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Poker News | World Series of Poker | WSOP2009 | The Works

Main Event, Day 3 – It Must Be The Money

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Yesterday was a rare day off from the World Series of Poker. In fact, it's the only day since the start that there are actually no cards being dealt. Yea, there is the Media Tournament but that doesn't count. I still woke up moderately early though to attend the press conference and luncheon before the media event. Jeffrey Pollack talked briefly (again) about the sell out issue, discussed the public Hall of Fame nominees (Tom Dwan was one of the nominees, lolinternetvoting), and answered questions from a collection of media members. Afterwards, we dined on some yummy meatballs, pasta, and philly cheese steak sandwiches before heading down for the Media Event.

I've now played in four media events and even won one at the World Poker Open a few years ago. That win netted me $1,000 and a cool bracelet (which I promptly sold for $3,000) but despite that I can truly say I've never had more fun in a media event than I did this year. The tournament used a Dream Team format meaning there were teams of three. Normally after a player busts out of the media event they leave as quickly as possible to go take a nap or do anything but poker. With the Dream Team format though, players were sticking around, cheering on their team mates and generally having a good time.

Dennis Phillips played in the event (he has a radio show) and donated pizza, wings, and beer. Lacey Jones was incredibly tipsy and gave me a full body hug (best hug EVER) after winning a big pot to stay alive. Players were laughing, even after they suffered an incredible suck out or bad beat (well most players anyway, there were two or three guys who actually treated the event as if it was the Main Event), and it was as Lacey said in one of her tweets “the most fun I've ever had playing in a poker tournament.” It reminded me of a big home game... the WSOP could learn something from this about encouraging fun instead of stifling it. I went out early when I turned a straight on a 9-8-7-J board with K-10 and was up against queens that hit a bigger straight when a 10 came on the river. I stayed for nearly four more hours though as my teammate, Amanda, went on to finish 2nd. Good job Amanda!

After that I took a quick nap before the PokerStars party which I had missed the previous year but had heard great things about so I wanted to make sure I didn't miss this year’s version. Especially since hip hop star and poker player in the making Nelly was performing. I got there with a few other members of the media and we stood in line for about 30 minutes but it wasn't that bad of a wait despite the line being several hundred deep.

The place was packed as dancers strutted on mini stages and acrobats twirled and flung themselves in the air. I could tell everyone, myself included, though was waiting for Nelly to come on stage. A little before midnight, Joe Hachem came out and said a few words and made room for Nelly and his crew. I'm a moderate hip hop fan but I had a great time, as did most of the crowd (although it was kind of funny watching probably the whitest crowd Nelly's ever performed for), as Nelly thoroughly was an entertainer and kept the crowd into it with his catchy songs. Nelly finished about 1 a.m. and the party shut down soon after. I wonder if PokerStars wanted to make sure their remaining players got a good night of sleep before Day 3?

Day 3 started promptly at noon with 2,044 players. As they did on Day 2, they wasted no time hitting the rail as 361 players were lost in the first two hours (an average of three per minute) and another 242 were lost in the second two hours (an average of two per minute) to bring the field down to 1,431. The bust outs should start slowing down considerably now though as most of the short stacks have hit the rail and many players are deep in relation to the blinds. I doubt very seriously that they make the money today, but stranger things have happened.

When I went to grab a cup of coffee from Starbucks, I saw several players walking by with a dejected look on their face. This is the infamous walk of shame that happens after busting out of the Main Event. The one thing about the Rio is that you can't escape quickly. You have to walk almost a quarter of a mile to get to the main exit. That walk has been experienced by thousands of players and it's a rite of passage for any poker player.

There will be plenty more of those walks today. What big names will be making that dreaded hike? I'll be back later with the end of day action. Until then...

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