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Scoping Out the WSOP Main Event

by Linda Johnson |  Published: Jul 12, '14


I hadn’t been down to the Rio since the main event started, so I decided to go check it out tonight. I have been enthusiastically following the updates and tweets from the media and many players so knew that the bubble had burst during late this afternoon ( day four). What an interesting bubble it was with five all-ins and three players eliminated on the actual bubble hand.

Since I arrived while the main event was on dinner break, I had time to kill so went to dinner at the KJ Dim Sum and Seafood Chinese Restaurant. The food is good there, but the service could be a lot better.

After dinner, I walked back to the Amazon Room. The first sound I heard when I walked in was, “All-in and called, table 435.” This was immediately followed up by, “Payout, table 435.” Ouch! The clock showed 432 players remaining. Next there was a big commotion as an announcement was made that Phil Ivey had just been eliminated from the tournament.

Looking around the room, I was surprised to see very few people I know. I remember the days when I knew almost everyone at the WSOP, but that hasn’t been the case in the past 15 years. Poker truly has become international and it also has become a game made up of lots of young people, most of whom I have never met. Make no mistake about it, the fact that they are young does NOT mean that they are inexperienced or lacking in skill!

I had mainly come down to the Rio to say goodbye to many of the WSOP staff members whom I don’t see regularly throughout the year. First I ran into Dave Lamb looking very official in a beautiful black suit and white shirt and tie. He didn’t have time to chat since he was busy combining tables…players were dropping out at a very fast pace. I also had the opportunity to speak with WSOP Tournament Director Jack Effel, WSOP Media Director Nolan Dalla, Managing Editor Jessica Welman, and WSOP Editor-In-Chief Seth Palansky. I don’t think many of us can even fathom all the details and logistics that need to be coordinated in order to put on this huge event called the World Series of Poker. Thanks so much to the entire WSOP staff.

While at the Rio, I also met up with some of my media friends including Dan Ross from Hold’em Radio and Mark Hoke from the Mark Hoke Radio Show. Special thanks to them and the entire staff of Poker News and Card Player Media, as well as all the other members of the media who have done a great job of keeping us up-to-date with the action at the Rio throughout the 2014 WSOP!

As I was leaving, the remaining field was fewer than 400 players. I hope the cards break even for those still in the hunt for the title of poker’s world champion.

Linda Johnson

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