Poker.org returns with another series of photos showing some of the more random goings-on at the 2022 World Series of Poker, going on at the Paris and Bally’s casinos in Las Vegas. Your admittedly amateur photographer returns a handful of the pictures and stories from the WSOP.
Michael Lech goes Hawaiian…ish – It’s the late-registration line for the $1,500 NLH 6-Max event, and the seat-assignment line is just a few dozen players ahead. Lech’s a happy, dancing, beverage-enjoying camper here in his tie-dye shirt and bandanna. The inside scoop — Lech has several Hawaiian shirts and tie-dye tees that he wears at poker tourneys, and this is one of his more reserved numbers.
Joe Hebert joins the party – Then Hebert shows up. He’s one of Lech’s roomies this summer at the WSOP, and it turns out that loud shirts are the theme du jour. Hebert, Lech, and a few other southern WSOP Circuit grinders are a tight-knit group at this and at most recent WSOPs. Trust us; you’ll see them around!
Addressing the Bally’s heat, interim solution – Perhaps there was more method than madness to Lech’s and Hebert’s daywear. The above shots came from the Bally’s Grand Ballroom, where temperatures soared to roughly 80 degrees as WSOP and casino officials struggled to fix an uncomfortable situation. Bally’s is the significantly older of the two connected properties, dating to 1972 (Paris opened in 1999). As further repairs continued, the casino rushed a temporary aid into place in the form of industrial fans between the Bally’s Grand Ballroom and adjacent Event Center, which was just as warm. Despite appearances, the fans were not being sponsored by PokerNews.
A trying day for Yuri Dzivielevski — One of Brazil’s stars, Yuri Dzivielevski (who we featured in an interview during the 2021 WSOP), keeps up his great outlook on life, poker, and the WSOP despite having busted two recent events as this picture was taken, including a $25K high-roller. Here, Dzivielevski is deep in the late-reg line for the 6-max, but he’s behind at least a couple of hundred other players waiting for seat assignments. Still, good humor reigns. Yuri’s in the line that’s stretched all the way into the hallway outside the Bally’s Grand Ballroom, here directly beneath Daniel Negreanu’s 2013 WSOP Player of the Year banner, with a couple of large loops to wind through before he’ll be able to resume play.
Poker’s grand comedian on the scene – Max Shapiro doesn’t play many poker events these days, but poker’s venerated humorist, a long-time CardPlayer columnist, was on hand recently to root for his beloved Barbara Enright, who was competing in a seven-card stud event at a nearby table. Max gives everyone a quick wave.
The restroom lines diminish, but not entirely… – Max could have had a bit of fun with this one if he was still doing his humor column. One of the many improvements coming from the move from the Rio to Bally’s/Paris is at least a mild reduction in the restroom-line situation, at least for the guys. The Paris restrooms are spacious and luxurious, though the Bally’s ones aren’t quite as roomy. In recent years at the Rio, the WSOP often converted one of the ladies’ restrooms into a men’s restroom. Not so this year, but at the start of the series, apparently a few of the guys didn’t get the message, resulting in extra signage being put into place and remaining there as of last check, at the entrance to what was already clearly marked as a ladies’ restroom. Yes, we do toilet humor here. And also, as a public service announcement: The restrooms in Bally’s do not flush automatically! Please flush!
The Covid wave continues – On to more serious matters. The impact of Covid-19 on this year’s series can’t be underestimated, as many dozens of players, have reported becoming infected and have been forced to the sidelines. Here’s one of that number, Mike Gorodinsky, fighting on Day 3 of the $1,500 Dealer’s Choice 6-Handed event, where he’d fight all the way to a second-place finish. But soon after, Gorodinsky reported a positive Covid test and has thus been shelved for a few days.
To play or not to play? – With the possible Covid exposure to be considered, several well-known pros have decided to pass on the series or have pulled up stakes, so to speak, for the time being. Among those skipping the series for now are Andrew Brokos and the legendary Doyle Brunson, and for Brunson, an 87-year-old, multiple-times cancer survivor, the decision makes clear sense. Others, such as David “Gunslinger” Bach, have more personal and family considerations than most other players and have since withdrawn. Bach played a couple of events early in the series, and was among the most self-protected players at the tables, but he has since gone on hiatus from the series.
Unexpected downtime – The Covid virus can hit anyone. Several members of the media are among those who’ve contracted the coronovirus, including yours truly, as I posted on social media a few days back. The below is unfortunately a too-common sight. Since I’m still in isolation protocol, the next edition of this recurring pictures-and-tales feature will have to wait a few more days. See you all soon!
All images copyright Haley Hintze, 2022