World Series of Poker Event #2 Begins

Below the din, you can hear the whispers.

"Greg Raymer is at my table. Seriously."

Greg Raymer dons his glasses for the first time in the 2006 WSOP

They are words hastily spoken into cell phones or spoken softly as players have one last smoke before the cards go in the air.

"There's Moneymaker."

Chris Moneymaker, surrounded by a curious rail

Above the din, the announcement comes. This event, the 2006 WSOP Event #2, a $1,500 no-limit hold'em affair, is the biggest non-main event ever. The official numbers are still to come, but every table is full and the alternates are pacing the hallways like lions at the tail end of a two-month hunger strike.

To be sure, the room is stacked. Pick a poker pro and it is likely he or she is here. It seems nothing can keep people away. The threat of being the 199th alternate and entering the tournament at the 100/200 level with 1,500 in chips is not stopping people. And nothing is stopping the chips from moving. Before I had time to take the first picture I saw quad queens crack pocket aces.

And, I'm sad to report, the first Team PokerStars departure was none other than Steve Paul-Ambrose. Through a smile he said something about his opponent holding 4-5 suited in clubs.

This figures to be a very long day. Although it is a three day event, weeding through this 2,200 player field (enough to make room for tomorrow's event) means we'll be here late tonight.

To get things started, here are a few pictures of Team PokerStars players from around the room. I'll be back with more later.

Luca Pagano

Alex Jacob

Jason "strassa2" Strasser


William "Brett Favre" Jensen

Joe Hachem


John Duthie

Chris Bigler
Brad Willis
@BradWillis in World Series of Poker