With four events running simultaneously today, we got a little taste of what's to come during the summer. Tournament officials did a great job of dealing with the chaos and managed to keep everything running smoothly with every event beginning relatively close to the scheduled start time.
The final table of the $5,000 Mixed Hold'em Championship was the center of attention for most of the day, taking place at the brand new final table set situated in one corner of the tournament room.
Nine players took their seats at the beginning of play today, but it all came down to an epic heads-up match between Canadian Greg "FBT" Mueller and online pro Steve "MrSmoky1" Billirakis.
It was a match that could have gone either way, as evidenced by the frequent swapping of the chip lead, but an astonishing run of cards for Billirakis ended up laying waste to FBT's stack in a relatively short period of time.
Mueller was enjoying the chip lead for some time and it looked like his momentum would carry him through to victory, and his first Steve Billirakis was celebrating the realization of his own dream. At 21 years and 10 days, Steve has become the youngest player to ever win a bracelet here at the World Series of Poker. Breaking the old record set by Jeff Madsen last year, at 21 years and just a few weeks, Norman Chad couldn't resist ID'ing him during the post-victory interview.
Also running here at the Rio today was Day 2 of Event 3, $1,500 No-Limit Hold'em. As I write this, play is ongoing in that tournament with 13 players remaining. Alex Jacob, winner of last year's United Stated Poker Championship, is the only familiar face left. He's running well and, despite losing the chip lead he enjoyed for part of the day, will hopefully survive the night to sit down at the final table tomorrow.
Two new tournaments began today as well, $1,500 Pot-Limit Hold'em and $2,500 Omaha Eight or Better/Seven-Card Stud Hi-Lo. Both tournaments wrapped up at a civilized time with play resuming tomorrow to determine the final tables.
On the menu for tomorrow are the $1,500 Limit Hold'em and $5,000 Pot-Limit Omaha events. As always, I implore you to keep it locked on PokerListings.com for the duration of the summer for all the best in live tournament coverage from the 2007 World Series of Poker.