Poker.org at the 2022 WSOP: 75 and celebrating, the signed Nikes, and more

Haley Hintze Author Photo
Haley Hintze
Posted on: July 09, 2022 09:00 PDT

Poker.org continues to capture many of the sites and scenes from the ongoing 2022 World Series of Poker. To date we've published hundreds of many photos of the participants, staff, and general scenery to be found at this year's WSOP. We've also reserved a few special photos from our published archives when there are unique and entertaining stories to accompany them.

We return here with another of those pictorial special editions, where there's always a little bit more of the story to tell.

Yolanda's long birthday celebration -- Yolanda Jones has been celebrating her 75th birthday for a couple of weeks here at the WSOP. She reached the milestone date on the first day of the Seniors event a couple of days ago, when she debuted the party sash seen here. This photo is from Day 1 of the Main Event, and Yolanda's still celebrating while playing the poker that she loves.

Autograph fan on the prowl -- Poker fans love to get autographs of their favorite players. But what, one might wonder, are the players going to be signing? Canada's Dano Arluison thought long and hard on the topic when he made his first-ever visit to the WSOP a couple of weeks ago. Arluison, who's from Frederickton, New Brunswick and is an enthusiastic young sneakerhead when he's not playing poker, finally decided to sacrifice one of his prized limited-edition pairs of Nikes, a white-and-red pair of Jordans. Arluison spent several hours over multiple days approaching many of the game's most famous players and having them sign the shoes with an ultra-fine-point Sharpie he also had ready. Many of the pros not only signed the shoes, but handed them off to other famed pros to get their signatures as well, and Arluison was only too happy to show off his latest hybrid collectibles as his success continued to grow. Arluison also got to play in a WSOP bracelet event for the very first time. He contacted one of the largest online poker communities around before the series, the Poker League of Nations, and through that contact he ended up playing the Tag Team event with prominent PLON member Lisa Pickell. Welcome to the WSOP, Dano!

Ah, that funny money -- Speaking of the Tag Team, it's quickly established itself as the WSOP's most festive event, with an affordable buy-in, a huge rail of waiting players, plenty of costumes, and a world off fun. KL Cleeton and Veronica Brill were among those in the spirit of the event. They donned matching dollar-sign shirts, added gold hats and big bling necklaces, and then they made it rain money on their table and the other players. Of course it wasn't quite real hundreds that soon littered the table and surrounding area; costume budgets only stretch so far. What they did obtain were several bricks of "movie" $100 bills. These genuine prop bills are quite passable from only a few feet away. It's not until you hold one of the bills to feel its texture and read the fine print that you realize it's not quite the real thing. For movie or TV or as an event prop, however, it's a neat item.

Po double-dips at the tables -- The action junkies are easy to spot. Here's Kenneth Po getting in some online hands while simultaneous participating on Day 1 of a live bracelet event in the Paris Ballroom. Po's far from the only person doing this, and it's not even close to the most unusual spot to be playing from. On an early Sunday in the series, Vanessa Kade fired up an online bracelet event while playing a live event in the Bally's Grand Ballroom. She busted the live event, but moved across the hall to the ladies' restroom, where she set up shop on a cassock in the restroom's outer vestibule where she continued the online grind, as she Tweeted to many of her followers.

The bounty golden-chest min-cash -- When is winning $25,000 on a mystery-bounty prize draw a little bit of a disappointment? It's when you're already guaranteed the $25,000 and you've got a shot at a million dollars instead. Here, Giovanni Petroni is just a little bit deflated after opening his drawn envelope and finding "$25,000" instead. He quickly realizes, though, that it's still much better than the $1,000 that most other bounty claimers have received for their own bounty payouts.

The Bally's POY banners don't actually fit -- In one of our earlier special updates, we showed how the main hallway connecting the Bally's Grand Ballroom to the casino's gaming floor are lined with banners showing the WSOP's Player of the Year winners, but the banner showing 2017 POY winner Chris Ferguson ended up in a forlorn side hallway. The Main Event winners have similar banners, but those are displayed in the Bally's Event Center. Yet as well-known Circuit grinder Ian Steinman pointed out to Poker.org, the bottom foot or so of each POY winner's banner is wrapped under its supporting frame, because the hallway's ceiling is too low for the entire banner to be displayed. The POY banners normally display the year of the honor at the top, and the winning player's name at the bottom. This one, for example, shows 2019 POY winner Robert Campbell:

Lines, lines, everywhere lines -- Long lines for late-registering players have been an increasing reality at the WSOP in recent years. The move from the Rio to Paris and Bally's hasn't eliminated the problem, which is caused by the slow pace of early bustouts in a typical event, when blinds and antes are very low. Registering for an event is easy enough, and except for peak periods, doing so in the live-registration room in Paris seldom takes more than 30 minutes, and it's often less. But then comes the catch. No matter how one chooses to late-register or re-enter, one then has to get into the late-registration line to get a new seat assignment and a starting stack of chips. That's where the long line occurs on the busiest days. In one recent event, the late-reg line made several double-backs within the Bally's Grand Ballroom, headed out the room's doors, trailed out the hallway leading to the casino, reached the casino floor, the stretched another hundred feet or so down a casino hallway to the entrance to one of the casino's convenience-item retail shops. Players who went through the line at its longest reported waits extending three hours or more. The good news is that the very longest lines are probably over for the 2022 series. Here's a photo capturing just a tiny slice of the scene as the late-reg line reaches the casino on Day 1 of the Mini Main:

Bracelet awaits -- If you can survive the long lines, the longer hours, the elite competition and much more, you could win of one of these. This is the bracelet eventually awarded to the $50,000 Poker Players Championship winner, Daniel Cates. We'll show you the Main Event winner's bracelet next time around.

All images copyright Haley Hintze, 2022