WSOP Event #2: Brenes waits... and waits
There's nothing worse than being card dead, particularly in a tournament such as this. When your stack is trickling away and the blinds are moving north, you're praying for the type of hand that can double you up and get you going once more. When all you are dealt is drivel, it's like the poker gods are sucking the life out of you... painfully and slowly.
Judging by the expressions of Team PokerStars Pro Humberto Brenes, this is exactly what's happening to him on day two of the $40,000 No Limit Hold'em event. He's chewing on his gum faster and harder than ever (there are four packets in front of him), and each time he's dealt two cards, the response seems to be the same.
He looks down at the dealer's offering, the shoulders slump and he glances at the sky in a "not this garbage again" sort of way. The cards go in the muck and he waits patiently to repeat the process again. And it's starting to cost - he's down to little over 150,000, still plenty of play with blinds at 3,000-6,000, but it's a great test of his mental strength.
During all this he had to watch Brian Townsend, sitting to his right, hoovering up chips that sent him over 1,000,000, then got moved to the same table as Chris Moneymaker. Chris, who told us earlier of his improved game, needs to use his new-found patience after dropping 200,000 in the first few levels of play. He's still on over 600,000, so no need to panic.
No need to panic either for Team PokerStars Pro John Duthie. No need to do anything, in fact, because like Friend of PokerStars Bill Chen, he's out. Both fell holding the same hand, pocket tens.
Duthie was particularly unlucky. Starting the day with 188,000, he was in the big blind and when the small blind - Frank Kassela - raised it up, Duthie put out 50,000 more. Kassela insta called. The flop was 2-3-J and Duthie, pushed with 10-10 ("I did not put him on jacks"), and was called by 8-8. But an 8 on the turn ended Duthie's day early.
Meanwhile Greg Raymer was playing a patient game, but has now risen above 400,000 after his A-J overtook Ville Wahlbeck's pocket kings.
Now challenging the chip lead is Team PokerStars Holland Pro Lex Veldhuis, who has broken the one million mark. We'll have more news of his progress soon.
65 players remain in the event, and the money kicks in at 27th place with $71,858.
STOP PRESS: The magic of the blogger works again. No sooner had we put up this post when Humberto Brenes finally found a hand, pushed, and got a caller. His A-K was up against Antonio Esfandiari's A-J - and stayed ahead, putting him on nearly 300,000.
He's a happy Humberto now.