Day 1A continues to roll on, and fatigue is starting to settle in. The coffees and Red Bulls are flowing at the Rio as players complete their eighth hour of competition on the day. Keeping focused on each day of the main event is a priority for all players, but for the poker veterans around the room, these final few hours are when they'll settle in and build their stacks.
"Players get the feeling that they need to chip up during the last level of the day," said Lee Childs, seventh-place finisher in the 2007 WSOP main event. "You just have to remember to play according to your stack and not panic to get chips. It's a long tournament."
Russell Thomas acknowledged the fatigue of the players and said, "There's a lot of money on the line. Why would you not do everything possible to stay focused?" Thomas finished in fourth place last year and has started off strong this year with an above-average stack heading into the final level.
The first former main event champion has been eliminated from the 2013 World Series of Poker main event. Pius Heinz, sporting his customary gray hoodie, had his trips rivered by a straight early in Level 4 to be sent to the rail. The 2011 WSOP main event champion has played less poker of late and notched only one cash during the 2013 Series. Actor Jason Alexander also failed to make it through Day 1 for the first time in his seven years of WSOP participation.
The rail in the room is sparse, but a slow, steady stream of tourists have been catching the action and providing the room with a little more life. There's a very serious tone on Day 1A, but given the evolution of the strategy and general composition of players here in Vegas, there's no surprise that the fanfare and comedy that once graced Day 1 have disappeared. The main event is all business.
Small Blinds: The tables in the orange section are being broken at this time. ... Faraz Jaka made a strong lay down of the final hand of Level 4 to keep his main event hopes alive. After flopping top two, he folded to an all-in river bet and was rewarded as his opponent showed a flush. ... Tables are starting to order drinks together. Rounds of beers and shots will be common throughout the rest of the night. ... Paul Pierce was eliminated in the $10,000 pot-limit Omaha world championship. He missed out on the money by about 30 spots. That event is currently on dinner break with 61 players remaining. ... There are 12 players remaining in the Little One for One Drop. First place in that event is worth $663,727. ... There are at least 3,200 players registered for the main event. That number will continue to grow significantly. ... Lee Childs and Dan Fleyshman are seated together, as is Justin Bonomo and Phil Galfond. ... Many former November Niners are in today's field, including Steve Begleiter and Scott Montgomery. ... Phil Hellmuth found his way into the dunk tank and into the water at the WSOP's "Block Party" tonight. Those who donated money toward One Drop were able to try to sink Hellmuth.