Monday, July 06, 2009

Back in Vegas

I'm back in Vegas, where the Main Event of the 2009 World Series of Poker got underway this weekend. I'm not playing in the big tournament, sticking to the cash games instead (and doing well so far), while checking on a large contingent of St. Louisans who are playing. Thus far, all but one of them has advanced to Day 2, which is quite an accomplishment.

Like last year, there are four Day Ones, to accommodate the large crowds they expected. Unfortunately, Day 1a and 1b had only 2,000 entrants combined, because so many people were celebrating Independence Day. Things picked up on Day 1c yesterday, with another 2,000 or so, but if they don't get 3,000 more today, they'll end up with a smaller turnout than last year (6,844).

When time permits, Dennis Phillips, Joe McGowan, and I are going to record more material for our poker radio show, The Lumiere Place Final Table (7pm CT Tuesdays on KFNS/St. Louis), and then I'll crunch some of it into tomorrow night's show and save the rest for future shows.

One of the things you'll hear Tuesday is a conversation I had with Congressman Barney Frank, who was here to kick off the Day 1c with the classic "Shuffle Up and Deal!" announcement. Afterwards, we talked about his legislation to make online poker legal and keep the government from telling you what you can and can't do with your own money. We did the interview near the ESPN Feature Table, and at one point, just after he finished an answer, I saw a look of terror cross Frank's face. It turned out that we were standing a little too close to the dolly tracks for an ESPN camera, which was being pushed in our direction very quickly. Since I had my back to it, Frank grabbed me and moved me out of the way, just as the camera crew rolled past us. We then calmly finished our discussion, in which he said that, with the Democratic majority in Congress, he's hopeful his bill will pass this year.

Reminder: you can follow me on Twitter as "PaulHarrisShow." Dennis is tweeting, too, as "Dennis_Phillips," and Joe is "JoePokerCoach."