Players bring a variety of approaches to the early levels of a large field tournament such as this. Some start tight, some start loose. Some play a more casual style when the blinds are low and stakes relatively less serious, while others play every hand with the same intensity as if it were the final table.
When Erik Cajelais arrived late to take his seat at a table in the Brasilia, a player piped up to give him an idea about how everyone was playing.
"I don't know if anyone told you," he said. "But we've just kind of been checking it down at this table to let everyone see the river." All chuckled, and the speaker immediately contradicted his statement with a postflop bet.
Meanwhile, when over in the Amazon we saw Bill Chen engaged in a strangely intense-seeming hand involving himself and two others. The pot was small — just 250 — and the flop had come . A player in the blinds checked, Chen fired 200, and the late position player folded.
The action back on the early position player, he sunk deep into the tank, sitting utterly motionless for more than a half-minute. Finally the dealer spoke up.
"Do you know it's your turn, sir?" he asked uncertainly. The player looked surprised, and the dealer repeated the question. "Yes, yes," the player confirmed, noting that he was thinking.
Chen sat with a bemused look, and when the player finally check-raised to 550, a laugh escaped from the two-time WSOP bracelet winner. "You took too long," Chen said, mucking his hand.