WSOP Main Event: Looking at the Extremes

Today is cut day, similar to a Friday at a PGA event. 286 players won't cash, and the table you draw has a significant impact on how your day will go.

Jason "strassa22" Strasser sits on the high extreme, his table holding $1,223,000 in chips. He starts the day comfortably at $319,000, but Akshay Kumar holds $249,000 and Matt Maroon sits next to the dealer with $201,000. Two players hold less than $35,000, but this should prove to be quite a dynamic table. "I've held the chip lead on Day 2 of an EPT tourney only to be busted, so I've been high in chips before," said Jason. "I may be top ten in chips today, but there are $88,000,000 in play, so anything can happen."

Igor Holdaiy sits at an average table with $769,000, and at $118,000 he is in a comfortable position. To his left sits fellow PokerStars qualifier Daniel Pelletier with $334k (below). Igor held his own at Joe Hachem's table yesterday. "He was mad at me," Igor said at a break. "I re-raised him three times, but I had a hand every time. The third time he looked at me very angrily, but he knew I was ahead every time." If he stays away from Daniel, Igor could sit in good shape for Day 4.

On the short end is Table 13, holding only $364,000 as the smallest table around. PokerStars qualifiers Jonathan Hoang, Rick Middleton, and David Ventura share this table with seven others who don't have to fear a big stack, as the chip leader only has $57,800. Blinds have moved up to $800/1600 with a $200 ante, so each pot now has $4,400 in chips. In Dan Harrington's excellent series on tournament holdem, he extensively discusses M, the ratio of your chips to the pot. For those at Table 13, their M ranges from 13 to 4, so any raise will commit most players to the pot. Theoretically, it would be in their best interests to collectively wait out the bubble, guaranteeing everyone at the table $14,597.

When the bubble bursts, the Vegas Strip will shudder from the tremor created at the Rio. Who squeeks in and who grabs chips during the wait will be key to how the field looks at the end of Day 3.

Brad Willis
@BradWillis in World Series of Poker