WSOP 2013: Fire on the mountain as Main Event gets underway
There's a fire burning outside Las Vegas. Dry lightning spit down on Mt. Charleston and sent fire skittering across the mountain. A smoke plume as high as the heavens stretches out across the northern Vegas sky. When the sun sets, it makes it look as if the atmosphere is on fire. It all serves as a constant reminder of nature's battle with itself.
Some twenty minutes south at the Rio, we sit down today to watch another war, one that will put thousands of the world's poker hopefuls in a struggle for one championship bracelet. Today begins the 2013 World Series of Poker Main Event. It may not be as visually-stunning and frightening as the fire on Mt. Charleston, but there's no argument that the Main Event is the biggest thing happening in Vegas today.
There have been more than 60 preliminary tourneys leading up to this day. Their buy-ins have ranged from a modest $500 to an eye-popping $111,111. Today's event, the traditional $10,000, is a poker player's last chance at gold glory this summer.
There are logistics to consider. The players who arrive today will be the first of three day one flights that will struggle to keep their seats and chips until they are allowed to go home at 12:45am tomorrow. They'll be playing for most of that time in the hopes of making it through all five levels. If they manage that, their prize will be the right to come back and do it all again on Tuesday.
Brad Willis is the PokerStars Head of Blogging