WSOP Main Event Day 2B: On certainty and the 2010 WSOP champion

wsop2010_thn.jpgWe don't know who will be the WSOP Main Event champion, but we do know this: we will be in the same room with him or her in 36 hours.

There has been no day to this point during the Main Event that we have enjoyed such certainty. Day 1 was split up into four flights. Day 2 was a bifurcated affair. At no time could we be sure our eventual winner was in the room. That will change Monday when every person remaining in the WSOP will be simultaneously under one roof.

Gabe Walls is currently among the best positioned to claim that title. The PokerStars player from Indiana looks like he is working to get on A&E's "Hoarders" and is practicing by stacking up a top ten stack. The Magic: The Gathering champ has two previous Main Event cashes and will return on Day 3 among the top of the field with around 350,000.


Gabe Walls

It could be Walls, or it could be any of the more than two thousand souls who, after taking a much-deserved day off on Sunday, will crowd into this building on Monday afternoon. It's then they will all begin the long march to the November Nine.

We take no sides here at the PokerStars Blog and we'll cover the whole event. However, there is a select group of elite players who draw our attention with the big red PokerStars spade they wear every day. Hundreds upon hundreds of PokerStars players remain in this field, and any one of them could end up with the Main Event bracelet. Might it be a PokerStars qualifiers like Matt Reed (285,000), Charles Alexander (280,000), Sasha Rosewood (250,000), or Rafal Michalowski (260,000) who came out of Day 1 with a nice stack and built on it more even today?

Or perhaps it will be a woman like Australian Amanda De Cesare, the Australian reality poker star who has a seat on Day 3 with around 50,000 chips. As long as we're talking about women, maybe it will be somebody named Vanessa. We report on two of them, one a Selbst (265,000), the other a Rousso (88,000), both tough competitors, and both eying Day 3.

While citizens of the U.S.A. make up the majority of this field, there is a strong contingent of Europeans who will advance to Day 3. Jan Heitman (160,000), Nuno Coelho (58,000), Florian Langman (130,000) Johnny Lodden (165,000) William Thorson (185,000) Matthias De Meulder (250,000) and Andre Coimbra (90,000) will represent their various nations' flags in the hopes of becoming the third European in ten years to win the Main Event.


Matthias De Meulder, leading the Team PokerStars Pros


Jan Heitmann and William Thorson, neighbors

Americans, we have some of those, too. Barry Greenstein (77,000), Jason Mercier (225,000), Bill Chen (83,100), and Eric Buchman (153,600) have all survived with a reason to come back on Monday.

Rounding out some of the bigger names on our list are Humberto Brenes (131,000) representing the vets, Jorge Arias (90,000) and Steve Paul (19,000) as symbols of Team Online, and Anh Van Nguyen (80,000) fighting for Team Pro Canada.

So, we're dealing with a certain amount of certainties and uncertainties. We certainly know we can lay eyes on our champion on Monday. We're uncertain about exactly which of the people we see will be the champion. We're certainly excited about the prospect. And sadly, certain that we know who it won't be. That's the easy part, because they all have a "0" chip count: Alex Kravchecnko, Vadim Markushevski, Gavin Griffin, George Lind, John Duthie, Johannes Steindl, Orel Hershiser, Henrique Pinho, Marcello del Grosso, and Hevad Khan. They didn't live to reach this Monday's meeting with destiny.


Gavin Griffin, Team PokerStars Pro

If you'd like to read how we reached all these certainties, please check out any of the links below.

Winners and losers
Readying to rumble
Robert Solock shouldn't be here
Battling demons the Thorson way
A round with John Duthie and Gavin Griffin
Gabe Walls, Wee Dragonauts, and the World Series of Poker
Glorious summer for Mayor Heitmann
Canucks can

Hey, we're going to be taking the day off tomorrow just like the players. So, if you need to get a fix, head on over to our
Swedish, German, Dutch or Latin American blogs and try to read that. The archives there should keep you occupied for a while.

Are you or somebody you love still in the WSOP? Shoot us an email to and tell us all about it. We might use it for a story here on the PokerStars Blog.

Alright, that's all kitty cats. We have 36 hours off and we intend to use them wisely. You'll find us working for local charities or volunteering at the local soup kitchen, because if we're not giving back, we just can't be around ourselves.

Have yourselves a good Sunday. We'll reconvene Monday at noon PST.

All photography from Las Vegas on PokerStars Blog is (c) Joe Giron/Joe Giron Photography.

Brad Willis
@BradWillis in World Series of Poker