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

Fireworks At The Rio – Day 1B Of The WSOP

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11:40 a.m.

They are letting the players in. This time to Jamiroquai, a huge improvement on the crap they played yesterday. You can always tell who is excited to be here as they are the first ones in when the doors open. They clutch their registration card as if it is their last born child and look across the vast room to locate their table. Little to do they know what they have in store for them. If they are lucky enough to make it through the day, they will have experienced multiple highs and lows over the next 13-14 hours.

Among players who are playing today according to the list handed out to us by WSOP staff are Patrik Antonius, Bill Edler, Jamie Gold, Kathy Liebert, Daniel Negreanu, Erick Lindgren, Greg Raymer, and Erik Seidel. Lindgren's table is going to be the feature table today. Negreanu's table is the secondary feature table. Big shocker there on those two choices. Should be another fun filled day and I wonder how they will get this one started. It is the 4th of July after all... maybe a fireworks display? Now that would be cool.

12:30 p.m.

They brought in a country singer to open up the festivities. I couldn't catch his name and I have no clue who he was but he did an admirable job of singing the national anthem. He was wearing a Doyle's Room patch. Those online sites won't pass up a single opportunity, will they? Then they had everyone in the room wave the miniature flags they had handed out as they entered the room. Kinda corny if you ask me, but whatever floats ESPN's boat. Jerry Yang came up and asked everyone to give Jeffrey Pollack a big round of applause. The funny thing is when Yang says Pollack it sounds like pollock and it brought quite a few chuckles from the spectators and players. Yang then got the tournament started with the usual shuffle up and deal.

It only took ten minutes before there was a “All in and a call” proclamation coming from a table. I walked over to the table and the flop was A-5-3. One player had pocket 5's and the other had pocket aces. Talk about a cooler. The aces held up and the kid with the aces let out a big breath. “Go ahead and let it out,” I joked with him. He exhaled as if he was the big bad wolf and it actually caused the player's hair next to him to move. The little things that amuse me.

Jamie Gold's table played at 25/50 blinds for 45 minutes before a new dealer came to the table and told the players to post blinds of 50/100. The players all looked at him like he was crazy until the dealer showed them the tournament clock and the correct blinds. Surely someone at the table had to know the blinds started at 50/100. Damn dishonest poker players.

1:45 p.m.

Hal Lubarsky is playing today. For those of you that don't remember, Lubarsky is the legally blind gentleman who made the money last year. He plays with the help of an assistant who tells him what his cards are and what the action is to him. It was a touching story last year but when I see him wearing Full Tilt patches (along with his assistant), and the ESPN cameras hovering around his table, I can't help but think that they are there for the wrong reasons and that he's wearing patches for those same reasons. He should be wearing patches and getting television time for his ability as a poker player, not because of the disability he has. Lubarsky has one cash lifetime at the WSOP for $51,398 and another small cash for $3,937 at a small event. That's it.

To me, it basically is making a spectacle of him as a person and isn't highlighting his poker abilities. As I write this right now, there are six photographers and media members hovering around his table. Maybe I'm an evil man for not jumping all over the Lubarsky Love Train, and don't get me wrong, I think what he did last year was an accomplishment and deserved mention. It doesn't, however, deserve all the attention it continues to get.

As far as poker goes, it's more of the same. Like yesterday, there aren't that many professionals playing today. It seems most of them are waiting for the weekend. I hate to keep saying that but it's true. It really is the most lethargic I've ever seen from a day one at the Main Event since I've been coming to Vegas.

Players still can't fold over pairs if their life (or $10,000) depended upon it. I witnessed four hands where a person went broke or doubled up another player with an over pair. The thing that continues to amaze me is that these players have over 200 big blinds but somehow manage to get all of the chips in the middle. Haven't they ever heard of keeping the pots small? Negreanu went broke with set against set. I can live with going broke there, although I'm sure that's no consolation for Negreanu who had to fight his way through autograph seeking fans as he tried to leave.

Something I forgot to mention from yesterday. Norman Chad was walking around and a player asked him if he would autograph a joker he had. Chad went up to the player to oblige; the player looked at him and said, “Oh, I thought you were Lon McEachern, never mind.” Chad and the table got a good laugh out of that.

3:15 p.m.

I wonder how many people actually bought into the Main Event straight up instead of winning their seat on line. Because when I see some of the plays that go on, the only logical explanation for how they are playing is that they paid the entry fee rather than winning it. Here's an example of what I am talking about. The board was K-K-Q-8 with two diamonds. A player in the 5 seat bet 1,500 and was called by a guy in the 8 seat who looked like he'd fit right in behind the desk at a mortgage company. The river was the queen of diamonds and the player in the 5 seat bet 6,000, an over bet of almost two times the pot size. The mortgage broker wannabe thought for about 30 seconds and made the call with A-J of diamonds for the nut flush which was as expected completely crushed by the K-10 that seat 5 held. Half his stack on a flush on a double paired board. Seriously people, if you play like this, just write me a check for $10,000 and I'll go cash it and throw the money into a big bonfire for you. At least this way you can keep some people warm.

That's it for the early portion of the day; I'll be back later with more from day 1B of the WSOP Main Event.

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