WSOP Main Event: Once more with feeling
Walking through the hallway of the Rio as the last level of the day got underway, We've gotta get out of this place by the Animals belted out over the PA system, a poignant escort perhaps to those who had fallen in what has been a busy day 1c. I was all set to make references to midnight crying, or the city bringing you down, when the track suddenly flipped to Paperback Writer by the Beatles which says nothing at all about the state of mind you might be in when, after a long day in the office, your hopes of World Series victory wither and turn to dust. There was something about making a million overnight, but let's leave that for later.
Today was just the third of four day ones, that first of many mandatory hurdles that will ultimately claim the chances of all but one before this tournament is done.
The day started as its predecessors had. Each flight had heard the shrill alert of "all-in call" sounded within minutes of the start, but none so quickly as today. When Robert Vincent moved in with his pocket fives, having made a set on the flop, he no doubt counted on a bundle of chips headed his way. Tragically though he didn't count on Andy Doess making a set of tens on the same flop, sending Vincent to the rail in infamy. More would follow him there...
The prognosis wasn't good for Daniel Negreanu who arrived ready for a Twitterless day on the main televised feature table but suffered bad cards and bad health, busting in the early levels before bolting for bed and sympathy in a more relaxed environment.
Health fine, William Thorson and Marcin Horecki were unfortunate followers as lunch came and went. Marcel Luske busted with an hour left to play when his ace-queen failed to outrun his opponent's pocket kings. It was a fate shared by around 25 per cent of the field as the bell went at the close including Tom McEvoy who busted within sight of the finish line
There was a flip side to all that midnight crying and it landed on the many hundreds now permitted to return here on Wednesday for day 2b among whom sit the likely lads and lasses of Team PokerStars Pro.
Joe Hachem and Maria Mayrinck, two Team Pros from air mile friendly countries, shared a table all day although different fates, Hachem seemed on a roll and up to 89,000 while Mayrinck closed the day on 30,000 and still chatty.
Up there alongside Hachem was Hevad Khan, another Pro with a proud Amazon Room track record, who bagged up a good looking 115,000. While Ylon Schwartz at first suffered a dip he rallied to 57,000 and is as comfortable as he always looks. Both Bill Chen on 17,000 and Isabelle Mercier on 50,000 had reasonably incident free days, Mercier having skipped the WSOP until the Main Event. "I just arrived. I'm all fresh! Can you tell?"
The same could be said for Dennis Phillips on 60,000 and Darus Suharto on 45,000, among those back for day 2b on Wednesday, along with Gavin Griffin who survived an unlikely showdown late in the day, tweeting the news: "Got lucky when all in for the first time all WSOP with TT v QQ for 70 BB pot."
Gavin Griffin, complete with what appears to be angel wings
Elsewhere PokerStars' Thierry van den Berg finished on 87,000 and EPT Barcelona champion Sebastian Ruthenberg did the same with 25,500, heading back for day two.
That day two will be shorter for everyone whether they bust out or not. If you're quick you might have spotted the subtle difference in levels today. If you're not, or have fourth of July fatigue, allow me to explain...
Today's field slogged through five levels as opposed to the four of days 1a and 1b. Inflated numbers and a forecasted sell out tomorrow forced organisers to extend today and tomorrow. That means a shorter day 2b, while the day 2a survivors (from days 1a and 1b) will play five levels to catch up on day 2a. Still with me?
Tomorrow tournament officials will break the seal on all available space all the way from here in the Amazon Room, through the Brasilia and Miranda rooms, all the way to the casino floor. Among them will be the balance of Team PokerStars Pros and anyone else you'd expect to be here who hasn't yet taken their turn at the coal face.
For now we leave you with links to all of the reports from today, and a jumble of news in Spanish, Swedish, Dutch or German. As ever video coverage is available at PokerStars.tv and all of today's photos come from the trigger finger of © Joe Giron/IMPDI Worldwide.
Billion dollar day
The power of Chen
Will the real Dennis Phillips please stand up?
Needing no introduction that she won't provide herself
Solid gold poker
Friends of the PokerStars blog
Poker freaks - Jim Geary
Senter at the center of the poker action
Flying into the Amazon Room
A contrast in personalities
Noch einmal Deutschland
Join us tomorrow. See you then...