Wednesday, August 09, 2006

My Trip to the World Series of Poker Part 2

My Trip to the World Series of Poker Part 2

Day one of my trip to the World Series of Poker began with my arrival at Binions Hotel and Casino on the old strip. It was our home for the next few days. I headed to the poker room where the World series of poker was held for years before bieng moved last year to the Rio. While I was looking at the gallery of World Series of Poker previous winners in walks Jennifer Tilley and the Unibomber Phil Laak. I did not have a camera or anything to autograpgh so I just shook thier hands and said hello and how much I enjoyed thier poker playing skills. No one else recognized them so they looked at the photos on the wall then picked up some poker magazines and began flipping through them. Phil Laak remarked that he was not as well loved in the media at the time as he looked at all the other players in the magazines. They then headed out on to Freemont Street. I have always liked Jennifer Tilley as an actress and as a poker player after she won the ladies World Series of Poker Bracelet last year. I was kicking myself for not having my usual sharpie and camera.

Next it was off to the Rio Pavillion. It is a huge convention center at the back of the casino with the entire center booked with all things poker. Each online poker site had a hospitality room where givaways included, dvd's, t-shirts, hats, Special edition chips, books, poker diarys, pins, posters and probrably a lot of other things that I still havent realized I brought home with me.

Of course there was booths selling stuff but why buy anything when you got armloads of free stuff. Once I made my way through the hospitality rooms and after meeting my first Poker Celebrity Joe Hachem last years main event winner. I got an autograph but no photo. This was one of the few which I did not get a photo with on the trip. Next I ran into Phil Helmuth who was on a break in the Ultimate Bet Hospitality Room. I was the only one in a shirt and tie so I think when I walked past the public area and into the private breakroom I was probrably mistaken for an employee or security. I walked over to Phil and asked him for an autograph and a photo. He gave both and then we had a cup of coffee and talked strategy for about 20 minutes.

Phil Helmuth and Me.

Now it was off to the big show. Inside a large convention floor were over 200 poker tables. There were approxametly 300 players left from the 8700 which started at the begining of the main event. There were also cash games bieng played on one corner and a smaller tournament in another corner. This is truly heaven for a serious poker player and the greatest poker players in the world were seated in this one room. I walked around and gawked for a while before I had to leave. I had come to Vegas for a friends wedding and although I attended the wedding earlier in the day I had to meet the wedding party at Gilleys Western Bar.

So off to Gilleys where soon after we walked in we meet none other than Bill Engvall the comedian from the Blue Collar Comedy show with Jeff Foxworthy and Larry the Cable Guy. I had my trusty sharpie and camera and not one to be shy my wife and I walked up introduced ourselves and got a photo and two autographs. He offered me a shot of Crown Royal from his own bottle he had with him but I can't drink hard liquor so I declined. He was appearing over the weekend at The Orleans hotel and casino but he brought his wife to Gilleys for her birthday. The birthday was announced and the whole bar joined Bill in singing happy birthday.

Bill Engvall my Wife and I

That Concluded my first day at the WSOP. Stay tuned for day two and my first day playing at the WSOP.

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