Day 1B at WSOP Main Event just sick

7 July 2010

LAS VEGAS -- Sick. In the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, the primary definition for sick is "affected with disease or ill health." Oxford's Dictionary defines sick as "affected by physical or mental illness." Poker, however, defines sick differently. Sick. Brandon Adams and Paulo Rink both move all in pre-flop. Adams turns over pocket aces and Rink shows pocket kings. The dealer burns a card and spreads a flop that reads As-Ks-3d, giving Adams three aces and Rink three kings. The dealer burns another card and reveals the 3h on the turn, giving Adams a full house. At this point, Rink's tournament life is on life-support, with the doctor preparing to pull the plug. The only card in the deck that can help him is the king. The dealer burns a card and turns over the river. And it's a king! Rink lands quad kings and most of Adams's chips. Sick. Sick. Sick. Sick. Robert Williamson III pushes all in pre-flop with pocket queens. His bet is called by a player with A-K. The flops comes out 5s-Qc-10h, giving Williamson three queens and his opponent a straight draw. A jack hits on the turn and Williamson is gone. Sick. Clayton Bates pushes his 20,000 chips to the middle of the table with Ad-Qd. Josh Goldstein calls with As-Ks. Bates flops a straight with a Jd-10c-Kd board and eliminates Goldstein. Welcome to Day 1B of the 2010 World Series of Poker Main Event, where busted flush draws, quads and sick hands reigned supreme. Nearly 1,500 players filed into the Rio Tuesday to chase poker's biggest prize. When play ended for the night, 1,053 remained. These 1,053 players certainly had some luck on their side. Just ask Rink and Bates. But they all survived the mental grind that is the WSOP Main Event. And that, as much as anything else, is why they're still battling for poker's biggest title. Play began on Tuesday shortly after noon. It ended just before midnight. And in between, the Day 1B field played nine hours of poker. Nine hours of poker might sound like fun. But in reality, it is an exhausting grind. Physically, it is just tough to sit in a ballroom or conference chair for nine hours. Yes, massage therapists -- at a cost of a $1 a minute -- can help manage the stiffness and keep the blood flowing. But the fact of the matter is sitting at the table for long stretches of time can be downright uncomfortable, and if players let their physical discomfort affect their play, a quick exit awaits. But more important than surviving a nine-hour sitting marathon is keeping the mind fresh. Most players only play a small fraction of the hands that are dealt. So during the course of nine hours of play, they have plenty of downtime. And as Tuesday's action demonstrates, each player fills the downtime differently. Dan Bilzerian talks to fellow players at the table when he's not in a hand. Bertrand "Elky" Grospellier listens to music using oversized headphones. Phil Laak just skips the first few hours of play. And Gavin Smith somehow convinces his table that the winner of each pot has to flash one hole card. Alexander Kostritsyn surfs the Web on his iPad. And more than a few Kindles were in use as well. Andy Bloch, who was not in action on Tuesday, told Casino City that he's an iPad user at the poker table as well. "When you're sitting at the poker table, you can't really use a laptop," Bloch said. "But you really want to be able to surf the Web or check news or play games." "There are pictures of me playing Scrabble that made it to the Unofficial Apple Weblog, which is a pretty big site in the Apple world," Bloch added. "And the next day they took a picture of me reading the article about myself while I was at the poker table, and that was during the 50k Players Championship, so you can tell where my priorities are," Bloch said laughing. "It definitely helps me keep myself up to date with all my e-mail and everything else. I'm glad they haven't made any rules against it yet." Kostritsyn's iPad-using ways certainly worked for him Tuesday. He ended up with 106,000 in chips when play ended. But several notable players busted out of the tournament including Erick Lindgren, Justin Bonomo, Grospellier, Annette Obrestad, Jamie Gold, Liv Boeree, Joe Sebok, Mark Seif, Dan Shak and Rafe Furst. James Danielson has the chip lead with 201,050. Tuesday's Day 1B survivors and Thursday's Day 1D survivors will combine to form the Day 2B field on Saturday. Monday's 786 Day 1A survivors and Wednesday's Day 1C survivors will combine to form Friday's Day 2A field. This year's Main Event has seen 2,614 entries so far.





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