WSOP 2012: Exactly the same just bigger


The walk from the front door of the Rio to the tournament floor is famously long. First there's the casino to traverse and the late night/early morning revellers just getting into/out of their stride. Then you enter the convention centre, or the corridor leading to it, which takes ten minutes to walk along (three minutes by mobility scooter) before you're anywhere near your seat in one of three tournament rooms. It's a walk we do every day but this morning it was noticeably different.

Put simply today is going to be a big day.

Yesterday was twice the size of the day before and today could be twice the side of both combined (there will be a quiz later). That means the organised chaos of yesterday will be twice as much today; twice as many in the line for the restroom, at the coffee shop, in the poker kitchen, although my guess is that it will still not shift the refrigerated sushi at the snack stand.

A cast of heavyweights will be making their main event debuts, hoping to outdo those who have come before. Names like Jason Mercier, Andre Akkari, Randy Lew and Jonathan Duhamel.

Yesterday the five hours of attrition dispensed with a number of Team PokerStars Pros. ElkY Grospellier, Vanessa Rousso, Theo Jorgensen and Victor Ramdin all departed, as did Dag Palovic, Alex Kravchenko, Ville Wahlbeck and Team Online's Mickey Petersen and Gabe Nassif.

The Amazon Room

Yet despite the scattergun nature of the main event opening day the players at the top of the chip list last night were the type of players you expect to see there. Vanessa Selbst for instance, and Daniel Negreanu.

Selbst, who just weeks ago earned her second career bracelet, bagged up 168,350 last night, her aces holding up against kings late in the day. Negreanu too was up well at the close, signing off with 140,575. Familiar faces in familiar positions.

The thing about that long walk to the tournament floor is that it feels twice as long on the way back, especially when you're crying. Hundreds will depart today, their World Series dream over for another year. The survivors will return on Wednesday for Day 2B.

Now though it's five more levels and a dinner break as the main event takes another step to a new champion.