It's cold. I check the weather in Atlanta and see the high today will be 65 degrees. I sit in southern New Jersey where it is currently about 20 degrees and snow is expected tomorrow.
Even the most hardened traveller eventually gets homesick. It is a distinct possibility that when the first white flake falls this southern boy will scamper home like a panicked rabbit.
So why would I sit in a cheap hotel with spotty internet coverage suffering the last gasps of winter? Poker, of course. It's the need to make one more run at the big pay day. Test the skills against the sharks and the donkeys. Based on what I saw yesterday, I doubt I will be disappointed.
Due to the skills of my navigator, Sancho Panza, I arrived at the boardwalk city well before the start of the first tournament. Even though I did not feel mentally prepared after a three hour drive, I planned on playing the first day. To my dismay, the registration area contained a line looping back on itself like an mobius strip. We patiently stood in line until a gentlemen with a distinct accent my ancestors may have never known announced tournament officials had cut off at 940 and everyone else in line were alternates.
Given my mental state, I had no desire to wait several hours just to get a seat. The decision was made to hit the casino for a few hours and then come back for some single table tournaments. Four hours and a few dollars later, we wandered back into the registration area. I knew the situation was grim when I spotted a loud man berating a tournament official.
"Still no single tables", I asked.
"No, we still have people in [the main event room] and downstairs. We had trouble starting the 4:00 event", she replied.
I asked how many they had in the main event and she responded "over 1100". To give some perspective, the main event of the World Series of Poker only crossed the 1000 barrier a few years ago. I told the haggard lady it was okay and we would be back tomorrow.
So today I will play in my first event. It's the $500 day two main event. I'm not sure what to expect after yesterday. Certainly not 1000 entrants but probably several hundred. To go deep I will potentially have to play 10+ hours.
When I'm done, I will amble back here to my spotty internet site and report. Hopefully, much later in the day.