WSOP 2011: Negreanu's exit and PokerStars' magnificent seven

wsop2011-thumb-blog.pngIt looked like it could happen at any point during the last three days. Each time, the kid found a way to avoid it. Now, the WSOP has lost one of its biggest stars.

The elimination of Daniel "Kid Poker" Negreanu was a blow to the 2011 WSOP. Love him or hate him, Negreanu carries a weight in this world that cannot be overstated. His opinion on poker matters can move mountains. It doesn't hurt that he's not afraid to say what he thinks. But now the easy choice for today's featured table star is gone, the collateral damage to his pocket tens falling to ace-seven.


Negreanu's exit leaves space in the vacuum of the Amazon Room for a new star to fill. PokerStars has seven players left among the final 200. Here's how they're faring as they head to dinner tonight.

  • Sebastian Ruthenberg: After starting the day on a little more than 1.1 million in chips, Ruthenberg has now moved up over the 2 million mark, good for a better than twice the average stack. He's hidden behind dark sunglasses and only looks away from the table when he looks down to his phone.
  • JP Kelly: The man from the UK is sitting on about 1.3 million, but looks completely miserable. He's had a couple of confrontations at the table with what's he sarcastically calling a "classy guy."
  • Tony Hachem: If any of the seven look more miserable than Kelly, it's Tony Hachem. That's probably because his chip stack looks like it hasn't moved all day. He currently has about half-average chips.
  • Phillip Gruissem: He's taken the job of filling the smile quota of the day. Being young, in Las Vegas, and still in the WSOP with an average stack on Day 5 will do that to a guy.
  • Julian Stuer: He's not a smiler, but he doesn't need to be. About a half-hour before the dinner break, he managed to get A♠Q♣ to outrun pocket kings to move up to around 1.8 million.
  • Andrew Brokos: The member of Team PokerStars Online isn't flashy. He doesn't smile much. He doesn't frown much. He just is. He's like a brain in a jar (with hands that can shuffle chips, I guess). He has about 1.3 million going into dinner break.
  • Per Linde: The PokerStars Main Event Passport winner from Sweden looks like a catalog model at all times. If L.L. Bean ever put out a poker edition, he'd be the cover with his 1.2 million in chips.
  • Players are now off for a two-hour dinner break. After that, they'll be back for two more hours of play.

    In the meantime, curry.

    * * *

    "Go Balls Deep"

    What happens if those finishing in the money don't collect their winnings from the cash desk before the midnight 19 July deadline?

    One of the few remaining ladies in field wears a tight t-shirt with this slogan across her chest: "Stop Eyeballing My Stack."

    The purple and orange sections in the Amazon Room are starting look very sparsely populated as men with trolleys turn up to remove tables and chairs as soon as a table breaks.

    A freight train running on the track behind the Rio was pulling 121 cars/units. It took ages to pass.

    Brad Willis
    @BradWillis in World Series of Poker