WOW! Now this is an event! When you enter the Rio, signs direct you to the convention, and a convention it was!

It took us a while to find the poker tables through all the vendors that were exhibiting!  



This was the scene when we entered...they  started with less entrants than speculations let us to believe - a total of 5661 have signed up, not 6600. About 1/3 of them are playing in today's flight. (Learned the lingo... each of these 'day 1's' is called a 'flight')

MZ's table was RIGHT up against an outside edge - PERFECT spot from which the entourage could watch! This was MZ's table at the start of Level 2.

On his table, is Barry Greenstein, the "Robin Hood of Poker". He's the guy in the pink shirt next to the guy in the red hat. Barry is one of the premier players of today.  

Need it be said...yes! Barry didn't make it through day 1, but Mike did!

And watch we did... through 14 grueling hours... painfully seeing the number of tables slowly drop. They played till 66 tables were left - that took part way into Level 8, which the players did not expect.
This was MZ's table just near the end of Level 8..... umm...not a major difference from 14 hours ago you might notice... But OH the drama in between!
This was the dreadful hand that cut the stack in half. The Q's are MZ's... the other guy had a pair of 10's

There was playing, and thinking, and more thinking...stack moving up and down....Read the details in the star's own words.
He went All In a number of times...this one was called and won - doubled up!
No, he's not actually stunned these chips came his way... just doin' a quick count...
Before piling them up
MZ's table was at the spot where ESPN (who was filming the whole thing again) was doing exit interviews of the pro's. We saw Jennifer Harman and Barry Greenstein as they were out the door (while MZ was still in!)
I number of stars (Brad Garrett from Everybody Loves Raymond on the right, Chris Ferguson on the left)) and pros played today, too... oh, but none of them are coming back on Sunday!!

Here's some shot's of the entourage at work... it's hard getting these pictures, because no flash photography was allowed.



And for those that were worried, fear not - the entourage held a dinner table for our star, so dinner was stress free!

Despite our star surviving the pro's and playing brilliantly, it did not go to his head... he even paused to take some pictures with the entourage!


See ya at day 2!