Instead of my usual self-assignment of the trials and tribulations of the low stakes cash grinder, for the next two weeks I will be covering the Borgata Fall Poker Open. I arrived yesterday and was generously welcomed by Chelsea Reyes, the Borgata's Direct Marketing Manager, and Greg Ranieri, Jr, Poker Marketing Coordinator, as well as others including Simon Poglein from database marketing and Deb Daly on the tournament side.
Perhaps most important for me, I also met Kaelaine Minton, a long-time poker tournament blogger. Kaeline, who travels from Georgia to cover the Borgata on a regular basis, got her start playing stud back in the poker boom days. When her position at Hewlett Packard ended, she had already found her way into tournament coverage for Pokerpages, the now defunct media arm of another online training site she frequented, now washed away in the changing poker scene. She is greatly trusted by the Borgata staff and appears to have many key roles in running their Poker Blog. I will learn much from her.
Somewhat sleepless from travel, I woke early today and got a good look around the Borgata, which seems to meet and even surpass its reputation as the premier resort location of Atlantic City. The Red Chip crew, one week earlier had enjoyed an astounding meal at Homestead, but Greg had given me a reasonable explanation - it's a sister restaurant to a successful and longstanding New York restaurant. Our meal had been hard to top, although no one had a more satisfactory experience than "Jazz Hands" Bocky, who carefully ingested all the flesh of a 48 oz. prime rib, much to everyone's amazement.
Even a great casino is quiet north of seven a.m., and I enjoyed the calm before the storm of poker players arrived.
Nevertheless, the excitement of the tournament is near. As I headed back to my room I bumped into Darren, from Cleveland, who was just getting settled. Good luck, Darren. We'll find him later and see how he's doing in the first flight of event 1, the Deepstack Kick-off NLH Reentry!
Of course, the goal of winning is still a ways off. However, this portrait of a former tournament winner should inspire us all:
Good luck, and if you are playing, come find me for a quick interview (Tweet me at @out_of_position) or to let me know what's happening at your table. I'm finally going to have to listen to all your bad beats! Take advantage!
Special thanks to Julie McGrath.
(Oh, and leave a comment on the posts! All these bloggers at the Open are working very hard to bring updates and want to know someone is paying attention!)