Thanks in large part to a January schedule jammed full with tournaments across the globe, the starting field for this event numbered fewer entrants than years past, with many players simply exhausted after playing either the Victor Ramdin, Nick "The Takeover" Schulman. Clearly, it was a bad day for men with nicknames. It was also a bad day for Vanessa Rousso, who was cruising along quite nicely despite her difficult table assignment, lasting through three and a half levels before Mark Seif rivered a three-outer to bust Rousso, who did not take the news very well.
Half laughing in disbelief, half kicking over her chair in frustration, the Lady Maverick made her displeasure known as Seif made two pair on the river to send her to the rail. The entire poker room stopped to stare and immediately all media members made the bum's rush to her table, just in time to see Seif sheepishly rake what remained of her stack. Rousso made for the exit in tears, while Thomas Wahlroos observed, "The girl's got more tells than Mike Caro's book."
Later eliminations would see Phil Ivey, Shannon Shorr, Jason Sagle and Wahlroos himself find their ways to the smoke-filled tournament lobby, while Cyndy Violette experienced a roller-coaster ride that saw her take a massive chip lead early in the tournament and then drop a good $40,000 when she found herself moved to Amir Vahedi's table.
At the end of the day, Barry Greenstein joined the Chicago Bears and the Indianapolis Colts as the big winners. The Bears and the Colts will play in the Super Bowl, and Greenstein, who won this event in 2004, ends the day with over $130,650 and is the clear chip leader.
Other players hovering near the chip lead include Mark Seif, with $105,575, John Racener, with $83,950, and Gavin Smith, with $72,800. All told, 170 players survived Day 1 and will return to the felt tomorrow for another "easy" day. Although the blinds and antes are moving up quickly, organizers have announced that for the first three days of the tournament we'll play just five seventy-minute levels per day, meaning early nights and plenty of time for side action.
PokerListings.com will return with live updates at noon (CST) tomorrow, and you can count on our comprehensive coverage from wire to wire (sadly, without apt football metaphors). Remember, if you don't tune in to PokerListings.com the Moral Minority will have won the war on online poker, so do your part for your country and keep it locked right here all day. See you tomorrow!