A night off. I walked the main tournament room, where Day 1D was being played. The final prize pool and entry numbers for the tournament were on display. There are 6,494 entries, and a guaranteed minimum of over $20,000 will go to the top 648 finishers. Final Table players are guaranteed over $1MM, and First Prize is over $8.5 Million - and the Bracelet. A slow registration start fooled many players - including some big names - who were among the 800 turned away after Day 1D reached the daily 3,000-player maximum. That's $8,000,000 in entry fees refused!
The main room also houses the Rio's live cash games. As I was about to leave the room, I heard the P.A. system announce that a seat was ready for the next player on the sign-up list for a 2/5 no-limit game. "2/5 seat ready for X22." I was startled! Those who follow the game know that X22 is the nickname of the great Paul Magriel. Could it be? Anyone who's discussed poker with me lately has heard me talk about Dan Harrington's superb discussion of "M Theory" in Volume II of his three volume book series. As Harrington freely explains, the concept is the invention of noted poker expert and backgammon legend, Paul Magriel. When Magriel, who wrote the bible of backgammon instruction, first introduced his poker system, he simply called it "M" for his name. I went to the cash game area to see if it was, indeed, the X22. Yup. I introduced myself and we chatted about a mutual friend, whom he hasn't seen in many years. He gave me his card and asked me to forward his email address.
I'm enjoying this place. Tomorrow, I'll be watching Big Slick's Tony G playing in Day 2A.