WSOP Main Event Day 1A: From out of the fog a familiar face
It's the end of day 1A and to be blunt, there's not a lot we can tell you about it. In a tournament room so vast, filled with more than a thousand players, it's not always obvious who's doing the winning and who the losing. Instead, the World Series Main Event forces you to wait for a natural order to take over. You cannot rush this tournament. It's one to be savoured.
The Amazon Room earlier today
We're only a quarter of the way through the day ones and the leaders from tonight could easily pale into insignificance after the three more flights to come have finished tearing their own trail of carnage through the Amazon Room.
But after today's four and a half levels a few names bobbed up and down above the rest of the field, a field that had been reduced from 1,125 by a couple of hundred by the close. None more so than the face belonging to Team PokerStars Pro Chris Moneymaker.
The 2003 World Champion (see countless previous posts, including this one, for the full Moneymaker story) ended the day on more than 100,000 after enjoying a late run in level four, a sign of things going according to plan. Earlier today Moneymaker said he intends a deep finish this year, to erase the memories of last year's early departure.
One of the the early leaders? We'll find out soon enough.
So, while we can't really tell you who's winning exactly, we can tell you who's losing. To be more accurate they're not losing, they've lost, busted in the first skirmishes, months before we'll know who wins.
Greg Raymer was, sadly, chief among these early losers. The most high profile of the early casualties, it seemed only minutes after he'd proudly proclaimed "shuffle up and deal" that the former World Champ was saying goodbye to another World Series. In the first level he found himself with top pair and a flush draw on the flop and shoved his stack into the middle, only to run slap bang into a set of tens.
Greg Raymer shortly before the fall
Others we can be sure will not be winning the World Series main event include Team PokerStars Pros Victor Ramdin, Johannes Strassmann and Michael Keiner, all casualties of the day 1A. Keiner will look back on a cash finish earlier in the Series, while Ramdin clocked up five of them, the best being his final table appearance in the Pot-Limit Hold'em/Omaha event, worth $46,860. Strassmann fought a short stacked rearguard for much of the day, one that ended with only minutes left.
The fine detail of this event will become clearer as the week goes on, but we can be sure that returning for day two on Friday will be the likes of Anton Alleman on 53,000.
Anton Alleman finished the day alongside Max Lykov (right)
Thierry van den Berg (45,000) also made it through the day, as did Sandra Naujoks (42,000), Fatima Moreira de Melo (36,000), Ruben Visser (31,000), Julian Thew (30,000), Thomas Bichon (27,000) and Andre Akkari (21,000). We'll be seeing more from them (all counts are very approximate).
Fatima Moreira de Melo
Also in good stead tonight are PokerStars qualifier John Shipley, an EPT winner no less, on around 85,000 and PokerStars Player Nathan Meyvis on roughly 90,000. Norwegian Olympic ski champion Petter Northug will also be back on day two, while topping that lot is Alex Wice with approximately 115,000.
So the Main Event is finally under way, the feature on your programme after 55 events that made up the world's largest under card.
If you're not prepared to turn in just yet, you can have another go by clicking through the links below, cleared of typos, naming errors and the effects of several dozen atomic fireballs which had rendered them close to unreadable earlier on:
Don't forget, if your preference is for action of a Swedish, German, Dutch or Spanish kind you can find coverage in those languages on our sister blogs. If you only speak moving image you can find all of that on PokerStars.tv, including a video of a man on a horse. Still pictures, copyrighted to the teeth, came from the trigger finger of Joe Giron.
If you want to get in touch, to get details on friends and family here in the PokerStars colours, drop us a line at email@example.com with a few details and we'll endeavour to pick them out of tomorrow's crowd, likely to be as big as today's.
The feature table on the main stage
That's all from the Rio tonight. The Amazon Room is empty, the dealers are heading home, the cleaning staff is clocking on, dressing the place up for day 1B a little more than 12 hours away. For now though that, ladies and gentleman, is your Day 1A.
See you tomorrow...