2008 World Series: Gerasimov again among the leaders

Despite the blistering heat outside and the arctic chill within, there's still something of a juicy air of anticipation at the World Series today. It's primarily to do with the delayed arrival of the HORSE competitors, of course, the $50,000 thoroughbreds who spent the morning trotting around their private paddocks before their off-time of three o'clock this afternoon.

As they limbered up elsewhere, the $1,500 event went through its infant stages, where even if you double up twice in the opening levels, there's still no guarantee you'll be back for dinner. All this leaves the middle ground to be occupied by event 46, the $2,000 no limit event, which returned for its day two. They're now into level 12 of the three-day event, and in the field is the PokerStars sponsored player Kirill Gerasimov.

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Like his table-mates, the Russian is already guaranteed a pay-day, the 20th of his career, but he is now attempting to progress towards the final table, which would be the second of this series and his eighth overall.

This period of any major tournament is crucial and it is where experience is more valuable than at any other time. Tournament strategy comes into play, as does the ability to make the most of solid reads on your opponents. Who is clinging on, hoping simply to edge upwards? (Bully those.) Who is playing boom or bust? (Trap or avoid.) Is he stealing those blinds and antes? (How about a re-steal?) No one wants them? Raise, they're mine.

And how about looking at a board of Js 3s Ks in the small blind seat, an under-the-gun pre-flop raiser and a call from the big blind as well. Then a check-raise on a blank turn. What then? Well Gerasimov is not one to be bullied. He asked the check-raiser how much he had and the answer was so meek that none of us on the rail could hear. Kirill was probably less interested in the number than in the tone of the voice and, lo and behold, he announced all in. The check-raiser went into the tank but eventually folded and Gerasimov added another 30,000 to his stack.

Just 37-years-old, Gerasimov has all the live tournament experience of someone way older. And there's a great deal of life for him in this tournament yet.