2007 World Series: Getting there

This is my third time covering the World Series for the PokerStars Blog. In past years, the marathon has seemed like exactly that. The weeks crawled like claymation cartoons and the wait for the Main Event always seemed like a child's wait for summer vacation.

This year, despite having more events, has flown by. I looked at the calendar today and realized that Main Event starts in five days. Every day a new face walks under the WSOP banner in the hallway, eager and ready to take on the world.

However, for the hard core pros who have been here for the last several weeks, this final week of preliminary events marks a different milestone. With just a few events left, the chance of scoring a bracelet--or even a final table--has grown much too small for simple hope to get them there. The pressure to score is getting to the boiling point. One reporter told me of a well-known pro busting out of today's PLO Championship and nearly punching another player at his table.

For a select number of PokerStars players, today still offers hope. John Duthie, member of Team PokerStars and creator of the EPT, is still running strong and is a good bet to make Day 2 (the caveat being that this is PLO and anything can happen to destroy him).

Duthie chatting with Tony G.

Also still in the running are Greg Raymer, Noah Boeken, Humberto Brenes, Terrence Chan, and Joe Hachem. Raymer, Brenes, and Chan already have final tables under their belts this year. Boeken and Hachem (who just arrived a few days ago) are still looking to make their first big score of the year.

Noah Boeken

Joe Hachem

Terrence Chan

Just off the plane today is Team PokerStars' Luca Pagano. Too late to play in the PLO event, Pagano immediately stepped in line for today's $1,000 S.H.O.E. event. He's been playing well in the early going and has not yet developed the 1000-yard stare more common among the people who have been here since Event #1.

Monday hosts the always-fun $1,000 no-limit hold'em rebuy event. Tuesday is the less-fun but still important Limit Hold'em shootout. Wednesday is the wild and crazy $5,000 No-Limit 2-7 World Championship. After that, the only thing left before the Main Event is the Celebrity/Media event (which somebody *cough--me* final tabled last year).

That is precious little time to pick up a bracelet before wading into the insanity that goes along with the Main Event. It's hard to say how many people will run in this year's championship event. However, there might be something we can deduce from yesterday's announcement that Harrah's is adding a fourth Day 1 to the schedule. Regardless, for the pros in search of a bracelet, pinning hope on the Main Event bracelet is harder than pinning the tail on on a real barnyard donkey.

Still, ever the optimist, I'm geared toward hope. The World Series is still giving out bracelets and that means we're not going anywhere. Even if hope won't spring eternal, it will at least be around for a few more days--take it or leave it.

Update: Shortly after, or, actually while this post was being written, Boeken busted out of the PLO event.

Update Pt.2: Greg Raymer and John Duthie have advanced to Day 2 of the PLO championship.

Brad Willis
@BradWillis in