WSOP Main Event: The slow crawl to the money

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In any other tournament in any other city around the world busting on day three would be the kind of achievement rewarded with significant financial compensation. Playing for that long is enough to wear down anyone, from full time pros to the once a week home gamer. It seems only fair you should get something, if not a big trophy and your picture taken with a giant check.

That's not how it works here.

Busting now is as notable as heading home in the first level of the first day. Sure you can say you made it to day three, but they'll be no excitement in your voice and just a hollow feeling when they answer back "well done". Like a trick of the light, the money, which might go some way to alleviating your elimination regrets, is close but not close enough.

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Noah Boeken

Noah Boeken knows this. The Team PokerStars Pro has ten World Series cashes to his name, three of them coming this year, but nothing in any of the main events he's played. At least nothing yet. He started today with 163,200 which should take him deep into day three, but there are no guarantees.

JC Alvarado has his own main event cash drought to end. the Mexican chalked up five World Series cashes in just three years including a memorable fifth place in this year's World Championship Pot Limit event, but nothing from the big one. His 186,000 might help him to change that. The same goes for Maria Mayrinck with her multiple World Series cashes. Her task remains a tricky one, armed as she is right now with just 33,000.

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JC Alvarado

This main event sob story doesn't apply to everyone though. For someone this will all end in happy tears and if you were going to name names you might drop in that of a certain Team PokerStars Pro from Holland.

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Thierry van den Berg

Walk past Thierry van den Berg's table and you'll see a man who oozes confidence and eager to lock in that first major tournament win. Sitting in the middle of the table in seat five the Dutchman looks like he's chairing an impromptu meeting to discuss the financial arrangements that guarantee the transfer of their chips to his stack. That's in contrast to the less hurried looking Raymond Rahme two tables along, easing his way into Friday afternoon with a stack of 131,300. Greg Raymer at the opposite end of the Brasilia, his back to a dozen or so railbirds, and his big arms protecting a stack of 95,900 like it was a nest egg.

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Raymond Rahme

That's just a glimpse, the bigger picture is still developing but they'll be answers by the end of the day.


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ELIMINATIONS OF THE HOUR

Chad Brown, Andre Akkari and Luca Pagano all failed in their bid to turn overnight short stacks into something more playable. Kris Kuykendall has also been eliminated. Their World Series are all over.

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BOOK CHOICE OF THE HOUR

"Mensa Kakuro - 250 puzzles," - As seen on table six.

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TWEET OF THE HOUR

"My table is tough. 2 very good cash game players to my left. Being short actually helps me in this setup. Lolz positive thinking!" @Maridu

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QUOTE OF THE HOUR

"I just figured out today that a straight lost to a flush." --Anonymous media representative.

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DREAM SEQUENCE OF THE HOUR

"I had a dream last night that somebody beat me with tens." -- Player holding pocket kings who laid down on a T-T-x flop. His opponent eventually showed pocket tens.

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GRAMMATICAL AMENDMENT OF THE HOUR

The sign on the back of Brian Taylor's shirt (previously: ""My mom doesn't want I play at poker... but I do it the same!") now reads "My mom doesn't want me to play poker ... but I do it anyway".

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EASY TELEVISION PRODUCTION DECISION OF THE HOUR

To select table "Red 108" to be the ESPN feature table. Around it sit three-time bracelet winner Jeff Lisandro and Team PokerStars Pro, and 2005 World Champion, Joe Hachem.