WSOP Main Event Day 1A: Why we're here
No one was ever going to mistake Greg Raymer for Eva Peron. Their cheekbones are slightly different.
But there stood Raymer on a riser high above the Amazon Room floor, his hand waving slowly back and forth in front of his face in silent welcome to the legions of fans on the carpet below.
"FossilMan!" screamed one player from somewhere deep in the Red section of the room.
There has been many a famous person to offer the four most familiar words of the WSOP, but this year all eyes were focused on a man who knows the way to the final table.
"We all know why we're here," said Raymer. Then, looking more like Che than Peron, FossilMan thrust his fist in the air to reveal the shining gold 2004 WSOP championship bracelet. "We are all here because we want one of these."
It really is a silly dream, isn't it. To think that you (or you, for that matter) are going to be able to navigate through a crowd of thousands and win a bracelet? Sure, this game takes confidence, but it's almost an act of hubris to assume it's possible to win this event.
And yet it happens every year. Somebody wins that bracelet.
Tournament Director Jack Effel stood beside Raymer and did his best to convince the players in Day 1A that their mere presence represents the collective hopes, dreams, and aspirations of millions of people worldwide who can't be here.
"You are already a winner,"Effel said.
But, really, anyone who isn't hopped up on goofballs knows the reality of this situation. Among all of Effel's winners, there can be only one in this, as Effel put it, "undisputed championship of poker."
Raymer refused to waste the hopefuls' time and declared "Shuffle up and deal!" With that, he made his way to his featured table.
Effel's innocent platitudes aside, this tournament is a place that crushes more dreams than it fulfills. That's just the reality of the situation. With the cards having spent just a few seconds in the air, it seemed the fates decided to show the world exactly how brutal this event can be.
And who better to use as an example that Greg Raymer?
It was a flop of Q♠2♦T♦. With his bracelet glinting in his eye, the flop was gorgeous for FossilMan. He held K♦Q♦. So gorgeous that he got it all in. Against T♣T♥.
It did not end well.
Effel may believe everyone here is a winner, but Raymer is proof that just ain't true.
Left with 1,200 chips, Raymer managed to triple up a little later with a set of sevens. That only lasted him another few minutes. Raymer's early exit is proof that the road between here and the November Nine is both narrow and treacherous, and everyone who believes he is a already a winner is going to need more than a map from AAA.
SCHEDULE OF THE HOUR
We've listened to the announcements from Jack Effel and aggregated that with the published structure sheet, taking into account the slight delays.
Here's how the day is going to pan out:
12.10pm - 2.10pm: Level one
2.10pm - 2.30pm: Break
2.30pm - 4.30pm: Level two
4.30pm - 4.50pm: Break
4.50pm - 6.50pm: Level three
6.50pm - 8.20pm: Dinner break
8.20pm - 10.20pm: Level four
10.20pm - 10.40pm: Break
10.40pm - 11.40pm: Level 5
TWEET OF THE HOUR
Vicky Coren: "If I lived here, within six months I'd look like Eddie Murphy got up as a giant white woman for a 'hilarious' knockabout comedy.
TYPO OF THE HOUR
"This day had 1 entries and there are currently 1 remaining players." --Another web site reporting on Day 1A.
SNARKY QUOTE OF THE HOUR
Our statistician and all around Excel maven, Mad Harper, responding to the Typo of the Hour: "Pack up, guys. Your work is done."
THE "BOUND TO MESS WITH THEIR HEADS" MOMENT OF THE HOUR
"Is this table 359 or 372?" spoken by a tournament official, with a player in tow, standing next to table labelled 359 and 372.
IN TODAY'S FIELD OF THE HOUR
On a quick sweep of the room, these faces were spotted, among many, many
Kevin Schaffel, Allan Baekke, Tony Gregg, Johannes Strassmann, Ruben Visser,
Thor Hansen, Fatima Moreira de Melo, Michael Keiner, Thierry van den Berg,
Anton Allemann, Chris Moneymaker, Pierre Neuville and Andre Akkari.