2008 World Series: Another storm brewing

Last night in Las Vegas there was a party. You might have heard about it. If you didn't, you can read about it HERE. Today in Las Vegas there is a melee. You might have heard about it. If you didn't, you can read about it right here from now until late next Monday night.

It's day 2A of the World Series of Poker, from the Rio Hotel and Casino, Las Vegas. At around 11.30am, the mighty Amazon Room, home of the big dance, was simply an empty room with a lot of tables in it. On those tables were nine transparent plastic bags of multicoloured discs, some bulging at the seams, some with no more than a handful of these peculiar tokens.


By midday, all those bags were torn and all those discs had been set free. They're going to be moving a lot in the coming few days. Their owners are the 1,252 players that remained from days 1A and 1B of the $10,000 Championship Event of the World Series, and that rainbow of colour represents the hope of those players as they chase a multi-million dollar payday. After a couple of days rest (or partying), they players are now back and we're moments away from continuing that quest towards the big prize -- close to $10million, in case you're interested.

PokerStars qualifier Ignat Liviu, from Romania, returns to action

Among those still in the hunt are those Team PokerStars Pros that were clutching orange juice last night instead of the harder stuff as Dita von Teese entertained the masses. In short order, they are Barry Greenstein (21,500), Noah Boeken (30,775), Vanessa Rousso (48,450), Victoria Coren (60,125) and John Duthie (62,225), some with more chips than the others, but none incapable of making a charge all the way.

We also have a clutch of PokerStars sponsored players aiming to take the most familiar logo in poker all the way to the final stages. They are Scotty Nguyen (23,600), Kathy Liebert (39,550), Jan Heitmann (41,350), Alexander Kravchenko (45,300) and Johannes Strassman (49,750). We'll keep up with all those players today.

Last, and by no means least, are the PokerStars qualifiers, who have already stamped an indelible mark on this World Series for at least the past five years, and likely for another 105 to come. Kellen Hunter, who tore it up on day 1A, which seems to be about a month ago, is top of that particular pack and has unbagged 155,200 chips this morning. We wish Kellen, and all his fellow qualifiers, all the best for the coming few days. May their long run continue.

During the off day, our video blog team caught up with a few of the PokerStars qualifiers to hear about their Vegas and World Series experience to date and their hopes for the future. Here Greg Merkow, who qualified via the Steps system on PokerStars, fills us in:

Watch WSOP 08: Greg Merkow Online Qualifier on PokerStars.tv

The video bloggers are out and about today, and for the rest of the Series, so catch up with all their work at PokerStars.tv, where you'll also find details of a freeroll tournament to celebrate the launch of the new platform.

Just a reminder, as the cards are now in the air, you can get in touch with us at PokerStars blog by emailing blog@pokerstars.com. If you know any of the qualifiers in today's field and have any information about them, or messages for them, please let us know and we'll stroll over and have a chat. This is where the PokerStars qualifiers can become minor stars before they bludgeon their way to the final table and become huge stars on a global stage. Put "URGENT WSOP Main Event" in the subject line.

OK, now back to it. The air in the Amazon Room is already resounding with words like "All in and call on table X!" Then, "Seat open on table X!" That means carnage. We like that. Stay tuned.