Patriotism on Day 1C

Poker players, by definition, are individualists. They are paid to look out for only themselves. Yet, I've found, some players who hail from countries other than the United States carry a certain patriotism in their chip racks. Take, for instance, Scotsman Graeme Harrison, the PokerStars player with the most chips at the moment. He proudly wore a Scotland baseball cap all day yesterday. Today, I spotted an old friend by the pseudo-flag draped across his chair.

There was little doubt I'd found PokerStars Luca Pagano. It's not been too many months since I traveled Europe on his heels as he fought across the European Poker Tour. One night, I sat back as Luca fell into a deep, deep tank after making what seemed to be the right laydown in a huge pot. As it turned out, it was not. He is one of the most serious players I've run across, but a kind soul as well.

Today, Luca's playing at a corner table and is wearing his serious mask again.

Luca Pagano

As audio blogger James Hartigan pointed out, and European blogger Howard Swains has noticed all along, it's a big day for big Europeans here on Day 1C.

In the back of the room, I found Anders "Donald" Berg and Mikael Westerlund, two men who have made quite a name for themselves on the other side of the Atlantic. Berg is a big-money player who competed for Team Norway in the World Cup of Poker. Westerlund made final tables at the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure and the Scandinavian Open EPT event.

Mikael Westerlund

Anders "Donald" Berg

Over the past several months (and days) I've found myself running into PokerStars' players at random. Today, I met another in the cab to the Rio. And I re-met an old foe at the tables.

Kirby the cab companion, a big limit player from the great white north of Minnesota, playing in Day 1C of the WSOP

Eli, a one-time opponent in a super satellite for three seats to a big event. He was kind enough to bubble and hand me my seat. Here's to Eli having greater luck today.

We're back on track here at the Official PokerStars Blog. Well-rested, well-adjusted, and darn-well ready to fight into the night with our players.

Brad Willis
@BradWillis in World Series of Poker