After Matt Stout, and PokerListings.com roving reporter Martin Derbyshire's mustachioed man-crush Dan Heimiller.
If the PokerListings.com team had to put a theme on Day 1b beyond simply "Suffocating gaming regulations," we would point to the disturbing trend that saw vast numbers of poker pros going broke early with overpairs. It was an epidemic, folks.
The trend began with an unnamed player playing shipping magnate in the day's second level, moving all-in with aces on a K-8-7 flop and getting a willing call from WPT regular Lee Markholt, who held pocket eights for middle set. The turn and river failed to bring any help and boom goes the dynamite, Markholt was early chip leader.
A few rounds later and during the same level of action, Jimmy "Gobboboy" Fricke found himself faced with a question for all of his chips on a 9♠ 8♠ 3♥ 2♣ board. Fricke made a quick call with pocket aces, only to find himself behind his rival's innocuous 9♣ 8♣. The board failed to save the Gobbo kid, who was thus relegated to the rail and beyond.
Elsewhere on the tournament floor, Noah Schwartz and Steven Van Zedelhoff were making careers out of hitting fortuitous cards at the best possible moments. Stevie Van Zee would get an opponent all-in on an A-T-5-8 board while holding pocket fives to his rival's pocket aces, and although the situation looked grim for the Everest Poker pro, the case five on the river gave him the miracle one-outer and sent Player 2 to the exits.
Schwartz, meanwhile, would take down a massive pot late in that action-packed second level, getting all-in on the turn with tens against queens after both he and his sole opponent in the hand had flopped sets.
The turn card and nitro to Schwartz's glycerin was the case ten, giving "fouruhaters" quads and his unlucky adversary the big boat. All the money got in, the river failed to bring the case queen and the boy with the bling had doubled, kick-starting a rush that saw him bring his stack close to the $100k marker before the end of Level 4.
Easy come, easy go, however, and in the most egregious example of going broke with an overpair, Schwartz would see most of his small fortune decimated in a head-scratcher of a hand that began when he raised with sevens from early position and got five (count 'em) callers.
The flop came 5-4-3 rainbow and after a short stack shipped from the blinds, John Hoellein reraised to isolate and Schwartz then came over the top, putting Hoellein all-in and committing 80% of his chips to the fray.
Hoellein, possessed of 7-6 for the nut straight, insta-called and after the turn and river bricked, had doubled to take the chip lead while busting the short stack (who held deuces) in the process. Schwartz was crippled and, tilting, busted out on the next hand.
Hoellein would ride the wave of serendipity to a $140k stack and the top of the chip leaderboard at the end of play on Saturday, with Lee Markholt running second with just over $100k to his name (full and accurate chip counts will be posted when they're made available). All told, just over 100 players survived the first-day jitters and will return to play on Monday with the survivors from Days 1a and 1c.
That third first day of play will kick off tomorrow at noon ET from the Grand Hall at Fallsview and continue for another five levels of action before our Day 2 survivors have all been established. We expect the likes of Daniel Negreanu, M.J. Bernstein and Allen "The Chainsaw" Kessler to take part in the proceedings, among many, many others.
Tune in to PokerListings.com throughout your Sunday and we'll make it worth your while. And if we can't, we know a few people who could...