WSOP Event #17: Sunny ladies in the money
You'd think that selling tanning machines would be tough in Las Vegas, a bit like trying to sell ice to eskimos. You'd be wrong: a tanning expo has just kicked off here in the Rio - I kid you not.
It's doing a busy trade by the looks of it, even though most people here are already tanned to within a crisp. While I don't dispute many men have a fondness for getting under the sun lamp, it's the ladies who make up much of the clientelle (so I'm told, anyway).
And there's plenty of ladies here today, back for day two of the WSOP $1,000 Ladies World Championship, bringing colour and laughter to the Amazon room as they hunt down a coveted bracelet and a $195,390 first prize.
This is poker at its most polite: the players chatter to each other, share out their gum or candy, and apologise when they knock someone out.
Team PokerStars Pro Maria "Maridu" Mayrinck - a former Stars blogger - is one of the 129 of the 1,060 starters who got to come back today, and has 25,500 chips with which to inflict maximum damage.
Not long after we started, the bubble burst, bringing the loudest cheer and round of applause we've had here since the series started. The bubble had been a few tense hands in coming. Katja Svendsen was the unlucky lady to go home with nothing
She'd already survived being forced all-in the big blind when her 5-8 outran Adeline Bui's 10-J, but with the blinds of 500-1,000 about to come around again she pushed with 8-8 but got lookedup by the same player with 10-10. Nothing changed, and the room erupted, much to the amusement of the neighbouring $10,000 Omaha Hi-Low event where the grizzled veterans prefer to play on in blissfull silence (well, most of them at least).
Maridu is finding this event to her liking. As I passed by she was raising during the bubble period to try and pick up some easy pots. But her table is by no means there for the taking - sitting opposite her is Maria Stern, who won a WSOP bracelet in 1997 in the $1,500 7-card Stud event.