Greetings from the airplane. The trip has not disappointed, and I haven't even crossed the Mississippi yet. In the boarding line I met two more online qualifiers. The first one was a Kevin Spacey lookalike who qualified in a 33+rebuy satellite on PokerStars. At least, he thinks he did, but he can't quite remember (I'm pretty sure he got into the $33 via a turbo supersatellite; this would explain his confusion, and he mentioned something about playing a tournament to get into another tournament.) If this guy is the competition, the tournament will be an even bigger EV bonanza than I expected. It's almost too bad, because I really like Kevin Spacey, but this guy is the Platonic form of an internet fish. He hates rebuy tournaments because "people will play anything, and then no matter what cards come down in the middle, they'll just call, because they can just click the 'rebuy' button and be back where they started." He's lost more money than he's won online (not counting his WSOP prize package,) and he estimates his online losses in the low four digits. (And not just on tournaments; he "plays everything.") Nonetheless, he claims that if you play long enough, you're bound to make a big tournament score and get back to even. Also, he made fun of me to whomever he was talking to on the phone because I was reading poker books (I was holding Harrington On Hold'Em 2 and The Biggest Game In Town;) little did he know I'm writing a poker book.
The other guy in line seemed a lot sharper. Gave off the serious-amateur vibe, and talked about having won his way into a bunch of big tournaments on UltimateBet (though he said he hasn't cashed in any.) His wife provided the highlight of the conversation by making fun of him for playing too much roulette.
As I boarded the plane, I noticed the guy in the front row reading Ken Warren Teaches Texas Hold'Em. I fervently hope this guy's playing the tournament and reading Ken Warren to prepare, because Ken Warren's is the worst strategy book I've ever seen (far worse than Hellmuth's book; sometimes I thumb through Warren for amusement. Sample advice: don't raise with KK from late position, because an ace might flop and cripple your hand.) More amusingly, that book isn't even about no-limit hold'em. It's as if he qualified to play Wimbledon, and decided to prepare by reading 10 Easy Golf Lessons With Helen Keller.
Here's a quiz I'm composing as I cross Lake Michigan: Do You Travel Like Nate Meyvis?
Q: You hit the ATM in the airport, and it dispensed only fifties. You hadn't eaten all day. What did you do?
A: Bought some Chicken Selects from McDonald's. Paid with a fifty. Bought a Coke from the burrito place. Paid with a fifty. Fifties are unlucky for poker players, and you didn't want fries anyway.
Q: As you paid for your Connecticut Limo ticket, you noticed that the hyperenthusiastic woman behind the counter sounded eerily like what pop-cultural icon you would like to see again on TV?
A: Miss Cleo.
Q: You were in a time crunch to get to Connecticut Limo, so you casually mentioned to Charlie, the cab driver, that you were in a hurry. How did he handle the situation?
A: He mumbled something, then proceeded to get you there on time by breaking almost every traffic law except, for some reason, the speed limit (nothing quite like going through a red light five miles under the limit, three seconds after it turned red.) Meanwhile, he maintained a preternatural calm, only moving to shake a few ice cubes from a long-finished cup of soda into his mouth.
Q: You estimated the odds that the Kevin Spacey lookalike cracks the top 100; what are they?A: 125-1.
Q: Who are you listening to on your iPod right now?
A: Deena Carter.
Q: Has this blog entry gone on long enough?