WSOP Main Event: Travel sickness

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A table of contrasts in the blue section, where Team PokerStars Pros Barry Greenstein and Luca Pagano are enjoying a day sitting opposite each other courtesy of the random seat draw.

One way of looking at Barry Greenstein's tournament record is to say he's done so well stateside that he has no reason to venture beyond home soil to Europe to add further winnings. Nearly $7 million in winnings, three WSOP bracelets, three WPT titles among a host of others, the man has earned the right to pick and choose. A less favourable way to spin that same resume would be to say Greenstein doesn't travel well - kind of like the Detroit Lions - and has yet to break the European curse that has kept his Euro accounts on empty for some time.

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Barry Greenstein

Then there's Luca Pagano, whose record in Europe is impeccable. The Italian has eleven EPT cashes, amounting to nearly one million in prize money having come close to an EPT title on four final tables. But as far as the World Series is concerned Pagano has just three cashes, hard earned scars from a relentless campaign to transfer European form stateside. Kind of like David Beckham.

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Luca Pagano

For Pagano at least it's time to put that aside. The opening level has been kind, or at least not cruel. Pagano, his hair shorter than when we last saw him, sits with 36,000 while former EPt winner Andreas Hoivold, hair all over the place like the last time we saw him, has 32K. There's more danger in the form of Jorn Walthaus who reached the final in Deauville earlier this year. There are easier tables.

Walthaus has started well, currently on 41,000. Greenstein has tangled in the odd nasty pots. Ready to throw the book (his book) at his next vanquisher, his twitter gave a concise account of the first level, noting how he'd bluffed his way down to 11K.

But Greenstein's remains a threat to rally back. He pilfered a few thousand from Walthaus and then did the same to Pagano. Then the Italian lost a few more to South Dakotan PokerStars qualifier Shane Steinhour.

It's one of the tough ones. They'll be fireworks before the day is out.

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JOE GIRON PHOTO HOUR

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Team PokerStars Pro Alex Gomes on the rail

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OPTIMISM OF THE HOUR

"I'm never drawing dead. You could have the nut flush and it could come three-three." -- Greg Raymer folds his pocket threes face up after his opponent, a pre-flop raiser, leads out on a 6♥A♥2♥ board.

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CALL OF THE HOUR

Grant Levy, in the big blind, called a pre-flop raise of 600. Two players saw the flop of [10s]K♦2♥ and Levy check-called a small bet. The turn was 6♣ and again Levy called a bet of 1,700. The river was the 4♥ and this time Levy led out for 2,350 but was reraised to 8,000. "Did he flop a set?" pondered the Australian, before almost insta-calling. "Good call," said his opponent. Levy flipped A♦K♠, which was good. He now has more than 50,000.


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ELIMINATION OF THE HOUR

Chris Moneymaker was just seen marching towards the door, his cell phone to his ear being pursued by a television crew. Tens against aces came the news, with Moneymaker down to his last 7K. The aces called and the camera crew arrived.

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STATISTIC OF THE HOUR

Number of Swine Flu masks in Day 1B: 1

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VIDEO BLOG OF THE HOUR


Watch WSOP 2009: July 3rd Overview from Day 1a on PokerStars.tv