WSOP Main Event: Needing no introduction that she won't provide herself

wsop2009_thn.gifAs play begins on any given day at the World Series of Poker, reporters begin scurrying across the Amazon Room in an attempt to locate the notable players. No master list exists of allocated seat positions, at least not in the opening stages, meaning this search process can become something of a scattergun affair. We walk this way and that, weaving through file upon file of tables and faces, not really even knowing who we are looking for, much less where we might find them.

Today, rumours were circulating that the Team PokerStars Pro Maria "maridu" Mayrinck was somewhere in the sea. And although she's a diminutive type, from the mean streets of Rio de Janeiro swanky lanes of Ipanema, I wasn't unduly worried about my prospects of locating her. She might be small, but she sure makes herself heard. So it was that she appeared in the red section of the Amazon Room, chirruping merrily, waving and keen to give her chip count (37,000 at that time) even as she lamented her table draw.

"It's really tough," she said. "It's all online guys, and online guys who I know. They're all really good. The reason I signed up today was I thought all the online guys would be at home for the Sunday majors."

The reason she knows most of these guys, and the reason most of them would know her, is Mayrinck's -- or maridu's -- very visible presence around the online tables of PokerStars and the online discussion forums, as well as on the Latin America Poker Tour, the European Poker Tour, and the World Series. There can be few players with fingers in more pies than Mayrinck. She was even a reporter, for the Brazilian arm of PokerStars blog, for a good few years and we shared media row in this room with her last year.

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Maria Mayrinck

Our brief chat during level two today was our first contact of this World Series (although Mayrinck has cashed twice, in a $2,000 hold 'em event, and the ladies event), and when I returned an hour or so later to see how she had been getting on since then, she had vanished. Her table had broken, which meant the search began again. Lo and behold, this search didn't take long either: I heard her distinctive tones coming from table 73 in the orange section, where she was informing her new table mates: "I don't know what I'm doing. So you guys are never going to know what I'm doing."

This table seems more to Mayrinck's liking, and she gleefully related that he had won two decent pots within her first orbit and is back up to around 47,000. That said, she hadn't failed to notice her esteemed table-mate and Team PokerStars Pro colleague Joe Hachem, sitting in the eight seat. "Joe gave me a run down on the whole table," she said. "He gave me his notes. But I don't know if they're his fake notes or his real notes." Hachem smiled a non-committal smile.

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Joe Hachem, without ear-plugs (ie, before Maria Mayrinck's arrival)

"If you want a quote, I'll say that I'm really happy to be playing with a World Champion," Mayrinck then said, oozing media training. "And glad that he's all the way on that side of the table."

Here's one worth watching. And listening to.

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"Out of the wsop and don't really care. So sick I just need a bed." -- @RealKidPoker following his elimination

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A man was reprimanded for violating the excessive celebration rule for begging the dealer to not bust him. An opponent asked, "How can it be excessive celebration? He hadn't won the pot yet."

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Google search results for past three WSOP Main Event 3rd place finishers

2006 -- Michael Binger: 21,200
2007 -- Raymond Rahme: 15,100
2008 -- Dennis Phillips: 69,000

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The player on table 37 currently playing solitaire on his iPhone between hands.

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"Poker's a dangerous game."  --player to ESPN commentator Lon McEachern who was recently hobbled and put on crutches by knee surgery

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A philosophical Daniel Negreanu after his elimination from the feature table