The World Series of Poker is being held in the Rio, a Brazilian-themed casino off the strip but on the freeway to LA. The preliminaries are over, and now the week-long tournament has started, with a sea of tables stretching across the Rio ballroom. The players are going through a series of contests, lasting well into the evening each night, to winnow the enormous school of poker sharks and their prey. The floor is packed, with spectators gawking near the tables. The area is lit with subdued lighting, but many players sport shades. Even more wear logoed shirts and hats - apparently they have been offered big bucks if they get to the finals and wear those shirts on TV. (Where winners used to be paid to say on TV, "I'm going to Disneyland!", now they are paid to imply, "I learned to fleece the sheep at PartyPoker.com!"). Among other predators are booth babes with flesh-eating mammaries behind tee-shirts that sport logos like "My pair is bigger!" Oddly, I saw a number of Boston Red Sox hats but no New York Yankee hats. A sign of rooting for yet another member of the poker zoo, the underdog?
I am here to root for Richard Harroch, true Renaissance Man and author of the best-seller, Poker For Dummies! Richard has been a lawyer, businessman, author, venture capitalist, gambler - but never a marketing maven, as he fails to have Poker For Dummies! tee-shirts or hats. With their bright yellow color, they would stand out against all the black hats and black shirts. Maybe next year. Fortunately, his table was right next to the aisle, so I was able to cheer him on. All in! All in!