At least 1,000 souls were mercilessly crushed on Day 3. If you must be precise, the exact number is 1,012. That’s how many players advanced to Day 3, yet failed to bag up their chips at the end of the night.
Only four levels (or eight hours of play) were designated for Day 3, which meant 253 players busted out every level, or one elimination every thirty seconds. If you blinked, you missed a bustout.
After the field was divided into four flights on Day 1 and two flights on Day 2, the entire field was in the building for Day 3. The Pavilion was in use at the start of the day, but by night’s end, it was no longer the scene of the crime as the entire field has consolidated into the Amazon Ballroom. As TD Jack Effel explained, “Someone in this room will be the next WSOP Main Event champion.”
For the first time since cards went in the air on Day 1A, it felt like the Main Event, with a buzzing excitement bubbling inside the Amazon and spilling out into the adjacent hallways. Poker PROductions virtually ignored the opening days of the Main Event and were ready to spring into action on Day 3. In addition to full-on coverage, ESPN created a bit of history of their own by streaming the feature table inside the Mothership on a 30-minute delay, but with hole cards. If you were a hardcore poker fan, you had the opportunity to watch the WSOP in almost real time on ESPN 2 or online at ESPN 3.
The innovation was received with mixed reviews. Poker junkies an tech geeks are going to gush about the live streaming, while trolls, boobirds, and Luddites are going to hate on anything. If anything, the addition of the live stream absolutely destroyed wifi options inside the Amazon Ballroom,so many members of the media were flustered with the inability to provide live updates. One of my colleagues hinted at a conspiracy, but I chalked up the clusterfuck due to growing pains. After all, this was the first day of a full TV crew and the first time the WSOP was aired semi-live.
But tech issues aside, the poker tournament was still the big star and if you’ve either played in the Main Event in the past or happen to cover poker tournaments, you are well aware of the lack of stupendous action that accompanies any tournament.
Yeah, live poker is not the most exciting thing to watch in the world. I get more excited watching lesbian kissing videos on YouTube.
For more from Day 3 at the Main Event, follow Pauly McGuire at Tao of Poker.