Posts Tagged ‘rail birds’

Close to Chaos for Ten-Handed Action

by , Jul 15, 2009 | 11:20 pm

Just before the Final Table Ten became the November Nine, I made my final attempt to get near the action. The closest I could get was the “media” area, which was soon an uncontrollable mess of fans pushing their way through to capture the Ivey Kodak moment with their disposable cams. But before that happened, here is what the packed stands looked like:

UPDATE: Gene got a good shot of the eruption!

The November Nine, upon its creation.

Itching to Watch Ivey

by , Jul 12, 2009 | 8:02 pm

The rail around the WSOP Main Event is substantial. Though the fans are quite a distance from most of the tables, many of them are there to support friends and family or catch a glimpse of some of the recognizable faces still in the game. The most popular? One Phil Ivey. And unfortunately for the somewhat-shy guy, his table today happened to be close to the rail AND an elevated platform where fans could attempt to smother him congregate.

For most of Day 5, Phil looked as if he wanted to run away. But with a Main Event championship title that he may envision with his name on it, he’ll stick around and put up with the ESPN camera crews and rows of fans (and media people with cameras).

The Other Poker Hall of Fame

by , Jul 10, 2009 | 12:13 pm

Not only did you, the everyday Joe pokerer, get to have your say on who gets considered for the Poker Hall of Fame, but now, coming up soon, via Wicked Chops, you can weigh in with Jason Alexander and Brad Garrett on the historically most significant WSOP railbirds:

Watch Girls on the Rail Hall of Fame with Jason Alexander, Brad Garrett and Gavin Smith on

What Happens in Oklahoma Stays in Oklahoma?

by , Apr 16, 2009 | 10:42 am

Once upon a time, the WinStar Casino was literally just a little big tent on a riverbank. But now, fueled in many ways by the DFW poker scene, the place has blown up … just two days ago I ran into a guy at the Golden Nugget from Dallas telling me how wild the action was there … “Because when people make the long haul to Oklahoma, they show up ready to play, I imagine,” I said.

“Yeah,” he confirmed. “And they serve alcohol now, so that livens things up.”

Continuing Thackerville’s conversion from nothing-land to resort destination: WinStar is adding a spa. Sweet. So not only can you rest assured that many of your opponents will be well-pedicured, but also you could only expect this to increase the quality (and quantity) of railbirds willing to make the trek across the border.

More details on Dallas/Plano-based Spa Habitat’s investment in a new Oklahoma branch below:


Sneak Preview of the New Hard Rock Poker Room

by , Aug 20, 2008 | 6:30 pm

The Hard Rock Poker Lounge is almost ready to serve you.

The PR people at Hard Rock are trying to keep a tight lid on the unveiling of their new “Poker Lounge”, which opens to the public tomorrow — they don’t want any bad pictures getting out that fail to capture the venue in all its glory, nor any inaccurate information being spread widely for many to misconstrue. Er … ok, but that’s kinda what we do, ya know?

I’ve heard two numbers about how costly this new construction was — $12 million and $30 million. While there’s a big difference between the two, and at least one of them is probably wrong, either way, you get the picture … it’s a really nice place — built from the ground up and the inside out. Brian from the Poker Atlas and I swung by yesterday, where they were busily at work in their final stages of preparation, and we got a little tour from the Director of Poker Operations, Houston Waldie, who was brought to HRH after his success turning the Golden Nugget’s rinky-dink room into arguably the best game downtown. No cameras allowed as he pointed out features he was most proud of, but I did manage to sneak a few pics from behind the ropes to give you a sense of the space we’re talking about here.

I gotta say … Fuckin’ A …

Go Hard Rock. (General info and future reviews here; official site here.)

The luxe tables, couches, chairs, flatscreens, etc. were all expected, maybe a tad nicer. But the art, the architecture, the vibe — all created specifically to be a poker room, the most well thought out and well funded since the Venetian — make me miss living on the east side of town, where the Hard Rock was the most convenient casino to my old pad. And though I suspect it may take some time to build up a player base (perhaps when the new hotel rooms at the Hard Rock open?) that should make it one of the premiere poker destinations in LV, at least the set-up for the action seems pretty sweet. Here are a few tidbits I picked up without the benefit of tape recorder or notepad:


A View From the Rail at the $50K HORSE

by , Jun 27, 2008 | 10:31 pm

Even on Day 3, when the majority of the players in the $50K HORSE event have long been eliminated, the rail is two- and three-deep where the last few tables are being played. When fans see Brunson, Ivey, Negreanu, and the like, they want to see the TV personalities up close. In reality, the fans are being kept at a very safe distance from the tables, but that won’t stop them from trying to get closer. And as the picture below shows, they were already packed along the rail before most players returned from tonight’s dinner break.

At the very end of the rail, I ran into some interesting folks. First, Justin Bonomo’s mom, step-dad, and uncle were behind the rope but as close as they could get to Justin’s table. They knew that he was a short stack when he returned from dinner, but they were so hopeful and positive. “He’s going to get some good hands here,” said his step-dad. But alas, only a few hands later, Justin was eliminated, and his family was there for support. A player couldn’t ask for more…

I also ran into two gentlemen with European-ish accents. One of them asked me to identify a player in a hat and red shirt at the table furthest from them. He was getting a massage and had his head down, which made it difficult to see his face from our rail vantage point. “Daniel Negreanu,” I said. “That cannot be! He look like black guy from here.” I assured him, as did several others around us, that it was Daniel and he was, in fact, white. He finally accepted it, and his buddy told me why it was important. They had a $100 bet on it, and the racially-confused fan went ahead and paid up.

Just a little chunk of what goes on from the sidelines…