WSOP Main Event: The boys from Brasilia
A short walk from the Amazon Room, past registrations and the souvenir shop, is the Brasilia Room. Ahh the Brasilia Room. It conjures up images of beaches, rain forests, palm trees, salsa, that kind of thing. In reality, and this may be hardly surprising, it's the same aircraft hanger type place as the Amazon Room, with several hundred tables on the same patterned carpet and light fittings to make it as non-descript a venue for a World Championship as you could image. At least at Buzios there's a lobster tank.
Flags hang from the roof along with a few banner ads but the Brasilia room, thanks to the tables being switched gradually towards the main Amazon hub, has an action aura not found in the Amazon, suggesting that these players are a different breed, more reckless, ready to get it in with the best of it. Or second best.
"Three all-ins called table 175."
It may have seemed like bragging, but the dealer was just doing his job, getting the attention of the TV folks who document it for the cutting room floor. In this case they didn't show up at all and they'd miss one of those quirky hands that makes you want to jump headlong into the Rio pool screaming until there is no air left in your lungs.
Aces, against kings, against aces.
You might already be able to tell how this ran out. Before they saw any cards one player announced he had folded king-queen, which ratcheted up the drama for Derek Cheung from Hong Kong, holding the kings who was left with one out. Not to worry though. 6♦J♠4♥ on the flop. K♦ on the turn. Cue all those sharp noises of inhaling and exhaling involuntarily.
That was it for that table, next to be broken up. A tournament official handed Giovanni Nervo, holding of two of the aces, a chip rack. "Too late" he replied although he had enough chips to fill two. Another table sucked up by the pace of day two. The Brasilia being cut down some more.
Also deep in the Brasilia wilderness is Team PokerStars Pro JC Alvarado. The Mexican, oblivious to the world thanks to headphones, is adding to his 71,600 starting stack, more than doubling it to 165,000.
He added his share to a four way pre-flop pot of 10K. The flop came K♠9♣A♣. Jonas Gutteck bet 4,500 from the four seat which was folded to Alvarado who called. Both checked the 7♦ turn before the 4♠ river card. Gutteck checked but that only stirred up the Mexican who flung an uncounted load of orange and yellow chips into the middle, immediately convincing Gutteck that this was not to be his hand.
"Queens or jacks?" asked one player. Alvarado simply ignored him.
Adopting a similar approach is Team PokerStars Germany pro Florian Langmann. Langmann also cuts a fearsome looking jib when he plays, something one opponent pointed out when asking who he was. Langmann may fly under the radar in these parts but his record back in Europe speaks for itself with big results in London and Dortmund as well as two cashes in this year's series. His $1.7 million in tournament winnings puts him second on the German all time money list and as I stopped by he was scooping another multicoloured spread of someone else's chips.
Silent, ruthless and action packed. Welcome to the Brasilia room.
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OUT OF CONTEXT QUOTE OF THE HOUR
"And THAT is why bad beats happen." --random railbird talking to ESPN's Norman Chad
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STATISTIC OF THE HOUR
# of Dennis Phillips clones railing the secondary feature table: 7
# of female Dennis Phillips clones railing the secondary feature table: 2
# of Dennis Phillips clones railing the secondary feature table who have air horns: 1
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TWEET OF THE HOUR
"aqui eh brasilllllll porraaaa! 70k!!!!!!!!" @aakkari tweeting what we infer to mean he has 70,000
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JOE GIRON'S PHOTO HOUR
Michael Fritts and his interesting sense of dress on Day 2B