Of course the field is huge. Estimates for Day 1a sat around 1,500 which would mean there's going to be a total of around 6,000 entrants in the 2007 Main Event. It's a few thousand less than 2006, but massive none the less.
Traditionally the main event draws more than just poker professionals. You've got home gamers and hopefuls from across the globe digging deep for the $10K buy-in taking a shot at poker supremacy and a few million bucks.
With the game as popular as ever there are also a number of Hollywood celebrities who make the trip to Las Vegas. It's a strange spot for some of these Hollywood types. While many of them spend most of their lives behind the velvet ropes shielded from the public by agents, publicists, entourages and security personnel, the game of poker won't allow that.
As big time as you are, you're just another fish in the sea here. You've got to sit at the table with Joe Nobody from Pendleton, Oregon and Timmy Trailertrash from Pensacola, Florida. You want to play, you have to mix and mingle with the other half.
Some handle it a lot better others. Ray Romano is one that does. The Everybody Loves Raymond star is as big as they get, but as funny and friendly as ever. I watched Ray sign a few autographs for players at his table. Word on the street is when his table broke earlier in the day he signed one for everyone there before moving on.
When poker pro Raymond Davis got a little mouthy at his table today and a player asked him if anybody likes listening to his rants, he was overheard spouting out surely one of his favorite lines.
"Everybody loves Raymond," he said.
I jokingly asked Romano if he receives residuals every time someone says the title of the show that made him a star and Ray was nice enough to play along.
"I really should," he told me. "To tell you the truth I never wanted them to use that title. I never liked it. It can cause too many problems with the critics. Every time someone didn't like the show it would be 'No, everyone does not love Raymond.' But I guess it all worked out in the end."
Certainly it did. Brad Garrett also from Everybody loves Raymond fame also plays well with others. He sat down at the Main Event today and made a few quick new friends buying massages for everyone around his table. Timmy Trailertrash loved every bit of it.
But of course, there are the ones that don't handle this whole Main Event thing with a lot of style and grace.
Janet Jones-Gretzky wins the bad judgment award for even showing up at the Main Event to play today. Wasn't she caught up in the middle of a gambling scandal involving bookies and dragging the Great One's name through the mud last year. One would think she'd be better off keeping her habits low profile and the Main Event is anything but that.
Speaking of low profile, Spiderman Star Tobey Maguire, who reportedly has taken a few poker lessons from superstar poker pro Daniel Negreanu, would like to keep his presence at the Main Event as lo-pro as possible for some odd reason.
He certainly didn't learn this trick from the always affable Negreanu. It was probably some dim witted publicist who told Tobey associating himself with poker and a gambler's lifestyle doesn't fit in with the family friendly image that helps sell the Spiderman franchise.
When I lined up to take a picture of Tobey at the tables today. He flashed his hands in front of his face as the shutter snapped ruining the shot.
"Now why would you want to go and do something like that?" I asked Mr. Maguire.
Pulling his Ipod earbuds out he asked me to repeat myself and I did.
"I don't want my picture taken," he said.
"You don't want your picture taken?" I asked. "You, who stars in Hollywood blockbuster films, who has his face plastered all over posters, magazines and TV screens across America, you don't want your picture taken?"
Tobey sat stunned, almost smiling as he shook his head before I let him off the hook.
"OK," I said. "That's your prerogative I suppose."
But it's also my job and I'm sorry, but no camera shy Hollywood celeb is going to stop me from doing it.
There are clearly marked signs at the front of the Amazon Room reminding players media outlets and the WSOP itself is going to be taking photos and by taking part in the event, players are submitting to the use of these photos.
If Tobey wasn't going to play nice, I was going to bring out the big guns. So I shot him from 50 yards away with the telephoto lense. Not the ideal situation, but it got the job done.
Sorry Peter Parker, but you've got to remember what your Uncle Ben once said - with great power comes great responsibility and I don't thing anyone would disagree that with the power, money and fame of celebrity comes the responsibility to smile pretty for the camera every now and then! Or at least take your hands down from in front of your face.