Nothing, and I mean, nothing, tops the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas as a sporting event.
Is poker a sport? Of course. If not, why would WSOP reruns air for a total of about 399,000 hours a year on ESPN2?
If you doubt the greatness of this event, ask yourself if you’d read the following scenes played out in the World Series of Baseball, the World Series of Golf, or the College Baseball World Series. The following scenes occurred in the first event of the 2008 WSOP, which began Friday. They come to us courtesy of bluffmagazine.com.
The UNLV marching band has just filed into the Amazon Room playing– what else– “Viva Las Vegas”– to kick of the WSOP festivities.
After Chris Bell doubled with a queen on the river, Gavin Smith got word of it from the cash tables and made his way over to give Bell a pat on the back and say, “Gotta love them ladies!” Smith wasn’t done there, as he began picking on Andy Bloch and his chip stack by throwing ice cubes at Bloch from his drink. Mike Sexton gave Gavin a gaze, and Smith responded, “What? You wanna go?”
Phil Ivey eliminated Marco Traniello, increasing his stack to 60,000 after spending the majority of the dinner break sweating the Celtics-Pistons game. Don’t know what side he had– his sports betting face is apparently just as good as his poker face.
Hand for hand play continues as we have yet to lose another player. Though the players are scheduled to have a break in about 12 minutes, the tournament staff has made the decision to continue play into the next level until the bubble bursts. This fact did not sit well with Chris Bell, who evidently is in dire need of a bathroom break.
As the pot was getting pushed to Phil Laak, Nenad Medic asked to see his hand. Laak said he’d show for $50. Bell jumped up and reached into his pocket and said, “I’ll pay it.” Laak then turned over pocket nines. Bell jumped out of his chair and kicked the chair behind him in disgust. John Kabbaj saw Bell’s hole cards and said he held pocket tens. Bell then pulled out two $20 bills and one $10 bill and tossed it across the table to Laak. Kabbaj yelled over to Laak, “Now be nice and give him his money back. Show some class.” Laak stayed collecting his chips and Kabbaj said again, “Come on man, have some class, you don’t need $50.” Laak responded, “$50 is a lot of money,” before he tossed a $10 bill back over to Bell for a discount.