Blogging the WSOPE final table

Blogging the WSOPE final table

Thursday, 15 October 2009

I would like to recite from my fuzzy memory – It all began at the Empire Casino in Leicester Square London where, fresh-faced and organised, I rocked up to the Press Room on the opening day to begin coverage of the World Series of Poker Europe.

For two weeks thereafter I spent my time scurrying between tables, seeing an Ivey here and an Antonius there, a Dwan, a Chan and a man. London was a poker hub for the masses, many of whom had diary bookings jammed for the upcoming month with the WSOPE, the EPT, the PKR heads-up challenge and the Party Poker World Open pencilled in.

Come the final day of the main event and with an assortment of players making up the final table, things were looking up. However, despite the exciting line-up of players and the rollercoaster ride that Praz Bansi took us on, things got a little…err…less interesting when play reached heads-up. This had nothing to do with the players involved (although it would have been nice to have a Brit to cheer on). It was merely due to the fact that everyone expected Negreanu to win, and, quickly at that.

So, as time dragged on and the first hour passed, then the second and then the third – it was looking as if there could be a repeat of last year’s marathon 9 hour heads-up…
And so, it was up to the Bluff team – mainly myself and James Mckeown - to make sure our evening was not taken over by the demons of tiredness and boredom. So, being the creative types that we are, we decided to think up (but by no means carry out) a few scenarios that would be unerringly silly and outrageous to enact at an event of such importance.

Here is our list of tips on how to best stay out of trouble during a 6-hour heads-up at the World Series of Poker Europe:

• Don’t pick out a player, based solely on the fact that you like his facial hair, to interview (especially not Humberto Brenes) and get out the video camera and make him play with his toy sharks.

• Don’t start a chant from the balcony – chances are you will not only disgrace yourself but you will lose popularity by offending all the important people in the poker world. However, if Kara Scott is there then you could try the old favourite. ‘Kara, give us a wave. Kara, Kara, give us a wave’

• Don’t hit the table games, roulette in particular – it’s the easiest way to lose £100 very quickly.

• Don’t get all creative and attempt to illegally film the final table, adding director’s commentary and playing the looky-looky-like game. Barry Shulman does in no way look like ex-President Bill Clinton.

• Don’t badger Sky Poker's Tony Kendall by continually referring to him as 'Mr Thompson' because after no pints whatsoever, he reminds you of someone who worked for Harrah’s over 2 years ago... who you've actually never met, and never seen, even in pictures... (silly James)

• Don’t insult a poor tramp (are there any rich ones?) outside the casino – and certainly don’t try playing Henry Higgins to her Eliza Doolittle and debate how well she would 'Scrub Up' under your very personal care.

Tags: Jesse Algranti, Columnist