While we wait for the beginning of the final table of the $40K, featuring PokerStars players Greg Raymer, Lex Veldhuis and Isaac Haxton, day 1B of the mammoth-like $1,000 no limit event is in full-blooded swing. With such a huge field - 6,008 over two starting days and rising - bust outs are seemingly happening every few seconds. And that generally means countless loved ones dotted around the world are being told in excrutiating detail about bad beats.
Walking down the corridor in the Rio, you can't help but hear players detailing their exit in painful detail, mostly saying "but I was ahead" to explain away a deduction of $1,000 from the family budget. Here's one guy I heard talking to his wife as they stood crestfallen outside the Amazon Room:
"But I had two kings, so I had to raise."
"To get rid of anyone with an ace."
"Oh, so what happened?"
"Someone called with an ace and hit it. So I'm out."
"So you did not play it very well then?"
"You just.... you just.... oh, forget it."
This $1,000 tournament, especially introduced as a low-cost "stimulous" event by the WSOP (though to be fair $1,000 is still quite a lot of money to most people) has attracted record crowds, To have the Rio jumping like this so early in the Series is a great credit to organisers. It's no Mickey Mouse crapshoot, though. The Pros continue to take it seriously - a bracelet is a bracelet, no matter how you get it.
So today you'll find Team PokerStars Pros Daniel Negreanu, Dario Minieri, Chad Brown and Humberto Brenes among the thousands of hobbyist players, many of whom may well be playing their first ever live event.
Negreanu is off to a decent start, up to over 5,000 from his 3,000 starting stack, and chirping away to his tablemates, who will now have a great WSOP story to tell no matter how their day goes.
Congratulations to Team PokerStars Pro Andre Akkari, from Brazil, who managed to cash in event #3, the $1,500 Omaha Hi/Low 8 or Better. He finished in 48th place for a $4,925 payout.