2009 PCA: Snack wrap B
Going into this evening's dinner break, at the first major pause on day 1B, the story is a familiar one of some players making hay, others crashing and burning, handfuls heading the leaderboard, hordes hitting the bars.
During the most recent sweep of the room conducted shortly before the interruption was called, a couple of new names and faces emerged who will be taking their nourishment with the particular relish. One is the PokerStars qualifier from New York Antonio Bueti, who grabbed the attention of the blog photographer Joe Giron by virtue of his huge and multicoloured stack.
Counting them up, the closest estimate for Bueti puts him at around 130,000, and that just might be good for the chip lead.
The Team PokerStars Pro Victor Ramdin needs no introduction to the poker-following world, nor to the top of the leaderboard. And in the final couple of levels before dinner, he rocketed to close to 90,000, which is high, high in contention.
Meanwhile far across the other side of the room sits the two-time World Series of Poker bracelet winner, Mark Seif, who had amassed more than 100,000 at one point, before losing a few late on. Let's not forget, players started only five levels ago with 20,000 in chips. Multiplying that by five, or even four, is pretty good going in anyone's book.
Also happy at this point in proceedings are the PokerStars qualifier Ken Weiner (75,000) and his American countryman Greg Brooks (83,000). Meanwhile no one who watched Eric Liu's dominant performance at the final table of EPT London will be surprised at all to learn that he is sitting pretty with more than 55,000 right now. (That's something similar to Gus Hansen's total at this point too, whoever that world superstar may be.)
It's been a tough day for the Team PokerStars Pro Katja Thater, who has struggled to get many more than her starting stack today, but remains in the field. That's already better, though, than the defending champion Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier, who perished midway through level five. So too Noah Boeken, who has been missing in action for a while, presumed busted. It is his birthday today, so we can forgive him for looking to celebrate in more traditional style.
The two Brazilians Alexandre Gomes and Andre Akkari are both going strong; ditto Dario Minieri, Humberto Brenes, Isabelle Mercier and someone named Moneymaker. Also still flourishing is Maria Mayrinck, although Johnny Lodden and Gualter Salles have long since departed.
The break is 90 minutes long and there are 430 players who will be rushing back from their dinner reservations to rejoin the fun in the Imperial Ballroom.
As they eat, you can read. Here's what has happened so far today:
Once more with feeling
Profile of Ricky "FiveFingerz" Puleo
Random? Rigged, more like
FPP value: Brandon Schaefer and Bernard Lee
Thomas Kremser: Post useless without photos
Akkari's $1m year
$36 buys a good story
The post-modern American dream revisited
The Ballad of Apestyles and Maridu
The defending champ speaks
Railbirds flock to Dario
We'll be back in an hour and a half.