I knew something was up when I saw Michalski in media row. Michalski is what I call a media drifter. He's all over the place, drifting from the media room, to the tournament floor, to the Poker Sauna, to the No Limit Lounge, to outside on the smoker's stairs. We rarely get to spend he quantity of time we'd like to... but when we do end up crossing paths, our conversations are intense and meaningful.
Late on Friday night, just as my event finished up ariund 2am, Stud Hi/Lo was down to three tables. I spotted Donkey Bomber out of the corner of my eye and Michalski magically appeared a few moments later.
"I'm sweating my boy," said a proud Michalski who wore a nice shirt with a big ink stain on it.
Photo courtesy of Pokerati
Hailing from Arizona, Tom "Donkey Bomber" Schneider was a part-time writer on Pokerati. He's the author of a poker book and has been on the tournament circuit for many years.
Stud Hi/Lo was played on the ESPN set without any cameras. It was sort of strange to see action without the crowds packed with spectators, all the sizzling and bright production lights burning down, and surly ESPN camera men swatting you like a pesky gnat buzzing around in the shot. I didn't get to see Donkey Bomber win number two since I was sequestered in the Bluff Production room as another broadcast of an event in the Black Hole went down. I was asigned to the Short-handed NL final table.
I finally got to step behind the curtain and see things from the inside. I still think the Black Hole is the worst idea of the WSOP, but the folks involved like Nick Geiber and Spaceman bust their asses to make sure it gets done right. I applaud them for pulling it off. Not only was it cool to be behind the scenes, but I finally got to work a little bit with Spaceman although I only saw him twice. He was inside the black hole and feeding me chipcounts on a radio. I'd feed those to the Bluff staff and they'd punch it up on the graphics for the broadcast.
I got to see hole cams, which was interesting. Some of the players refused to show their cards, while the lighting was kind of poor so you'd miss a card or two. It's one thing to have an edit broadcast and study the hole cards, but to do that on the fly in real time is difficult. Ian and company drew a tough task of getting simultaneous hold cards... all at once. Heck it was short-handed and it wasn't easy. It must be a bitch to do a nine-handed table.
Anyway, Dutch Boyd did not win another bracelet and he busted out courtesy of a a three outer from Bill Edler. Dutch woke up with Jacks and lost to Edler's A-x. Edler hit his Ace and Dutch Boyd headed to the rail. Dutch has been looking more and more like Fat Elvis these days.
Anyway, Bill Edler survived the crazy Swede Erik Friberg and beat Alex Bolotin heads up to win. He came from behind with A-10 against Bolotin's A-Q and flopped an ace to seal his first bracelet. Gavin Smith and Erick Lindgren (looking like hell from almost dying on the golf course), were among the players sweating on Edler. Amy Calistri was all smiles after the event.
"Score one for the good guys," she said.
It's always great when one of the nicest guys in poker picks up a bracelet and gets the recognition he deserves. Most of the time, the attention gets focused on the biggest douchebags in the room. It was refreshing to get to cover Edler's run and witness him pick up his first bracelet. Congrats to The Stunning One for a stunning victory.
Less than an hour after Edler won, I walked onto the ESPN stage and saw that Donkey Bomber won his second bracelet. Michalski was there taking photos with another guy who was a friend of the D-Bomber. He had two stripper-types with him attached to his hip. I can only assume that he was a high roller from Texas. Old oil money and watrermelon boobs always mix. Everything's big in Texas.
The last time Donkey Bomber won a bracelet, Michalski disappeared for three days during a post-victory binge. I don't expect Michalski to resurface for a few days. He's a drifter.
Congrats to Donkey Bomber for number two. Oh yeah, since this is the congrats post... congrats to Shronk for going deep in the $2K event. He had a nice score. Nice job, bro.
Wish I had more time to write more about lobsters, Donkey Bombers, and douchebags. Alas, my free time has evaporated.
Don't forget to check out LasVegasVegas for Flipchip's WSOP photos and there's the Poker Prof's cool 2007 WSOP Info page.
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