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Best of Vin Narayanan

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From the WSOP rail: Luckboxes, mega satellites and eagle-eyed pros

2 July 2008

Rooting for Tommy Hang
After Phil Hellmuth was bounced from the $1,500 H.O.R.S.E. tournament, the large crowd surrounding the table thinned quickly. And left in its place were about a dozen players rooting for Tommy Hang to beat James Schaaf heads up. The reasons for rooting for Hang ranged from "I'm living with him" to Schaaf was a luckbox who deserved to lose. But the sentiment was clear -- the remaining railbirds wanted Hang to go home with the bracelet. They cheered every pot he won, and fretted as his chip stack dwindled. And when Hang eventually fell to Schaaf, they cheered his second-place finish with zest and headed for the exits.

Mega-satellite madness
The Amazon Room at the Rio All Suites Hotel & Casino is packed with players trying to satellite into the Main Event. And with the deadline looming, the pressure is increasing. Tuesday night's 9 p.m. mega satellite was still going strong at 3:30 a.m. Wednesday morning. And although the tournament had ended before I arrived at 9:45 a.m., no one on the floor was certain just when it ended.

Cap confusion
At the red carpet prior to the Ante Up for Africa charity tournament, Casino City's Gary Trask asked Don Cheadle if he was wearing a Red Sox hat. A slightly exasperated Cheadle responded "It's Bruins baby. Everybody asks me that. But it's UCLA." (See the photo)

Keeping an eye on the media
The players at the World Series of Poker are keeping track of who's working in press row. Gary and I had spent most of the night working in the front row of the press area. We took turns roaming the floor of the Amazon Room, and sometimes worked on our stories together. Around 2 a.m., Gary finished his last story and took off. I needed to wait and see who won the $1,500 H.O.R.S.E. tournament, so I stuck around. After the tournament ended, I went back to press row to finish my story. And about two minutes later, an Australian player walked past my seat and said "You've lost a work mate." I laughed and explained we'd been up for 24 hours straight at that point, and because I was almost done, there was no need for Gary to stick around. The player laughed in agreement and said there was no use burning out before the Main Event, and then headed off into the night.

From the WSOP rail: Luckboxes, mega satellites and eagle-eyed pros is republished from Online.CasinoCity.com.
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Best of Vin Narayanan
Vin Narayanan

Vin Narayanan is the managing editor at Casino City. When he's not writing or editing stories, he likes to play Chinese Poker, Badugi, Razz and any other "non-traditional" poker game. He also thinks blackjack is his best game and loves game theory.

Before joining Casino City, Vin covered (not all at the same time) sports, politics and elections, wars, technology, celebrities and the Census for USATODAY.com, USA WEEKEND and CNN.

A proud graduate of Michigan State University, Vin can be found on most nights and weekends trying to find a way to watch the Spartans play football or basketball.

Vin Narayanan
Vin Narayanan is the managing editor at Casino City. When he's not writing or editing stories, he likes to play Chinese Poker, Badugi, Razz and any other "non-traditional" poker game. He also thinks blackjack is his best game and loves game theory.

Before joining Casino City, Vin covered (not all at the same time) sports, politics and elections, wars, technology, celebrities and the Census for USATODAY.com, USA WEEKEND and CNN.

A proud graduate of Michigan State University, Vin can be found on most nights and weekends trying to find a way to watch the Spartans play football or basketball.