WSOP 2102: Five Team Pros walk into a bar

wsop-130x100.pngIt's a swimmy-headed kind of Monday, one that speaks to an unexpected Sunday night celebration. One that feels a bit like looking at the sun through a swath of cheesecloth. Somewhere through the haze is something big, bright, and important. It's just impossible to tell exactly what that thing is quite yet.

This is the final week of frenzy at the World Series of Poker before the $10,000 Main Event kicks off. Instead of taking these few days to convalesce and get our wits about us, we find ourselves in the middle of a desert maelstrom unlike any we've seen before. Like the headline of this piece might suggest, it might seem like the set-up to a joke, if it weren't all so startlingly real.

Indeed, five Team Pros walked into the World Series of Poker...

VANESSA SELBST

In case you missed the fireworks early this morning, Vanessa Selbst won her second WSOP gold bracelet and nearly $250,000 in the $2,500 10-Game event. No other woman had won an open event bracelet since Selbst did it back in 2008. Now, Selbst sits atop the Team PokerStars Pro 2012 WSOP earnings list. Her 2012 WSOP cashes now total $446,605.

"I am so happy right now, and having such amazing friends and fans means the world to me," she said.

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Selbst and friends after her big win

JASON MERCIER

While Selbst was busy winning a WSOP bracelet, Jason Mercier was one of five Team PokerStars Pros putting up $1 million in the Big One for One Drop charity tournament. Of those five, he is the only one remaining with a decent chip stack. Showing up in a Miami Heat jersey, Mercier announced he was giving himself a couple more years before deciding to dress...well, less casual. He proved his sartorial choices didn't matter to how the cards fell. He's currently in 14th place out of the 37 players left. He'll be back in action in a couple of hours with the hope of making the final table (and money) before the night is done.

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Jason Mercier, laid back, mind on his money, etc.

DANIEL NEGREANU

He's still alive. And that's important, because Jonathan Duhamel, Eugene Katchalov, and ElkY are all gone from the One Drop event. Negreanu is on life support. There is a priest on standby for last rites. Negreanu has= less than ten big blinds going into play today. He's obviously not all that happy about it.

"Starting to think this just ain't my year," he tweeted. "Made it through the day with 470,000 which is 9 big blinds. Not giving up, but definitely baffled."

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Baffled

VICKY COREN

That whole Negreanu thing was a bit of a downer. Hey, how about some good news? Vicky Coren is one of the 28 remaining players in a $1,500 No-Limit Hold'em event, is guaranteed at least $17,500, and is more than a little happy about it.

"(It) would be lovely but I so want to make the final!" she said.

Coren is in fourth place and has nearly double the average stack headed into today's restart.

ALEX KRAVCHENKO

And to close it out, while this is a little bit early days action, Alex Kravchenko is in the top ten in chips in the $1,000 event that started yesterday. There are still more than 200 people left in the tournament, but Kravchenko is nevertheless in great position for another deep run.

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And so that's where it stands today as the Rio gets ready to turn on the lights. By the time tonight ends, all that blurry light we're looking at this morning will make a lot more sense. Let's just hope it's good sense.

Brad Willis
@BradWillis in World Series of Poker