A rare day off at the WSOP. So how do we celebrate? By heading to the Rio to play in a turbo media event. If anything, the event gives the media and hard-working WSOP staff (especially their non-paid interns), a chance to hang out and play some cards and win some cool prizes. The event was tweaked this year to include much better prizes and bounties, which in turn made the media tournament as popular than ever.
Upon arrival, the security guard wouldn’t let us inside the Amazon Ballroom. “They’re setting everything up,” he said, more to shield me from blowing the surprise than preventing me from going where I was supposed to go.
prize table was set up with booze (special prizes awarded to any interns who had the misfortune of busting out early) along with the trophies for first and more importantly — last place — a trophy especially for the fool who busted first. Ah, the proverbial boobie prize. This year’s prize? A Golden Toilet with the engraving “WSOP Last Place.”
For a moment, I thought I was going to get the boobie prize. In a way, I was irked that I didn’t get it last year at the 2010 media event, when I tried to but on the first hand and ended up busting on the second hand after I shipped all my chips across the felt to Gary Wise.
This year? I got my chips all-in pre-flop on the first hand — only to discover that I was being punk’d. Let me rewind a bit. I dunno when this tradition started, but the folks running the tournament created a fake hand to kick off the tournament. Change100 was involved in the crazy set-up hand last year and everyone had no idea what was happening at the time as a huge crowd gathered around her table in utter astonishment. When the hand was complete, Nolan let everyone know they had been punk’d. Funny prank for sure, which lightened the already breezy mood of the players.
For more from the media tournament, follow Paul McGuire on Tao of Poker.