The day began barely five hours after Day 34 ended, with the annual media event. For those caught unawares, media events are renowned the poker world over as being the home of ultrafast structures, low starting stacks, and a style of play that rewards the non-poker-playing newscasters who use their network pull to get seats in the freeroll and then limp-call their way to suck-out success.
None of the PokerListings.com gang was able to avoid the donkstrikery, succumbing one by one to the play of luckboxes from other so-called media outlets. Tragedy might have been averted had I, a suckout artiste in my own right, not slept through the morning's proceedings, but hung-over from the Freddy Deeb, Todd Brunson, and a venomous Sean Sheikhan, who PokerListings.com decided must hate children after his profanity-laden tirade at Barry Greenstein late on Day 1.
You know what they say about Karma, however, and after Brunson (7th, $51,669), Deeb (6th, $73,813), Black (5th, $118,101) and Lamar Wilkinson (4th, $162,389) were eliminated, Sheikhan could make it stick no longer, falling in third place after an intense three-handed match that concluded only when Brown made a nine-low to edge out Sheiky's ten-low. Revenge-minded children will be disappointed, however, to find that Sheikhan earned $206,676 for his foul-mouthed display.
Sheiky's elimination left only Erik Seidel and Chad Brown to battle for the bracelet, and battle they did, with a long and tumultuous heads-up session that saw both players land crushing blows before the Gentle Giant sprang up from the mat one last time, doubling through Brown while crippled and then striking the knockout punch with an 8-7 low to Brown's 9-7, earning the decision as well as his eighth WSOP bracelet, $538,835 in prize money, and the right to have his exploits chronicled via overdone boxing metaphors on PokerListings.com
Thus ends the preliminary events at the 2007 World Series of Poker, but fear not; in roughly seven hours the Main Event will begin, bringing with it a circus-sideshow of attention-hounds, B-list celebs, a highly-paid columnist in Bill Simmons who will refuse to see his inevitable elimination as anything other than a horrendous beat, Jennifer Leigh in lingerie, and, if we're lucky, some professionals reinforcing the thesis that poker is, indeed, a game of skill.
Let's get ready to rumble!