Saturday, July 04, 2009

Scenes from the Poker Palooza expo thingy

Shamus had the day off from blogging for PokerNews, so he suggested we try to get together at the Rio for dinner and to see the Poker Palooza gaming expo going on in association with the World Series of Poker Main Event, which started today. Good idea.

There were countless booths selling poker-themed clothing. This one had some of the better selections. Stuff at most of the other booths was even more lame.

It doesn't seem like many people would go to a poker expo in order to find Jesus, but just in case one did, he's there waiting for you:

There was a reggae band playing, which was really annoying, because (1) only about a dozen people were listening to it, and (2) it was so loud that it made conversation with vendors nearly impossible.

For the most part, the expo struck me as a collection of enlarged versions of the same ads that one seens in every poker magazine. For example, this automatic card shuffler:

More poker clothes. Seriously, that was the dominant product category on display, followed closely by custom poker tables.

Some different card protectors:

These chairs look like they would be ultra-comfortable for long sessions of online poker. Maybe too comfortable.

At this point, an embarrassing thing happened. Apparently in the process of flicking in and out of camera mode on my cell phone, I entered the wrong sub-menu and changed the preferred image size without knowing it until I got home and downloaded the photos to my computer. So these last three are the actual, maximum size at which they were stored. Oops.

This is the main entrance to the expo. It's hard to see here, but the thing on the left is a big house of cards, which is roped off and which all sorts of signs warn you not to touch.

This poor woman was selling some rather bizarre poker-themed art. Her web site is here, in case you want to see the products more clearly. She seemed like a very nice lady, but I can't say I fell in love with any of her work.

Big Jack Link's truck. I got a free meat stick.

That's the end of the photos. A few more miscellaneous notes:

There was a booth promoting a new online-only poker magazine, which I had not heard of before: I haven't checked it out yet, but will do so soon.

One place was pitching a new online poker site that has an innovative twist. It's (I know this because they handed me a free deck of cards with that printed on them.) However, the site isn't live yet--next week, we were told. The twist is that in addition to a regular lobby showing cash games and tournaments, each player will have a "private lobby," from which you can send out invitations to your friends to play with you. You will also be able to set up tournaments with whatever structure you want--pick your own combination of blinds and progression, starting chips, length of levels, etc. I have long thought that both features (being able to have tables that you reserve just for people you invite to play against you, and being able to make custom tournaments) were kind of obvious things for the big sites to add, but they never have. In business terms, frankly, I doubt that this outfit has any more of a chance of surviving than most of the other online poker sites that start up and shut down within a couple of years. (Right, Johnny Chan?) But I wish that the big boys would learn something from this newcomer and build such capabilities into their systems.

At one point I saw a guy looking at some wares, and from the back I thought he had hair as crazy at Joe Reitman's. A few seconds later, I was surprised to see Annie Duke come over and put her arm around him. Oh, it was Joe Reitman!

Overall, the expo isn't really much to see. If you don't get there, you're not missing out.

Shamus and I then left the convention center area and went to the Rub BBQ restaurant. It was OK, but not as great as I had sort of built it up in my mind to be. And I forgot to bring my $10 off voucher left over from my WSOP event. D'oh!

On the way to Rub, the Masquerade show in the sky was going on, which I had not seen before. Lame. Completely lame. I snapped a few pictures, but they were from far away, and given the image size, they're completely worthless, so I'm not even posting them.

Oh, and one other completely unrelated note: The guy who picked me up to take me back to the car repair shop is married to the woman who cuts Doyle Brunson's hair every two weeks. Isn't that exciting?

That is all for now.


timpramas said...

Doyle Brunson needs his hair cut every two weeks?

Chris Chancellor said...

Hey its Chris from My shirts are the ones in the first photo! Thank u PokerGrump! If anyone mentions ur site Sunday at my booth any shirt 2 for $20. Thank u!!

Cardgrrl said...

Holy Moly, I just clicked through to the paintings... Now I must run to the ophthalmologist.