It's still Monday somewhere, maybe
I was working on a sestina to put up for last night's post, but I wasn't quite able to finish it in time. So here's something completely different.
As a jack of virtually every single trade (and a master of absolutely nothing), I've been following the World Series of Poker Main Event pretty closely for the last week. Yes, believe it or not: despite what you've seen on every ESPN commercial since June, the WSOP actually takes place before October. After all, they need time to edit their poignant interviews and write ten hours' worth of cheesy banter. (And hire new cameramen after the ones this year, having been universally recognized as the rudest people in Nevada, mysteriously show up in a sweeps episode of CSI. But I digress.)
This year's tournament, the biggest ever, is unusual in that just about every single recognizable face had been knocked out in the first two or three days. Monday was Day 6, when the 45 remaining players (of the starting 8,773) narrowed themselves down to 27. Though the Doyle Brunsons and Greg Raymers were long gone, there were still three players I found myself rooting for:
Eric Lynch: Lynch is currently considered one of the top players at PokerStars, the poker site I currently play at. Known as 'rizen' at PS, Lynch has astounded spectators by surviving such a large field, even becoming a top-5 chip leader for some of Day 6. He lost a few hands after that, but still survives, 17th of 27.
Steven 'Rob' Berryman: Another PokerStars resident, but nowhere near the rising star that Eric Lynch is. Berryman, 21 years old, became eligible to participate in the WSOP just two months before it started. Though young players have started to make their presence known on the poker circuit in recent years, Berryman is no budding professional: just a college kid who won a seat in an online $16 tournament--when entry to the WSOP normally costs $10,000--and survived food poisoning and the ESPN camaramen to make it this far. Unfortunately, though, Berryman finished 33rd, earning $329,865. Not a bad return. Read more about Berryman from someone much more intelligible than I here.
Rhett Butler: I admit that I know absolutely nothing about this guy--how old he is, where he's from, not even really what he looks like. But frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn. His name is Rhett Butler. Currently 4th of 27.
Today, the 27 remaining players are whittled down to the 9 which will compose the 'final table' for this year's Main Event, starting at noon Pacific time. Go to Pokerwire.com if you want live updates.