Wednesday, Nov. 4, 2009 | 2:05 a.m.
Count ESPN commentator Lon McEachern as one of the many people in the poker community who believe Eric Buchman will take the World Series of Poker Main Event bracelet.
Buchman, a 28-year old poker professional from New York, is second in chips and has played solid throughout the tournament.
“I think I’m in a good position in chips and whatnot,” Buchman said. “I feel like I’m the second best player on the table.”
Buchman, of course, ranks only Phil Ivey above himself. Buchman has earned just less than $1 million in his poker tournament career.
Buchman, however, plays in cash games more frequently than tournaments. But he’s always kept playing tournaments in hopes of a moment like this.
“You play in tournaments because you dream you are going to hit it big,” Buchman said. “I didn’t play in a $10,000 tournament to cash for $20,000.”
Buchman is certainly not short on confidence. While most of his competitors have played in numerous tournaments since making the final table, Buchman has hardly played poker at all.
He didn’t feel like he needed to.
“I just needed to clear my head,” Buchman said. “I don’t need practice at this point.”
Buchman said he would approach the final table no differently than he did the rest of the tournament, which seemed to work out pretty well. Asked to describe his most memorable moment of the tournament so far, Buchman said there were too many to narrow it down.
But make no mistake: Buchman is ready to play again.
“The waiting has been hard,” Buchman said. “It’s something that keeps your mind occupied and keeps you awake sometimes.”
Carnival lasts all year at the Rio. With a float occasionally passing overhead and dropping beads while feathered dancers fire up the gamblers below, the Rio tries to keep its 120,000-square foot casino jumping with excitement. Special Brazilian mixed-drinks are also served throughout the casino. The hotel suites tend to be larger than similar priced rooms on the Strip and many offer excellent views with floor to ceiling windows.
The Rio offers some quality shows like "Penn & Teller" and "Chippendales." Many come to the Rio for the nightlife at the VooDoo Lounge, located on the 51st floor, or McFadden's Irish Pub on the casino level.
Others come for a bit relaxation at the Rio Spa or pool area and still others come to shop at the hotel's 60,000 square feet of shops. In each of these endeavors, the Rio attempts to make the experience a bit more fun and spontaneous.
The Rio also offers guests a variety of dining choices from all-American food at the All-American Bar & Grille to Gaylord India Restaurant for something a little spicier and even Carnival World Buffet for the indecisive.