WSOP Main Event: Akkari lighting the way

wsop2009_thn.gifIf there was a single unifying motif to yesterday's day 1C coverage it was the presence in just about every post of the one-woman blog-copy provider and Brazilian Team PokerStars Pro Maria Mayrinck. We couldn't go five paces without hearing something from her, and we wrote most of it down.

Similarly today in the Amazon Room, you can't much miss Mayrinck's countryman and Team Pro colleague Andre Akkari. Although Akkari is the very picture of silent contemporary poker cool at the table -- iPod headphones in ears, chair turned backwards, massage therapist pummeling all feeling out of his back -- he is attired in his characteristic day one garb, the canary-yellow shirt of the Brazilian soccer team. You would feel perfectly safe wearing that shirt while cycling at dusk: it throbs and glows as if radioactive and we can see Akkari on his table in the red section from all the way beyond the orange section in media row.

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Andre Akkari

Towards the end of level one, I donned dark glasses to approach Akkari's table and watched him add about 3,000 chips to his stack with a small river bet on a flop of 4♥K♠6♦3♥9♠. His opponent called, Akkari flipped 3♠4♠ and took the beans. As Akkari stacked his 37,000+ stack, and my face began to shrivel in the refulgent glow, and I headed off to check on Alexandre Gomes, another Team Pro from Brazil taking his shot at the Main Event.

The World Series has been very kind to Gomes. Last year he became the first Brazilian ever to win a bracelet in Las Vegas, when he earned $770,000 in a $2,000 buy in event. He quit his job as a lawyer, joined the PokerStars Team and watched his career ignite. He's a regular high-placed finished in online tournaments, where he plays as "allingomes", and he proved that the bracelet was no fluke when he cruised to the final table of the PCA in the Bahamas in January, finishing fourth for $750,000. He actually looked very well set to take that one down until he ran a full boat into Benny Spindler's quads when the two of them were dominant chip leaders.

Gomes is exiled down the corridor in the overflow Miranda Room today, where he has made a steady start. Although it might have been more appropriate for him to be in the Brasilia Room (and certainly more headline-friendly), Gomes may simply be happy to be away from the main Amazon Ballroom, which is packed to bursting on a very, very busy day at the World Series of Poker.

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"We are unable to accommodate any more people this year." -- WSOP Commissioner Jeffrey Pollack in address to players who were shut out of Main Event due to Day 1D sellout

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Peter Eastgate 2008 edition (above) peers over Peter Eastgate 2009 edition

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Noah Boeken, Ivan Demidov, Angel Guillen , Florian Langmann and Veronica Dabul have all begun their tournament in the Brasilia Room. Johnny Lodden and Ben Kang have joined Gomes in the Miranda.

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Vanessa Rousso tells her wall: "Interesting facts about my table: 3 women, 3 Gary's, 3 Pokerstars players, 2 Lisa's, 2 'v' names...and no one I've ever played with."

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A look back at day 1c

Watch WSOP 2009: Day 1c Overview on