WSOP Main Event: Money makes the play slow down

wsop2009_thn.gifAt around the mid-point of the past hour, there was a discussion between us PokerStars Blog folk about the angle we should adopt for our next post -- this post, that is. After some um-ing and ah-ing (we go to all those lengths) we realised that the story is is right in front of our eyes. Quite literally.

The action is slow at the moment in the Penn and Teller Theater, and we recently endured another 25-minute delay in play. The reason, though, was perfectly valid this time: an army of security guards clutching briefcases came marching onto the stage. Contained inside them (the briefcases, not the security guards) were bundle after bundle of bank-notes, totalling something close to $8.5m, the amount the winner of this thing will collect.

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The money has arrived

That's a lot of money. It's a mountain of money, in fact. Although I've got a sneaking suspicion that those bundles might not be the genuine article, one of the those security guards has nonetheless been deployed to guard the cash, fake or otherwise.

And it's got to be a distraction for the five players still involved. Darvin Moon, Jeff Shulman and Antoine Saout might not be able to see it in their direct vision, but I've caught sight of them swivelling to check it out once or twice. As for the PokerStars pair Joe Cada and Eric Buchman, they can see the wonga without even moving their heads.

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Joe Cada and rail

It's maybe this sight that has precipitated a definite slow-down in the past hour. After a relative flurry of eliminations in the last post, we have seen nothing of the sort for more than 60 minutes. The closest we came was when the short-stacked Shulman was all in pre-flop for his last six million, which was called by Saout. Shulman had A-5; Saout K-Q. This time, though, the best hand stood up and Shulman doubled.

He chipped up close to about 15 million total, approximately half of what all the others are sitting behind. Those four are all very evenly chipped at the moment, and the long night shows no sign of drawing to a close.

Stay awake courtesy of another video blog. This one, introducing Eric Buchman to those of you who haven't yet made his acquaintance.


Watch WSOP 2009: Introducing Eric Buchman on PokerStars.tv
Howard Swains
@howardswains in World Series of Poker