PCA 2013: World Cup of Poker IX enters Day 2 sans France
As the PCA main event restarts over on the television stage, the World Cup of Poker restarts for its second and final day.
It's about this time that the WCP gets rowdy, although to be fair the participants got started on that yesterday, with each round celebrated with good natured cheering, back slapping and excitement as the scores were totaled.
The view from Andre Akkari
Stand out performers yesterday included Pascal Hartman, of Germany, and Pablo Brito, from Brazil, both of whom won two of their three day one heats. That puts them towards the top of the of the Most Valuable Player category, a $2,500 prize awarded to the player who earns the most points for their team.
Yesterday was all about securing a safe passage through to Day 2, with the bottom team set to be eliminated. Play went down to the wire in what was described as "heads-up for last".
The two teams involved were Canada and France, with their respective captains, Adrienne Rowsome (Canada), who only has two expressions - serious and delighted - and Julien Brecard (France), playing to keep their teams in the competition.
Canada's captain Adrienne Rowsome (delighted)
At the close it was Canada who came through, securing their passage into Day 2 by a single point. But as the Day 1 results show, it was always tight at the bottom...
Bulgaria - 90 points
Tajikistan - 84 points
Germany - 82 points
Russia - 80 points
Brazil - 75 points
Japan - 73 points
Belgium - 72 points
Canada - 70 points
France - 69 points
Bulgaria currently leads after some sterling work from their team of five. Captain Svetoslav Yordanov scored a victory in the five-max, as did Tonyu Tonew. The rest of their points came by virtue of not being eliminated in the early stages.
Alas the same could not be said of one player, who was singled out for particular attention as play started this afternoon. We've had the biggest slowroll in poker history, how about this for a rub down.
The clock was stopped midway through the first round as Lee Jones addressed the assembled players, asking them how many times they thought that Nobuyuki Tanaka of Japan had been eliminated first. The answer was three out of three, which got an ironic cheer from everyone (such stories seem to transcend any language barrier).
Nobuyuki Tanaka with his consolation prize
Even Tanaka saw the funny side and, in a tribute to his efforts, was presented with a special limited edition double deck of cards ("so he can practice"), an accolade that made Tanaka everyone's new favourite player.
The effect on Tanaka was instantaneous. He was suitably inspired to put in the performance of his life, finding himself heads-up with Belgian captain Christophe de Meulder in the first round of the day, a sit & go which he won to earn maximum points for his team.
Christophe de Meulder
That was the first round, a series of eight handed matches with the same scoring system as yesterday. This round will be followed by today by three more rounds:
All that will be accompanied by the usual raucousness as national pride kicks in. With continued cross-team banter, at least until they realise how much money is at stake. We'll have more news from the Cup as play continues.
Stephen Bartley is a PokerStars Blog reporter