Hotdog! Hooray! Shazam! They’ve posted the 2014 World Series of Poker tournament schedule for the annual Vegas shindig.
The games run from late May thru mid-July each year, but until I have a date-certain target for “my” tournament, I can’t make solid room and flight plans.
When dates get posted, I always write essentially the same column. Anybody not caring about poker in general or the Las Vegas World Series of Poker in particular shouldn’t waste time reading further.
I just heard thousands of newspaper pages turn so my audience has probably shrunk to a half-dozen or so folks, therefore we’ll just have a little “face-to-face” conversation. To say I enjoy this annual trek is gross understatement.
This year will be my fifth consecutive. I’m still upset it took me until 2010 to finally make the leap. And adding insult to injury, it was truly more of a hop than leap. Oh my, I should’ve done it sooner.
I’ve always enjoyed playing the game, even watching WSOP and WPT events on television. But like most “regular” folk, I assumed those players to be oh so much better than little old me. I was drop-dead wrong.
When I finally decided to give it a go, I registered and sent in my money. The $1,000 seems a chunk of change for pleasure, but if you’ve ever played golf or done any serious fishing, you know it’s not all that.
On the appointed day at the Rio, I bellied up to the “will call” desk for my seat assignment. I was given my entry package without fanfare and that was that. Perfect.
I located my table and seat without any problem. The numbers are posted over each table so there’s no confusion whatsoever.
Amazingly I cashed that first year. Go figure. I did nothing special or smart but simply tried to play a decent game of poker as best I could. Nobody around the tables seemed all that special.
Success is always a mixture of some skill and a jigger or two of luck. That reality applies to me and you and every other player.
Whether you cash or not, the WSOP production is a spectacular show of efficiency and organization. If you enjoy the game, you should definitely chase down this experience.
“My” tournament of choice is the seniors event for 50 and older folks. It’s a wonderful mix of 4,000-plus ladies and gentlemen virtually void of jabbering, tattoos, sunglasses, earrings or theatrics.
If you’re interested, you should explore WSOP.com for schedules and costs. You can also print out by name, city and state of those attending last year. You’ll be surprised at how many local good old boys are in attendance.
All during the play days, you get plenty of breaks and freedom to leave the table anytime. In fact, I generally “break” a few minutes early to avoid long bathroom lines.
I strongly suggest anybody who has harbored a desire to play to go ahead and launch. It’s a wonderful and very smooth ride. You won’t regret the adventure.
Otis Gardner’s column appears weekly. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.