Another Busy Day at the Rio
For the second day in a row there were a total of six World Series of Poker events underway in the Amazon Room. Two events crowned a champion (Events #5 & #6), two events had their second day of play (Events #7 & #8) and another two events started (Events #9 & #10). Six events in a day will be the norm for ten of the next 11 days.
Biggest Game in the Room: Lakers/Celtics
Even with six events in play Thursday, it seemed that all anybody wanted to know was what was going on in Game 1 of the NBA Finals. Doyle Brunson, Eli Elezra and David Oppenheim were all cranking their necks to see the game on the one TV in the Amazon Room that is not a tournament clock. After the Boston Celtics won 98-88 spirits seemed to pick-up. One pro admitted to his tablemates that he’d pushed on the night’s activity; losing his first half wager but winning his spread wager for the game.
Filippi Fires a Zinger
In the same event just before the dinner break Sammy Farha asked a floor supervisor if the dinner break was two hours long. “A two hour dinner break? I guess you haven’t made it to a dinner break yet,” laughed Amnon Filippi. Dinner breaks this year are one hour long.
The Toughest Table
The elite group of pros in Event #8 ($10,000 Mixed Game) meant that nearly every table was tough, but Greg “FBT” Mueller was certain he knew which was toughest, “Whichever table I get moved to. I’ve had the toughest table all day long. Every time I get moved it’s to the toughest table.” Mueller may have had a point at the time. His tablemates were Brunson, Elezra, Oppenheim and Gus Hansen.
Milwaukee’s Best Joins the Bracelet Ceremony
The final table of Event #5 ($1,000 No Limit Hold’em w/rebuys) featured two distinct cheering sections. Friends and family of eventual heads-up contestants Michael Banducci
and Jeff Williams
were loud from start to finish, but Banducci’s posse may have been louder, thanks to some liquid encouragement. During the ESPN interview Norman Chad
asked Banducci what he could buy with $636,736 “a whole lot of beer.”
Sensing an opportunity to help the 23-year-old quench his thirst, Ty Stewart, WSOP Director of Marketing, decided to buy the Banducci group a round of Milwaukee’s Best. Banducci, bracelet firmly clenched in his left hand, had little difficulty emptying the can and toasting the onlookers.