2008 World Series: Break!

Yesterday, a tournament director jokingly requested players here in the Amazon room donk off their stacks as quickly as possible. It wasn't for a desire to get home and watch Quincy re-runs. Despite the Rio finding a lot more space for the World Series this year, there is still a finite number of square feet available for poker.

Today, the TD's request will be more than a mere silly joke. Quick table breaks will be a necessity. A $2,000 No-Limit Hold'em event got underway here just moments ago. Its players stretch across the room as far as the eye can see and sit in the same seats where today's 3 o'clock re-starts should be.

While the 2,238 players currently registered in this big event are required their due respect, of greater interest today are the re-start of two big events and the players in them.

Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier has made it to the top 100 players in yesterday's $5,000 No-Limit Hold'em event. He will start the day fifth in chips and will be looking to make his deepest run yet in this year's World Series.

While ElkY will be a subject of great interest today, all eyes will undoubtedly be focused on Day 3 of the $50,000 HORSE event where 67 of the original 148 will be battling to stay alive and fight for the nearly $2 million first prize. While this is a five-day event and chip counts haven't meant a great deal up this point, the hard numbers are starting to tell a story of their own. The current chip-lead in the event is held by Lyle Berman with a little more than 500,000 in chips. Team PokerStars Pro Barry Greenstein is looking to repeat his 2007 HORSE final table performance. He currently sits in third chip position.

Here's how the whole of the PokerStars players is standing up.

  • Barry Greenstein 473,000
  • Joseph "bigjoe2003" Michael 401,000
  • Daniel Negreanu 374,500
  • Bill Chen 326,000
  • Chad Brown 295,000
  • Isabelle Mercier 146,000
  • Katja Thater 136,500
  • Dario Minieri 50,000
  • The HORSE players are scheduled to play six levels again today. That will likely get us very close to the top 16 spots and the money, but probably not all the way there. The final table is scheduled for Sunday.

    Now, if you'll excuse us, we're going to start wading through this massive crowd in the $2,000 event and see if we can keep with with the players before the tables start breaking.

    Brad Willis
    @BradWillis in World Series of Poker