WSOP 2012: Passports, please

wsop-130x100.pngIt's a long way from Beirut to Las Vegas. It's a trip that can seem to take even longer when you're waiting to play in the WSOP Main Event. Imagine how long it might take if you were returning for your fourth WSOP having never cashed before.

This is the emotional burden faced by Mark Demirdjian, the current chip leader on Day 3 of the WSOP. With the blinds at 1,000/2,000/300, Demirdjian has more than half a million. The bulky, mustachioed man from Lebanon sits behind a dozen stacks of chips. He doesn't look happy.

That doesn't mean he isn't a nice guy. He is. As friendly as you could ever want. Just don't ask him to get excited about making Day 3 with a big stack. He's been here before.

"No cashes," he said. It was matter-of-fact. Emotion-free. Of course, it may be easier to be emotion-free when you're in the Main Event for $700.

Demirdjian won his buy-in and travel to the WSOP on PokerStars during the Main Event Passport promotion. Like dozens of others, Demirdjian had his choice of whether to use his Passport for en EPT, APPT, LAPT, PCA, or the WSOP. Demirdjian decided to come back to Vegas and look for his first Main Event cash. He started the day second in chips and has since taken over the chip lead.

But, don't ask him to get excited quite yet.

"It doesn't mean anything that I have these chips today," he said at the last break. "I'd rather have them on Day 5, Day 6, or Day 7."


Mark Demirdjian

Demirdjian is one of seven Main Event Passport winners who made it to Day 3. Here's how the rest of them started play this afternoon.

Mark Demirjian -- 499900
Fabrice Bachellez -- 144000
Zhi Pan -- 86500
Jonathan Crute -- 81500
Marko Neumann -- 58900
Alain Wehbe -- 50900
Cornelius Foley -- 23300

If Demirdjian or any of the rest are to cash, they'll have to survive the rest of the day. The WSOP Main Event players expect to hit the money tomorrow where the first people to get paid will earn $19,227. That may not even be half the buy-in for people who put up the full amount. But for Main Event Passport winners, that's a $18,500 profit.

Best of luck to all the Passport-holders still in the field today.



Team PokerStars Pros Pius Heinz, Barry Greenstein, and Vicky Coren


Vicky Coren: "Ahhhhhh well. I've had an awful lot of luck this year and I'm happier than I've ever been. Let someone else win the World Series."


Number of players who started the day: 1765
Number of players remaining after 1.5 levels: 1,341


Brad Willis
@BradWillis in World Series of Poker