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The day before Day 1 is always a good day to check out the Amazon Room. Rows upon rows of tables fall into rank, the ladders and scaffolds are dragged out, and the floor is as clean as its going to get the whole summer. A lot of things stay eerily the same year after year.

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The featured table, however, is not one of them. More on this monstrosity in a bit.

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Let's get some players in here, shall we?

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The man who's become a fixture on the podium at the WSOP, tournament director Jack Effel commands the attention of the audience when he takes the mic.

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You know it's the WSOP when you see Lon McEachern and Norman Chad running through stand-ups in front of the teleprompter.

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Whatever he leads you to believe, Norman Chad is no slouch at the poker table either. He nearly final tabled Event #25, the $1,500 Stud Hi-Lo, finishing in 12th place for a five-figure score.

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Whatever he leads you to believe, Brad Garrett is - well, not very good at the poker table to be honest. But he does make quite the spectacle on the podium.

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More things on the podium. This one's a big one, though. Guy Laliberte, the founder of Cirque du Soleil, took to the main stage to make one of the most impressive announcements of the summer.

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In 2012, the WSOP will host \"The Big One for One Drop\", $1,000,000 buy-in bracelet event for charity. One Drop uses social arts and education to raise awareness of water issues worldwide, and to provide access to safe, clean water in poverty stricken areas. The players will donate at least 11.11 percent of the prize pool to the effort, and that contribution should easily coast into the seven-figure range.

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Players scheduled to participate include Guy Laliberte, Bobby Baldwin (CEO of MGM-Mirage Resorts), Phil Ruffin (owner of Treasure Island), along with a few pros including Doyle Brunson, Patrik Antonius, Gus Hansen, and Tony Guoga. Also on the list is a captivating name from the recent past, Texas banker and billionaire Andy Beal.

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You caught a peek of it already, so here's a shot from the outside of the new ESPN featured table arena, aptly referred to by some as \"The Mothership\". Just a month in, it's already played host to a handful of memorable heads-up matches. And if photos are any indication, it should look fantastic on television.

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Speaking of heads-up matches, the set got some good use early on in the Series as a pair of \"WSOP Grudge Matches\" hit the felt with the cameras rolling.

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First on the stage, a repeat of the 1989 Main Event final featuring Johnny Chan and Phil Hellmuth.

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While Hellmuth put his name on the walls with that win in 1989, Chan got his revenge on Hellmuth in this rematch 22 years later.

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Next up, the match that changed poker as we know it, 2003's battle between Sammy Farha and Chris Moneymaker.

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A pair of perspectives. The two men split the first two games in the best-of-three, and the duel culminated in a captivating rubber match.

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There'd be no revenge for Sammy; Chris Moneymaker won the decisive third match, and all that was left were handshakes and interviews with Kara Scott.

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There was no soft start at this 2011 WSOP. Right out of the gate, Event #2 was a $25,000 Heads-Up Championship that drew a swarm of the best players in the world. The swarm is seen here scoping out the electronic table seat draw which was randomized just before play began.

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A serious swarm. 128 players and a couple hundred more spectators piled into the Amazon Room to kick off the Series properly.

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Four days later, Jake Cody was the one showing off the new jewelry, and his victory heralded the start of a British invasion in Las Vegas.

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Speaking of heads-up matches, Phil Hellmuth has been heads-up for bracelet #12 twice already this summer. The first time was against John Juanda in Event #16, the $10,000 2-7 No-Limit Draw Championship.

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It didn't go so well for Hellmuth. It did go much better, however, for John Juanda who came away from the match with his fifth gold bracelet.

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John Juanda isn't the only big name winning bracelets this year, either. Allen Bari and Maria Ho battled heads-up in Event #4, the $5,000 No-Limit Hold'em.

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The event was extended to four days due to hard-stop times, and Bari really turned the screws on that fourth day. He's pictured here as he sweats the river card on the final hand of the event.

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Bink! Allen Bari wins the bracelet and $874,116. In his interview with PokerNews, Bari gave us the quotable phrase, \"Tournaments are nonsense.\"

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Bertrand \"ElkY\" Grospellier got his first bracelet, too, winning Event #21, the $10,000 Seven-Card Stud Championship.

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And he drew quite a crowd to the bracelet ceremony the following day for one of the more memorable scenes of the summer so far.

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Brian Rast? Bracelet winner.

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Sam Stein? He got his, too.

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Mark \"xqsays\" Radoja broke through on the live scene with his first bracelet as well.

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Fabrice Soulier scored one for France.

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And WPT Player of the Year Andy Frankenberger has mad game, apparently.

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Team PokerStars Pro Eugene Katchalov? Bracelet.

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And while all those guys were busy scrambling around for their first bracelets, Jason Mercier was grabbing his second bracelet in pot-limit Omaha -- and doing so with relative ease in Event #35.

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So you're hunting for your own bracelet? We've got a few more photographical tips for you to aid the quest.

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First of all, dress to impress. There's a fair chance someone at your table will show up in a sport coat, so it's always best to go with the vest, cufflinks, and an expensive tie. Tony Dunst and Olivier Busquet brought out their weekend best early in Event #4.

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Wear clean socks. Especially if you're British. You never know when one of your mates might make a final table and you'll have to take your shoes off. The railbirds chant, \"Shoes off if you love John Eames,\" during Jake Cody's bracelet run in Event #2.

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Their guy won, by the way.

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But not before they got a bit of a lecture about their behavior from Jack Effel and the security staff.

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Back to the tips. Relax. The stress of a long day on the felt can grind away at anyone's muscles, and a massage can be one of the most relaxing (and expensive) ways to keep your body in the game. David Bach seems to have figured that out as he enjoys one of those (and a cocktail?) while he plays a hand in Event #5.

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Wear something identifiable. You'll want everyone to know who you are, so make sure it's stitched on your clothing somewhere. Nicknames and unpronounceable screen names are always preferred.

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Don't get out of line at the tables. Or Charlie Ciresi will make your day miserable.

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Just ask Men Nguyen and \"Hollywood\" Dave Stann, seen here shooting each other a pretty serious stare.

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Don't show your cards when you don't have to. Ever.

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Bring money. Lots and lots of money. When you're playing a $1,500 event, it's always a good idea to keep at least $40,000 in cash on the rail for, you know, betting on flop colors and water bottle tosses and whatnot.

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Bring something to read. With days approaching twelve hours long, you'll need something to pass the time. Bring along a half-dozen of your favorite poker books like Phil Laak does.

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Bring your friends. When you win a tournament, you'll need a group of at least six or eight people to pose with you, hold the bracelet, fan the cards, etc. Chris \"Genius28\" Lee and his friends played out that scene after his win in Event #29, the first-ever 10-game mixed event.

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Try not to be the last one to leave the Amazon Room. It starts to get spooky in there.

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And most of all, make sure you escape the four walls of the Rio at least occasionally. See the sights Las Vegas has to offer. If you can't get outside, at least get up to the VooDoo Lounge atop the Rio for this view.


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