WSOP Diary Day 10: Poker's clean-up operation begins again
Something was wrong. I could sense it as soon as I turned the corner from the main Rio casino and began the long walk down the hallways towards the cavernous convention area that houses the World Series of Poker. The clean-up operation had begun last week. They said it had been a success; the carpets cleared of a toxic, sticky residue of broken dreams washed up from the Pavilion. But it was back again. It seemed all efforts to plug the leaks in players' game plans from the first $1,000 mass-market tournament had come to nothing.
And then it became obvious what had happened - the second of the WSOP's $1,000 had begun an hour previously, and already it was wreaking havoc. Scores of players had busted quickly and were heading out towards the hallways. The carpets were once again blighted by the fallen, ringing home with tales of bad beats. Never bad play, of course.
This scene in Las Vegas is played out every time the low buy-in $1,000 events kick off. It's when players who could not normally afford to enter the WSOP come out of the woodwork to take their shot at an unlikely bracelet. It always ends badly for the great majority.
Yesterday, 1,922 of them turned up dreaming of making the big time. And it was only Day 1A. More will arrive today, and most of them will suffer as well. But while it is fair to say most of the field are those without huge tournament pedigree, many of the 'professionals' play as well. There's a bracelet up for grabs after all. Among those to survive the carnage were Team PokerStars Pro Victor Ramdin on 23,350 and Friend of PokerStars Bill Chen with 22,075, although both are some way behind chip leader, and pro player, Andy Black from Ireland (90,275). Team PokerStars Pros who failed to navigate the waters safely included Gavin Griffin, Tom McEvoy, Katja Thater, JP Kelly, Richard Toth and Hevad Khan.
For another take on what a WSOP $1,000 is like, read our post on last last week's event.
While the Pavilion was packed for the $1,000 event, the Amazon room was playing out day 2 of the $1,500 No Limit Event. This is where I hoped to find Team PokerStars Pro ElkY, who had thus far eluded me for previous events. Spotting ElkY is not as easy at it sounds. You see, his hair changes so often you never quite know what you're looking for. We've seen him with red hair, brown hair, black-ish hair and blonde hair. Finally, a spiky blonde mop in the distance drew my attention. For it was ElkY, or Bertrand Grospellier as his passport will attest.
He had played one event unsuccessfully so far, but here he would go on to bag his first cash of the WSOP, ending up in 91st place for a $4,394 pay day. 21 players got through to day 3, headed by a certain Tom 'durrrr' Dwan with 1,068,000 chips.
By the way, if you think spotting ElkY is hit-and-miss because of his changing appearance, take a look at this video from PokerStars APPT Macau in 2008...
In other news, PokerStars player Terrence 'Unassigned' Chan. who famously won back-to-back Limit Hold'em events in SCOOP last year, is going along very nicely in the $1,500 Limit Hold'em event here. After day two, with just 13 of the 625 entrants remaining, Chan is fifth in chips with 288,000. Jason Potter (371,000) tops the leader board.
Two Team PokerStars Pros had begun day two of the limit, but both Barry Greenstein and Chad Brown were unable to make it to the money.
Phil Ivey won a bracelet in the $2,500 No Limit 2-7 Draw Lowball last year, one of the more 'specialist' games. He busted yesterday when then $1,500 version of the event, with 250 entries, started again, but Team PokerStars Pro will have a good representation for day two. Getting through were Dario Minieri with 31,725, Alex Kravchenko with 30,250 and Chad Brown with 25,325. Chip leader of the 67 survivors is Nick Binger with 54,300.
Some players entered this one admitting they do not have a great grasp of the game. Team PokerStars Pro Lex Veldhuis said it was the first time he had ever played the format. He did not last long.
Finally, congratulations to Men 'The Master' Nguyen, who won his seventh WSOP bracelet when he beat Brandon Adams heads-up to bag the $10,000 7-Card Stud Championship bracelet - and $394,800. Also to James Dempsey, for winning the UK's second bracelet of this WSOP. He collected $197,470 for topping the $1,500 Pot Limit Hold'em event. God Save the Queen.
Today will be another super-busy sunday. As well as day 1B of that tortuous $1,000 NL event, we have come backs for the $1,500 Limit Hold'em, the $1,500 No Limit, the $1,500 2-7 Draw Lowball, and the start of Event #15, the $10,000 7-Card Stud Hi-Low Split-8 or Better World Championship.
* * * *
Tweets of the Day
@FossilMan: Drats! Played a satellite for a $10K seat, made final table, then KK<55.
@Chad Brown: Made day2 of the 2-7. 25k above avg. Back at 3 pm.
@NHGG (Gavin Griffin): Got sick about the 7 card stud tourney then sick about the duece. I'm not good sometimes
@Maridu (Maria Mayrinck): Weee finally back in Vegas, let the #WSOP pain begin! Super happy! Enjoying saturday night with bf, sushi, peep show <-OMG its so good!
@RaSZi (Lex Veldhuis): About to start the 1500$ 2-7 no limit tournament. First time ever playing this format.
* * * *
Thought of the Day
Sunday, bloody Sunday
* * * *
Previous WSOP Diary entries
WSOP Diary: Manchester United soccer star Darren Fletcher tackles World Series of Poker
WSOP Diary: $10,000 Stud Championsip draws big names
WSOP Diary: Nh, gg, wp Daniel Negreanu, k?
WSOP Diary: Grinding out $1.5million with perfect timing
WSOP Diary: Team Pro Maridu needs Baker, Baker needs dough
WSOP Diary: Viva la revolution in Las Vegas
WSOP Diary: Safari, so good for Noah Boeken
WSOP Diary: Barry Greenstein mixes it up in the $50K
WSOP Diary: Going supersize in Las Vegas