Poker has come full circle.
Yesterday, the day before the main event was finally scheduled to start, there were long, long lines everywhere.
About 50 people were at the New Player Registration desk, waiting to obtain their New Player Registration cards, which would entitle them to...wait on another, even longer, line.
Maybe they could wait on the line for one-table satellites. (Up till yesterday, there were no one-table satellite lines. A new satellite would be announced, and three or four people would meander over. Then there would be another announcement - "Only four seats left for a $225 satellite on table 107" - and another announcement, and another announcement, and eventually, after much pissing and moaning by impatient players, the satellite would get underway.)
Or maybe they could wait on line to buy their way into a super-satellite (for $225), or a mega-satellite (for $1,050), or a Second Chance tournament (for $225), or, as I did, the daily 5 p.m. $540 buy-in event.
Of course, when the lines are this long, the 5 p.m. tournament doesn't get to go off at 5 p.m. When 5 o'clock game and went, I asked a floor supervisor what was going on. "Well, we've got lines to Florida trying to get into the tournament," she said. "We'd like the lines to get a little shorter before we start, like only to Louisiana."
Finally, at 5:30, there was an announcement: "Players in the 5:30 tournament, you need to be at your table in one minute, because we are going to start right on time... 30 minutes late."
Once upon a time, the whole point of playing poker was so that you didn't have to wait on lines. Lines were for 9-to-5 lames, not for princes of the felt.
Along with a lot of other good things, those days are gone forever.