WSOP Main Event: A tale of two tables
The second feature table is in the shadow of the main stage table, the coliseum type arena that produces a surge of noise every once in a while that no one understands exactly. There's a three foot high wall along one side where standing room only spectators look over the room, peering down on the action below.
The opposite rail is open to the Amazon Room, occupied by a dozen or so visitors not interested in the rugby scrum up top and have settled for this smaller spot of limelight. With its two cameras rather than four it's the small independent film to the main stages' feature length blockbuster. But it has other things going for it. It's not as crowded so it's more comfortable and doesn't smell. One man in his socks stands watching alongside his running shoes, about as relaxed as you can be. His empty shoes look like the invisible man stopped by to watch while jogging through. That was until another railbird tripped over them.
Among those they're watching is PokerStars qualifier Jonathan Tomayo in seat three, chipped to a fine 3 million point, and not averse to getting into pots early and taking chips off opponents. It's hardly surprising that at this stage of things the action is cagey at best with the most animation coming from Tomayo who hops out of his chair now and then to text or twitter something, like a dozen or so other players.
On the other side of the wall dividing the two stages it's a similar story for PokerStars qualifier Adam York from Bristol, England, who sits in seat nine of the feature table with close to 4 million and a look of indefatigability. His girlfriend Holly is in the crowd, who has travelled with the 24-year-old over what has been a 12 month world wide road trip that doesn't show any signs of stopping.
York qualified last year, finishing 114th in what was his first live tournament. That part is an oft told familiar story but what followed - not so much. Taking his $41,816, the young couple set off around the world, winning seats online to play the Asia Pacific Poker Tour in Macau, then back to Europe for European Poker Tour events in Barcelona, London, Prague and Budapest. A stop down under in Australia followed before the world turned full circle and they landed back in Las Vegas. Their home in Bristol seems a long way away, said Holly. "We've lost all our friends," she joked.
His life away from the table seems uncomplicated but his life on it is less so. A solid online player York has yet to capitalise at the live tables, except for the main event.
"It's deep-stacked and that suits Adam's style" said Holly. "He's doesn't get lucky - he doesn't win a race - so the WSOP is better for him. At the EPTs, he just didn't act quick enough - and he wasn't in long enough to get the practice. But he's getting more aggressive now."
Still, the future looks bright for them both. Having graduated last summer in Applied Economics they've been on the road ever since, citizens of the world. If his result this week is anything to go by it's a journey that shows no sign of coming to an end.
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STATISTIC OF THE HOUR
The amount of the current ante is equal to the amount of the starting stack...in 2006. That's 10,000 for the folks who don't remember back that far.
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OUT OF CONTEXT QUOTE OF THE HOUR
"I like a good dried cranberry on a salad."
OUT OF CONTEXT QUOTE OF THE HOUR II
"My dream is to be pulled around the country in a trailer full of booze."
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ELIMINATION OF THE HOUR I
DOUBLE UP OF THE HOUR
Manuel Labandeira was all in for his last 500,000 with A♦6♦ and he was called by Steven Begleiter with A♥Q♠. The flop came 8♠K♣[10s], no help, and the turn was the 4♠, again no help. Labandeira was now drawing to only three outs -- there wasn't a diamond to be seen -- and the miracle happened. The river was 6♣ and the Spanish PokerStars qualifier doubled up.
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ELIMINATION OF THE HOUR
Adam Bilzerian is out. He got it all in with pocket tens but was behind Joseph Ward's pocket kings all the way.
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JOE GIRON PHOTO HOUR