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

$10K WSOP Main Event – Day 3 Perspectives

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The process of surviving to Day 3 of the World Series of Poker main event is an arduous and exhausting one. With four first days, a day off, then two second days of play, it is a tiresome process filled with stress, anxiety, and an emotional roller coaster. And Day 3 would prove to be one of the most stressful of all.

With the possibility of making the money in the 2008 WSOP main event looming as the day progressed, it became more important to find that spot to double up or simply add to one’s chip stack. While the pros are typically unimpressed by the money bubble in any tournament, as the victory and title are the items at stake, the field was mostly comprised of amateurs who desperately hoped to double their buy-in and make a little dough.

By the dinner break, the money bubble was ever closer, and into the fourth level of the day, the number of players had reached the 675 mark at which the staff had promised to launch hand-for-hand action. After approximately an hour of the slow but calculated structure to ensure no mix-ups, the bubble burst. Immediately, cheers erupted in the tournament area as the excitement boiling up in everyone was able to be let go. The players were then left to a 30-minute break to make phone calls to family members and friends, walk off the stress of the past hour or so, and breathe a sigh of relief.

The money bubble in any tournament can be stressful due to the stakes – go home with an amount likely double your buy-in, or go home empty-handed. In a predominantly amateur field, that money bubble becomes even more important, and in the WSOP main event where there are millions of dollars up for grabs to the top finishers, it becomes a dream within reach at the catapult into the money. Players who make it over that hump sometimes feel a renewed sense of energy and soar up the leader board, while others feel that it’s okay to bust because of the reward waiting at the cashier cage.

Not only is the bubble stressful for players because of the financial ramifications, but hand-for-hand play can be painful. With 670 players in the field, play must stop after each hand completes until all of those corresponding tables have done so as well. Players become restless and wander to the rail to see family or to other tables to watch action between hands. The floor staff tries to control the media and players while allowing ESPN to race to each and every table with possible elimination action.

Hectic doesn’t begin to describe the scene with all of the bodies roaming the small portion of the tournament area, the cameras scrambling to catch the action, and the media looking for key photos and hands. Add players like Phil Hellmuth and Mike Matusow to the mix with their antics and attention-hungry behavior, along with the bustling rail trying to catch glimpses of everything, and it becomes a zoo.

Even after the money bubble bursts, the furious action continues as the short stacks are eliminated at a rapid pace. The floor staff attempts to keep up to track the players as the payouts jump, and the media tries to make some sense of it all in the tournament reports.

It wasn’t until the end of Day 3 that the madness ended, with players completing their last hands and making their way out of the Rio. Day 4 would resume with the seriousness that most of the tournament requires, and the atmosphere would be calm again.

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