WSOP Main Event Day 2A: The high rollers and the bums
Peek between the shimmers of the Las Vegas skyline and you'll see the skeletal evidence of a faltering economy. Among towers of blazing extravagance are a handful of constructions halted in their tracks; abandoned cranes loom over slabs of exposed concrete and rusting girders. They all got started on their way to wonderment, but never made it. Soon enough, probably, they'll be razed to the ground.
"This sounds like an analogy," I hear you groan. "I wonder where it's going?" Well, I shall tell you. We've just wrapped day 2a of the 2010 World Series of Poker Main Event. Although everyone who played today had previously planted sound foundations, plenty of their constructions never made it much higher. The demolition teams moved in in their droves, plowing wrecking balls through a thousand dreams.
At start of play, 2,412 players returned. At the end there were about 1,100 fewer. A lucky handful are preparing to move into billionaire's suites; others are on skid row.
The best way to do this is in a list, but I'm not abandoning the analogy just yet. Here's how the PokerStars players fared on day 2A, from the high rollers to the lowly bums:
In the Bellagio (among the leaders):
PokerStars players Alex Wice (262,000) and Jonathan Driscoll (230,000).
In the Mirage (healthy six-figure stacks):
Team PokerStars Pros Pieter de Korver (143,000), Joe Cada (130,000), Gualter Salles (127,000), Chris Moneymaker (110,000), JP Kelly (110,000), Sandra Naujoks (100,000).
PokerStars players Josh Kay (176,000), Carter Gill (174,000), Nathan Meyvis (148,000), Aaron Nadell (148,000), Kristoffer Thorsson (107,000), Juan Naranjo (132,000).
In Circus Circus (alive, but will need help):
Team PokerStars Pros Marcin Horecki 92,000, Greg Debora (75,000), Thierry van den Berg (70,000), Lex Veldhuis (46,000), David Williams (66,000), Daniel Negreanu (27,900), Angel Guillen (70,000), Salvatore Bonavena (75,000), Randy Lew (24,000), Pat Pezzin (55,000).
Pierre Neuville, Friend of PokerStars, 75,000
PokerStars qualfiers John Shipley (51,500) and Thor Hansen (40,000)
(Note: all counts are approximate.)
In a storm drain under I-15 (bust):
Dennis Phillips, Anton Allemann, Fatima Moreira de Melo, Andre Akkari, Tom McEvoy, Julian Thew, Luca Pagano, Veronica Dabul, Marcel Luske, Christophe de Meulder and Thomas Bichon all bust.
Tomorrow is another day, and we'll welcome back to the felt the likes of Johnny Lodden, John Duthie, Barry Greenstein, Vanessa Selbst and five of the biggest stacks: Anh Van Nguyen, Vanessa Rousso, Gavin Griffin, Florian Langmann and Jason Mercier. No doubt many will add on another 30 floors of suites, while others will collapse in ruin.
Take a look back on how that process panned out today with any of the following links:
Everybody's workin' on the weekend
Time to get serious
A glimpse at the crazy world of David Williams
Chris Moneymaker's close shave
Baggio, Botticelli, Bonavena
Thor Hansen: Pioneer, storyteller, PokerStars qualifier
Juan Naranjo seeks second, bigger final table
Daniel Negreanu from the rail
Remember, we want to hear your stories, so shoot us an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org and tell us about yourself and your journey here. We'll do our best to tell the world about it.
All photography from Las Vegas on PokerStars Blog is (c) Joe Giron/Joe Giron Photography.