For the people who watch every waking moment of the World Series of Poker, every Day 1 seems the same. Tournament Director Jack Effel gives the same speech. Someone says something about shuffling up and dealing. The starting stacks and blinds are the same. Bill Murray is filming a sequel to Groundhog Day.
But for the players who start Day 1B, this is something fresh. It's either their first World Series of Poker, or it's something they haven't done in at least a year. It is, no matter how rote it all seems to grizzled veterans, very important and more than a little exciting.
It is with that ever-important sense of urgency that we enter Day 1B. The PokerStars team is making its way into the Amazon Room and sitting down in front of 30,000 in chips. They will play a total of nine hours today. Including breaks and dinner, they will work for eleven and half hours.
Among the big name PokerStars players who have Day 1B chairs: Florian Langmann, Nuno Coelho, Matthias De Meulder, Marcello Del Grosso, Ivan Demidov, John Duthie, Gavin Griffin, Jan Heitmann, Martin Hruby, Henrique Pinho, Darus Suharto, and George Lind. We'll also be joined by the PokerStars-sponsored Norwegian comedian Morten Ramm and France's Julien Brecard.
We can't start off this day without making mention of some familiar faces who finished well in Day 1A. You might recognize that name at the top.
Chris Moneymaker - 107,425
John Shipley - 100,675
Thierry van den Berg - 99,700
Anton Allemann - 63,500
Sandra Naujoks - 42,600
Grayson Physioc - 36,600
Randy Lew - 33,125
Fatima Moreira de Melo - 32,450
Julian Thew - 30,650
Pierre Neuville - 29,250
Ruben Visser - 23,725
Andre Akkari - 10,850
Thomas Bichon - 5,725
Day 1A's chip leader finished on 228,200, but folks like Moneymaker, Shipley, and Ven den Berg are in prime position on Day 2.
The cards just went in the air. We're in the field and will be here until the last river of the day (or until we go into sugar shock form Atomic Fireball consumption).
FIRST HAND OF THE HOUR
Ivan Demidov has returned to the ESPN feature stage he last occupied when he finished second behind Peter Eastgate in 2008. By definition, he lost the last hand he played in that duel, but he came straight out the blocks, got straight back on the horse, and won the opening pot of day 1B.
Demidov raised to 300 from mid-position. Two players (John and Ken) called, taki
taking them to a flop of 3♥3♣2♦. Demidov bet 550 and took it down.
SCANDINAVIAN CROSS COUNTRY SKIING CHAMPIONS ROLLER-SKI RACE AROUND THE PALMS PARKING LOT OF THE HOUR
The Norwegian cross-country ski champion Petter Northug and Marcus Hellner, his Swedish rival, raced this morning around the Palms parking lot on roller skis. It's a Scandinavian thing. When they're transplanted to the desert. And there's no snow.
Northug won the race, tying their personal duel after Hellner won a heads-up poker game on the eve of the Main Event. With both of them successfully progressing through day 1A, they are now considering the player who lasts the longest in the big dance to be the winner.
OUT OF CONTEXT QUOTE OF THE HOUR
"I have never seen her smile. Never."
STATISTICS OF THE HOUR
Number of flat screen TVs showing the World Cup in the media room: 1
Number of flat screen TV's show poker: 1
Number of people watching the poker television: 0