WSOP 2011: Forecast calls for clear skies, player downpours
If Carol was a meteorologist, it was in a past life she didn't bother to mention during her smoke break on the back steps of the Rio Convention Center. Her outfit gave her away as a dealer. Her cigarette gave her away as one that's been working long hours. The way she looked at the sky gave her away as someone who looks that direction often.
Southwest over the desert mountains, a beam of sunlight cut through an umbrella of black clouds and played foil to the streaking of lightning that traced down to the desert floor.
"There's no wind," Carol said. "There's no breeze to blow the storm out. It'll be here for days. It was like this seven years ago."
Carol has been around long enough that there wasn't any need to question her ability to assess the weather situation. If she said it was going to rain long enough for Harrah's to build the Noah's Arc Resort and Casino, we'd be the first to reserve the Elephant Suite. So if she said the rain settled in for weeks at a time in Las Vegas seven years ago, we were going to believe her. Trust the experts until they give you a reason not to.
The same reasoning leads to us accept the words of the WSOP brass tonight. After two days of sub-1,000-player flights, registration top dogs say they were registering up to one runner per minute this afternoon for the Day 1C and Day 1D contests. After all the numbers added up from yesterday and today, the official count of players from the first two flights came to 1,875. While that's off by more than 25% from last year, everyone expects to see more than 2,000 players on Saturday and Sunday. Given some strong numbers in the next two days, the field could top 6,000 players. That would be somewhere around how many people played in the 2007-2009 WSOP Main Events.
Day 1B marked the second of two flights. We kicked it off telling you a bit about Fred Berger topping the Day 1A field, a fine accomplishment but one that (if history holds) probably excludes him from any potential of winning the gold bracelet. That made way for 2010 final tablist Michael "The Grinder" Mizrachi to get the cards in the air. Though he declared it was time to grind, his day ended before everyone else's, as did his chances at a repeat final table.
While Mizrachi didn't win a bracelet this year, five members of Team PokerStars Pro did. We told you all about them, including the latest winner Maxim Lykov. He and fellow 2011 bracelet winners Eugene Katchalov and Andre Akkari played today. Akkari made an early exit, but Katchalov and Lykov have survived to Day 2. Joining their fellow Team Pros in next week's return to the Amazon Room will be Dario Minieri (a man of magic) and John Duthie (a man who enjoys a massage).
Though not in the field today, we were pleased to run into Team PokerStars Online's newest member Adrienne "talonchick" Rowsome. I'm not saying you should click that link, but she does mention something about playing the final table of the PCA in a bikini. So there's that. If that's not your style, you might enjoy a fresh view of Las Vegas or a fairly frightening fever dream featuring Team PokerStars Pro Leo Fernandez.
As you bed down tonight or wake for your Saturday coffee, we close with a look inside the Amazon Room's Mothership, a place some EPT champions would like to visit before this WSOP is done. In our minds, we're there all the time.
Carol the Smoking Dealer didn't predict what the weather would be like tomorrow. She left us with the ominous mental picture of her house getting ravaged by flash floods. The Weather Channel tells us there is only a 20% chance of rain on Saturday in Vegas. It's supposed to be 100 degrees and sunny. Or, in other words, back to normal.
If Day 1C follows suit in the return to WSOP normalcy, I don't think anyone is going to complain.
We leave you tonight with a badly-translated Tweet from Team PokerStars Pro Gualter Salles. We're not entirely sure what he meant to say pre-translatiion, but we've decided it is poetry.
"Try to hold me,
and wait a bit windy,
or will have to be in pressure,
with ugliness and hope to pass."
-- G. Salles