I don't know about you, but with the recent uncertainty in the major sports at the moment, my attention has been forced to wander into some of the fringe sports. One of those, and one that I have been somewhat obsessive about over the past year, is Texas Hold'em Poker. For those not in the know, Texas Hold'em is a poker game where you are dealt 2 cards face-down. After a round of 'pre-flop' betting, three cards are dealt face up in what is called a 'flop'. Another round of betting then ensues before a fourth card comes out, called the 'turn'. Finally, if your still in the hand and after another round of betting, the fifth and final card comes out, which is referred to as the 'river'.
After the river is out, it's down to a final round of betting before anyone turns up their two cards and shows their hand (if anyone is left standing by this time). The point of this game is to take the two cards in your hand and combine them with the five cards dealt face-up to make the best hand you could possibly make, one that hopefully bests your opponents.
It's a mentally straining game of bluffs, bad breaks, and lucky draws and it's one that has been gaining some heavy popularity momentum over the past decade. The reason being that anyone can do it and make it big. You don't have to be built like Hercules or be able to leap buildings in a single bound to be good at poker. You just need practice, knowledge, and a little luck to be a champion.
For fans of the sport, now is one of the most important times of the year as its most premier event, The World Series of Poker Main Event, is going on. The WSoP is a world renowned series of poker tournaments that pits the best of the sport against some of the most talented amateurs and celebrities in a quest to gain a coveted 'WsoP Bracelet' that is awarded to the winner (along with a big wad of cash). The culmination of these tourneys is the 'Main Event', which is the premier event of the poker circuit. Anyone who is anyone in the sport can be found here, trying to advance to the main table in the hopes of winning the biggest event in poker.
Currently, the 2011 WsoP Main Event is 6 days into the elimination process and things are heating up. Most of the more notable players, the ones featured on top poker shows like High Stakes Poker and Poker After Dark, have been eliminated, leaving the field open for some lesser known names to take center stage.
Out of the thousands that entered, we are down to 57 players as day 7 is set to kick off today and thanks to a new twist to this years format, fans can see nearly all the action as the event has been broadcast live for the first time ever.
Here is a list of the Day 6 chip leaders and the people who are looking to stay alive for that final table.
Ryan Lenaghan (12.8 million in chips)
2. Ben Lamb (9.9 million)
3. Matt Giannetti (7.9 million)
4. Andrey Pateychuk (7.2 million)
5. Phil Collins (7.2 million)
6. Hilton Laborda (7.1 million)
7. Nelson Robinson (6.4 million)
8. Tri Huynh (6.2 million)
9. Aleksandr Mozhnyakov (6.0 million)
10. Bryan Devonshire (5.9 million)
If you are interested in watching how day 7 unfolds, tune into ESPN3.com at 3pm as the action continues. It beats waiting for updates on NFL labor news!