WSOP Main Event Day 4: Contender or Pretender?

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There was a time when the Pavilion Room of the Rio Convention Center was a mad place full of cash games and Day 1 hopefuls sitting around 200 tables. Today, the same room is a morgue. Its remaining few players have been left behind by the packed out Amazon Room, the still beating heart of the World Series and the place the Pavilion players will wind up.

One player who got a head start on that trip was Barry Greenstein. The Team PokerStars Pro arrived at his table in Pavilion only to find a note on it saying "Go to Amazon table 372". Greenstein said "Uh, nice," and simply kept on walking to where the noise was coming from.

That noise was the introductions being made in the Amazon Room, either a short walk away down the corridor, or a short sprint away through the service corridors. Effel's voice is the one all poker players seem to converge on, a comforting and familiar Mississippi beacon that guides you to your seat.

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Jack Effel with Dwyte Pilgrim in the wings

Once there you got all the familiar features. Hundreds of players unbagging chips, the formalities of showing I.D. to the dealer and shaking hands with that guy or gal who either took chips from you or gave chips to you yesterday.

Tournament Director Jack Effel reminded players that with the money bubble approaching there was still tome to pledge one per cent to the Bad Beat on Cancer charity, the logo for which is adorned on many players who have already bought in for, some good karma. As a show of support Effel asked those who had made the pledge to stand. From what we could make out from the Pavilion, hundreds of players were standing in the Amazon room. But in the Pavilion, not bolstered by the crowds and unwilling to be the first to stand up, just a few players bobbed up here and there, despite an obvious allegiance to the cause.

That done, and having beat a hasty retreat to the Amazon myself, it was time to shuffle up and deal. Given the honour today was Dwyte Pilgrim, a double World Series Circuit ring winner and the WSOP Circuit unofficial Player of the Year in 2009. Pilgrim addressed the players from the raised platform by the feature table. Then, after a short speech Pilgrim asked if the players were ready, and then, if the dealers were ready. Finally, with their agreement, he gave the order to shuffle up and deal.

So, we're under way on day four and and leading the field of PokerStars player James Carroll who took longest of all to un-bag his chips, stacking up 803,000 chips.

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Chip leader James Carroll (in white top) in the Amazon crowd

The bubble is predicted to burst at some time around the dinner break. If it hits before a lot of players won't be able to eat anyway, after and the bars and restaurants within a five mile radius of the Rio will have extra staff on standby and by morning a bottle of Margherita mix will be harder to find than a smile in the Gold Coast keno lounge.

That's all for us to find out today and what is perhaps the best day of any main event. We'll play four levels or until we hit the money.

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IMPORTANT POINT TO MAKE CLEAR OF THE HOUR

The PokerStars blog does not endorse the use of Margherita mix. Go for fresh every time.

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GRACIOUSNESS OF THE HOUR

"What did you have, an ace? (pause for inaudible answer) Ahh, you're very brave." - Adolfo Vaeza discussing a hand with a lady he'd beaten to a pot yesterday.

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FACT OF THE HOUR

If the winner of the 2010 WSOP were to travel in time back to 1973, he/she could use winnings to outbid George Steinbrenner's group on the purchase price of the New York Yankees.

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BARGAIN OF THE HOUR

Price of a 20 oz. Diet Pepsi in the WSOP Poker Kitchen: $3.25
Price of a 20 oz. Diet Pepsi 15 steps away at Rio convention center sundries desk: $2.95

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BUBBLE HISTORY OF THE HOUR

The 2009 WSOP bubble lasted one hour and 50 minutes (13 hands of hand for hand play). Kia Hamadani was the bubble boy.

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FINAL TABLE OF THE HOUR

The Pavilion Room today resembles something out of a Cormac McCarthy novel. There is a small splash of colour in a remote corner, but otherwise it is a deserted wasteland of empty tables and chairs stretching to nothingness as far as the eye can see.

In less than an hour, the room's role in the 2010 World Series will be over. Only 16 tables started in there today and more than half have already been broken.

The final table will be the one currently seating Darrell Ticehurst, Marc Emond, Tony Bracy, Kenneth Coppens, Ben Yu, Nicholas Rosenberger, Julian Rembert, Eric Morris and Pablo Ubierna - and yet they might not make the money.

Those are our alternative final table players. It might be fun to watch them for the rest of the tournament to see if any can make the final Amazon Room table too.

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I DON'T REALLY KNOW THE RULES BUT I'M JUST HAPPY TO BE HERE ROOTING FOR MY FRIEND PHONECALL HOME OF THE HOUR

Railbird in Pavilion Room calls home to update them on a player's progress: "We're watching Danny just now. He just, er, raised. And then he, er, re-raised and, er, he's won a couple of pots. He's doing pretty good."

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DOUBLE UP OF THE HOUR

Barry Greenstein. "Doubled to t160k. QQ > 99. All in preflop. Almost folded to his shove. Still under average."

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WE'LL NEVER KNOW OF THE HOUR

With more than 50,000 in the pot already and four cards - 8♥J♦2♥K♠ - out, Michael Chow bet 17,200. The PokerStars qualifier John Shipley, the only other player in the pot, moved all in for what was about 36,600 more.

Chow tanked long and hard and Shipley sat motionless, facing either elimination or a crucial double up. He got neither. Chow let it go.

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VIDEO OF THE HOUR

For those now in a position to reconstruct their whereabouts two nights ago, here's the PokerStars party video.