2009 PCA: Day 1B Early Musings

I love to stroll the aisles in the early levels of the opening flights of a major tournament like the PCA. There's a collective buzz and energy in the Imperial Room that will slowly dissipate as the tournament progresses. You also get a glimpse of the weird and eccentric players which comprise a major tournament.

Here's what I noticed on my last lap of the room...

- There's a random guy sitting with a large suitcase behind him. I have yet to determine if he recently arrived moments before the tournament began and did not check in yet... or... if he was preparing for an early exit on Day 1B.


- Tournaments can be festive affairs. Aside from the guy in the Cookie Monster outfit, there's another guy with dyed pink hair and another guy sporting a fake dreadlocks. Jah, mon!

- Allen "Chainsaw" Kessler and WSOP bracelet winner Dan Heimiller are two Las Vegas pros that don't get much attention. They are true grinders more out of the Joey Knish variety. Heimiller and Kessler are seated at the same table. Chainsaw was snacking on a slice of pizza with an entire box sitting on his lap.

- Former bracelet winner Kathy Liebert and the 2008 PCA champion Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier are seated at the same table.

- Joe Sebok and high stakes cash games guru Eli Elezera are tablemates. Elezra regularly played in the Big Game in Las Vegas with Sebok's father Barry Greenstein.

- Former EPT Champion Brandon Schaefer drew the same table as wunderkind Stevie Chidwick.

- And then there's the Team PokerStars Pros table that includes Noah Boeken, Dario Minieri, and Alexande Gomes.


- The massage girls are out in full force and have their hands fully occupied. Among those getting worked on? Victor Ramdin, Jeff "Happy" Shulman, Isabelle Mercier, and Jean-Robert Bellande. Poker players have it tough.

- Former tennis pro Boris Becker was sipping a Red Bull in between folding hands. Becker is sitting at the same table as Chris Moneymaker. If you polled all the participants in the PCA and asked them who was more recognizable, Moneymaker or Becker, without a doubt Moneymaker would win hands down. The majority of people (and media) in the Imperial Ballroom are here because of the Moneymaker Effect. Somewhere back in the States John McEnroe is reading our coverage on PokerStars Blog and screaming at his laptop, "You can't be serious!!!"

- And take a peek at the latest video blog from Victor Ramdin titled "Victor Ramdin Poolside..."

Watch PCA 09: Victor Ramden Poolside.... on PokerStars.tv