Nothing worse than being in Vegas for two weeks with a cheap camera, but then again, that's why God made PhotoShop. I have a few hundred photos, most of which are terrible, but I'll torture you all with a few of them anyway. Most of them have backstory attached. Here are some samples:
--- Day One (of four) of the Lifestyle Show: Chris Ferguson stops by the Full Tilt booth to play his poker video game, pose for photos, and sign autographs.
-- Drew Barrymore emotes onscreen in the trailer for Lucky You, which was presented to the media on, ummm, Media Day at the WSOP. Barrymore was the unannounced guest who was present during the second half of the conference; the first started with the expected Harrah's self-congratulations and the induction ceremony of Billy Baxter and T.J. Cloutier into the Poker Hall of Fame.
--- James McManus poses for a photo after chopping the winner's share in a $1,060 satellite the day before his Day One play begins. McManus is already in, but the winner's shares in these satellites are paid for in $500 "buy-in" tourney chips, plus leftover cash; players sell the chips (for cash) to other players who decide to buy in directly to any of the other events.
-- The difference between an online dealer-training school and a brick-and-mortar one? It might be price but it ain't locale. Here's the famed Las Vegas School of Dealing, which sits in a converted furniture warehouse in a a not-great area northwest of the Strip, a shot I snapped from the Mansion Poker Dome shuttle as we were transported downtown for our press conference and introduction to the set. I take a few photos of even worse areas, too; funny that on our second trip to the Dome, the shuttle's blinds are louvred and closed.
--- Barb Enright gives me a nice smile (after she's learned who I am, and that she's played against me and corresponded with me) from her table just inside the rail halfway through her first day's play. It's just at the end of the dinner break and many of the players have yet to return, but in a half hour or so, T.J. Cloutier takes a seat two chairs to Enright's left.
It's a short 2006 WSOP Main Event for Erick Lindgren, and not a merry one. He's down to perhaps 3,000 in chips at this point. In another half hour he'll push his final 1,600 chips to the middle with a pair of jacks. They run into aces, get no help, and Lindgren is out the door.