WSOP 2011: Players bid farewell as others hang on for Day 3
And so players continue to fall. It's an inevitable consequence of buying into a poker tournament; all but one player will depart earlier than they'd originally envisaged.
But while it's expected it's never accepted. Departure from the World Series, particularly the main event, means more than any other tournament. It marks the end of another summer, the end of another Series during which you'd hoped to win a gold bracelet.
Elimination today means that chance is over; except of course to the 57 players already boasting summer bling. The poker calendar doesn't really start in January and finish with Christmas cheer; the World Series acts as a pivot point, seeing off one season and ushering in a new one, particularly for European players, whose attention now turns to the new season of the European Poker Tour, starting in Tallinn, in August.
Here though the farewells continue.
"Out. Goodbye," wrote Lex Veldhuis on Twitter a short while ago, departing immediately.
Just a few years ago there were still bracelet events to play after the main event. Not anymore. Now, when you're out you're out as far as the World Series goes, although some pros will extend their Vegas trip with appearances in a variety of sizable events taking place a ten dollar cab ride down West Flamingo to the Strip.
Until next time: Lex Veldhuis departs
It's a sudden end to what was a long summer, one that for some started at the back end of May and has run non-stop ever since. The culture shock must be powerful, going form a life of noon starts and $5 coffee, to one of airport connections and old milk left in the fridge.
Veldhuis is just one of many departing today. Vicky Coren departed before the dinner break, taking the time to enjoy a civilised meal after her pragmatic departure. George Danzer will soon be on his way back to Germany, while Arnaud Mattern will be heading the same way across the Atlantic.
Pat Pezzin will head north and over the border back to Canada, hitching a ride perhaps with the now defeated World Champion Jonathan Duhamel. At least Bill Chen only has a short trip back home to California. Johnny Lodden meanwhile will no doubt have three flights to get anywhere near his native Norway.
There's still more than an hour left to play on Day 2 and most will be focusing on a return for Day 3 rather than any kind of early exit. But for the record, and in the spirit of public service, there are flights to Chicago, Atlanta, London and beyond all leaving tonight.
TWEET OF THE HOUR
"My dad recently finally learned how to use text messages on his phone..... I now know where my spelling comes from." @ShaunDeeb
HEAD-TURNER OF THE HOUR
The tall, platinum blonde Playmate lookalike who just tottered through the Amazon Room on six-inch stiletto shoes. Sparkling gold, they were.
IN CONTEXT QUOTE OF THE HOUR
"He was out. BOOM, he was gone..."