: The First Fifty" blog) was that I have celiac disease, which greatly restricts my diet.It's been hard for me to stay on a healthy diet while I've been out here. We have a great kitchen at our rented house, but I'm rarely there at meal time.And I haven't had a schedule that is too conducive for shopping or advanced meal prep.So for me, this was manna from heaven.
The meal was unbelievable and I could (and did) eat everything.I'm going to start lobbying for a Sassy cookbook.