2008 PCA: Day 1B bagged and tagged
Not so long ago, the label "internet qualifier" had a different connotation in the bricks and mortar environment than the one it has now. Regular "live" tournament entrants would frequently scoff at what they imagined to be inexperienced, raw players, likely to mishandle their chips, give away tells and not understand how its done face-to-face.
Wow. How wrong they were.
After two World Series champions came straight from the PokerStars rooms, it suddenly became apparent just how many truly outstanding players ply their trade online. And the drip-dripping into the live scene soon became a torrent. Now being an internet qualifier is frequently a badge of honour. Defeating the ultra-tough satellite fields to book a seat in the Caribbean, for instance, is no mean feat.
The chip leader at the end of yesterday was Ryan Collett, a PokerStars qualifier from Colorado. Ace rail reporter Michelle caught up with his family today, and their story is HERE.
While Collett's efforts were certainly laudable, he will have a few people ahead of him going into Day 2, not least of which is the 33-year old claims investigator from south Floriday, Brian Lindsay. The part-time player bought-in directly to this event and exploded to more than 225,000 chips at the end of the day.
At the end of day 1B, there are another bunch of PokerStars players somewhere near the summit.
Jared Mahoney has 142,650, Marco Savoni is sitting pretty with 141,925. Then there's Michael Benedetto, a cash qualifier from the United States. He has 100,575. Samuel Oberlin has also been worth tracking today -- and has also been easy to pick out from the throngs. Oberlin is resplendent in an Italy soccer shirt, which is a touch misleading given that he's from the United States. Oberlin hit the 100,000 mark early this afternoon, and although things slid a little towards the end of the day, he's still healthy. Eighty-thousand wouldn't be too far off the mark.
Daniel Stern is also worth a shout. He has 74,600.
For long periods, these young pretenders outshone even the members of Team PokerStars Pro. Greg Raymer was first out the door today, when his pocket sixes lost a race to ace-queen. Raymer stopped to chat to Joe Hachem on his way out the door, but the Australian player was soon taking a similar walk himself, finally succumbing to a wretched illness that has hindered his enjoyment - and ultimately his tournament - here in the Bahamas.
Vanessa Rousso was also on the rail by the end of the night. She'd been card dead for long periods and barely managed to get herself going. Lady Maverick finally busted in the final level.
It's been an up and down day for Hevad Khan. He suffered a couple of beats in the early evening, but rallied back from less than 10,000 to end the day on around 54,000. As he bagged his chips, he wiped his head and said with emphasis, "I worked for this stack."
Good news too for Noah Boeken. The Team PokerStars Pro member at one point looked like his 27th birthday would be one to forget. He was down to about 6,000. But as he could probably taste his birthday beer, it all started to look up and by the end of the day he had 56,000 in front of him. Perhaps enough for another pint.
Barry Greenstein had also silently progressed to close to 50,000 by the day's close; a copy of "Ace On The River" unautographed beneath his chair. Barry gives out the book to anyone who busts him from a tournament, but he'll be taking it back to his room tonight. Also appearing on day two will be Tom McEvoy. The former World Series champ also ended with 50,000. He's still alive.
And how about Daniel Negreanu? Well, we saved the best until last. For the longest time on the table closest to the rail, Daniel did what Daniel does best. He grinned, chattered, played and won, entertaining a throng of spectators, as well as all the dealers and any player on his table.
And right at the death, as the announcements started about bagging and tagging, Daniel was still on his game. On a flop featuring a queen and a king, it went raise, re-raise, all-in, call between Negreanu and the PokerStars Supernova Elite, Spencer Cossette.
Daniel flipped king-queen; Cossette ace-king. There was no help and Kid Poker is bagging up something like 93,000 tonight. This time, Daniel took the spoils for the old guard.
As ever, official chip counts will be on their way as and when we have them. Our late-night unofficial counts can be found by clicking HERE.
Tomorrow, the 250-odd who survived day 1B will join with the 232 who survived 1A.
It's only just begun.
All photos © Neil Stoddart
Previous Day 1B coverage
Day one, mark two
How many can you play
Finding a Fossil in the Caribbean
Hitting at the right time
The quest for poker's Holy Grail
Get your news how you want it
Spring training for the poker set
Final numbers and Hachem's exit
Day 1B Rail Report
The stories of McEvoy
Day 1 leader getting healthy