We can't say for sure when the money got into the pot, but when we walked up, Matt Graham had turned up in front of him, and he had one of his opponents across the table all in. The other player was in good shape, showing . That lead wouldn't last long, however.
The dealer ran out a board of , making Graham the Broadway straight and eliminating the other player from the field.
Table mate Gavin Smith couldn't resist the chance to needle Graham: "You thought you were trapping him. You suck," Smith said. After another few moments, he added, "You suck worse than Tremors." The table chuckled at Smith's movie reference.
Graham may suck, but his stack shows 17,000 chips. That part definitely doesn't suck.
An unknown player opened the pot with a raise to 250, and two players called in the middle before Chris Moneymaker three-bet to 1,100 in the big blind. This time the raiser and the first caller called, while the fourth man ducked out of the way.
The three of them took a flop of , and Moneymaker fired out 1,300 more chips. The original raiser was the only caller now, and they went heads up to see the on the turn. Moneymaker checked now, and his opponent bet 1,600.
"How did that ace help you?" Moneymaker asked. "Are you just floating?" After another few seconds, he moved all in, and his opponent called all in for 4,600 total, turning up . Moneymaker said, "I have one of those two..." and then he rolled over for the unexpected set. The on the river finished off the hand, and Moneymaker is up to 12,000 after using all of his rebuy lammers already.
For an event that will draw more than 800 players, the pros have certainly turned out in force. In addition to all of the other players we've already spotted, Joe Hachem, Victor Ramdin, and double-bracelet winner Frank Kassela recently joined the party.
We were a bit thin in Team PokerStars Pros to start the day, but then again, we were thin in players generally speaking. Another walk through the field, however, sees that the seats have filled in nicely with Team Pros. Check out this list as the second level gets underway:
Fatima de Melo
Rounding out the field, we have Jude Ainsworth (Ireland), Tony Hachem (Australia), Vadim Markushevski (Russia), Veronica Dabul (Argentina), Pat Pezzin (Canada), and Juan Manuel Pastor (Spain).
The room has filled out significantly, about halfway through the first level. Most tables are playing 7- or 8-handed at this point. Additional arrivals include (but are not limited to) Dutch Boyd, Sorel Mizzi, Phil Ivey and James Dempsey. It seems that most players are choosing to hold onto their rebuy lammers to start the tournament.
The room is slowly starting to fill, but it's definitely nowhere near full. Regardless, we've started making our sweeps to find out who's shown up on time (or at least close thereto). A random sampling includes Jeff Shulman, Andre Akkari, Hevad Khan, Lauren Kling, Bryan Micon, Toto Leonidas, Allen Kessler, Theo Tran and Gavin Griffin. Of course there are many, many more notables than that. Well be filling them into the chip counts page as we go.
Just a reminder that we'll put each player in at the starting stack of 3,000 chips. As individual players burn their rebuy lammers, we'll increase their count to reflect the additional chips in play.
We start on time here at the World Series of Poker, with or without players. Today, it's without. The staff has run through the announcements and given the shuffle up and deal command to the dealers and a half-empty room. Most of the tables have only have three or four players seated at them, and some tables are starting with just two playing heads up.
Regardless, the cards are in the air, and Event #51 is a go.
Welcome to the Pavilion Room at the Rio Convention Center for Event 51 of the 2010 World Series of Poker, $3,000 Triple Chance No-Limit Hold'em. It's hard to believe that we're already starting the 51st of 57 events at this year's World Series.
The "triple chance" format of this tournament means that each player will be given a starting stack of 3,000 chips and two "rebuy lammers". The rebuy lammers are each worth an additional 3,000 chips and can be taken before the start of any hand at any point through the first four levels. At the end of Level 4, all unredeemed rebuy lammers are automatically swapped for tournament chips. Some players will choose to cash in their lammers before the first hand of the tournament; others will hold off and keep the lammers as a safety net in case they should go broke during the first four levels.
Last year 854 players registered for this event. The last player standing was Germany's Jorg Peisert, who pocketed just more than half a million dollars for his three days of poker-playing. Most likely a similar number of players will show up for the event this year, which means two days from now we'll be creating a new half-millionaire.
Play will be underway in about twenty minutes. Keep your browser pointed to PokerNews for exclusive live updates.