WSOP Event #9: Isabelle Mercier makes Day 2 and the money

For a lot of folks here at the WSOP, buying into the $1,500 events is akin to buying into a little pool house tournament in their neighborhood. That is, it's not touching much of their bankroll. However, when the buy-in jumps up to $5,000, they can feel it a little more. As such, the number of people buying into today's no-limit hold'em tournament was lower than usual. Six hundred sixty-two people bought into today's event. Only 63 made the money.

As the evening grew late, people started coming over and congratulating Isabelle Mercier.

"Why?" she asked over her shoulder.

"You're the last woman in the tournament," said one smiling face.

"Great," she said. "I just lost 10,000 chips."

It's not that she isn't proud. She is. I can see it in her eyes.

"Of course, I'm happy," she said. "It's my first Day 2 of the World Series of Poker in my life. I woke up this morning and said, 'That cannot be possible.' But it is. I said to myself, I'll do it today."

But, it's not about her gender. And it's not really about Day 2. And it is not even about making the money.

"It's about the bracelet," she said.

Her stack going into Day 2 is not very big, but Isabelle is very good at turning a small stack into a playable one.

Tonight, she is smiling. Tomorrow, she gets back to work.

Day 2 begins at 2pm Vegas time.