Tuesday, June 25, 2013

WSOP Nostalgia

The Internet is currently awash with WSOP related nostalgia. Nolan Dalla covered the landmark 2003 WSOP in a wonderful sequence of blogs for it’s tenth anniversary. The ever-entertaining Jesse May is on top form in his blog “Ya Luckbox” providing us with daily anecdotes and video clips of WSOP gone by.

All this reminiscing had me remembering a funny little incident that occurred during my first visit to the WSOP in 2007.

I was playing my first ever bracelet event, a $1500 NLH and we had reached the dinner break. Anyone who has played at the WSOP will be familiar with the dinner break dilemma of where to eat.

Remember this was 2007, a year where major bracelet events were decided in a freezing giant tent in the area currently used as the outside smoking area. Lets just say the ROI wasn’t as tuned into player need as today and the “poker kitchen” close to the playing area ‘now’ wasn’t in play back then.

Some sustenance meant a rushed two-mile trek to the main casino and inevitably a long line at one of the dining options the Rio had on offer. My companion on this endeavour was Gavin Kelly a young Internet phenom whom I was sharing a house with for the series. We decided on “Gaylord” the Rio’s Indian restaurant.

Upon entering the restaurant the Maitre’ D approached us and asked, “Were we playing the poker tournament”. When we replied yes he ushered us straight to a seat and immediately produced menus, we ordered quickly.

At this stage I noticed Devilfish, Marcel Luske and Mel Judah sitting at the table next to us. Back then TV name poker players were the stars of the show and I felt like a right baller to be dining in so close quarters to such esteemed ‘names’.

Our starters arrived and I noticed some rumblings from the stars table that I thought were directed in our directions. Almost immediately once the appetisers were finished the plates were cleared and our main courses arrived.  This caused rather more commotion on the opposite table and now I was sure it was directed at us.

When the Maitre’ D arrived with our coffee and bill, he was accosted by Mel Judah. Mel in rather colourful language pointed out that our table, which had entered the restaurant fifteen minutes after his table, had now finished their full meal, yet his table had yet to be served starters. The Maitre’ D reply was priceless; ” but sir, they are poker players”!