WSOP Main Event: Vultures and carcasses

by Howard Swains

It's reached that time of a major poker tournament when all dealers, spectators, reporters and the vast majority of the players begin to feel a little queasy. "All in, called, on table 158!" bellow the unfortunate casino employees, choking on their own betrayal as they issue a death call to the vultures carrying the clipboards. They flock with savage glee towards the dead men walking, directing their henchmen carrying boom-mics and handycams primed to record the final throes.

Such is the plight of the departed in these days when television rules the roost over poker. One man's distress is another's light entertainment. "Fetch me another beer, honey. This guy just lost a million bucks to a donkey with an inside straight draw and I'm laughing so much I'm making myself thirsty."

We, in the printed or web-based media, have also been relegated beyond the ropes, lest we obsruct the view of the carcasses. It's proving difficult to glean anything accurate (apart from a lashing from the security guards, delivered with rare and caustic precision).

The PokerStars European branch began today with at least four hopes: Dave Murray, from Ireland, has escaped our radar so far - remarkable, given that he now has more than $400,000 in chips, having begun today with $230,000. Gary Jones also continues in the fast lane with $387,000. Akshay Kumar is comfortably in the top half with his $277,000 while Ole Busborg Jensen, from Denmark, began the day with $63,500, but knows this game as well as any and has every chance of making a surge up the leaderboard.

Provided the "escorts" being offered by the organisers take us to the tables (rather than back to our hotels to steal our wallets) we should be able to keep you relatively up to date on the qualifiers, as well as those who I know are still lurking in this field without our knowledge.

Stay tuned.

Brad Willis
@BradWillis in World Series of Poker