WSOP 2013: Two down one more day one to go
There was a subtle change to the atmosphere at the Rio today. After yesterday's opener, with its cast of nearly a thousand, Day 1B ramped that up to the power of two, with 1,942 players taking seats on a day busy enough to look and feel like a proper day of action in the main event.
The Pavilion Room
It helped having the introductions made by a living legend of the game Doyle Brunson. Brunson, who turns 80 in August, served as a useful reminder for the passing of time and of how the game has developed in the space of a generation.
Earlier this year Brunson had regretfully admitted that he had no intention of playing the main event this year. Age, combined with the long days, taking too much of a toll. But then you sense that the great man will never quite turn his back on the event that he first won back in 1976. He didn't, and after a day on the feature table, he'll be among those returning on Day 2.
Doyle Brunson addresses the Day 1B crowd
In other respects the day was like any other, in any other main event in any other year . But then, as we explained, that's part of why we like it.
Most players agree, and will play it, if they can. For Alex Kravchenko though it's still up in the air, given that he's among the handful of players still contesting the $10,000 pot-limit Omaha event playing on tonight. At one stage Jonathan Duhamel and Nacho Barbero threatened deep runs but fell short. For them a seat in the main tomorrow serves as some consolation.
That's where they'll find players like The Beast, who we discovered today, posing the question of whether there was any place in civilised society for self-imposed nicknames. We also did some math to prove that we still can, and took a look at Chris Moneymaker - who needs no nickname - playing in his tenth anniversary main event since his historic win, before hearing from last year's deepest finishing Team PokerStars Pro Jan Heitmann.
Ten years on from his own win: Chris Moneymaker
Today there were 15 members of Team PokerStars Pros and Team Online among the field, 13 of whom will return on Day 2 on Tuesday, with Liv Boeree and Mathias de Muelder running well on around 90,000. They leave behind them the early fallers: Lex Veldhuis and Mickey Petersen.
Tomorrow will be the last flight of the day ones and, while we don't expect the players needed to take us beyond the 7,000 point, we do expect the biggest field yet, with the balance of players taking their seats. Basically if they haven't played yesterday or today, they play tomorrow.