Like one of the world’s top golfers never making the cut at The Masters, the fact that Erick Lindgren had never cashed in the World Series of Poker Main Event before this year was inexplicable. A banner with a picture of Lindgren graces the hallway at the Rio for when he won the 2008 WSOP Player of the Year. He’s included in the top 25 on the all-time poker tournament earnings list, but could never break through in the game’s world championship.
The last time a hand involving Joseph Cheong became the center of attention in the poker world was when he erred in the biggest pot in World Series of Poker history at the 2010 Main Event final table. Cheong got to experience the other side of a head-scratching play Thursday at the Rio during Day 4 of the 2011 Main Event.
The mood at the Rio for the World Series of Poker is a-changin’. The hallways are significantly less crowded when the players remaining in the 2011 Main Event go on break. The amount of chatter at the tables is drastically reduced.
Playing poker looks easy on television. You are dealt two cards, place a wager or fold your hand, engage in friendly small talk with the stranger sitting next to you and hope to catch a miraculous hot streak. That is only half the battle.
It’s almost impossible for one player in the World Series of Poker Main Event to hold the chip lead after both their Day 1 and Day 2 sessions. With the field trimming dramatically — nearly 5,000 players have exited the Main Event through four Day 1s and two Day 2s —and so many chips changing hands, names on the leader board rise and fall like a skyscraper elevator. But unlike everyone else, Las Vegas resident Ben Lamb’s chip count has only gone up.
A sign that greets both motorists and pedestrian traffic as they make their way toward the entrance of Aria reads, “The center of action has shifted.” That’s perhaps most true in the resort’s poker room.
Just a month ago, I couldn’t have picked Rory McIlroy or Novak Djokovic out of a lineup. Like many Americans, I take my sports the way I take the rest of my entertainment news, only paying careful attention beyond my hometown teams when something real is at stake, when someone’s consistent excellence commands awe or when a story line enchants me. Once I’m aware, I’m eager to see what they do next.
If subdued was the best way to describe the atmosphere at the World Series of Poker Main Event during its first two days, then enlivened should suffice for Saturday’s Day 1C. “I’m very happy there are still a lot of people playing the Main Event and playing all the tournaments,” 2010 WSOP champion Jonathan Duhamel said.
As with most subjects in the poker strategy realm, there’s no definitive answer to the most effective way to approach the opening days of the World Series of Poker Main Event. Some players at the Rio will say a deep chip stack makes a loose aggressive style more rewarding.
The start of the 42nd annual World Series of Poker main event this afternoon at the Rio has all the hallmarks of the world’s largest poker tournament during the heyday of the game in American popular culture, with throngs of eager participants and onlookers. This year’s crowd looks a bit different from last year, however.
A combination of elite poker professionals and hopeful amateur players began the chase to become the next world champion of poker Thursday. In the first day of the $10,000 buy-in World Series of Poker Main Event, 897 registered to play. Day 1A, as it's titled, is traditionally the slowest of four starting flights that will run through Sunday at the Rio.
Brian Rast turned a chance encounter earlier this summer into nearly $2 million and one of the year’s most exalted titles at the World Series of Poker. Upon returning home to his Las Vegas condominium building from a trip to Brazil in June, Rast ran into Antonio Esfandiari, a friend and fellow poker pro. Esfandiari insisted Rast play in a $1,500 WSOP pot-limit hold’em tournament that day and even staked him in the event. Rast went on to win it for $227,232. Because of the cash, the 29-year old Rast felt he had a sufficient enough bankroll to buy into ...
Shawn Marion hopes to someday own one of the world’s most exclusive jewelry collections. Marion, the former UNLV basketball player who recently won an NBA championship ring with the Dallas Mavericks, would next like to get his hands on a World Series of Poker bracelet. Marion thinks he’s capable of becoming the first man with both an NBA and WSOP championship. “That would be nice,” Marion said Tuesday while competing in a $1,500 no-limit hold’ em tournament at the Rio. “That would be sweet. If I could get some cards and some double-ups here and there, anything is possible.”
Schedule: The Main Event is officially a 13-day tournament. Players can choose between four starting days, Thursday-Sunday, which consolidate into two Day 2s. The fields are combined for the third day and play will run until July 20, when nine players survive to move onto November’s final table.
Last Established Pro to win: Although both Duhamel and Cada were poker professionals at the time they won the Main Event, a well known player hasn’t become the champion since Juan Carlos Mortensen in 2001.
Winningest Hand: Pocket 9s is the only starting hand that a player has used to win the Main Event on three different occasions. It happened most recently when Joe Cada used his pair of 9s to beat Darvin Moon’s Queen-Jack two years ago.
Doyle Brunson: The 77-year old “Tex Dolly” is the only player to have won the Main Event twice and made the final table five times. Brunson had said he wouldn’t play in this year’s tournament, but announced a change of heart via twitter Wednesday evening.