2007 World Series: Blood, Sweat and Tears
by Simon Young
The start of day two is always a bloodbath. It reminds me of a huge gladiatorial battle in the Colosseum: The room is packed with short stacks who, having scraped through the first day, are no more than defenceless slaves thrown into the arena to face the best warriors in the Roman Empire. They desperately need to double up, but instead the result is usually swift, bloody - and painful.
And as I toured the Amazon Room at the start of Day Two of the Main Event, the short-stacks' blood was already gushing along the gutters into an overflowing drain. Shouts of "All in and call" rang out from the dealers as their players faced up for a final conflict.
Richard Mail: Thrown to the lions
One of the early casualties was PokerStars qualifier Richard Mail from Glasgow, Scotland. He had started Day 2 with 20,100 but a big stack ran a spear through his heart. "I came here today knowing I had to make a move early," said Richard, who is studying technology and business back home. "So when I looked down at J-J I thought, 'This is it', and my chips went in the middle. I got called by this guy with A-K - and he hit on the flop. So I'm out early but have had a great experience, particularly as I got here by winning through a $33 rebuy satellite."
But while people like Richard are devoured, the bigger stacks are flourishing at this early stage. A good example is PokerStars qualifier Daniel Elizondo from Mexico. He started out at noon with a meaty 90,000 and has already shot up to 145,000 in the first level.
"It's has been a very good start and I've been able to move up quickly. I got my seat in the $650 satellite and came with Vegas with about ten others from Monterrey. They were all playing the satellites here to try and win a seat, and two of them managed it, with one of them getting through with me to Day Two."
Daniel is a lawyer, working in real estate. If he makes a big score here, he can buy himself a new home.
John Duthie: rub down
Team PokerStars has several in the arena today. The UK's John Duthie, founder of the European Poker Tour, started off with an impressive 151,000 chips, and is looking in good shape. Just in case there was any tense muscles in his body, though, he had a lengthy massage at the table as he prepared for a long day in his seat.
Joe Hachem, however, will not be repeating his stunning 2005 success in the World Series. He is out. Starting on 35,300 chips today, he took an early hit for half of his stack. With blinds starting a 500-1,000 with 100 running ante, he was then just about in the push or fold zone. He made a great lay down when, on the button he open raised by was re-raised by the big blind for 6,000 more. After going into the tank, Joe folded with an ace showing face up. His opponent showed him K-K.
Where have you gone, Joe?
"How can I keep running into kings and aces?" asked Joe. He looked frustrated, but must have been pleased to get away from the hand. He added: "Mind you, on day one I called a push holding A-K, the other guy had aces - and I was smart enough to flop a straight!"
Soon after Joe doubled up when his A-Q held up against a raiser in the cut-off with K-Q suited. But his potential rise up though the ranks came to an abrupt end when his A-8 was no match for A-Q on flop of 10-A-10. All the chips flew in, and Joe was walking out. He got a warm round of applause from the room, a reflection of his popularity here.
After the carnage of level one, things should settle down again soon.