As I write this the sun has been up for some time, but the action in the Amazon Room has just finished up. In Event 14, $1,500 Seven-Card Stud, we started the day with 137 and didn't reach the final eight until late in the night, or early in the morning depending on how you look at it.
There was some confusion about the decision to play on to a winner, caused by an announcement made to the tournament earlier in the day. The staff had originally said that a unanimous vote to continue playing would be needed.
When the final table was reached, however, it turned out that the actual rule stated that they would need a unanimous vote to stop playing, meaning that if just one player objected to stopping they would have to continue.
Everyone I had spoken with assumed that the final table would be pushed back to tomorrow but we had forgotten about one thing; Barry Greenstein was one of the remaining eight players.
Arguing, and correctly so, that the event was originally scheduled for two days and adding that if they continued to play he might just get this final table out of the way in time to play the event beginning at noon, Barry won over the rest of the table.
Although the ability to deal with extreme fatigue while playing is something that Barry Greenstein has developed extensively, he was unable to pocket another gold bracelet, going out in fourth. Greg Raymer hit the rail a few spots behind him in sixth and Steve Sung made it to third before being done away with.
In the end it was Michael "The Doc" Keiner going to work on Nesbitt Coburn in heads-up play, amassing chips and pulling the plug on Coburn.
Event 14 was actually the second final table of the day. In Event 12, $1,500 Shorthanded No-Limit Hold'em, Jason Warner defeated David Zeitlin to take the bracelet and near half-million first place cash.
This event is a favorite each year but was unfortunately hampered by the WSOP's decision to have it play out behind tall black dividers. For the benefit of live web streaming, all media and spectator access was denied, causing dissent among many in the tournament room today.
Imagine making it through to the final table, inviting your family and friends down to share your glory, and have them find out they are not allowed to even observe the action. For a game that is supposedly all about the players, it does them a severe disservice to impose these restrictions, especially when other final tables play out at the TV-table set with stadium seating and wall-sized displays hanging high above the table.
While it is true that streaming over the web might actually make the final table more accessible to friends and families that can't make the trip to Vegas, this could be accomplished just as easily by not showing hole-cards, the entire reason for the final table's isolation.
All told, the tournaments that conclude behind this curtain are generally much less publicized and much lower profile than the ones played out at the main final table.
Of course, final tables were just a small slice of the cake that was Day 9 of the 2007 WSOP. Two new tournaments began: $2,500 H.O.R.S.E. and $1,500 No-Limit Hold'em. The mixed tournament drew 382 runners, making it the biggest H.O.R.S.E. event in the history of the World Series of Poker.
We also reached the final table in Event 13, the $5k Pot-Limit Hold'em World Championship. A shrewd group of players, the final nine bring an impressive record to bear.
Allen Cunningham will be there. Have we seen him at a final table before? $8.5 million in tournament wins says we might have once or twice. A card-carrying member of Team FullTilt and considered by many to be the most consistent tournament player in the World, Allen's looking to add a fifth bracelet to his wrist today.
Also in on the action are Humberto Brenes, two-time bracelet winner and owner of the most feared card-protector in poker, and Jeff Lisandro, no stranger to WSOP final tables.
Rounding out the big names at the table is Gavin Griffin, former "youngest player to ever win a bracelet" and this year's European Poker Tour Grand Final Champion.
So join us in a few hours for this final table as well as continuing and commencing action in four other events! So, like the title of the movie that everyone should probably watch, I'll sleep when I'm dead!