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Vin Narayanan

Vin  Narayanan
Vin Narayanan is the former managing editor at Casino City and has been involved in the gaming industry for over a decade Vin is currently based in Hong Kong, where he runs his own consultant group and works as head of gaming and public relations for Mega Digital Entertainment Group.

Before joining Casino City, Vin covered (not all at the same time) sports, politics and elections, wars, technology, celebrities and the Census for, USA WEEKEND and CNN.

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Ivey provides WSOP Main Event drama while Wayans delivers fun

9 Jul 2009

By Vin Narayanan

LAS VEGAS -- When action began at the World Series of Poker Main Event Wednesday, the Rio was stuffed to the gills with poker players and tables. More than 2,900 players had descended on the tournament site to participate in Day 2B of the Main Event -- two days after tournament officials had to close registration for Day 1D because they had reached a "capacity" field of 2,809 players. In order to accommodate the field, the WSOP staff had to get creative. And they succeeded.

Like they did Monday, the WSOP used space on the casino floor outside the Buzios seafood restaurant, along with the Miranda and Brasilia rooms to handle the overflow of players. But they also squeezed in 6 additional tables into the Amazon Room -- the main tournament room -- and commandeered an addition 14 tables in the traditional Rio poker room, near the sports book and the Carnival buffet.

The result was a tournament that occupied virtually every square inch of free space the Rio had, and the 2,924 survivors from Days 1C and 1D playing nine-handed poker.

Phil Ivey

Phil Ivey made a huge move up the leaderboard Wednesday, putting him in position to go after his third WSOP bracelet of the year. (Photo by Vin Narayanan, Casino City)

It didn't take long for the field to begin dwindling after play began. Just over a minute in, the first player of the day was eliminated. The bust outs then continued and continued and continued until 1,436 Day 2B players remained. The Main Event takes the day off Thursday, with play resuming Friday when the survivors from Days 2A and 2B merge and play on the same day for the first time.

The unquestioned poker star of the day was Phil Ivey. Ivey, who has already won two bracelets at this year's Series, dominated play and increased his chip stack from 84,025 to 346,200. Amir Lehavot is the chip leader with 610,500 in chips.

The unquestioned talk of the dealers -- and some of the tournament officials -- was Marlon Wayans. The actor and comedian started the day with just under 20,000 in chips, and ended up earning the respect of everyone he came in contact with. After dealers rotated off of his table and onto another one, they made a point of shaking his hand.

One dealer shared his story with fellow dealers during a break.

"I started to tell him my favorite line from 'Scary Movie,'" the dealer said. Then (Wayans) said "I'll give you the whole scene if you double me up." The dealers burst out laughing, enjoying their brush with fame. They then went on to share their favorite scenes from Mo' Money, another Wayans movie.

Marlon Wayans

Marlan Wayans entertained players, dealers and fans alike with his determined play and great sense of humor. (Photo by Vin Narayanan, Casino City)

At the table, Wayans was focused on the game. But he still managed to have some fun with the table. "Can't you just let a brother limp in," he moaned after being raised once. "We (brothers) call that (limping) a bop. You guys call it a limp. We like to bop into hands." Wayans also took time to pose for Casino City's camera (thank you Marlon).

Wayans almost beat the odds and survived Day 2B. But when he pushed all in with pocket kings, his hand was cracked by an opponent who had pocket queens, and hit a third queen on the river to win the hand.

When Wayans busted out, he exited the Amazon Room with a smile, shaking hands with and giving dap to the people who had been following him.

"He just hit a queen on the river," Wayans told Casino City. "There's nothing I could do."

Other notable players that busted Wednesday include Nenad Medic, Hal Lubarsky, Tom Dwan, Adam Levy, Howard Lederer, Michael Mizrachi, Kathy Liebert, Scotty Nguyen, Vanessa Rousso, Shannon Shorr, Eric Froehlich and Erick Lindgren.

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