2009 PCA: Once more with feeling

Veteran tournament reporters have a tough relationship with any second Day 1. Day 1A is one of pomp and circumstance. It's a new beginning, something fresh, something that feels unique. Day 1B is...well, at its beginning it is a carbon copy of Day 1A. The opening speeches, the welcome videos, the long march of Team PokerStars Pro into the room (something that looks like Reservoir Dogs with less ear-mutilation). It's still rock and roll, but it's a song we've heard before.

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But today--oh, today--is something new. The field is bigger, the room is more electric, and by goodness--will my kid be jealous!--Cookie Monster is in the house (or at least a reasonable facsimile). Today, friends, we enter Day 1B with an optimism and love as deep as it was a mere 24 hours ago. Cookies for you, cookies for me!

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In the interest of full disclosure, Cookie Monster is, in fact, Supernova Elite Daniel "dcalzone" Didech. You might recognize him from his Cookie Monster avatar at PokerStars. Apparently, Didech lost a prop bet with a fellow Supernova Elite that required him to wear the costume today. Hence, Day 1B is being played on the curb at Sesame Street. If Big Bird shows up, we're going to have one helluva day.

One hundred eighty two players from Day 1A are enjoying the sun today while a similarly sized field sits down here for the start of Day 1B.

As it was yesterday, this field looks to be tougher than almost any you will see in the world. Within a short walk, we see what looks to be the most fun match-up of the day.

During Hevad Khan's bulldozer run through the 2007 World Series, he had occasion to sit with the Great Dane. Today, Khan and Gus Hansen sit with exactly the same position they did in 2007. When it's Khan's button, it will be Hansen's big blind.

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Khan has already declared his intention to win Player of the Year in 2009 and his confidence is at an all-time high.

"If it's folded around to your button, Hevad, you would be well advised to fold," Hansen said.

As if that match-up isn't enough, consider what we will perhaps prematurely declare the Table of Death: 2008 champion Betrand "ElkY" Grospellier, Johnny Lodden, Victor Ramdin, and Dario Minieri.

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The balance of the Team PokerStars Pro members is also here (with the notable exception of William Thorson who has fallen ill and will not be joining us today).

The schedule is the same: eight levels with a 90-minute dinner break, ending sometime around 1:30 tomorrow morning.

In the meantime, don't forget to check out our live coverage of the PokerStars World Cup of Poker V and the live broadcast of the final table at 1:30pm on PokerStars.tv.

You ready to do this one more time?

Let's get to it.

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