Thursday, July 07, 2011

2011 WSOP Main Event - Prelude to the Killing Fields

By Pauly
Las Vegas, NV

The calm before the storm.

That's the best way to describe the peaceful, tranquil, and serene Amazon Ballroom an hour before the doors open and Main Event players trickle into the tournament. Las Vegas Blvd. was constructed on unattainable hopes and aspirations, so much show it should be called the Boulevard of Broken Dreams. But even though everyone who flies or drives into Las Vegas knows the house almost always wins, there's a glimmer of hope as bright as the flickering lights of the Strip that perhaps this day will be the day when all of the gambling gods pull your number out of the ginormous bin of white ping-pong balls. While thousands of seasoned pros, jaded vets, donks, emus, ocelots, and tourists are led to their slaughter, nine people (percentages and history says it'll be nine dudes unless a woman kicks ass and makes history) will emerge as the next biggest swinging dicks in poker. The goal is to become one of the last nine standing otherwise known as The November Nine.

Only a couple of thousand or so gamblers, dreamers, and degens have the cash and testicular fortitude (or clitoral ovarian fortitude -- not to alienate my female readers) to take a shot at the big time. After all, you can't win the lottery if you don't buy a ticket.

In today's instance, the lottery ticket is a receipt for the 2011 WSOP Main Event Championship. Last summer's numbers were the second highest on record, but a little wrinkle called Black Friday nearly killed the lofty expectations of this year's Main Event as the entire online poker landscape was decimated in one single indictment by the DOJ. But once the 2011 WSOP began, the number of participants in cash games and preliminaries were up from last year. Some of that surplus is directly associated with the lack of opportunity to play online poker -- those damn junkies needed somewhere to get their fix! But would those surging numbers continue through to the Main Event? How would Black Friday affect the number of Main Event entrants that would have been fed through online satellites? I guess that's why you're here to tune in and find out.

Today marks the seventh year in a row I'm covering the WSOP Main Event. I wish it could be like the halcyon year of 2005, in the age before bogus "exclusive media" rules, where I could post whatever I want and whenever I want on my blog. Alas in 2011, I'm still restricted to the "one update an hour" due to Draconian and utterly retarded media rules. Even if I flirt with the elasticity of the rules and post every 59 minutes, I'll get flagged (like I did the last two years by those fucking Nazis at PokerNews who hired rats specifically to monitor who broke the one hour rule). I know, I know... it's bullshit in Tao of Poker's case because when was the last time I actually covered the actual poker tournament?

Anyway, I promised the suits at Harrah's (er, Caesar's) that I'd behave this year, so you're going to have to follow me on Twitter (@taopauly) for random updates throughout the day. I will do my best not to clog up your timeline with mundane and useless fodder, but if something odd, crazy, or just plain weird happens, I'll let you know. So follow @taopauly on Twitter for Main Event updates throughout the day.

Will I be doing a semi-live blog throughout the day? That's a great question. I wish I had the answer. I guess you'll have to tune in to find out. But rest assured, you'll get a proper end of day recap where I highlight all of the best of the best stories from throughout the day.

I'm gonna thank you in advance for religiously following along Tao of Poker this year and in previous years. The diehard fans are the ones whom I'm dedicating this year's coverage to. Due to recent events in the online poker industry and the ever-evolving, brooding artist within me seeking out new projects to work on, I honestly think this will be my last complete WSOP. I say that every year out of frustration, but this year is different. So many things happened that I didn't write about or may never write about, but a lot of heavy shit went down behind the scenes that altered how I perceive the WSOP and my role within it. Of course, if someone offers me a suitcase full of cash, I will write about anything -- even savants, douchebags, brokedicks, and inbred twats setting their money on fire. Besides, I'd rather just come out for the 2012 Main Event because can't imagine spending seven weeks in the trenches next summer. To quote Danny Glover in Lethal Weapon:"I'm getting too old for this shit."

Alas, enjoy the musings on Tao of Poker while it lasts. It's been a fun, bizarre, and wild ride and I wouldn't have traded it for any other experience. With that said, I need to step away from the press box, blow some lines of Adderall in the bathroom, and hope that I don't walk around the Pavilion or Amazon Ballroom with orange boogers hanging from my nose.

The 2011 WSOP Main Event is upon us. Are you fucking ready to get this show on the road?

Photo credit: Winamax

Stay tuned for who the hell knows what!


  1. Anonymous3:05 PM

    The clam before the storm... never heard that one before.

  2. That's OVARIAN fortitude, thanks very much!

    ~ Cardgrrl

  3. @Cardgrrl.... OVARIAN! Thanks Cardgrrl. I know very little about the technical terms for the nether regions.

    @sharptoshutter.... thanks for pointing out the error. It's been fixed. But "clam" has an interesting ring to it.

  4. Anonymous6:24 PM

    Sorry my first post was pointing out an error. I've been reading the site for a couple years, love the blog, and thoroughly enjoyed Lost Vegas as well. Looking forward to the Main Event coverage. Keep up the good work!