Although the turnout was a little smaller than expected, not exactly an uncommon occurrence on the Jerry Yang. After taking down his title Yang seemed to drop off the face of the poker world, perhaps spending his time allocating the $1 million he donated to charity after the win. In the last few months, though, we've seen a lot more of Jerry, albeit mostly in the early stages of the events he's played.
He went the same way as Williams, running pocket kings into the pocket aces of a player soon to be $5,000 and one commemorative T-shirt richer. While Yang may not be making it deep on a regular basis, he certainly has the star power to ensure plenty of media coverage at any tournament he chooses to play. Yang is also an extremely considerate individual, as evidenced by his immense patience when dealing with fans and media alike.
Over the course of the day all but five bounties would be collected. Roy Winston, David Pham, Michael Mizrachi, J.J. Liu, Nam Le, John Juanda, Kenna James, Gus Hansen, Gavin Griffin, Chau Giang, Bill Edler, Hoyt Corkins and Todd Brunson were all unable to survive the day, putting a combined $80,000 in the pockets of those fortunate enough to bust them.
While the majority of the bounty money went to players whose identities are unknown to PL.com, a few big-name pros were able to cash in on this opportunity. J.C. Tran was able to earn his buy-in today by busting both Gus Hansen and Joe Sebok, making this event a freeroll from here on out.
Brandon Cantu fared best of all, not only collecting two bounties but finishing the day as chip leader to boot. Going into Day 2 well-chipped and a $20k winner isn't a cakewalk though, as Cantu had to win a few big coin flips to make it happen.
The biggest pot of the tournament, and the one which secured Cantu his place atop the chip counts, came late in the evening. PL.com arrived on the scene with close to $150,000 sitting in the middle of the table and both Cantu's and John Juanda's cards face up. J.J. was the all-in player and had pinned his tournament hopes on big slick. A-K may not be an absolute monster but we can understand how someone could get that deep in a hand with it.
The same could not be said for Brandon Cantu's holdings. Pocket threes? All we could muster was, "Hey, wha happened?"
As it turns out Cantu made an opening raise from the button after it was folded to him and Juanda re-popped from the small blind. Apparently not believing the Full Tilt pro, Cantu shipped all-in over the top, putting Juanda to a decision for his tournament. In this instance big slick must have looked like a monster and Juanda did indeed call.
It seems unfair that a lowly pocket pair of treys is actually a favorite heads-up against A-K but such is life. The crabs managed to hold up and just like that Brandon Cantu was the overwhelming chip leader.
For a full rundown of the chip counts, as well as all the action from Day 1a, click through to our Live Updates Page.
Tomorrow's Day 1 heat will, for all intents and purposes, look very similar to today's. Ten one-hour levels will be punctuated by a one-hour dinner break at a little after 5 p.m. and each table will have at least one bounty up for grabs. When all is said and done, just before 11 p.m., we'll have our Day 2 field and we'll find out if anyone is able to surpass Brandon Cantu's impressive $242,300. Join PokerListings.com at the ungodly hour of 10:30 a.m. PDT to find out how it all shakes out.