by , Jul 2, 2006 | 10:22 pm

(Pronounced: IN-stah-WHOA-sop.)

LAS VEGAS–So wow … I’ve arrived in Vegas, checked in at Rio media center, and haven’t watched a single hand of poker. Yet there’s already so much to report on. Where do I begin?

First of all, the numbers are clearly bigger this year. This is evident in the parking lot. The Rio parking lot wasn’t this full last year until a few days before the main event. They also have valet parking this year.

As we speak, JOE HACHEM is at a final table with DUTCH BOYD in the $2,500 6-handed NLHE event. But am I even allowed to report that? Dutch is the big stack. He may or may not have at some point played an ace.

UPDATE: Hachem and Boyd are heads-up. Good poker battles right from the git-go. Sorry we can’t live-blog it. OTIS has some decent updates going on.

RE-UPDATE: Boyd just pushed all-in with A5, Hachem called with AQ, Dutch caught his card (and his bracelet) on the river.

OLIVER TSE pointed out earlier this morning that if Dutch wins, a lot of folks would like their money back … and it’s time for ESPN to address the POKERSPOT.COM issue.

Oliver’s forum posts were not met kindly by the corporate Harrah’s folks. PR Honcho GARY THOMPSON called Oliver in for a private meeting. “I was just taken to the woodshed,” Oliver says.

Upon being told he is not supposed to post anything negative about ESPN, Oliver was challenged (by Thompson, I believe, but am not sure), “Are you a journalist … or are you a blogger?” The ESPN/Harrah’s suits (who have their own internal tiff going on) are apparently under the impression that bloggers are rabblerousers, and journalists get their stuff cleared by PR directors before they publish. Amusing, no?

There’s NO SMOKING inside the Rio Convention Center this year — even in the corridors.

A FIRE ALARM went off today. While it left a handful of media guys locked out of the media center, the games kept going with hardly a pause. A few players and dealers looked up in an effort ot listen to the voice giving instructions, but when it became evident that they could hardly make out what she was saying, play carried on unfazed.

Bic is the official lighter of the WSOP.

The MEDIA CENTER is bigger and better this year. But it’s farther away from the action.

The food is way better — and acceptably priced. ($6 for a half-pound ANGUS BURGER, with two slices — two slices! — of cheese.) All this action is going down in the POKER KITCHEN. You know, part of my poker dream has long included seeing the phrase “in your kitchen” added to the poker vernacular. I guess this is close … but still, the kitchen has yet to reach the level of stature as “the hammer.”

Bathroom situation: also vastly improved — plenty of places to pee.

A lot more slutties scantily clad women hired to sell stuff milling around here, too. The SAPPHIRE strip club has a booth at the WSOP.

A lot of media seems to be on tilt. There’s even talk of an internet blackout day and legal action against CardPlayer. The phrases “First Amendment” and “tortius interference” keep coming up. But some of the more experienced journalists (from a non-poker-media background) are just going about their jobs. After all, it’s just poker … not a GULF WAR.

My new favorite place — the MILWAUKEE’S BEST LIGHT GARAGE. It’s outside “across the street” from The Kitchen … like a sports bar … with lots of crappy-but-cold beer, cushy leather chairs, a convenient smoking area, a pool table, tires, mufflers, funny signs, and get this … three DART BOARDS. Alas, they are soft-tip, not bristle. But beggars can’t be choosers, right? If someone wants to bring a real dart board, perhaps we can convince them to let us put it up put it up without anyone noticing the change.

CLONIE cashed in one of the three events she has played thus far.

Eavesdropping on an attractive young blonde talking with an old man of noticeable heft; she was wearing lacey panties. Their conversation began with discussion casinos in SHREVEPORT and OKLAHOMA, and soon turned to “a bust in Dallas” at “a place called ACES.”

4 Comments to “Insta-wsop”

  1. Jonathan

    I thought ‘In Your Kitchen’ was a part of the poker vernacular. It means ‘I’m in your head’.

  2. DanM

    It does, it does! (Just not everybody knows it yet.)

  3. AlCantHang

    I noticed that Oliver Tse CC:ed Bob Ley from Outside the Lines. With the popularity of televised poker, it will interesting to see if it draws any interest from that program.

    I doubt, however, that anything will be mentioned on the final table broadcast. Lack of balls or integrity will prevail.

  4. Tulsa

    Actually, I first heard Dallas Stars announcer (and former NHL goalie) Daryl Reaugh use the phrase “in his kitchen” about 10 years ago.

    And tell those ESPN whores to please wait for me by the front doors. I’ll be there Thursday with a six-pack of Try To Stop Me, Bitch.