2007 World Series: Raymer welcomes Hachem back to Series

Conspicuous in his early absence at the World Series was Team PokerStars' 2005 champ Joe Hachem. I was aware he was coming in this weekend, but wasn't sure which event he'd jump into upon his arrival.

It turned out to be today's $2,500 No-Limit Hold'em short-handed event. His starting table was a dubious welcoming committee. In the two-seat sat 2004 champ Greg Raymer. In the six-seat was the always dangerous Jason Strasser.

Hachem stares down Raymer

"Bradley!" Hachem called, just seconds before getting involved in a hand with both Raymer and Strasser.

"Joseph," I returned, then let him get back to the take at hand. There's no time for greetings when a bracelet is at stake and the competition is so stiff.

Speaking off tough tables, just a few steps away, Isabelle Mercier and Barry Greenstein sat right next to each other. Mercier chastised me for my brief vacation from Vegas while Greenstein tried to build a stack that can rest while he finishes off his stack in yesterday's Razz event. Late last night, I saw Greenstein in a Chinese game after breaking from the Razz tournament.

"I've got 2,200," he said. "They wouldn't let me bust out."

Greenstein in the middle of another multi-tabling day

Around the room, more familiar faces stuck out at the tables.

Vaness Rousso

Victor Ramdin

Here in just about an hour, Day 2 of the $1,500 Razz event will get underway with a lot of names from Team PokerStars. We'll be on hand to watch people beat their heads against the wall for that one, too.

Now, back to the Raymer and Hachem show.

Brad Willis
@BradWillis in