The WSOP used a different company's playing cards this year: Modiano, an Italian cardmaker. After the first few days, their were player complaints. Because the cards were thinner than usual, players claimed they could be easily marked (for example, see here). I played four days with these cards, and, yes, they were thinner than usual. A dealer told me they were slightly longer than the usual deck, but that was not apparent to me. The WSOP officials responded by asking Modiano to sent new cards (go here).
Watching a final table live stream, I saw Jonathan Little get his chips all in with J-J against A-Q. He lost the race and busted out sixth. I bought his new book Excelling At No-Limit Hold'Em later that day. As I gave Little the book to sign, I said, "I'm sorry your jacks didn't win." He immediately smiled and said, "It doesn't matter." It doesn't matter -- wow, what a great attitude. That's the difference between him and me (notice I didn't use the incorrect him and I). He's in it for the long haul and understands that winning tournaments is quite often simply winning your flips. In other words, he knew he played correctly, and that was all that mattered to him.
After Little signed my book, he handed it to Phil Helmuth. Helmuth was dressed just like you see him on TV -- black trousers and black shirt, a black ballcap and sunglasses. "What's your name?" he asked as he prepared to sign. "It's David I said." Then I couldn't resist: "By the way, what's yours?" He immediately looked up and saw I had a big grin on my face, and he smiled too, knowing I was teasing him.
What did Helmuth write? "David, Love life and run hot!" Then he signed and dated it.
I also got signatures from Matt Affleck and Dr. Tricia Cardner. Another author was there, Elliot Roe, a mind set coach. I listen to his podcasts, so was happy to have a nice chat with him. He listened as I told him what I liked and didn't like about the podcasts. I guess I had a lot of nerve, but, hey, I'm 71 years old. With age comes some privilege. For more information on Roe, click here.
The Rio seems to jack the prices up more and more each year. I stayed there, and two of the nights the cost was $445 each (June 19 and June 20). That's steep for an old retired guy. It's my vacation and I like the convenience of being there, but I might have to think about it next year. A 16-ounce soda cost $4 in the gift shop. If you got it from the machine on your floor, it was "only" $3. What's up with that? Also, only Pepsi products. Apparently they have a deal with Pepsi. I like Diet Pepsi okay, but prefer Diet Coke.
One day I checked the weather -- it was 112. It cooled off by 7 p.m., however, to a cool 106. But it was dry heat, right?
So with the heat, high prices, and mediocre results, I had a crummy time, right? Wrong. I loved every minute of it. I ate well. I enjoyed meeting some old and some new friends. I can't wait until next June in the desert.