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Poker News | World Series of Poker | WSOP2008 | The Works

More From Day 1A Of The Main Event

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2:45 p.m.

Players have returned from the first break and the blinds have gone from 50/100 to 100/200. I always hate how tournaments insist on doubling the blinds after one level. It's still 100 big blinds if you have your starting stack, but why can't they throw in a 75/150 level to give even more play. They announced earlier that they had added three levels to the early rounds, in my opinion this is one they missed.

3:15 p.m.

I'm walking around with my pink teddy bear looking for suspects and I see Perry Friedman who is wearing a Bad Beat For Cancer patch, so I know when I explain to him what I'm doing that he'll take a photo. He's sitting next to Ray Romano and he overhears me and says, “you want me to take a picture.” Ummm duh. So he puts the bear in his lap as he looks at his cards and I say, “wait, that's a better picture.” The table laughs and Ray pulls the bear up and poses. Up to 61, only 439 more to go.

Only 1,310 (unofficially) are playing today. I thought the field looked small and it was. At this pace we won't top 6,000 although I have a feeling there will be more people in the next three days than there are today.

Earlier I was talking about players not being able to get away from hands and going broke. I can't fault Charles Kelley for how he went broke. On a flop of K-8-8, he bet and was called by Maya Antonius (Patrik's wife). The turn was an ace and Kelley again bet. Maya check raised and Kelley made the call. The river was a queen and Maya bet enough to set Kelley all in. He called and proudly showed pocket kings for the flopped full house. Maya had aces though and scooped the monster pot. Now that's a hand where you're going to go broke.

An ESPN producer told me that last he heard Phil Hellmuth was reportedly coming to the WSOP this year in a tank wearing combat gear. All I can say is OH MY GOD. Of course, I'll help his cause out by taking photos of that but it's mainly because I think it's ridiculous and funny. The producer said he wasn't 100% sure that Hellmuth was still doing it but that was the last word he had.


For the 2nd level of a $10,000 tournament I am hearing an insane amount of all in and calls going on. It's almost as if this was a $1,500 event with one hour levels and 20 big blinds, not one where the average stack has over 100 big blinds.

5:40 p.m.

I walked through the Gaming Expo. It doesn't have the same allure or zing it used to have. I guess I kind of liked gawking at strippers on poles and the Bodog lounge where you could have a pillow fight on a bed with scantily clad women. I never did that, but it sure was entertaining to watch. As is expected, the vast ball room is filled with vendors peddling their wares. Everything from poker books, magazines, poker paraphernalia, and the company that has filled the men's urinals with flashing red lights to pee on. They have Charles Barkley signing autographs. Good ole Chuck must have lost some money last night and needed to pay off some markers.

I think a reason that the number is so small today is that many people are waiting to play on Saturday and Sunday. In fact, when I was in signing up for the evening mega (I'm gonna keep trying until I can't try anymore) they made an announcement to not sell any more seats for Saturday and a player next to me said he had come in to buy in for Sunday but had forgotten his player's card and that they only had one seat left when he was up there. It looks like the numbers will definitely be up the next three days.

6:45 p.m.

Players handle bad beats differently. Some shut up and don't say a word, but you can see the steam almost rising from their forehead. Others go off and take a walk to cool down and collect their thoughts. One of the more popular versions of how to deal with a bad beat is like what I just witnessed. An older Asian guy in the 8 seat raised and a kid in the 1 seat re-raised. The 8 seat moved all in and was called by the 1 seat. The 8 seat had A-10 and was crushed by seat 1's A-Q. A ten flopped though and the kid lost half his stack while doubling up the 8 seat. The 8 seat looked at the 1 seat and said “keep calling me, that what happen.” The 1 seat glared at the 8 seat and responded, “keep playing bad and I'll call you all day.” The 8 seat comes back with “you the one that call off you whole stack with A-Q.” The 1 seat gets in the final word by saying, “yea, I got all my money in with the best hand. I'm the bad player.” Ah, love at the poker table. They should make players hug after a bad beat. That would make for quality television.

9:30 p.m.

As the players were returning from dinner break, I happened to be walking behind Paul Wasicka. There are some monitors in the center of the hallway that replay the winning hands of recent WSOP Main Events. As Wasicka was reaching those monitors, they started to play the hand he lost to Jamie Gold when he finished 2nd in the event. He laughed, pointed at the monitor and started joking about it with Adam Friedman and Jimmy Fricke.

Right behind him, these adorable kids hugged their Dad and said “bye Daddy, win!” Their Dad smiled and waved good bye to them. I hope he does win something.

Shortly after the dinner break, I saw Joe Sebok storm out of the room, slam his fists against the door as he was leaving, yelling an expletive. I'm not sure what happened but I'm going to go out on a limb and say it wasn't good.

11:30 p.m.

The official number of players for the day was 1,297. There are 766 players remaining with 90 minutes left to play for the day.

That's it for today, I'll be back tomorrow with more observations from the tournament floor.

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