2008 World Series: Catching our breath

Back in the early days of the PokerStars blog, we used to cover the qualifiers into the $10,000 main event at the World Series, and it didn't always go according to plan. Such is the scale of the event, and such was the number of qualifiers, that it was all but impossible to track them all down, especially when tables began being broken and players would up and move.

On countless occasions, a previously unnoticed qualifier would appear sitting behind a mountain of chips, and we'd wonder how on earth we'd missed them. Several other times, we'd report a player missing, presumed busted, only for them to resurface hours, sometimes days later, and we'd have to resurrect these poker Lazaruses and apologise to the bereaved friends and family tracking their progress from afar.

Something similar can happen these days with the Team PokerStars Pros, who all have a habit of either going way deep into these events, or busting early, signing up for another tournament and having a stab at another bracelet. Often they even multi-table and play two tournaments at once. We mentioned previously how the team was out in force for today's numerous events, and tracking them down has been a familiarly treacherous process: are they in, out, or have they merely moved, possibly to a different room?

With that lengthy caveat in place, here is the latest state of play from the Rio for Team PokerStars Pro and other notables -- at least as far as we know.

Let's start with the certainties. Barry Greenstein finished in sixth place in today's $50,000 HORSE Championship event, good for $355,200. He dashed across the room to the $1,500 HORSE, and still sits in that event, with about 1,800 in chips. PokerStars sponsored player Matt Glantz recently busted in fourth place from the $50,000 final table and took home $568,320 for his troubles.

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He's now taking a well-earned break away from the tournament area. And who could begrudge him that?

Sponsored player Kirill Gerasimov went out in sixth place from the $2,000 hold 'em event, earning $177,111. Similarly flush this evening is Team PokerStars Pro Hevad Khan, who went deep in the $1,500 no limit hold 'em event but busted slightly short of the final table, earning $13,727 for 31st place.

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Kirill played the $10,000 Omaha event but is out; Hevad did not, and can probably therefore be found on about 25 PokerStars tables as I type.

There was a huge turnout in that $10,000 PLO event, including numerous Team PokerStars Pros. Of those that remain, the young Dutchman Noah Boeken is flying the flag the highest, sitting with 120,000 in chips, which is well above average.

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Bill Chen is also prospering there. He has "almost exactly 90,000" and an economical way of describing his tournament to date. "Up and down," Chen said. "I play a lot of pots and people donate money. Then I donate it back." You can't be fairer than that.

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Humberto Brenes, chasing his 53rd WSOP cash, is clinging on in the same event, and has about 19,000.

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That was exactly the same amount that Tom McEvoy had when I passed by on a sweep of the room, but by the time I'd returned to the laptop, he was shaking hands with friends in another tournament before heading out the door. You see how hard this can be sometimes?

Other confirmed absentees from that event include Chris Moneymaker, who picked up a nasty beat when his flopped set got rivered by a bigger set, and Chad Brown, Joe Hachem and Victor Ramdin, all of whom migrated to the $1,500 HORSE. They're all faring better in that event: Chad has 24,000 and is close to the chip lead, Victor has nearly 10,000 and Mike Matusow on his left. Joe has close to 11,000 and plenty of game.

In the same event, Vicky Coren has about 11,000, Isabelle Mercier 8,000 and Luca Pagano 6,500. Meanwhile, I have a lot of scrawling and scribbling on a notepad that will only get more untidy as the evening progresses. Still, that's what we're here for, and you can't see the scribbles on the screen.