2008 World Series: Team huddle

With 34 players remaining at the end of level 15, a remarkable five of them were wearing the livery of Team PokerStars Pro while a sixth, Joe Michael, is a Supernova Elite who paid the steepest buy-in in live poker using PokerStars frequent player points. You can read all about Joe in a previous post, and you may have seen the occasional mention of Katja Thater, Barry Greenstein, Bill Chen, Daniel Negreanu and Chad Brown scattered through the entire blog.

Thirty-four players means five tables of action -- four with seven players and one with six -- enough, you'd think, for some separation among team-mates. Not so. Table number one, positioned furthest away from where we sit, features Katja, Bill and Joe, while table number two, right beside it, is the home of Chad, Daniel and Barry. They're sticking together for warmth beneath the ferocious Rio air-conditioning.

That second table might as well be called the television table, although it is not yet under studio lights. Rather, its denizens are somehow all TV-related: Chad is a former actor and presenter, while Daniel and Barry are regulars on "High Stakes Poker," the huge televised cash game from Las Vegas.

IJG_7674.jpg

Daniel Negreanu, foreground, under the watchful gaze of Gabe Kaplan

Also on that show is Erik Lindgren, who now is currently two seats to Daniel's left. And between them is Gabe Kaplan, who sits in the commentary booth.

IJG_7683.jpg

Chad Brown, left, and Barry Greenstein

Throw into the mix Marcel Luske, the singing, Flying Dutchman who has enjoyed his own share of TV time over the years, and you have a TV show right there without even any help from the producers.

At the moment, it is Barry and Daniel having the best of it. Erik is the short stack, on life support. He's been all in twice and both times the defibrillator doubled him up, keeping his heart beating for the time being. Chad is also struggling slightly, down to less than his last 75,000, which is few enough to put him all in by fourth street, should he choose to play. At the other end, Barry and Daniel are making hay. They're both comfortably in the top ten in this event, possibly the top five, where they'd also find Joe Michael.

We'll follow this HORSE all the way into the money tomorrow.

* * * * *

Earlier in the day, Bill Chen, who was still going strong in the HORSE at the time of shooting, gave some insight to the video blog team into the acceptance of short-term luck in what is, in Bill's opinion, a largely mathematical pursuit. Unfortunately for Bill, just as I was typing up this introduction, he was sent to the rail in a coup with Doyle Brunson. Brunson surely exemplifies the fact that skill can prosper in the longest of long terms, but Bill seems to be right on the money with regard to that short-term luck element. Hard luck, Mr. Chen.


Watch WSOP: Bill Chen on Acceptance on PokerStars.tv

You can see more from the PokerStars video bloggers over on PokerStars.tv