Sunday, June 03, 2007

2007 WSOP, Day 3: We've Got a Long Way to Go, and a Short Time to Get There . . .

This man could have been a lot of help to the WSOP yesterdayCouldn’t help but chuckle at the report yesterday that WSOP Commissioner Jeffrey Pollack, during his opening remarks at the start of Event No. 3, assured everyone that trucks from Cincinnati and Vegas carrying traditional-style playing cards were careening toward Vegas as he spoke. Meanwhile, those much-maligned “Poker Peek” cards are still being used -- and are still causing problems.

You know what Harrah’s should have done. Got in touch with that fellow down Atlanta way goes by the handle of Bandit to run blocker for them card-carrying trucks. ’Cos the road’s crawling with bears and Kojaks with Kodaks. Not to mention all the smokeys in plain brown wrappers. You gotta dodge ’em and you gotta duck ’em . . . and you gotta keep that diesel truckin’ . . . .

Another big story from Day 2 was the long line greeting those who had hoped to register in the morning for Event No. 3, the $1,500 NL Hold ’em event. Harrah’s ended up registering a total of 2,998 players for Event No. 3 -- up a bit from last year’s 2,776 -- although it is clear from various reports there were many additional players who would have played had it been less cumbersome to sign up. The troubles caused the start of the event to be delayed, although they managed nevertheless to conclude play right around the 2:00 a.m. target time. Played down to the money bubble, with the 270 players who survived all cashing. Action in Event No. 3 resumes at 2 p.m. today, with the plan being to play down to the final nine (however long it takes).

The resumption of Event No. 1 (the $5,000 buy-in Mixed Limit/NL Hold ’em event) began late as well, and ended late. Very late. Like 3:30 a.m. Vegas time. The day started with 95 players, and ended with nine who will return today to play what will be a televised final table. Some serious drama once they were down to ten-handed, with Kenny Tran having to make an especially tough laydown of QQ preflop against an all-in reraise from Fred Berger. Berger showed AA, confirming the correctness of Tran’s decision. Unfortunately for Tran, about 15 minutes later he’d bust out in 10th during a limit hand-confrontation with Steve Paul-Ambrose.

Greg “FBT” Mueller, chip leader for a lot of Day 2, is in good position with 683,000 chips, putting him in third. This is Mueller’s second WSOP final table overall, as he finished 9th in a limit HE event in 2005. Steve Paul-Ambrose, who holds one WPT title and here makes his first-ever WSOP final table, is in second with 771,000. And Fred Berger, owner of one WSOP bracelet (2002, Pot Limit HE), is the chip leader with 942,000.

That final table is scheduled to begin at 3:00 PDT, although I’m going to go out on a limb here and say it might start a little later. Two reasons why I say that: (1) the need for ESPN to set up its cameras for filming is probably going to cause a delay; (2) there are two more bracelet events getting started today, which’ll certainly add to the chaos at the Rio. The $1,500 Pot Limit Hold ’em event (Event No. 4) kicks off at noon, and the $2,500 buy-in Omaha 8/b-Stud 8/b mixed event (Event No. 5) starts at 5:00 p.m.

That means there will be four different tournaments going at once for the better part of the day today. Hopefully the headlines tomorrow will focus on whomever takes down that Mixed Hold ’em championship, and not some other contentious issue that might arise.

We've got a long way to go, and a short time to get there . . . Hope them cards arrive soon. If they don’t, the players might decide to barbecue somebody’s ass in molasses . . . .

Go check out PokerNews’ live reporting from the WSOP for the latest.



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