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This and That About Poker

by Jeff Shulman |  Published: May 17, 2005


The $25,000 WPT Championship has begun at Bellagio. As I am writing this, we have completed both heats of day one. Because there were 450 players, the opening day of the tournament was split into two days. Heat A started on Monday and Heat B was held on Tuesday.

Just like the World Series of Poker last year, the debate is back on about whether it's best to start in the first heat or the second. Last year at the World Series, I started on the second day and thought it was great, because there were hundreds of casualties before I even played my first hand, and I was able to play straight through without skipping a day and stay focused. I have changed my mind after playing in the first heat at Bellagio.

Poker is somewhat of a stamina contest, and it is easy to make a mistake because of being tired. I don't have to worry about stamina as much during this event because I had a day off. On Tuesday, I relaxed, did some work, and stayed away from the poker scene. Now that I am awake on Wednesday, I have caught up on everything that is necessary to get me through the remainder of the tournament. I feel like I have a huge advantage over anyone who played yesterday. Some players strongly disagree with me, because they think you lose your form by having a day off. Erick Lindgren told me that he needs to play on the second day or else he "forgets how to play poker." I doubt that Erick forgets anything, but we all know what he is saying.

One thing that I have noticed with the weather change in Las Vegas is that many people have the sniffles in the poker room. I am not sure if it is allergies or if many people have caught colds or the flu. I have noticed that this happens every year when people come from around the world to compete in the largest poker events in the world. Last year after the World Series of Poker, everyone seemed to be sick and run-down from the six weeks of play. I suggest the following for players to stay healthy when playing: It would be nice if casinos had bags of hand wipes available. Everyone touches chips and it is a way to keep them cleaner. Of course, everyone should wash their hands on breaks. Drinking a lot of water or green tea should keep the system clean, and getting an abundance of sleep never hurts, either.

On a business-related matter, we are making a small change in our operation. Now that we have so many subscribers and magazines on newsstands, we have decided to delay our Casino Edition and our Internet articles for one week. This will enable subscribers to get the magazine at the same time that it appears on the newsstands and in the casinos. Thus, this issue will remain in the casinos for one extra week, and then the new cycle will be on track.