Last year we vowed to never do this "live blogging" thing again, but if there's one thing we learned from the Celebrity Apprentice, it's this: always give something a second chance.
The 2009 WSOP media conference call takes place today at 1pm EST (10am PST). We'll be on it, live blogging away.
7:50am PST: Finishing up post about live blogging today's conference call.
7:51am PST: Flushing toilet...
9:39am PST: All right, gearing up for the call. Any questions you might want to hear asked, please leave in the comments section. Here are some questions though we are definitely NOT asking: 1) Will the prize money given be soaked in blood? 2) Will Russ Hamilton's invitation to the Tournament of Champions be "lost in the mail"? (actually, may ask that one), 3) Do you anticipate Phill Hellmuth or Brad Garrett even being able to play a full event given the new Code of Conduct rules? 4) Will strippers be allowed back at the Pokerpalooza convention?
9:54am PST: Just remembered that last year forgot to write-down what we needed to do to ask a question. Mental note: write down instructions for submitting a question this year.
9:56am PST: Be sure to hit pokerati.com after the call for a full audio download.
9:58am PST: Dialed in. This hold music feels like we're all attending a funeral. Ok, now it's a muzaky/Scott MacIntyre sounding version of "One More Night" from...Phil Collins, right? Cause Iiiiiiiii can't wait forevvverrr!
10:02am PST: The call is running a few minutes late. Actually, we're off. And wrote down how to submit a question!
10:07am PST: Pollack says the headline for today's call is that this is the best ever year to play in the WSOP. He's reviewing the $40k NLH event, the Champions Invitational (the winner will receive the newly created Binion Cup, no word yet if Russ Hamilton got his invite for this one), and the Pokerpoolaza event. There will also be a new Hall of Fame process to make it more legit, plus the public will be involved in the voting process. Hopefully basketball follows suit so we don't get more obscure foreign players or mediocre college coaches inducted into that one.
10:14am PST: This new addition is cool: every day at 2pm there will be a formal "bracelet ceremony" for whoever won the previous day (or morning's) tournament. So just in case you wanted to honor this year's Gerry Drehobl, well, now you'll get your chance daily at 2pm.
10:16am PST: Jack Effel is now talking. You'll get triple the starting chips (vs. double like last year) for each tournament. This was done to benefit better players and ensure more stacked final tables/less random winners (see: Drehobl, Gerry).
10:18am PST: Last year's call was at 11am. So a quick thanks to Pollack and crew for moving it an hour earlier so those of us on the West Coast won't have to miss Maurey Povich, especially because today is a paternity test/DNA episode. Andrew, you are NOT the father!
10:19am PST: Effel just said something about "role playing" in some seminar. Since he didn't follow that with the names "Lacey Jones" or "Liv Boeree," not sure if that is something we want to be involved with.
10:22am PST: ESPN will be airing fewer event, but the same amount of hours, plus about 2 1/2 hours of the final table.
10:24am PST: Sweet, more Taylor Makakoa pics.
10:30am PST: Open to Q&A...first question is regarding getting more women, a women, involved in tournament play. Really? What's the point? Seriously? Why even bother? A dude asked the question too. Maybe he's just looking for more dead money. Pollack gets in a good closing shot saying, "We want more women playing...unless it's Joan Rivers."
10:35am PST: Pre-registrations are up this year, surprisingly. Not "drastically" up but up. Given The EconomyTM, that's a good sign. Although this AP guy wants the number. Don't give him the damn number, Seth! Why are you buzzkilling the good news, Oscar from the AP? Why?
10:38am PST: Oscar from the AP is just hogging the phone. One question and move on, man! Come on! Oscar is four questions deep now. Leave some for the rest of us...
10:39am PST: Oscar now on question 5...if Oscar and Phil Hellmuth ever had to compete with each other for camera time, someone may die.
10:44am PST: Rates as low as $69 mid-week for the WSOP. Hey, book your hotel rooms here.
10:47am PST: Another question bogarter. This guy is three deep. Somewhere Gary Wise is like, "Wtf! I have 47 questions ready to go and you a-holes are taking all of them!"
10:51am PST: Celebrity Apprentice keeps coming up in questions and answers. Pollack says what a great group poker players are in general. Agreed, save for maybe this guy and this guy.
10:53am PST: So for those playing the "Guess Who Annie Duke Was Yelling At..." game, it was not Brian Balsbaugh (go three tweets down) or Jeffrey Pollack (confirmed via our question on the call).
11:03am PST: Interesting and haven't really heard this brought up much, but someone asked whether or not the rebuy event was KO'd do to the collusion that was taking place. It was? Effel didn't really deny it, but did say that it was done more to create a level playing field.
11:05am PST: Has a woman, a woman, asked a question on this call yet? Don't think so. Amy Calistri, you out there? Haley?
11:08am PST: Got Kev Math's question in re: live streaming, the answer is "yes, but hasn't been finalized yet."
11:18am PST: Concluding...only 29 days away from the start...follow the WSOP has twitter @WSOPliveupdates and via @JeffreyPollack. Be sure you know the tweeting rules at the table, definitely when hands are in play.
And there you have it. Go to pokerati.com for the audio. Should be posted shortly.