Tournament of Champions – Ivey Out! Day 1 is Done

Phil Ivey
Well that was fast!

After just four hours of play the 22 remaining players in the Tournament of Champions are bagging up their chips.

It's all part of the plan as many of the players in the TOC are also involved in ongoing events for bracelets that are just starting up now.

In four hours we saw Phil Ivey, Greg Raymer, Sammy Farha, John Juanda and Barry Shulman hit the rail while Erik Seidel, Johnny Chan, Mike Matusow take their place amongst the chip leaders.

Meanwhile Doyle Brunson, Mike Sexton, Annie Duke and WSOP.com qualifier Andrew Barton are all amongst the short stacks and will need to move quickly tomorrow.

 Action will resume at 12 p.m. on Monday. Join us then for the best live updating this side of Clark County.

Here's a look at the action leading up to the end of the day:

Ivey Coolered!

If you're going to bust Phil Ivey it might as well be a cooler because there's a good chance he's not getting it in bad against you.

That's just what transpired when Ivey and Chris Ferguson got into a raising war pre-flop.

Ferguson opened for 600, Ivey made it 2,000, Ferguson 6,400 and Ivey five-bet shoved all-in for 13,500.

Ferguson called and flipped over Q Q but Ivey had him crushed with K K.

The board rolled out T 6 3... Q! ...2 to give Ferguson a set of queens and the checkmark.

Ivey will have to get his poker action somewhere else tonight.

Top 10 Leaderboard

Click the chip counts tab to the right to get complete end of Day 1 chip counts but here are the top 10, courtesy of www.wsop.com, to get you started:

Erik Seidel - 72,075
Johnny Chan - 71,325
Mike Matusow - 70,575
Barry Greenstein - 56,775
Joe Hachem - 55,650
Huck Seed - 51,875
Bertrand Grospellier - 51,575
Allen Cunningham - 49,300
Scotty Nguyen - 48,900
Dan Harrington - 38,250

Level 4

Blinds: 150/300 Ante: 25

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Tournament of Champions – Bustouts! Swearing! Paleontology!

Barry Greenstein
The Bear is growling.

The Tournament of Champions is certainly turning into a thrilling affair as the latest level saw three more players hit the rail and Barry Greenstein come out of nowhere to take over the chip lead.

Just 23 players of our original 27 remain after three levels.

Here's the latest action from the floor:

Greenstein Stacks Farha

Barry Greenstein made it 600 to go and was called by Scotty Nguyen, Sam Farha, and Phil Hellmuth.

The four saw a flop of Q 2 J.

Greenstein fired out 1,200 and Nguyen flatted. Farha made it 4,200 and Barry went to 14,200.

Nguyen quickly folded.

"Alright baby," Farha said as he shipped in his stack.

"I hope I'm not drawing dead," he continued after seeing Greenstein insta-call.

The Bear turned over K T while Farha was in deep with his 8 9.

"I had ace-queen. Oh my god. Why you have to do that shit baby?" said Nguyen as he clutched his heavily oiled hair.

 "I'm trying to score," Farha said flippantly.

The dealer burned and turned the Q and then the 4 making The Bear's king high the best hand.

Just having Farha covered, it means that Barry is up to almost 80,000 while Farha is left with nothing.

 "We're putting in 200 big blinds with nine high and king high over!" Phil Hellmuth giggled. "I'm the ginsu knife son!"

We have no idea what he meant with the knife comment but we're going to try to find out

Erick Lindgren
Where's E-dog?

So Who's Not Here?

The voting for the 2010 WSOP Tournament of Champions was fairly standard in our opinion and most of the players we thought were going to get in, did indeed get in.

Chris Moneymaker was probably on the bubble. It's somewhat surprising that main event champs Greg Raymer and Joe Hachem would make it in but not the guy that many credit with kick-starting the poker boom.

We would have loved to see our boy Jason Mercier in the field as he's been as hot as any players over the last couple years but the fans seemed to go more for veteran players.

Tom Schneider, who offered to split half his winnings with people who voted for him did not make it into the tournament.

Team Full Tilt pro Erick Lindgren is also strangely absent today.

There are of course a few popular players who don't have a bracelet yet so they weren't eligible. Gus Hansen, Annette Obrestad and Tom Dwan would fall in that category. Gavin Smith would also be in there, although he rectified that by winning a bracelet last night so he would be eligible next year.

Change of Plans

Remember how we said we were going to play from 27 to a final table of nine today?

Yeah forget about that. Apparently because so much of the field is involved in the $5k Pot-Limit Omaha Hi-Lo we're going to only play four one-hour levels today.

