Dawn breaks on 2007 World Series

In 2005, I stood with my seat assignment in my hand and looked across what seemed like the back 40 of a rural Missouri farm. Instead of corn, though, I only saw tables and chairs. My spot, Table 2--Seat 1, was far enough away that it could've been an ear of corn on the last stalk...on the last row...of the field. It was a new generation of the World Series. Chris Moneymaker, Greg Raymer, and PokerStars had made sure of that in 2003 and 2004. Now, the tournament room was set up to handle 2000 players at one time, enough to seat almost everybody in the 2003 World Series...three times.

At the time, it seemed even tournament organizers were surprised. As Johnny Grooms shouted "Shuffle Up and Deal," the dealer at Table 2 looked down to find she didn't have a button. For the next half and hour, we used the lid off a Starbucks cup. It was during that time my pocket aces held up against pocket kings. The caffeine, the sugar from my packet of Sweetarts, the impending Red Bull rush, and the fact that it was my fifth wedding anniversary could barely compare to the feeling of seeing that first pot pushed to me.

What was that? Wedding anniversary? Well, yes, it was. It was five years of wedded bliss, culminating in a messy bust-out of that tournament just before the dinner break. At the time, the PokerStars Blog had no intention of heading back to Las Vegas before the Main Event. Instead, I took my bride in a rented convertible up the California and Oregon Coasts. I was overlooking the Pacific Ocean in Florence Oregon when Dan Goldman, the man who had asked me to blog the Main Event, called.

"You have to get back to Vegas now. There's just too much going on. The Blog has to be here."

And, a few days later, I made it so.

That's how this modest little blog ended up at the WSOP.

That year, Greg "Fossilman" Raymer became a poker folk hero for a couple of weeks. My fingers couldn't stop typing about the possibility that he just might win two consecutive massive-field Main Events. His 25th place finish that year both buoyed my spirits and broke my heart. All in all, though, it confirmed for me that there is such thick drama in poker--even after so many stories have been written--that writing about it can be almost as intoxicating as playing it.


The World Series begins today and with it the PokerStars Blog begins its third year covering the world's biggest poker event. Like every year, drama surrounds both the opening day and what will happen over the next month and a half.

The PokerStars Blog once again is excited to have behind-the-scenes access to all members of Team PokerStars. We're also looking forward to hooking up with the crew of Supernovas planning to descend on the WSOP. I'd be happy to tell you all that I have planned, but, in truth, I've found that the best World Series stories happen outside the bounds of all perfect planning. That means, I have plans, but if history is any indication, those plans will have evaporated in a steam of World Series fervor by Event #5 or 6.

World Series Media Director Nolan Dalla sent me some interesting statistics today and they are awash with Team PokerStars.

All-Time WSOP Money earners

2. Joe Hachem -- $7,899,828 in five cashes
5. Greg "FossilMan" Raymer -- $5,433,450 in five cashes
20. Chris Moneymaker -- #2,528,153 in three cashes

Most WSOP Cashes

5. Humberto Brenes (45)

Most WSOP Final Tables

15. Humberto Brenes (20)
17. Tom McEvoy (19)

With that kind of record for those folks, the rest of Team PokerStars at the tables, and an army of PokerStars' Supernovas and qualifiers hitting the tables, there's little question we'll see some more good numbers put up this year.

So, keep it here for all the news that's fit to print, and maybe even a little that's not. The cards go in the air at noon PT today. I'll be keeping tabs by phone for the weekend, before setting down on the ground on Monday. Why? Well, you'll recall, this weekend happens to represent my wedding anniversary (seventh this time). So, I'm doing the right thing and heading out first thing Monday morning--unless of course somebody on Team PokerStars decides to final table the first event...in which case, my bags are already packed.

See you all in Vegas.

Brad Willis
@BradWillis in