2007 World Series: Royal Flush Rub Down

by Simon Young

The noise in the Amazon Room never fails to amaze me. Despite most players - and there are officially 1,287 of them who started out today - sitting quietly and concentrating on the moment in hand, it is often hard to hear yourself think. The riffling of chips is partly to blame, so too the occasional whoops of joy or despair as the Poker Gods slap a fateful river card on the board, but the booming voices of the tournament staff over the loudspeaker system also adds to the audible chaos.

But one announcement sent a hush around the room: "We are pleased to say that the first player to hit a royal flush today gets a..." there was a pregnant pause, with all players falling silent, hoping for free entry into next year's event, perhaps a luxury holiday, a car or even a year's supply of the sponsor's beer. The announcer continued: "The first player to get the royal flush gets a free at-seat massage from one of the massage team in the room." Groans of disappointment filled the air, and everyone got back to work.

Brian Senie: Stars student

One of them is PokerStars qualifier Brian Senie from New Orleans. He's had to put up with more noise than most, thanks to sharing a table with Ireland's Andy Black - who is never known to keep quiet for too long. Brian has been here before, and headed into town a week ago to enjoy some pre-Main Event action. He's studying philosophy back in New Orleans, and had plenty to think about here after losing half his stack by the dinner break. But he staged something of a recovery, rebuilding back up to 25,000 or so as the midnight hour approached.

Meanwhile, Team PokerStars Victor Ramdin, who is up to about 50,000 in chips ("I've been grinding," he claimed), has been joined by the UK's David "Devilfish" Ulliot and Thang Duc Nguyen from Germany, who won the PokerStars EPT Baden event in Austria last October. The Fish is low on chips, but still getting a little too much respect from one other player at the table, who pestered him for an autograph, much to Victor's amusement.

Devilfish signs as Victor Ramdin watches

Brad Willis
@BradWillis in