The final four hours of Day 1B feel like a movie in slow motion. The antes have finally kicked in and that adds for a little more preflop drama, but the overall excitement is limited given that the pot sizes typically aren't that big on Day 1. Of course there are a few exceptions and a few players who think they're about to win the bracelet with a six-figure stack at the moment, but there's a long way to go. Even Sunday night.
Just like on Day 1A, the biggest challenge for the players during the final level is to keep their composure. As they start to watch the stacks of their opponent's grow, players have a tendency to worry that they're falling behind and need to catch up quickly. I've called it "Main Event Syndrome." Many players neglect to play their own stack in respect to the blinds and just look at the average stack, which can be intimidating. So why bring it up on Day 1? Players who haven't gained much ground and are in the 10,000-20,000 chip range shouldn't get rattled. With two-hour levels and low antes, patience is key Sunday night. During the last two levels, we'll see who can keep their focus.
The table generating the most excitement is no longer Doyle Brunson at the feature table. The rail is three deep around the final table of the $1,500-no-limit hold 'em Event 60 featuring Loni Harwood and Yongshuo Zheng. Most of the crowd is supporting Harwood who entered heads-up play with a huge league, but gave a little bit back during the first 45 minutes. Harwood has become the first woman since Cyndy Violette to make three final tables in one WSOP 2005 and has the opportunity to set all kinds of records with a win Sunday night.
Another final table is in progress and nine remain in the $10,000-pot-limit Omaha event. Jared Bleznick leads that group, now on dinner break, and hopes to win his first bracelet in his first WSOP final table appearance. That final table is being streamed on WSOP.com on a five-minute delay.
Players will wrap up the day at approximately 12:40 a.m. PT and return on Monday for their Day 2. Doyle Brunson looks to be in great shape for a Day 2 bid, but Chris Moneymaker simply hasn't found any momentum. After getting back more than 20,000 in chips, Moneymaker flopped the nut straight but was floored as the turn and river gave his opponent a full house. Moneymaker is down more than 20 big blinds and has a tough task ahead of him.
Small blinds: Daniel Cates is off to a good start in the main event. He has never been able to crack the main event formula, so is this the year the high-stakes legend comes through? Chris Klodnicki was definitely multi-tasking Sunday. While playing the main event, he was also on his iPad playing Open Face Chinese and writing out checks for those that supported him in the $111,111 high roller. The distractions didn't get to him though as he was able to build an above average stack to this point. Elizabeth Hurley is here supporting Shane Warne in the main event. Warne, and fellow Team 888 member Georges St. Pierre are playing in the Amazon Room Sunday. WSOP staffers have advised all players to register as soon as possible to avoid major lines and any delays on Day 1C. Rough estimates have more than 5,000 players already registered with registration remaining open until around 4:30 p.m. PT Monday. Doyle Brunson had dinner with Dewey Tomko in the poker kitchen Sunday. Two legends and great minds of the game. Talk about a conversation I'd love to overhear.