That's the title I've decided to assign to the series of blog posts reporting on my ticket to the Main Event. It just occurred to me a few minutes ago, though it was probably subconsciously influenced by having read this morning a blog post from Wil Wheaton about his love of the movie from which I'm so shamelessly stealing.
PeeGee. I.e., P.G. I.e., Poker Grump. That's me! Get it?
Today I met up with Daniel Cates and his publicist for two reasons. First, we had interviews to do with the local NBC affiliate station, KSNV "News 3." It was just the basic questions that you'd expect. I stumbled through it. Officially the footage is for their Sunday night sports show, "Sports Night in Las Vegas" (11:30 pm), but I was told they might also run it on the nightly news tonight if there's time. If it ever shows up online and I notice it, I'll post a link. But don't hold your breath; they seem to be slow and inconsistent about making those shows available via the web.
I learned one little factoid from the interactions with the reporter: They had about 300 tickets in all, which means that my guesstimate about how much "drawing equity" my four entries would have was just about right.
Next we went to the registration room to do the buy-in officially. I wasn't quite sure how it would be handled. But Daniel just casually handed me two $5000 Rio chips--not tournament lammers, but the ones that you can actually cash for $5000 each. I've never even handled chips of that denomination before. I had an impulse to stuff them in my pocket and run away. But that wouldn't be very cool. I tried to be just as nonchalant as Daniel when handing them over to the nice lady behind the counter. This is the attitude I tried to convey: "What--these things? Pffft! I lose these in the laundry all the time. They fall out of my pocket when I answer a cell phone call, and, really, they're not worth bending over to pick up, so I leave them for the poor people to fight over. It's not like they're real money or anything!"
In exchange, she handed me this:
I'll be playing on Day 1A. I figured I would get it done and out of the way early, then, assuming I survive, I'll have three days off before my Day 2 to relax. Or to stress. One or the other. (You can see the whole event's day-by-day schedule in the footnotes here.)
As I previously mentioned, an hour of one-on-one poker training is included in the package, and I expect we'll be making arrangements for that in the next day or two.
After Daniel told me he'd text me when he knew his schedule better and we had parted, I realized that I had walked away with the winning ticket stub still in my pocket. Oh well. I guess they don't really need it to prove that I was the winner. I'll add it to my souvenir collection.
In other related news, Jesse May earlier today did an excellent blog post about Daniel, which you can read here. There is an accompanying video interview, posted here. My favorite paragraph, which concludes in an opinion with which I will concur, based on my brief encounters with him so far:
There was a recent New York Times piece written about Jungleman, before Black Friday, where the interviewer went to great pains to infer that Cates was completely out of touch with real people and the real world. While it’s true that Daniel does have that weird genius way of answering questions much like Isaac Haxton, where they are liable to take as long a pause as they deem necessary and then answer in a way where they are actually interviewing you and if you haven’t thought your question through in the first place you just end up mumbling around and staring at a place three feet to the left of their head. Because Daniel Cates is piercing you with unblinking eyes from behind his thick unrimmed spectacles and raising the bet. And if that makes you uncomfortable so that you want to claim he’s out of touch with real people and the real world, then fine. But what the New York Times journalist surely left out is the thing that should immediately strike anyone most about Daniel Cates, especially in an arena where huge egos are part and parcel for the course and arrogance is assumed like eyes and ears. The plain fact about Daniel Cates is that he’s unfailingly polite. He’s earnestly polite. He’s polite in a way so that he must actually believe that the world doesn’t revolve around him, and if I say that makes him the only one in Las Vegas right now then it’s not nearly as much of an exaggeration as the other way around. That, right there, is more than something.Maybe I'm reading him wrong, but my impression is that he's kind of embarrassed that his gesture is being considered a big deal, and his publicist has to collar him to get him to extract some PR value out of it.
Speaking of PR, a couple more items of some relevance have hit the intertubes. First, my friend Ian, a.k.a. NumbBono of the "Donkeys Always Draw" blog, wrote a nice news piece about this for Rakeback.com, here. Second, "Listening," she of the razz blog and book, sweetly posted her advice just for me, though I'm sure she wouldn't mind if others read it. Brief mention (with name misspelled) by PokerNews here.