Play will recommence tomorrow at 12:00 and we'll go to a final table of nine and then play out the final table on July 4 as originally planned.

Barry Shulman

Shulman Sinks

Barry Shulman won the 2009 WSOPE Main Event for $1.3 million this but he's going to finish well short of the money in this event.

In his last hand Shulman limped from middle position, Mike Matusow completed his small blind and Allen Cunningham checked the big blind.

The flop came 8 3 3 and Matusow checked but Cunningham threw a 500 chip into the pot.

Shulman raised to 1,500 and Matusow folded. Cunningham decided to come along for the ride and called.

The turn came 4 and Shulman bet 3,000 and Cunningham made it 6,000 to play. Shulman shoved and Cunningham immediately called. Shulman flipped over 5 3 to Cunningham's 9 3 in a slight cooler of a hand.

The river was a fateful 6 and that was it for Shulman in this event.

The Bad Boys of Poker

Phil Hellmuth has been running his mouth a bit which, in itself wouldn't be a big deal.

"I f*#@ing try to trap them and look what they do. This is so f#*!ing ridiculous," he would mutter under his breath.

Matusow, always finding time to put himself in the spotlight, began repeating everything that Hellmuth said to the crowd. The language got more and more 'colorful' as time passed - perhaps a bit too colorful.

One of the tournament directors came over to address the table.

"I hear you guys are using some potty mouth. I don't know who it was and I don't care but I don't want to come back here," he told the table. The crowd reacted by booing and hissing. "I'm just saying this is a televised thing, and we all need to be respectful and courteous to each other."

"If I just say 'F' to substitute certain words is that alright?" Matusow asked.

"That would be fine," the director answered.

"Ok well, you're going to be hearing 'F' a lot. These are my fans over here and they want to hear what's going on at the table!" he shouted to the rail, who responded with a loud cheer.

Paleontologist Scotty Nguyen

Scotty Nguyen casually strolled into the playing area with a tournament official carrying his chips in tow.

"Oh wow. Scotty, were you at the clubs all night?" Phil Hellmuth asked loudly.

"You got it baby!" Nguyen answered with a laugh. If he was out at the clubs all night, he looks like he's in good shape - and by that we mean, only half wasted.

Immediately he took notice of a fossil in front of Mike Matusow.

"What's that baby?" he asked.

Matusow went on to tell about how he busted Greg Raymer who then autographed the ancient polished stone.

"Wow baby. Did you know this thing is three-hundred thousand years old, baby?" Nguyen asked in awe. We couldn't help but notice that the fossil looked like a trilobite. While 300,000 years wasn't a bad guess, it's more like 250 million-526 million years old. That's old, baby.

Greg Raymer

Raymer Fossilized

In a surprising turn of events, Greg Raymer has found his way to the rail.

Raymer, Mike Matusow, Mike Sexton and Sammy Farha all saw a flop of A Q 6. Sexton bet 800 but Raymer check-raised to 6,000.

Matusow went for the check-raise himself and made it 15,000. At this point Raymer mentioned he had initially meant to bet 2,000 but had instead threw a 5,000 chip and a 1,000 chip into the pot.

Sexton folded and Raymer felt compelled to call based on pot-odds. Raymer's mistake was obvious as soon as the cards were on their backs:

Raymer: 7 4

Matusow: A Q

The board finished with 4 and then the 9.

Raymer is out of the tournament.

Negreanu vs. Duke Part 1

Daniel Negreanu has drawn first blood against nemesis Annie Duke.

Antonio Esfandiari opened for 600 from early position and Duke called from the small blind and Negreanu from the big blind.

The flop came A K 3 and action checked to Esfandiari who bet 1,525. Duke called and so did Negreanu.

The turn came 5 and Esfandiari checked but Duke bet 2,800. Negreanu called but Esfandiari folded.

The river came 8 and Duke bet 5,300.

Negreanu carefully weighed out his options but finally made the call with J 3 for the jack-high flush.

Duke mucked and Negreanu is up to over 50,000 chips.

More to come.

Level 3

Blinds: 100/200 Ante: 25

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Tournament of Champions – Juanda Jacked!

John Juanda
Mr. 27

John Juanda has the dubious distinction of being the first player eliminated in the 2010 Tournament of Champions.

He was busted by Jennifer Harman who has established herself as the early chip leader in this event with 67,000 chips.

It's been an action-packed level with plenty of table talk and a surprisingly large amount of chip movement.

Here's a closer look at the action:

Juanda Down!

With very little fanfare John Juanda has become the first elimination of the Tournament of Champions.

Juanda and Jennifer Harman traded a series of bets down a K 7 4 6 J board but the real action started after the river had been dealt.

