WSOP Main Event: The best of times, the worst of times

by Howard Swains

The best thing about Day 1 of the main event of the World Series is that it goes on forever. We were playing yesterday, we will be playing today - and tomorrow we will be playing again. And the next day. Yesterday's broken dreams are today's fresh hopes. We have lost a few we loved but have found new friends.

The worst thing about Day 1 of the main event of the World Series is that it goes on forever. We were playing yesterday, we will be playing today - and tomorrow we will be playing again. And the next day. We are still only a quarter of the way through the earliest despair. We feel as though we have been moving forward although we have been standing still.

But let's focus on the bright side. Another day, another ten thousand dollars and another chance to grow acquainted with some qualifiers and hope they stay for keeps. Hugh Kirton, from London, is certainly easy to grow acquainted with. Whether he stays for keeps is another matter.

"This could be the shortest World Series I've ever played!" he bellowed across the Amazon room a moment ago. "Look! Look, I'm all in," he said.



Duty bound, I trudged in his direction to see his entire stack sprayed across the baize. The board showed 4d-9d-Qs. His opponent was in the tank. Hugh, conspicuous in resplendent pink bandana and PokerStars basketball vest, was grinning. "I call," said the adversary and flipped over pocket four for bottom set.

Hugh, as many who play regularly against him in Britain, doesn't necessarily have to be holding much to make this kind of play. But in this instance he had outs. Several. In fact, his 10d-Jd gave him plenty of possibilities, but when the turn was a blank, the "Iron" Kirton was standing and heading back to the craps table and cash games, where he had spent most of the night.

That is, until the king spiked on the river, making the straight for Hugh and outdrawing those fours.

"Oh," he said. "I'm back." Then he let us all in on a secret. "Loose weak! That's the style," he admitted. "Loose weak."

We haven't heard the last of this.

Brad Willis
@BradWillis in World Series of Poker