Tournament director Johnny Grooms tells the dealers to "Shuffle up and deal" at 11:08 (PST). Cards are dealt. Sunglasses adjusted. Chips splashed. Action is underway.
We first see Scotty Ngyuen. He sits near the main entrance at table 107, laughing it up with the people around him. Scotty’s mullet is looking more like Ice Cube circa "Straight Outta Compton" with each passing day.
Not far away is one of the many celebrities playing the event, Shannon Elizabeth (table 187). Her hanger-on boyfriend is "in position." As always, he stands directly behind her, not saying a word, watching everything she does. Be it at the celebrity/media tournament, or at the Bodog party at Rain, this is the only position he seems to know. The guy is a laugh a minute, we tell ya.
Gus Hansen sits at table 99. He throws a 100 chip at a flop of A-K-K. One guy folds, but another re-raises Gus 100. Does Gus have the Kings? Apparently not, as he quickly mucks.
Unfortunately some poor sap didn’t have the foresight to lay down a hand like Gus. Our first player is eliminated 17 minutes in. No word yet on how, but we did witness the second person sent packing, as his straight to the Queen gets beat by a sucked out boat (Jacks over Queens) on the river.
Walking through, we find the Phil "the Unabomber" Laak at table 24…
The Unabomber wears his trademarked grey hoody, but has decided not to wear his shoes. His main squeeze and recent bracelet winner
The master of sly smirks, Devilfish Ulliott, sits at table 34. He re-raises another Brit sitting directly to his right. Devilfish tells him, "I know you don’t have Aces." The Brit laughs and folds.
The players pile out now on their first break into the hallways of the Rio, filling it with smoke. More action to come…