2007 PCA: Day 1A with cards in the air

I've been there, so I know the feeling. One player said to me, "I'm going to take a walk. Get in the right frame of mind."

It's those thirty minutes before a tournament kicks off in which, regardless of your experience, there is a nagging feeling just below one's throat. It's a tightness, a half-pull toward your gut that represents the amount of stress necessary to facilitate a tournament performance.

With fifteen minutes left before cards went in the air today, I saw many players taking that walk, zoning into their iPods and seemingly trying to ignore the possibility they might get aces cracked on the first hand.

A brisk walk through the rows of tables turns up a lot of familiar faces. Here are some folks I spotted playing on Day 1A:

PBDrunks (sporting a mohawk), Tim "crankyman" Ramsey, Bill Chen, Kathy Liebert, John Shipley, Curzdog, David Singer, Steve Paul-Ambrose, Chris Moneymaker, Jason "strassa2" Strasser, Terrence Chan, Antonio Esfandiari, BeL0WaB0Ve, Joe Sebok, Jim Hamburger, Katja Thater, Ben Sprengers, Dustin Dirksen, Vanessa Rousso, Yosh Nakano, Dario Minieri, Keith Hawkins, Scott "doubleas" Gallant, Empire2000, Christian Kruel, and Mimi Rogers.


Ben "BBJ" Sprengers



Christian Kruel



Curzdog



Dario Minieri



Scott "doubleas" Gallant



Empire2000



Jim "downtheline" Hamburger



Tim 'crankyman" Ramsey



Jason "strassa2" Strasser



Vanessa "Lady Maverick" Rousso


Roving hand reporter, Ed, just brought in a couple of interesting hands from the first hour of action.

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Chris Moneymaker--With blinds at 50/100 Chris Moneymaker got involved against an unknown to his immediate left. With a pot of 750 and flop showing 7-5-6 rainbow, Chris bet out 1500 and got called. The turn was an 8 and both players checked. The river was a further 8 and Chris led out with 3500 and was again called. Chris showed down pocket fives, giving him the lowest full house available. His opponent mucked his hand. Chris's stack now stands at 27K from a starting stack of 20K.

Max Trigas--maximilian74(Max Trigas), who was a last minute PCA qualifier and has qualified for 3 EPTs this year so far, got involved in some early semi-bluffing. With the pot standing at around 1000 chips and the board showing 10-J-4-9 rainbow, an unknown bet 1500 into Max. He min-raised to 3000 and was called. The river came as a 3 and Max led out with 3500. His opponent pretty much instantly called. Max showed 9-8 giving him a pair whilst the unknown showed J-10 and took the pot. Max has taken an early hit and is down to around 13K.

Katja Thater--With a couple of early limpers, Katja Thater raised the bet to 400 and was called by both other limpers. The flop came 8c-9h-3h. They both checked to Katja who led out with 1500 chips. Both players called. The turn was the 10h and with the possibility of a flush all players seem happy to check. The river brought a fourth heart (the king) and both players checked to Katja Thater. With almost 6000 in the pot Katja bet out 1500 and got a caller. She turned over Ah-Ad for the nut flush and won a sizable pot, taking her stack to just over 30K.

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"I had pocket kings," the pretty lady said. "In the big blind."

I looked up and thought, "Well, hell, that's Mimi Rogers."

Sure enough it was. "Everybody folded," she said with a small pout. "Even the small blind folded."

Mimi just left the PokerStars office to go back to playing. She's about about 1,000 since the start of play.

We've already heard a few cries of "Seat open!" as players head into the first break. Today, we're playing six 75 minute levels, which, if nothing goes wrong, should make for a reasonably early evening.

We'll be here for all of it.