Even in the media room, where it's usually buzzing with poker gossip, it's been pretty quiet and uneventful. There's not a drop of "guess who showed up to the table drunk again?" Or, "guess who's been building his bankroll by doing porn?" Even the complimentary pastries I used to get excited over seem like just a bunch of big boring balls of dough now.
It's that time in the World Series once more. The waiting game has begun. We're past the halfway mark - we've gotten to know the poker players and their friends on a first-name basis, the cleaning ladies at our hotel know all of our disgusting habits intimately, and the mere mention of the word "buffet" makes us reflexively gag.
But it's all okay, we knew this would happen. In fact, we looked forward to it with joyous anticipation, because we know in the end, it's all worth it. Yes, it all comes down to the Main Event. The championship tournament is only a week away and yet it seems like it's never going to get here.
Despite the more than 300 players left grinding it out in today's No-Limit Hold'em event, there were virtually no recognizable faces in the sea of competitors. Which comes down to one of three explanations: a lot of pros either busted out early, decided to enjoy a day of drinking at the Palms pool, or are mentally preparing for the Main Event.
Personally, I like to think that the majority of the pros left early to go mentally prepare for the Main Event by drinking at the Palms pool. The pros I've talked to so far seem pretty laid back about the upcoming big one. Of course they want to do well, but most of them subscribe to a lackadaisical mentality that involves having a focused mind and a relaxed attitude.
And what's wrong with a little down time? We were riding the wave of energy from the H.O.R.S.E. event for at least a week after it wrapped up. And what a fantastic event it was. Perfectly scheduled in the middle of the World Series to give everyone a taste, or rather a tease, of things to come.
Sure we've seen some good poker since, but who can remember the winner's name of the last Hold'em event? Exactly. But I bet you that almost everyone who bore witness to the H.O.R.S.E. tournament can recount each of the nine players who sat at the final table. It was history in the making after all, and it was as exciting as a group of mute strangers sitting around a table can get.
Let's be honest, we got a sample of the good stuff and we want more - we need our fix. So enjoy the tranquility while it lasts, because come next Friday, the ride won't be stopping to let anyone off, except the defeated.