So here we are, a month into the World Series of Poker. We've seen a lot in our time at the tables - a lot of screw-ups.
Oh, sure - it's the greatest contest of the cards to grace this or any millenium; but the fact remains: there have been some mistakes. How do you like the webcast shroud? That's the spectator-free black-curtain-surrounded final table fiasco which the WSOP pioneered this year.
We know we've mentioned it a few times, but there's just no belaboring the craziness of a concept that saw Phil Hellmuth win his 11th bracelet with nobody watching. That is the kind of move that belongs to true sporting success stories, like Vince McMahon's XFL.
The 38th annual WSOP also saw the introduction of the poker pavillion, an outdoor tent which at press time has been linked to one stroke and at least one serious gashing. This can only be a product of trying to fit 33% more events into a barely-expanded tournament schedule; which is another naive notion.
We could hardly mention these blunders without broaching the subject of the controversial cards which opened the series. So confusing were the upside-down-and-backward-printed pieces that it was mere hours before the last one flew. They are now artifacts of a more lunacy-tolerant time.
We've covered all these missteps in depth, however; and it is not our wish to further denigrate an institution as worthy as the WSOP. It is only to provide perspective on what we believe is a job yet unfinished - we want to find the worst possible new idea for World Series poker.
We mentioned Vince McMahon earlier - it's hard to ignore the controversial owner of the WWE professional wrestling league. His drug-pushing, player-destroying, franchise-finishing antics are the stuff of sport-stupidity legend.
One thing Vince does do well, however, is put on a show. When bikini-clad models shoot fireworks out of exploding limousines to start the night, you know you're in for some top-notch sports; and when each wrestler steps onto the mat (we hear - we'd never watch this stuff, honest) they get theme music.
As prestigious as the WSOP has become, don't you think there is always room for improvement? Don't you think the opening strains of "Little Green Bag" welcoming Barry Greenstein to the Amazon room would get the crowd pumped? How about "Female of the Species" for Katja Thater?
Even better, what if players were to come up with their own theme song? For the first three days, Daniel Negreanu wouldn't stop repeating "Coffee, soda, juice" over and over in what he insisted was a breakthrough rap hit.
You think it's an ill-considered move? Well, you're right; but not all players know it. For a horrible glimpse into a future we must all strive to escape, check out Marcel Luske's "The Poker Song." No, wait - don't. You can't take it back.
What's that? You already have H.O.R.S.E. events in your world series? Well, what if we go ahead and add a little something extra? How about a little added value for your buy-in dough? We think it's a fantastic bad idea.
It's already been called the truest test of rounder mettle; and we feel added rounds to the event can only mean extra prestige. What exactly do we propose including? Why, only the least-represented game in the World Series of Poker: the "S" is for Strip Poker, of course. No-Limit, baby.
Imagine the dedication your favorite player would exhibit in every sixth round of H.O.R.S.E.S. Do you think Mike Matusow would be so flippant about calling? We hope not. Plus, in a time where popular media has begun to speculate poker popularity has reached its zenith, we think it's a smart move.
If - just if, mind you - you happened to be Erica Schoenberg, say, and you happened to "randomly" draw a seat at a table with, oh, Shannon Elizabeth, Lacey Jones and Brandi Hawbaker, well.... Who would we be to refuse exploding tournament viewership?
Finally, we thought it would be nice to throw a bone to the brave soul who tendered the concept of the short-lived refurbished 2007 WSOP cards. We thought maybe he or she didn't go far enough. We think maybe there should be a whole new suit; and maybe a few more numbers.
Think about it. (No, don't think about it - you will lose 15 IQ points for every second you spend.) We're talking about 20% more poker possibilities. Sure, you rivered a straight, but we just made a thirteen-high flush. Of dogs.
Sure - it makes perfect sense: hearts, diamonds, clubs, spades and dogs. Girly stuff, mob weaponry and man's best friend. Finally together in one pack. We challenge you to come up with a better worse idea. We know we have plenty more.
So count your blessings the next time you're trying to follow twelve concurrent events running in webcast solitude with unreadable cards while sweating at a table in the poker pavillion in the middle of the desert in the apex of the summer. We know we will.
We will also continue to bring you the best coverage of this or any World Series of Poker, no matter what new-fangled ill-considered nonsensical notions try to improve what is already our planet's greatest game. You just enjoy.