A World Series reborn

The breaking of Day 2 has done something to this room. After three days of Day 1, it was beginning to feel like a long baseball season in which the World Series was still months away. Now, each all-in means something. Now, the money is in sight.

The Amazon Ballroom, now packed with potential winners

The media are swarming. The players are fighting with a mix of forced sobriety and electrical arcs of adrenaline. The oddities still remain. Bobble heads for card cappers. "Yee-haw" screams across the room. And some guy is keeping a giant Elmo mask for those moments when only a Sesame Street character can play the cards.

Tickle me rivered

The first level of the day has seen the departure of 2003 world champion Chris Moneymaker, who was short-stacked to begin with and never recovered. PokerStars Caribbean adventure champ John Gale faced the same fate and is now on the rail as well.

Goodbye, Gentleman John

But there are still great hopes in the room. Graeme "sacrifice" Harrison, now so focused he's back to being dour and unavailable for interviews, is continuing to build on his massive stack. 2004 champion Greg Raymer finds himself in the one-seat today, where he's simultaneously giving interviews and playing cards.

Multi-tasking, Fossilman style

A champion's checklist: Fossil, chips, double diet coke

Pro-golfer and PokerStars friend Rocco Mediate is showing no signs of falling into the rough. His stack now sit close to 50,000. European Poker Tour creator John Duthie is still in the hunt as well. PokerStars player Steve "play4pay" Zoine, a man who just missed a WSOP bracelet this year in an earlier event, seems as confident as I've seen him in weeks and his chip count supports the confidence.

Rocco Mediate

John Duthie

Play4pay, indeed

Among the more fun stories in the room is John "jamaplays" Harrington. Blog correspondent Mad Harper is on the story and will be reporting back shortly with what we're already hoping will be a great Cinderella story.

Also, please check out Howard's European report on the other side of this blog.

Back to the floor...

Brad Willis
@BradWillis in World Series of Poker