WSOP Main Event Day 5: JP Kelly, to the big stack born

wsop2010_thn.jpgIt's getting to that stage of the World Series Main Event when some really big stacks emerge. Not just big in a numerical sense (although plenty are that too) but physically big, tower upon tower of multi-coloured chips behind which their owner appears to shrink.

Some people suit the big stack better than others - think about it for a moment and there's some player you just can't imagine with millions of chips. Some, however, seem as though they were born into a crib of chips, they are so accustomed to the mighty stack.

The Team PokerStars Pro JP Kelly falls into that second category. He is to the big stack born. Pretty much ever since Kelly has been playing poker, his baby face has been peeking over almighty walls of chips: "Kilroy Kelly Was Here".

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JP Kelly, pictured with a customary vast stack of chips

There is, of course, good reason for that. Pretty much ever since Kelly has been old enough to play poker, he has been winning tournaments. As a 23-year-old last summer, he came to Vegas and won the $1,500 pot limit hold 'em bracelet at the World Series.

Back in his native Britain, he then won his second bracelet of the year at the WSOP-E in London. Those successes were each worth in the neighbourhood of $200,000. Big chips mean big cheques.

Kelly is still alive in the Main Event this year, and unsurprisingly he's sitting with piles of chips. He was one quarter of a devastatingly difficult line of players on the secondary feature table yesterday, but the others (Gavin Smith, Jorge Arias and Dan Harrington) have all departed - further proof that Kelly is more than capable of holding his own among the big boys.

Kelly has already secured his third cash of this Series. The cheques just keep getting bigger from hereon.

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SELECTED CHIP COUNTS OF THE HOUR

Michael Skender - 2,800,000
Bryn Kenney - 2,220,000
Fokke Beukers - 2,130,000
James Fennell - 1,995,000
Robert Pisano - 1,820,000
Martin Schirp - 1,800,000
Jean-Robert Bellande - 1,360,000
Nicolas Babel - 1,326,000
William Thorson - 1,280,000
Johnny Lodden - 1,080,000
JP Kelly - 840,000
Imari Love - 640,000
Gualter Salles - 610,000

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QUOTE OF THE HOUR

"I can't handle the fireball." - A reporter in the press room throwing away their first Atomic Fireball (official candy of the PokerStars Blog.)

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PHOTOGRAPHIC PROOF OF THE HOUR

In their long and distinguished careers, Johnny Lodden and William Thorson have never (never!) cashed in the same tournament. Until now.

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William Thorson, foreground, and Johnny Lodden, deep into the World Series Main Event.

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UNDER OF THE HOUR

At the beginning of he day, the WSOP staff expected to reach 250 players by the time we finished tonight, With nearly an hour and a half of playing time remaining, the number of players sits at 249.

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REVERSE PSYCHOLOGY OF THE HOUR

Sam Haddad was all-in with two black kings against the lowly king-jack. From his seat he watched the flop come down. We he saw the jack--just ONE jack--come in the middle of the first three cards, he sprang from his seat, grabbed his bag, and turned to go. Everyone else watching was a bit confused as to why he was leaving. Finally, the dealer ran out the rest of the board and our man didn't get beat by the two outer.

"I like that," remarked one player.

"If I'm playing blackjack and I'm getting beat up, I just put down my last bet and start walking. Nobody ever calls me back."

In this case, consider the chips your call back to the table, Sam.

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GOOGLE EARTH VIEW OF THE HOUR

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Atomic Fireball headquarters at 7301 W. Harrison Street, Forest Park, IL 60130 - home of the Official Candy of the PokerStars Blog

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SELF INDULGENT "ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY OF THE HOUR" OF THE HOUR

SNACK OF THE HOUR

Half-eaten banana sticking out of the portabrace pack on an ESPN sound engineer's belt. (July 14, 2009)

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ATOMIC FIREBALL FACT OF THE HOUR

The diameter of an Atomic Fireball (official candy of the PokerStars Blog) is 2.5cm.

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VIDEO OF THE HOUR

This is the man behind the name. It's Fokke Beukers: