2009 PCA: Not the softest table

Poker tournament reporting revolves around a few themes. Bad beats, cold decks, table banter, and the greatest of all fallback stories: The Table of Death. When all else seems mundane, the Table of Death always provides a few stories.

Let's just be honest with ourselves. There are no easy tables in the Imperial Ballroom. It's impossible to walk by a single felt without thinking, "Wow,there's a good player. There's a great player. That guy scares me."

There is no single table of death. The 660 people in the Imperial Ballroom make up a veritable morgue. This is The Room of Death if we've ever seen one.

However, if we were to start a debate about which table would be in contention, Table 55 would be in the top ten.

At the start of the day, we saw Team PokerStars Pro Lee Nelson tangling with Mark "markysals11" Salinaro as Eric "Rizen" Lynch sat nearby. Any one of the three would make the table tough. All three together turned into something out of 1980s Stephen King novel.


Salinaro and Lynch, side by side

Moments ago we learned that a table in the running for Table of Death will spare no one. Salinaro, hurt earlier by boat under boat versus Lee Nelson, ended up getting his final chips in on a J-8-8 flop. His A-J was up against 7-8. Though he turned his ace, he couldn't catch up on the river.

Other recent notable bust-outs include PokerStars 6 member Dennis Phillips. His storybook run at the World Series did not have a sequel in it. He will now get to spend a few days on the beach before going back to figure out what to do with his millions.