GDAM Day 2: The land where no stack is a big stack
We have 17 players left at the City of Dreams, with nine of them still certain to see those dreams left in tatters by the end of the day. The blinds are now exceptional big -- 150,000-300,000, with an average stack of about 7.5m (25 big blinds) -- and even the medium stacks can do little more than open shove.
Indeed, in the time it took to write the paragraph above, Tobias Reinkemeier moved all in from early position for about 2.5m. Brian Powell called on the button but then Isaac Haxton moved his enormous stack in from the big blind.
Haxton is the only player able still to make those kinds of plays with serious expectation of getting a fold, and Powell has one of the only stacks from which he can conceivably call then fold. Haxton, of course, knows that and Powell knows he knows it, which put a pretty difficult decision back with Powell.
In the end, he let it go, leaving Haxton to table A♦Q♥ and Reinkemeier to look longingly at his friend Igor Kurganov and say, "Eight is lucky here, right? Lucky, lucky eight." He had A♥8♣. But there was no help and that was the end of Reinkemeier. (Powell, incidentally, nodded his head when he saw Haxton's hand, but it was a nod that might have represented anything.)
And so they now reconvene around two tables, including the one over on PokerStars.tv that features Pratyush Buddiga, Zheng Tang, Rono Lo, et al, and one in the main tournament area with Kurganov, Sorel Mizzi, Powell and, of course Haxton.
The short stack in the room, in every way, is Stanley Choi's. He has ten chips total. One of them is a green plaque worth 1m, but that's little more than three big blinds nowadays and the rest of his stack is worth less than it combined.
Ooops, make that 15 players left as Choi is now out. This is going to be brief, one suspects. Even Haxton's near 20 million chip stack will only be 50 big blinds by the time the next level starts. I am assured that this is exactly the way they like it out here.