The news from the tournament floor is that Gus Hansen has now arrived and taken his seat between Annette Obrestad and Bertrand Grospellier in a little corner of the poker globe that is among the toughest ever assembled.
A colleague in the press room likened playing at that table to the late stages in a game of Monopoly, when Boardwalk and Park Place (Mayfair and Park Lane, for Brits) have hotels built on them, none of them belonging to you. The only possible strategy is to close your eyes, roll the dice and hope to see a double six. And then hope you don't find either the Income Tax square or the Community Chest card that sends you back three spaces. It might as well be "Go to jail. Go directly to jail. Do not pass go. Do not collect $200".
It's not even the case that you could take the coward's way out and hope to fold for a couple of levels before the table is broken. It's table number one, the very last scehduled to break, which means anyone still clinging to the wreckage at the end of the day will have gone a full eight levels in the colisseum.
As yet, everyone is surviving. Grospellier tried to bluff Pontus Almsenius in the last orbit; the Swede went nowhere and picked up a small pot. ("You have won second prize in a beauty contest, collect $10"), then Hansen tried a similar tactic against Michael Tureniec. Turniniec didn't capitulate either and took a slice from Hansen ("Luxury tax: $100").
As another journalist pointed out, once the ante is introduced in a couple of levels the table will catch fire like we've never before seen. It'll be dog eat dog. Or top hat, boot, car, iron, etc., etc., etc.