Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Winter Is Coming: 2011 WSOP Preview

I’ve been watching this new HBO show Game of Thrones based on George R.R. Martin’s Song of Ice and Fire books. The best thing about the books is the way they slowly build suspense and foreboding over the impending arrival of an epic Winter while the bulk of the pages concern less terrifying but still rather worrisome events within Martin’s fantastical society. The show has managed to potently convey that dreadful apprehension, reminding the viewer that Winter Is Coming just often enough to create an ominous specter over the political machinations that dominate the action.

It is a murky time for the American professional poker player. Black Friday cast us into a shadowy realm of change. Though some have been devastated more than others, Black Friday altered all of our lives. Whatever way of life the professional poker player had become accustomed to before this Spring, it isn’t the same now. Most of us don’t really know where we’re going to shake out, and won’t know until after this summer’s World Series of Poker.

The WSOP arrived just soon enough after Black Friday to provide a life raft for the panicking pro. Though few will walk away as big winners, tournament pros have been able to cling to the image of the 2011 WSOP as a refuge from Black Friday’s blizzard. Career evaluations have been put on hold until midsummer, after the WSOP finally winds down. Only then, after the circus finally packs up and leaves Las Vegas, will we really face the music, stand and feel the cold wind blowing against our skin.

The summer I have been enjoying because of poker is coming to a close, but not before one last summer in Vegas. I’m going to enjoy the hell out of it. I’ll be making that terrifying turn off I-15 through the merging traffic to the Flamingo exit every day, parking half a mile from the tables, feeling the excitement soar through my body along with the heat rising off the blacktop on the hike into the Rio, plopping down every day to take another desperate shot at The Big Score. I’ll be playing my usual diet of 20-25 tournaments, mostly huge-field donkaments with a few mixed games thrown in. I’m gonna gamble with my gambling friends. I’m gonna take a look at the snowfield on Mount Charleston and guess when the last of it will be melted. I’m gonna go swimming and bowling and watch the summer movies. I’m gonna listen to Cake while driving around town. I’ll eat at the Lotus, Ping Pang Pong, Sammy’s, Roberto’s, the M Buffet. It’s gonna be an exciting six weeks. And after that, it’ll be time to prepare for the Winter. But that might not be so bad either. After all, Fall is my favorite season.


Blogger . said...

When you play the game of thrones, you win or you die.

12:43 PM  
Blogger Nappy said...

The Last Stand!

Well...the Last Last Stand!

3:28 AM  

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