Among the 333 players who paid the twenty-five large for a seat behind the fountains on the second half of the first day were, well, everyone who wasn't there on Day 1a.
Barring a few high-profile litigators (and, unfortunately, Max Pescatori, and Jennifer Tilly were eliminated, while 2007 WPT World Poker Open champ Brian Sumner was felled himself after getting all the money in with pocket fives on an A-J-9-5 board, only to run into an opponent with pocket aces. Sumner couldn't catch the miracle case five on the river, and thus another preliminary event winner was relegated to spectator status.
J.C. Tran, meanwhile, found himself in troubling times near the end of Day 1b, seeing his stack dwindle to about half of the starting allotment before doubling through Jason Fretag in a freaky battle of the blinds, AA versus KK, and then busting another opponent after getting all the money in on the flop with a set of tens against the flopped nut flush. The turn was a blank, but Tran hit the case ten on the river, and sent his opponent packing while chipping up to around $65,000. Poker's current golden boy finished the day around $53,000.
After five luxurious levels of play, and only a few minutes after the sun set behind the Las Vegas strip, organizers packed it in for the night and the herd moved en masse to the buffet, leaving behind only the media to count their chips in anonymity. Leading the charge at the end of over seven hours of play is Kirk Morrison with $170,000, followed by Tim Phan with $160,000 and Sammy Farha with $150,000. David Baker is fourth with $144,000, and David Benyamine fifth with $140,000.
Of course, none of these men can hold a candle to Anna Wroblewski's Day 1 high of $211,325, and the real test for both halves of the field begins tomorrow, when they are combined into one überfield for the duration of the tournament. Action resumes at noon Pacific Time and will span another five levels, with PokerLisings.com on the scene as usual to feed your addiction to timely live updates. Check back all day for the freshest and cleanest from the Fontana Room floor!