WSOP 2013: Team Pro Blink-analysis

Some years back, pop-science guy Malcolm Gladwell wrote the book "Blink," the premise of which is that, say, somebody like me could process a lot of input really quickly and probably come to the right conclusion. I read the first chapter and the book jacket. I figured that was enough.

Fast forward to today when we have a lot of PokerStars players in Day 2C of the World Series of Poker. I can't sit and watch them all, but I am duty-bound to report on their progress through the day.

Channeling Gladwell (who I still suspect is just a slightly-less pitch-perfect Art Garfunkel), I moved quickly through the field and did some blink-analysis on the bearers of the Big Red Spade. I present it here.

Jose Barbero: He is either invisible or has magically turned into two bottles of water, one empty, one full. Analysis: He's gone. Or a superhero called AguaMan.

Leo Fernandez Now looks like a man half his age who speaks English. Analysis: Having heard of fellow Argentinean Leo Fernandez's super powers, is now trying his hand at being a master of disguise. Alternate theory, also gone.

Randy Lew: The only one to acknowledge my presence. Has a giant packpack (or small jet pack) in his chair and is using it like a child's restaurant booster seat. 120,000 in chips. Analysis: Will make the November Nine (Hey, friendliness to a blogger is like +10 in karma points)

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"If I bust out, I'm going to fly away on this jetpack to a magical place where all poker is online!"

Sebastian Ruthenberg: Armed with over-the-ear headphones, one shoe untied, two single dollar bills sitting in front of him with around 30,000 in chips. Analysis: Though short-stacked, confident in the fact he is sticking around for a while to tip the next waitress who happens by, or a dancer if he doesn't double up soon.

Alex Kravchenko: Two bags of Ruffles cheese fries under his chair, two iPhones in front of him, 30,000 in chips. Analysis: Likely to go broke soon, but won't go hungry, and if he does, he can sell an iPhone on the street to pay for cab fare.

Humberto Brenes: His table and all those around it are empty. Analysis: Has taken the fifty closest people back to Costa Rica to become part of the ever-growing Brenes family. Or his table broke.

ElkY: Wearing a leopard-print hoodie and sitting among the detritus of what appears to be at least two meals. Has around 120,000 in chips. Analysis: Planning to make Day 3 and then blend in at the MGM's Rainforest Cafe.

Julien Brecard: Sitting with political stats guru Nate Silver and chess master Jennifer Shahade. Carrying small man-bag with a French Team Pro patch on it. 50,000 in chips. Analysis: Wondering how to get one of ElkY's leopard-print hoodies so he can impress Shahade.

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As yet, unimpressed

Jason Mercier: Wearing a red PokerStars hat turned to 4 o'clock on his head, matching his red PokerStars backpack. Texting relentlessly on his phone. 25,000 in chips. Analysis: Wondering when registration for the $5,000 OFC Carivale of Poker tournament closes and planning accordingly.

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"Siri, Google 'How to wear a hat'"

Angel Guillen: Behind sunglasses and sitting in front of a backpack made by the same company that made my bike rack. Analysis: Thule makes backpacks?

Theo Jorgensen: Unshaven, playing with his iPad, seemingly annoyed by three reporters loudly discussing Phil Ivey behind him. 165,000 in chips. Analysis: Listen, the guy has recently been shot and is here to play the WSOP. You figure out how dedicated he is to the game.

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"If those guys don't shut up about Phil Ivey...I'm gonna fill their ivy...or something"

Gabriel Nassif: Standing beside his table with forlorn look on his face. Analysis: He just busted. Wait...he didn't, but he has less than 20,000 chips, so that explains it.

Vanessa Selbst Blue plaid shirt. Blue hoodie. Relaxed. Defending blinds. Around 120,000 in chips. Analysis: Probably already won the tournament and is just putting on a good show of pretending it's not already over.

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Your 2013 WSOP champion

Marcel Luske: Tan suit. Sunglasses with earphones built into them. 50,000 in chips. Curiously quiet. Analysis: Planning to sing a medley of Cheap Trick songs if he makes the dinner break.

Daniel Negreanu: Very short-stacked, surrounded by way too many railbirds, patiently listening to another story from Will "The Thrill" Failla. Analysis: I'd never say he was hoping for it to just all be over but...well wait, it is. His ace-king couldn't beat tens. Seat open.

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Isaac Haxton: Around 150,000 in chips, hand over the right side of his face. Analysis: Playing 23 other online games at once on a hidden pair of Google Glasses.

Jake Cody: Drinking from a cup that has his name on it and nodding as some guy at the table repeatedly apologizes and says "no offense" for not knowing he was sitting with Jake Cody. Analysis: Wishing he wasn't Jake Cody.

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

Brad Willis
@BradWillis in World Series of Poker