WSOP Main Event: Flying into the Amazon Room

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Marcel Luske is struggling with his patches. It's midway through the penultimate level of the day, he has 46,000 chips (well above average) but is struggling with his patches. Which patches? His new Team PokerStars Pro ones, bestowed upon him a week ago like general's stars, when he became one of the newest members of the elite stable ahead of the Main Event. He's already given up on one of them, attaching it instead to the drink container next to his chips in front of him, but the other is flapping all over the place.

But if this is your chief concern on day one then really you're in clover. As the Flying Dutchman, Luske has been playing top grade poker since before some of his table mates were warming up their clicking fingers for a session on their Nintendo. And he did it the hard way, on a poker circuit that only opened its doors to those who had learned their craft through a long, hard and expensive apprenticeship.

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Marcel Luske

Now he's one of the distinguished ambassadors of the game, today playing on table 77, dressed in his desert suit (read: no tie), blond hair slick back, the straw of a drink up to his chin, a stack of green chips almost the same height and jet lag eyes still trying to re-arrange that damn patch.

His table hasn't had the flash bang of others. Filled as it is with an Ed Hardy pro and a few old -timers in straw hats and comfortable pants, it has the feel of a slow burner, dug in to the post-dinner dip with no dramatics in store but a TV crew lurking in the background ready to jump in should anyone change their mind.

The table chip leader tried it, re-raising and adding to his stack though not enough to interest the boom man.

"They take you seriously" said Luske, "They don't want to be your next victim" as he folded his big blind, then his small, and re-arranged his patch. His turn on the button varied this slightly.

A raise from the seat four player to 900. Luske called on the button for a 5♦A♣9♣ flop. Here his opponent checked, allowing Luske in to strike; a bet of 1,800 which ended the hand right there. A thousand or two more to add to the stack but there remained something wrong.

"Finally we found something that sucks on PokerStars. The patches..."

The table threatened to wake up when the player on Luske's left moved in, got called by the player on his left, doubling him up. But as far as general excitement goes this line-up seems destined to be around for a while. Just maybe not the patches.


*****

TWEET OF THE HOUR

"i saw a video of Helmouth's entrance. I love Phil, but come on man..WTF. I wouldn't do that for a million bucks.' --Doyle Brunson

*****

COMEBACK OF THE HOUR

The German PokerStars qualifier Franz Fischer was down to his last 725 shortly before the dinner break, courtesy mainly of a kings versus aces accident. But the pep pills in his food worked wonders and kings again, twice, have now got him back to 25,000, which is more than enough to get his tournament started afresh.

*****

JOE GIRON PICTURE HOUR

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Players seated at Orange #92 are told to go to one of the two ESPN feature tables. Dealer Jo Ann Cabot is in the background