I spent today interviewing poker pros at our Final Table Show booth at The World Series of Poker in Las Vegas. The two you see above are Mike Sexton and Maria Ho, who have both been our guests several times before.

Last year, right after talking with us, Maria played in the $5,000 buy-in no-limit hold’em event and finished second, earning over $540,000, the biggest prize ever won by a woman at the WSOP. At the time, we joked that we had brought her luck, so today she said that if she didn’t make another deep run in an event this year, she’d never return to the show. Dennis and I both like Maria and respect her poker talent, so we wish her the best in the various tournaments she’ll play over the next 6 weeks.

Meanwhile, Mike Sexton (who you know as lead commentator on World Poker Tour telecasts for the last ten years) stopped by in the midst of some early success at this WSOP, cashing in two of the first three events — 16th in the $3,000 buy-in no-limit hold’em/pot limit Omaha mixed event and 15th in the $1,500 buy-in seven card stud eight or better tournament. At one point yesterday, he was playing both events at the same time, which we’ve discovered is a not-uncommon thing at the WSOP for players who want to enter overlapping events.

Our other guests today included Shannon Shorr, David Bach, Asad Goodarzy, and Linda Johnson. You’ll hear these conversations over the course of the next month on the show.

By this evening, I was pretty burned out from all the discussion and recognized that I was in no shape to jump into a cash game, so I called it a day, went back to my hotel room and ordered a pizza for dinner. There will be plenty of time for poker tomorrow (after we record a couple more interviews), and I’m considering playing in the $1,500 buy-in no-limit hold’em tournament this weekend, which will probably draw more than 4,000 players — the first big field of this WSOP. I’m torn because I usually don’t like short-stack events (starting stack is only 4,500 chips), but because players who bust out on Saturday will be allowed to re-enter on Sunday, which tends to make play a lot looser, I think there may be some juicy opportunities early to grab some chips if I can navigate the minefield that comes with that many opponents.

As I said, I haven’t made up my mind yet, but if I play, I’ll post updates on my Twitter feed.

Incidentally, before Dennis and I sat down with all of our guests, I wandered over to the Quad Jacks TV area, where Marco Valerio is doing live webcasts from the WSOP. My portion of his morning update begins about 15 minutes in…