WSOP 2011: Red-eyed and painless, half of day 3 set
It seems a crying shame (no pun intended) that Visine isn't an official sponsor of the World Series of Poker. The only place you'll find more bloodshot eyes in one place is...well, I can't think of one that doesn't make some reference to illegal drugs. Just suffice it to say, folks here are shot, strung out, and tired six different ways to Sunday. We're not even halfway through this thing and people already need a nap. If Dearfoam bedroom slippers can find a place at the WSOP, Visine could fit in.
"Ten WPTs add up to one Main Event," Eugene Katchalov said tonight during dinner with the four other Team PokerStars Pro gold bracelet winners from 2011. He knows what he's talking about. The WSOP Main Event is a grind. It's a climb. It's a marathon (but not really when you think about the people running Badwater right now).
When we started the day, more than 2,000 people from Days 1A and 1C had come back looking for their shot at Day 3. As the night ends, that number has been more than cut in half. It started with Canadian superstars Jonathan Duhamel and Daniel Negreanu starting within half an ante of each other. By the end of the day, the 2010 World Champion would be gone and Kid Poker would be planning his Day 3 strategy.
At this stage in the game, finding a consistent chip leader is a exercise in futility (but that didn't stop us from going on a big game hunt for one anyway). Right now, the WSOP is a game of survival.
It didn't work out that way for some of the people we were watching on Day 2a. Joining Duhamel on the rail was the well-pressed Vicky Coren, Pet Pezzin, Arnaud Mattern, George Danzer, Bill Chen, Johnny Lodden, Lex Veldhuis, Greg De Bora, Juan Maceiras, Marcel Luske, and Jan Heitman. Busting out of the WSOP isn't a pretty thing, but it's something nearly 7,000 people are going to do before this is all said and done.
While that seems like a cull of the Team Pro ranks, there is still a lot going on as we prepare for Day 2B. Humberto Brenes and Tom McEvoy are showing the young guns that the old guard still has some pluck. They along with Sebastian Ruthenberg spent a good part of the night on the top half of the leaderboard.
While each hand is starting to take on more meaning, we're still a ways off from getting to the really good stuff. Tomorrow promises the second half of Day 2. That will take us until Wednesday's day off. After that, we'll probably still have a day and half until we hit the money.
For now, try to get some some sleep. Visine doesn't look like it's going to step up this year, so we're going to have to get through this the natural way.
We'll be back at noon local time to chronicle everything that happens on the push for Day 3.