WSOP Main Event: Day 1A begins
by Brad "Otis" Willis
They say Las Vegas is a dry heat. It's a desert where little more than scrub brush grows and old western tumble weeds bounce along on the highway to Barstow. There was a time I believed that. Today, the Rio feels like Mississippi. The Amazon Ballroom is a swamp. Perspiration fuels the humidity. Body heat and anxiety attack the thermometer. If bugs could live in this environment, they would rise up like swarms from a delta puddle.
There is a hum in the air, like a two thousand locusts in a mason jar. It's a little creepy. However, as dire and sick as this all sounds, it's actually one of the most exciting moments in all of sports. The longest continually-running sporting event is about to kick off. The biggest ever prize pool in all of gaming is on the verge of being won. The 2006 World Series of Poker is underway.
The Amazon Ballroom
The line to get into the WSOP tournament room
Today we began with a few thoughts from members of Team Blog. Wil Wheaton, who is playing for Team PokerStars' today told us about his attempts to shut up the voices of self doubt that sometimes creep up in his head.
"There are going to be a lot of tough players out there tomorrow," I thought, "and they're all going to be trying to beat me. I certainly don't need to give them any help by beating myself..." (Read Wheaton's preview)
Team Blog's Dr Pauly interviews Team PokerStars' (and Team Blogs') Wil Wheaton
In other news, Craig Cunningham has been sweating the start of the tournament with the folks who can barely wait to play. He tells us:
For those qualifying through PokerStars, these last couple hours were times to rest, relax, and chat with new friends. Michael Edens, David Daniel, and Hector Garza hail from Iowa, Tennessee, and Texas respectively. The only time they'd huddle together would be learning the game at PokerStars or sitting on a bench waiting for their dreams to become reality. (Read Craig Cunningham's report)
PokerStars fan sporting a new Moneymaker Million shirt
Greg "GSpin" Spinder, the first PokerStars player to make the 2006 WSOP Main Event Blog
Team Blog has its members fanned out all over the room. I'm already hearing reports of tables dominated by PokerStars players. After a hectic start to what is sure to be a hectic two weeks, every player is sitting behind $10,000 in chips. Somehow they will have to navigate through more than 8,500 other players in the run to become the 2006 WSOP champion.
Every play starts like this
PokerStars will have more than 1,600 players in the WSOP main event. Here's a partial list of who is playing today.
PokerStars Day 1A Starters
No Fold It