In fact, it was more than a sellout. It was supposed to be limited to 500 entries and players kept showing up - and showing up - and showing up.
By starting time there were 701 entrants spread over two days. Team PokerStars had several representatives, and the youngest of the group, teenager Dario Minieri, led the tournament for much of the time, before finally finishing in third place.
San Remo is one of the prettiest places I've ever seen. After getting eliminated on Day 1, I did a one-day tour of the vicinity with my friend and roommate Casey Kastle. We explored many of the nearby towns, including Monte Carlo. Some of these quaint villages had extremely old and interesting churches and other buildings, including a castle in one spot.
Unfortunately I had to return to the States after the tournament, so I did not get to go to the European Poker Tour Championship event which was held about a week later in Monte Carlo. Oh well, maybe next year.
I only managed to play in one tournament at the Bellagio in April, the $2,620 buy-in Seniors event. I did manage to finish in 14th place out of 137 players, so I had a modest payday, because 18 got paid. I got in via a satellite, so I had a cheap entry.
Other than that, I played a few tournaments and a couple of satellites at the Caesars Palace WSOPC events in Las Vegas, but was unable to finish in the money.
However, you can never put a price on the fun factor.
I am looking forward to the World Series starting at the end of May, when my place becomes the McEvoy hotel, with numerous house guests coming and going. It's always great to see some of my old friends, but do they really all have to show up at once? Some of them will be sleeping on the couch for sure.
It will be interesting to see if the current recession the U.S. economy is in will negatively impact attendance at the World Series this year. Poker suffers when disposable income is tight, but the World Series is still the ultimate poker competition, so I expect the turnout will still be strong no matter what.
I hope to see many of you at this year's Series, and hopefully meet at least a few of you at the final table.
-- Tom McEvoy
More blogs from Tom McEvoy:
- Lost Luggage and Cracked Queens
- PokerStars Caribbean Adventure - Part Five
- What Is It Like Being a Poker Pro?