Las Vegas, NV
The PokerNews Server
I obtained a photograph of the Poker News server which might have explained all of the snafus over the last 48 hours. The official WSOP live updates page crashed more times to count due to a crush of traffic. You would think that the tech guys would have been better prepared for the WSOP spike. Alas, it was not the case.
If someone is to blame, it's Arvidas.
Arvidas lived in three-room Soviet-era cold-water flat in the slums of Vilnus, with his crazy Uncle Igor who listened to Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No. 3 continuously on a scratchy vinyl record that always skips halfway through the movement. The old man screamed every time the record skip. Arvidas' tiny bedroom was sparsely populated with a yellowed and frayed Bon Jovi poster and a couple of books scattered on the floor next to a ratty mattress and an ashtray with a mound of old butts.
Arvidas was passed out on the floor with his clothes on. In one arm he was clutching an empty bottle of vodka, and in the other, he was holding a small wheel of moldy cheese. The phone in the kitchen was ringing nonstop only drowned out every ten minutes or so when his crazy uncle wailed when his record skipped.
Arvidas eventually woke up when he had to piss and puke, but with the puking part took precedent. He woke up in the middle of puking on himself. He raced down the hallway into the communal bathroom. When he returned to his dilapidated flat, he noticed that the hamster had stopped moving.
"Shit, how long has it been?"
Arvidas had a simple job... feed the hamster pieces of cheese every 108 minutes... but he always seemed to fuck it up. He broke off a chunk of cheese and the hamster devoured it. The wheels began moving and his computers were turned back on. Arvidas was the CEO of a high tech firm which he ran out of his three-room flat. The kitchen table was his office and the servers he monitored were located underneath the squeaky table. The hamster in the wheel kept everything running... as long as he was fed.
Arvidas fucked up. And it wasn't the first time. He reluctantly answered the phone, because he knew who was on the other line and the thought made him sicker.
"What the fuck, mate?" shouted The G.
"Sorry," said Arvidas.
"Sorry? You're making me look like an asshole. I have millions of blood-thirsty poker fans who need to know Chau Giang's chip count. What the fuck is wrong with you? This is the World Series of Poker. I told you that we're gonna need extra fire powah. Didn't you buy extra cheese and hamsters like I told you?"
Arvidas spent The G's money on cheese and vodka instead of cheese and hamsters. He figured that one hamster could do the job and made one crucial error when he underestimated the heavy traffic during the first two days of the WSOP.
"There was cheese strike in France," lied Arvidas. "No cheese until tomorrow. Hamsters are hard to find. Very expensive. You have to send me more money. 10 litas should cover it."
"You will feel the wrath of my powah if you don't get more hamsters running in an hour."
Avidas did not want to end up a floater in the Neris river. The reason he got his job in the first place was because the former tech guy washed up on the banks of the Neris with cement block chained around his slashed neck and a hamster stuffed into his duct-taped mouth.
Over at the Rio, the live coverage team was on mega-tech tilt with the site going down. They couldn't contact the Lithuanians and had no idea that Arvidas embezzled out of The G's WSOP budget. He bought booze, went on a bender, passed out, puked himself, then kick-started the servers. The perplexed reporters were helpless until Arvidas' hamster restored everything.
"How fucking hard is it to feed the hamster every 108 minutes?" wondered one Poker News reporter who wished to remain anonymous.
One of the bigger ups at Poker News got called into the principal's office. He/she got an earful from Harrah's and WSOP execs about the servers going down, but assured them that The G is throwing money at the problem to fix it.
I hear there's lots of holes in the Lithuanian forests.
Bouncin' Round the Room on Day 2...
Event #1: The first bracelet of the 2010 WSOP was awarded in the Casino Employees event. I didn't watch the final table, but Hoai Pham won the first bracelet. It was going on in one of the far corners of the Amazon Ballroom, and ran virtually unnoticed to both spectators and media who were bogged down following the superstars in the 50K Players Championship. You could occasionally hear a smattering of applause from the other side of the room in what will end up being the least watched final table of the 2010 WSOP. See Fipchip's winner's photo for Event #1 Hoai Pham.
Event #3: Former WSOP Commissioner Jeffrey Pollack wasn't thrilled when the media referred to the $1,500 events as donkaments, even though that's the common vernacular for a $1,500 WSOP event. Last year, I referred to the $1,000 stimulus as the donkulous. I wrote a post about it called Nostrum Donkulus. This year, there's not just one "reduced" admission event... but six events costing $1,000. Due to the over saturation of donkulus events, the first one this year will not attract 7,000 runners as originally anticipated because only 2,601 showed up on Day 1A. Those degens in the media are prop betting on whether or not the Sunday flight will attract 3,000 or more.
Event #2: 110 players began Day 2 of the $50,000 8-Game Mixed Players' Championship, and only 54 advanced to Day 3. The money bubble probably won't break until Day 4 since the top 16 places pay out prize money in this event spread out over five days. Kirk Morrison ended the day as the chip leader with Scandi superhero Erik123 and Nick Schulman not far behind.
For the first part of the afternoon, many of the players were fixated on the NBA playoffs. The Lakers/Suns. Game 6. The Lakers were getting 1.5 points, and I thought it was a lock, along with a few pros who also bet on the Lakers. On breaks, players huddled around TVs. During play, players strained their necks to watch the game on the closest screen in between folding hands.
The weekends attract the lowest of the gene pool who often consume liquor at staggering rates. One of these yokels stood on the rail and pointed at Scotty Nguyen while nudging his friend with an elbow. "See there, that's Scotty Chan!" Only in Vegas.
Hellmuth's table had the most railbirds. The drunken harlots from Day 1 returned to sweat Jason Mercier. He doesn't know them, but they kept clawing at him from the rail. "Every horndog in the Amazon Ballroom is hitting on them," mentioned one of my colleagues.
I spotted Archie Karas as he wandered around the Amazon Ballroom holding an empty water bottle.
Cliche of the Day: David Benyamine eating McDonalds before the re-start of Day 2. "You know I love Benyamine," explained Benjo, "but he lives in a city with In-N-Out and he still opts for fucking McDonalds?"
Quote of the Day: "Breaking another table. Such is life and the bane of my existence." - Dealer to floor guy during the 50K.