Friday, May 30, 2008
I'm presently tucked away in the far corner of the nearly-empty Amazon Room at the Rio, where in forty minutes time, Event #1 of the 2008 World Series of Poker will begin. I'm on blogging duties for Poker News today, sharing the captain's chair with Mean Gene for the $10,000 World Championship pot-limit hold'em. A small, elite field should ease us into the grind today, with about 250-300 runners expected. That's nothing like last year when the first event was a $1,500 NLHE donkament with a 3,000-strong field, endless registration lines, and a crowd so thick I could barely make it through the hallways.
There's a number of changes in the Amazon Room setup this year. Each "quadrant" is color-coordinated for one. There's a blue section, a red section, a green one and an orange one. With up to 6 tournaments running per day, it will be far easier to divide up the room. The cage has been completely moved out of the Amazon Room, as has the satellite area, which is now relocated to the room where the Poker Kitchen was situated last year. For the media, though, the biggest change is the presence of the "media sky box" which has 46 on-floor seats for reporters from all outlets.
Even only minutes away from the start, I'm still in an odd state of denial about the WSOP. Sitting here right now, I can hardly feel the year that has passed since I last sat in this spot.
Tune in to Poker News for live coverage of today's event. And for all the WSOP behind-the-scenes juice that you've grown to love over the last three years, pay my beloved a visit over at the Tao of Poker.
**= awesome photo by flipchip/lasvegasvegas.com