WSOP 2013: Gut-check for Duhamel and Kravchenko

"Eat your food. Finish!"

Jonathan Duhamel could just as easily have been sitting across from his mother. Instead it was a woman named Courtney. It's among her jobs to make sure the 2010 World Series of Poker champion has everything in order here at the Rio. It's also, apparently, her job to make sure the boy eats.

"It's my breakfast," he said. "Give me a break."

"You need to eat!" Courtney implored.

Duhamel stared blankly at a one-inch square piece of orange-ish matter in the plastic bento box in front of him.

"It's a potato," he said, as if that explained the very reason he wasn't touching it.

Courtney relented. Duhamel looked away from the potato. His mind was clearly somewhere else.

Event 61_Day 03_FUR_9591.jpg

As we mentioned yesterday, very few Team Pros played Day 1A of the WSOP Main Event. Many more showed up today, but there are still a lot of notable absences. Duhamel is among them, and it's not because he's been too lazy to sign up.

Duhamel is part of a handful of Team Pros who made Day 3 of the $10,000 PLO event. He, Alex Kravchenko, and Jose Barbero all started today with a chance to win a bracelet before they start to work on winning the Main Event. Barbero only lasted an hour before busting out, but Kravchenko and Duhamel still have a shot. And that is reason for concern on a couple of levels.

First, there is the worry about getting shut out of the Main Event. Kravchenko worried enough to call the floor to see about getting unregistered from Day 1B and re-registered for Day 1C. It was obviously on his mind. Floor man Charlie Ciresi assured the Russian it wouldn't be a problem.

Event 61_Day 03_FUR_9587.jpg

"But what is the maximum?" Kravchenko pushed. It was clear he was still concerned.

"Oh, it's not going to be like that," Ciresi said. "Were you shut out that year?"

"That year" was just a couple of years ago when there were four Day 1 flights and the entire poker world decided to register for Day 1D at the last minute. There simply weren't enough seats. It was...well, it was dramatic.

There's no worries of that this year we're told, and anyone left in the PLO will make it in tomorrow for the Main Event.

But back to the other reason for concern. It's PLO vis a vis the human response to gut-roiling swings.

I got to thinking about Duhamel's reluctance to fill up his tummy before the start of play, and I wasn't sure I understood. But then I wandered over to check out the event and saw a three-way all-in for what amounted to a second-place chip stack.

The hands?

A♠A♣T♦7♦ vs. J♠9♠8♥8♦ vs. 7♠5♠6♦5♦.

The winner?

7♠5♠6♦5♦ when the board gave James Weiss the straight.

When you see stuff like that, you probably don't want a sweet potato in your gut.

There are 24 players left. Nobody is puking yet, but there's still time.

Brad Willis is the PokerStars Head of Blogging. Photos courtesy Poker Photo Archive.