Before Game Day

It's Saturday, July 29, and the next WSOP Champ has arrived in Vegas, Baby!

Home port for this adventure is the Rio - staying where the tournament is played helps relieve a lot of stress - no worries about finding a cab and can pop up to the room at breaks.




First order of business - pick up the registration stuff! There are 4 day One's this year, to accommodate the nearly 9,000 entrants! There will be 2000 people starting each of the Day 1's, and they will accept up to 500 alternates each day. An alternate is someone who gets to start to play, when someone else busts out, so a seat becomes available. MZ pre-registered and got to pick his starting day of Sunday.

In the rooms next to were the tourney is played, there is a Gaming Expo that runs during the 4 Day One's. This year, it has taken a BIG step forward. The booths are much grander, everyone's giving away a car or truck, and the pro's are every where, pedaling their site or goods. Above left is Phil Lack (a.k.a Unibomber, the one with the water bottle in front); Above right is Phil Gordon (in the red jersey); Below left is Right is Antonio Esfandiari ( one with sunglasses);Below right is Hoyt Corkins.

This is Mike Sexton - he's got to be worth nearly 1 billion dollars. He's the guy behind Party Poker, the biggest on-line poker site going. The site went public (UK Stock Exchange) last year.

The weirdest thing - there was a Loctite both! Why, is anybody's guess, including the people running the booth. They gave away loctite samples. They aslo made this Las Vegas sign out of over 2000 cards and poker chips, all held together with Loctite.

Ah, the stage is set! Poised and ready.... Bring it on!