WSOP Main Event: Day 1D Wrap-up

Joe Hachem finishes Day 1D with a champion's authority

by Brad "Otis" Willis

Bets come in many forms. Since Team Blog has been here, we've placed bets on the toss of a water bottle, the eating of crayons, whether a baseball batter would get a hit or an out, and how many minutes it would take for a nine-time world poker champion to win his tenth bracelet. Many times, we writers sit on opposite sides of the action. Today, however, we all put our money on the same side of a proposition: Whether Joe Hachem would end up at ESPN's featured table.

It was so sure a bet, I asked Team Blog's Ali Lightman to plan on spending her day in the uncomfortable bleachers that surround the featured table. Sure enough, by the time the cards were in the air, Hachem was seated at the end of the table and Ali was filling a notebook.

The only remaining question was whether bad luck would befall the champion or he would make it through day one like his WSOP champion predecessor Greg Raymer. By early this morning, that question was a mere memory. Hachem had a stack of more than $50,000.

Team Blog's Ali Lightman worked well into the morning to compose a fantastic recount of Hachem's entire day. To see how a world champion steps back into the ring, read Ali's:

Joe Hachem Makes Day 2 of 2006 WSOP Main Event

Hachem's performance came in perfect concert with a piece written by Team Blog's Dr. Pauly. Before the cards were in the air at noon, Pauly sat in the media room ruminating on what has happened to the poker world in the past three years. He wrote, in part:

For the last few decades, the eternal flame of the American Dream dulled to a tiny flicker. For millions of lost souls, they found themselves sleepwalking through life, unexcited about the things, places, and people around them. That was until a mild-mannered accountant from Tennessee by the name of Chris Moneymaker became the focal point of the gambling world. By now you know the story. Moneymaker won a seat into the 2003 WSOP via a satellite on PokerStars and parlayed a $33 investment into $2.5 million.

If the poker revolution still has you scratching your head, you'd be doing yourself a favor by reading Dr. Pauly's The Post-Modern American Dream: The WSOP.

While Hachem was the most recent of the champion's in the field today, Team PokerStars' Chris Moneymaker was here today, as well. Before the dinner break, Moneymaker made a lot of news (and apparently stirred up a fish-tale or two) by hitting quad kings. Wil Wheaton recorded the story (and the tale) in Moneymaker's Quads.

Photo copyright Rob Gracie - IMPDI

Unfortunately, a Day 2 appearance was not to be for Moneymaker. After hitting quads, he ran top-pair top-kicker into an overpair and never recovered. He finished the day in level five.

Team PokerStars Isabelle Mercier suffered a different kind of pain. She was card Late in level five, she said, "We've been playing for what? Nine hours? I've had one pair of tens. No ace-king. No ace-queen. No other pair. Impossible."

The one time she had AJ, her opponent made two-pair with AT. When she finally picked up ace-king, she got out-run by ace-jack.

Fortunately, many of our PokerStars qualifiers had a great day. There were tons of great stories coming out of the PokerStars field. Check out all of these reports filed by Team Blog today.

PokerStars WSOP Day 1D Photo Gallery
Calling Table 249--from the PokerStars Biggest WSOP Satellite in history (by Mad Harper)
Will the Real David Matthews Stand Up? (by Craig Cunningham)
Ice Cream Dreams and Last Chances--Igor Holdayi and Kim Wittendorff (by Craig Cunningham)
How to beat cowboys--Bill Rector (by C.J. Hoyt)
Playing with the Pros--Lee Pierce (by C.J. Hoyt)
Sweatin' to the Aussie (by Wil Wheaton)
Crossing the t's and dotting the i's--Simon Young (by Howard Swains)
Texas Holden (by Mad Harper)
Vanessa Selbst (by Craig Cunningham)
Donna Skolnick (by Howard Swains)
Adam "Cattaneo" Stormwind (by Dr. Pauly)
Selected Chip Count updates

The 2006 World Series of Poker has a long way to go. There's still a lot of action left in this WSOP. What's great is that PokerStars still has a ton of players in the middle of the battle.

By the way, I have a prop bet with some Irish bloggers on whether a PokerStars qualifier finishes deeper than an Irish player (Irish PokerStars qualifiers are a push).

I'm laying 5-1 on us.
Brad Willis
@BradWillis in World Series of Poker