$25K High Roller: Early forays

An early saunter around the high roller event, tucked in on the other side of the tournament room, reveals a few table draws to entice the rail birds. Team PokerStars Pro and last years' main event winner ElkY Grospellier sits alongside Eric Seidel. Shaun Deeb has Sorel Mizzi, World Series runner up Ivan Demidov, Isaac Baron and Team PokerStars Pro Dario Minieri for company while Joe Hachem can talk tennis with Boris Becker for the foreseeable future.

A $25,000 buy-in, one hour levels currently set at 50-100, a 50,000 starting stack, a final table tomorrow. Those are the bones.

The stand out table is that of Dario Minieri's. With the likes of Shaun Deeb and Isaac Baron looking on Minieri and Sorel Mizzi got involved in a typically cautious early pot, letting a board run out showing 6c-Qh-As-8c-8s. Minieri's A-K was good for the pot and to fuel a short discussion about the hows and whys of the hand afterward.

Elsewhere Jason Mercier and Daniel Negreanu did the same, checking the river with a board showing Kd-3s-Kc-3h-2d. Negreanu declared a full house, prompting Mercier to muck.

"No full house?!" asked Negreanu.

"I had a three!"

"You liar!"

While this goes on Ivan Demidov passed the time reading what seemed like a note pad full of numbers, like a code he was trying to break in order to keep his mind active and sharp. Any minute now he may stand up and yell something about the number 23. On the next table Gus Hansen reads a book whilst Antonio Esfandiari, the newest arrival to the event, walks between tables wearing a dark pink furry top hat that only men of certain confidence can ever dare contemplate.

Rumour has it that Greg Raymer has just busted from the PCA main event and is making his way to the high roller event. That's level one ticking away nicely.