2008 WSOP Day 36: Garnering a lot of chips

Mark Garner
Mark Garner tops the leaderboard after Day 1a of the 2008 WSOP Main Event.

The numbers for Day1a were slightly up from the 2007 Main Event. When the official count was finally released, 1,297 players had come out for Day 1a compared to 1,258 in 2007.

However, with three more Day 1's and registration open through the first two levels of Day 1d on Sunday, it's a long wait to find out how many players in total are going to show up this year. If the first day is any indicator, the 2008 Bobby Baldwin, Berry Johnston, Dan Harrington and Scotty Nguyen. Unfortunately only Nguyen made it through the day.

A couple of celebrities were spotted at the tables as well on Thursday. Jason Alexander and Ray Romano were both trying their luck. Alexander hit the rail eventually, but Romano made it to the end of the day with a fairly healthy stack of $61,025.

Showing some decent poker knowledge, during one hand Romano took on Justin "Red" Phillips. Phillips had made it $1,050 pre-flop from the button, and after the small blind called, Romano protected his blind.

After the flop came A T 9, the players checked it around to see a K hit on the turn. Romano bet $1,000, getting a flat-call from Phillips, and the small blind folded.

The river brought a 3, and Romano fired out another $5,000. Phillips took some time to think and then finally made the call, perhaps just to see if he was right since he asked "Queen-jack?" as he made the call.

Romano showed that lady luck also loved him, revealing Q J for the straight and raking in the pot.

The players who made it through the day on Thursday will have a few days to rest up and prepare before taking on another day of poker. Day 1b will get started today at noon, and the weekend will include two more Day 1's before all the players get a break on Monday. Day 2a will get started on Tuesday.

Keep up on all the action in the 2008 WSOP Live Tournaments section.

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