Wow. Have to sum it up in a word. Wow. Just wow.
I got back this morning from Las Vegas, having driven straight home after Michael Mizrachi took down Event #2, the $50k buy in Players Championship. It was an amazing final table with more emotion than I can put into words. Maybe 300 people were there to witness the eventual win by the Grinder, and probably 290 of them erupted into jubliation with each pot he won, including an unreal double up after he’d dropped to about 4m chips. He shipped Ac-7c and Vladimir Schmelev called with Ad-Jd. The flop came out K high with 2 clubs and the crowd was going nuts, SCREAMING for a club. The turn made a broadway straight for Schmelev, and the river was the 5c. The place went berzerk and Michael ended up tilting Schmelev with that win. Vladimir couldn’t do anything after that, and he ended up throwing hand after hand after hand into the much, and just spewing his chips over to Grinder, until he shipped it all in with Q7, and Grinder called with Q5. When the 5 hit the turn, it was sheer pandamonium. I can’t even begin to describe the feeling in the room, and the sheer joy that everyone what experiencing. All the pro’s like Chino Rheem, JC Tran, Mike Mattusow, and brothers Eric and Robert Mizrachi, that we’re there to rail their boy….the just screamed like crazy, and hugged their guy. It was great. The 4 on the river sealed the deal and Grinder won the championship.
There were too many things that struck me during my stay. I don’t know that I can write about it all. I was really taken aback at the humility that Mizrachi showed with his win. He was so gracious, and both he and Robert were engaging and humble throughout the course of the event, which was my complete opposite of my expectation going in. I had assumed that these would be real arrogant and gaudy guys. I couldn’t have been more wrong. They, along with every player there, stopped to talk to every fan, sign every autograph, take every picture, and chat with the people that were clearly annoying. But it didn’t matter. They were engaging, and it was so joyful to watch Barry Greenstein, and Andy Bloch, and Greg Raymer, and Howard Lederer stop and take pictures and sign peoples WSOP Hats with sharpies. Everytime, it made me smile, because I know what it means fot those autograph seekers, and the pictures are priceless for the fans. I was taken aback for certain.
These people are just people. They are great at what they do, and they are little boys having fun playing a game for a living. The prop bets and the banter between the guys was just as enjoyable as standing behind them at the table, and watching them squeeze two hole cards (and seeing what they had) and then watching how they played it. It was a surreal experience.
I was really happy to come home to Traci and the kids, even though when I picked up the kids from school, 3 out of the 4 of them asked me to go on a play date with one of their friends. But hey, they’re getting older and they want to be social with their friends, and I can apprecaite that. I also can say no, and take them out to ice cream afterward, and feel like a good dad after being without them for 5 days.
My stay poker-wise wasn’t long enough. I was actually yearning to go back to the Rio for today’s final tables but I was equally excited to be home with my family, in my own bed, and have a shower that has hot water. I’ve posted a TON of pics from my trip on my facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/pellis) and I have a few more articles of recap on the Twitter Poker Tour site and interviews that I did with some of the players from the final table of the Casino Employees event. I’m proud of those.
June will be a busy month with the kids having a TON of school stuff going on, graduations, and my anniversary on the 20th. So its the main event in July, and I’m thrilled to go back.
I am also thankful for all of the new followers that I received on twitter. I was overwhelmed with people that were thanking me for the updates that I was sending out. And don’t fret, my updates will be back for the Main Event, and I’ll be there for every day of it. That’s it for now. Gonna crash, and I’ll reflect later. Cheers, P