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Tuesday, October 04, 2005

poker world cup

Many of the top poker professionals were already gone when the World Series of Poker's second round began Sunday.

After three days, the field of 5,619 entrants had been winnowed to 1,884 at the Rio hotel-casino, with 10 former champions already eliminated, including 2003 champion Chris Moneymaker, Robert Varkonyi, who won in 2002, and Bobby Baldwin, the 1978 winner.

"It's insane," Moneymaker said shortly after busting out Sunday. "It's tough to make money. Every time I made money, something bad would happen. I could never accumulate any chips."

Getting to the final table that begins Friday will take a staggering amount of luck. To stand a chance of winning the no-limit Texas Hold 'em event, players must land superb hands and avoid bad beats.

"I got a lottery ticket in the lottery," said 1995 champ Dan Harrington, who made the first cut. "Realistically, there's no practical chance."