If Maxim did a poker issue, it would be this tournament: the room is filled with big celebrities, beautiful models, and virtually every poker pro you could imagine. The atmosphere is more like a party than any other tourney I've ever played, and everyone is having a good time.
At the end of day one, there are 98 players left. I am in 68th, with T17500, which is just about half of the average stack of T32000. BJ has a complete list of the players and their stacks over at PokerPages, and of course Pauly has the best live blog on the Internets, which includes a ton of pictures.
I didn't get many cards to play all day, but when I did, I got paid off nicely. I took a couple of pots from Jason Alexander, and I even busted John Juanda when he ran his KQ into my pocket Aces.
Some of you may have read that I busted John. This is true, but it's not as exciting or masterful as you may think. John was crippled when Jason flopped Broadway for the nuts, and John made aces up on the turn. A few hands later, Daniel Negreanu came running over to our table with some guy I didn't recognize, and said to John, "Can you eat ten Saltines in sixty seconds?"
"What?" John said, and everyone else at the table thought.
"Saltine crackers. Can you eat ten of them in sixty seconds?"
John thought for a second while he looked at his cards.
"Yeah, I think I can," he said.
"Okay!" Daniel said, with a little hop. "Juanda is my horse! You get half my action, John."
"Let's do it!" John said, and shoved his last 1000 or so into the pot. It was folded to me, and I figured that the BB and I were calling based strictly on odds and probably checkint it down. That is, until I woke up with pocket aces.
"I have to raise," I said. While I thought about what amount would get the BB to maybe call with something that I could survive, he folded J2o face up.
"Go ahead and play it out," he said. "I'm not playing this."
I flipped up my aces, and John flipped up KQ. I flopped an ace, busted John Juanda, and ended up with about 16K after the whole thing was said and done. John and I shook hands, and the WPT cameras captured the whole thing. Daniel was putting on quite a show for them, calling for cards and stuff, and it was pretty funny, so it stands a good chance of making the broadcast, especially if I make it deep today.
I have a tough table today, with Scott Fischman immediately to my left, but I also know that I essentially have one steal, and after that it's push-or-fold time. If you're interested in tracking my action, Pauly will be live blogging me and the rest of the field at Tao of Poker.