With about 4,000 already in the pot Juanda bet 3,500 and Harman re-raised to 8,500.

Juanda thought for a minute and then re-raised all-in for his remaining 30,000. Harman thought about her decision for a few minutes and finally called with J J for a set of jacks.

Juanda simply mucked his hand, wished the other players luck and headed for the exit.

When Annie Met Daniel

Annie Duke has Daniel Negreanu on her left, which is interesting considering their history together.

The pair has a long history of not getting along and Negreanu has repeatedly criticized her game and in the past even called her out for looking at other player's hole cards when she wasn't involved in a hand.

We'll see if there are any fireworks between the two of them today.

Mike Matusow
Still the loudest.

Gamble, Gamble, Gamboool!

There are some notable gamblers in the field and Sammy Farha is perhaps the biggest one of them all.

Farha was just heard trying to convince Mike Matusow that they should both go all-in blind.

Matusow was interested at first but when Farha started looking to call over the ESPN cameras Matusow shied away from the bet.

"Maybe this isn't such a good idea," Matusow said.

The Three Corners

The Tournament of Champions is set up in an unusual manner today with all three tables spread to three different corners of the Amazon Room.

Here's how all the tables look:

ESPN Featured Table

Joe Hachem, Doyle Brunson, Howard Lederer, T.J. Cloutier, Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier, Scotty Nguyen, Annie Duke, Daniel Negreanu, Antonio Esfandiari

Amazon Red 372

Huck Seed, Phil Ivey, Jennifer Harman, Joe Cada, Erik Seidel, Chris Ferguson, John Juanda, Johnny Chan, Andrew Barton

Amazon Red 341
Mike Matusow, Allen Cunningham, Mike Sexton, Phil Hellmuth, Dan Harrington, Barry Greenstein, Barry Shulman, Sam Farha, Greg Raymer

From the Felt

"I told myself this morning that if someone raises after I bet I'm going to re-raise. I'm tired of getting $&%#ed"

-Mike Matusow

Level 2

Blinds: 100/200

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Tournament of Champions – Champion Day!

Phil Ivey
The most popular man in poker.

At long last it's finally arrived. After a three-year long hiatus the Tournament of Champions is back with a vengeance.

The invitational-style tournament is, without a doubt, one of the most condensed groups of star poker players ever assembled.

Fans were able to vote for their top 20 players while all three TOC winners were invited, the WSOP Main winner, WSOPE winner, WSOP Academy Sit & Go winner Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier and UK-only poker site WSOP.com qualifier Andrew Barton who will have his work cut out for him.

Players begin with 30,000 in chips and the plan is to play all the way down to a final table of nine today. At that point tournament directors will stop the clock and play will resume on July 4, playing all the way to a winner.

Although it's a freeroll for the players, Harrah's is awarding some serious cash with a prizepool of $1 million and first place grabbing $500,000.

It's taking awhile to get this tournament set up with ESPN cameras finally in the house and a horde of frenzied poker fans looking to cheer on their heroes.

2006 WSOP Tournament of Champions winner Mike Sexton just announced the shuffle up and deal and we are once again live from the Rio.

Here's the list of the 27 players who be playing in the 2010 Tournament of Champions today:

Top 20 Vote Winners:

Phil Ivey
Daniel Negreanu
Doyle Brunson
Phil Hellmuth
Chris Ferguson
Allen Cunningham
Johnny Chan
Scotty Nguyen
Barry Greenstein
John Juanda
Erik Seidel
Jennifer Harman
Huck Seed
Dan Harrington
T.J. Cloutier
Sammy Farha
Howard Lederer
Greg Raymer
Joe Hachem
Antonio Esfandiari

Automatic Qualifiers:

Annie Duke - 2004 TOC CHAMPION
Mike Matusow - 2005 TOC CHAMPION
Mike Sexton - 2006 TOC CHAMPION
Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier - WSOP ACADEMY PLAYOFF WINNER

Level 1

Blinds: 50/100

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Event Name 2010 Tournament of Champions
Venue Rio, Las Vegas
Date 27 June 2010
Final Day 4 July 2010
Buy In $0
Entrants 27
Prize Pool $1,000,000
First Prize $500,000

Huck Seed

2010 Tournament of Champions

Top Money Finishers Prize
1. Huck Seed $500,000
2. Howard Lederer $250,000
3. Johnny Chan $100,000
4. Joe Hachem $25,000
5. Barry Greenstein $25,000
6. Daniel Negreanu $25,000
7. Jennifer Harman $25,000
8. Annie Duke $25,000
9. TJ Cloutier $25,000