2008 World Series: Keeping everyone in sight

As the players filed into the Amazon Room this morning, we realised that this was another landmark day in the 2008 World Series main event. For the first time, the entire field is visible before our very eyes -- no more days divided into multiple flights, no more rooms spread across the entire Rio Casino and Hotel complex. Just 1,307 players in a single aircraft hangar playing another ten hours, at least, of poker.


Among them are Team PokerStars Pros Victor Ramdin (307,600), Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier (151,800), Hevad Khan (113,200), Noah Boeken (61,100), John Duthie (58,800), Chris Moneymaker (40,300) and Vanessa Rousso (30,900).

Team PokerStars Pro Victor Ramdin interests the ESPN interview team

Joining them are PokerStars sponsored players Leo Fernandez (214,000), Kirill Gerasimov (159,600), Jan Heitmann (105,300), Kara Scott (90,100), Alex Kravchenko (49,500) and Antonio Arce (23,700).

Of course, no World Series story is complete without the PokerStars qualifiers. Indeed, they are usually the heading, main plot and sub-plot of any main event tale. So it is here, with the two Hunters from 2A still way ahead of the pack. Hunter Frey, from Houston, TX, has 397,000 in chips and Kellen Hunter, from Minot, North Dakota, has 354,100. Also popping up towards the top of the field today are Canadian Ronald Adams (333,550), Eric Crain (315,000) and Andrew Teng (314,200).

Media row has been abuzz in recent days with side bets on when the money will be reached, the moment that the 667th player is touched on the shoulder and told to retire from the big dance. Certainly most commentators seem to think that it will come sometime towards the end of today, meaning players will bag up for day four knowing that they have at least doubled their money. The tournament director has announced this morning that if we're playing hand-for-hand at the end of the scheduled five hours, then we will continue until the bubble bursts. It's surely far too cruel to ask the players to go to bed and return tomorrow knowing that one of them will be out, penniless.

Some contention to the prevailing comes from high places, however. At least a couple of seasoned veterans of these events reckons that we'll still have considerably more than 666 players when the whistle is blown this evening. That would postpone bubble time until tomorrow.

Either way, this is a huge day. Plenty will blaze a trail right into contention; many more will crash and burn. Hold tight.

As ever, you can contact us at blog@pokerstars.com with your messages of support or queries about PokerStars qualifiers playing today. We always do our best to locate them, take a photo and feature them on the blog. Sometimes they can get lost in the crowd, but do please continue to e-mail.

You can also check out PokerStars.tv for the latest video action from the World Series, where plenty of qualifiers and Team PokerStars Pros have been grilled by the video blog team. More of the same will appear today.