This year's tournament began on Monday with the first of two Day 1s kicking off at the ungodly hour of 11:15 a.m. (wherefore art thou, Los Angeles Poker Classic?). Day 1a featured among the bounty players Chad Brown, T.J. Cloutier, Victor Ramdin, Steve Wong. All but Pelton were eliminated by the end of play.
All told, the 450 player roster swelled the prize pool to $4,490,000, with 45 players earning a profit from their play this week. The lowest money-winners will take home $15,000 apiece, with everyone at the final table guaranteed six figures, from $160,000 for sixth place to a tidy $1,100,000 for the first prize, as well as an entry into the $25,000 WPT World Championship and priceless, star-making exposure on PokerListings.com.
Day 1b saw the day begin with 250 entrants and end with 70. Among those who fell by the wayside was Jennifer Tilly, who busted only about an hour and twenty minutes into play and was quickly followed to the rail by boyfriend Phil "Unabomber" Laak.
Later on in the day, Chau Giang, T.J. Cloutier, and Jean-Robert Bellande would each fall victim to abject donkstrikery - in Giang's case the most rotten we've seen in a while. Giang flopped a set with pocket queens and found himself in a bidding war with a clueless opponent, who on a board of Q♦ 7♠ 4♠ called a third raise with J♥ T♦ and happened to hit runner-runner to make the Broadway straight, sending Giang to the rail while his opponent collected the bounty.
Among other eliminations late in the day were Mike Matusow, Victor Ramdin, Layne Flack and Chip Reese, while on the other side of the chip leaderboard are Clint Baskin, with $200,1000, followed by Tim Foster with $176,000, Jeff Madsen with $175,000, and Ted Forrest with $159,500. James Van Alstyne, Barry Greenstein, and Mark Newhouse are also still in the hunt.
Action is set to resume tomorrow at noon (PDT), with plans to play down from the cumulative Day 1 total of 140 to a field of 36 before the day is done. With plenty of pros in contention and a number of huge stacks, it could be a long day, but as usual PokerListings.com will be there, bright-eyed, bushy-tailed, and ready to ball. See you tomorrow!