BeL0WaB0Ve’s WSOP Blog: Part I

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We're featuring Kevin "BeL0WaB0Ve" Saul's blog throughout this year's World Series of Poker. For full coverage of what's going on out in Vegas, visit www.pocketfives.com/live2.

So I got into Vegas last Monday afternoon, tired as hell from playin online all weekend and not getting a good night's sleep the night before. Once I got my luggage, I waited about 5 minutes for a cab and headed to the strip to check into my hotel. I was really lazy with my preparations this year and at the last minute booked a room online at the Tropicana. I got there and waited in a line that was pretty typically annoying for a 5 P.M. check-in. I did very little re-search on the Tropicana before hand; I basically checked to make sure it was close to the Rio (it's about a 5-10 minute cab ride), and booked the room for an average of just under $100 per night.

To say I was a little shocked when I walked into my room could be considered an understatement. It's not like I was expecting a 5-star hotel or anything but the 40+ mirrors in the room caught me a little off guard. Overall the room is pretty spacious, King Size bed, a desk/3-drawer dresser combo to give me plenty of room to store my clothes, and a 2-seat couch of somewhat poor quality but that still added a little touch to the room. All of this and still plenty of room to walk around without feeling cramped. I was pretty tired, so I decided to watch some T.V and lay down for a nap before meeting up with a friend for dinner later.

I ended up going to a little Italian joint for dinner around 10. Fortunately for them, I can't remember the name of it, but the service was awful and the food was just so-so. One of my past jobs was as a server in an very nice Italian restaurant, so I will be the first to admit that this causes me to be a little more critical of both service I receive and the quality of the dishes. The waitress ended up goofing up my order, and it appeared that when we were not even halfway through eating the waitress had given our table away to another server. I eventually spoke with management about my displeasure, and he basically just nodded his head in compliance. When we got the bill, everything was still on it which didn't sit very well with me but whatever….pay the bill and move on with life.

After having our late dinner, we headed over to the Rio for my 1st time this summer. When I first walked in, I noticed a couple of changes from last year that stood out to me. I didn't enter from the entrance by the cashier as normal; instead I entered from the side door by the section for the final tables. The room in general looked a lot darker compared to last year.

Looking around the walls and seeing all the past main event winners, I could not help but feel that the staff at the Rio had tried to replicate the feeling one used to get when walking into Binion's for past WSOP's. I believe this is the 3rd year that the Rio has hosted the WSOP since harrah's decided to move it over from Binion's. This also just happens to be my 3rd WSOP experience, so I never actually experienced a Binion's WSOP for myself, though I have played a smaller tournament there with a friend.

The first thing I did was hop into a fairly short line and register for the Tuesday $1,000 rebuy. Just this past weekend, I read alot about the awful lines to register, specifically for the first $1,500 NL event that was held on Saturday, and how everything was so disorganized including satellite and cash game registration. In the week I've been here, however, I think the longest I've waited to register for an event has been 5 minutes or so, and overall I think Harrah's has done a great job handling the circus that is the WSOP. I personally am not a fan of huge crowds of people, especially 5,000+ gamblers gathered in a small room, willing to knock their Grandma over to move that much closer to the head of the line to get their seat and play some poker. That's why I sat at home for the first weekend while everyone complained on the forums, fully aware that things should be fine by the time I arrived.

After registering for the rebuy, I spent a little time railing Eric "sheets" Haber, who decided to for some unknown reason to jump into the $5,000 Pot-Limit Omaha with Rebuys event. This field might be the single toughest field of any WSOP preliminary event, with the exception of the $50,000 HORSE tourney. In no way am I trying to insult one of the few players who I really look up to on and off the tables, but a direct quote from the man himself was, "Screw it, I decided to gamble and fire one $5,000 barrel at the thing. No rebuys, No add-ons, and I got 80,000 chips at the end of the rebuy period up from the 10,000 we started with." I walked around a bit to say hi to some familiar faces and then railed sheets a bit more before heading back to my hotel to get a good night's sleep in preperation for tommorrow's rebuy tournament.