When play began an hour later than the anointed 11:00 a.m. (CST) start time (thank goodness), the field included a number of well-known tournament pros who had foregone the more prestigious Aussie Millions tournament taking place in Melbourne this week to prey on the less-experienced competition in this smoky riverboat card room just miles from the Tennessee border.
As at the Steve Wong, 2006 WSOP Ladies Event winner Mary Jones Meyer, Leif Force, Men "The Master" Nguyen, Eric Froehlich, Ed Corrado, Justin Bonomo, Jason Sagle, Kido Pham, Chad Brown and Barry Greenstein.
By the end of the day, the notable pros still in contention counted only Michael Mizrachi, Nam Le, Allen Kessler, and Vanessa Rousso amongst their numbers. As one of the only females left in a room crowded with (increasingly wine-addled) men, Rousso soon found herself the target of many a catcall, including a number of lame pickup lines from Keith Lehr and another man who had busted out hours earlier, but had stuck around solely for the wine and the opportunity to have Rousso as a captive audience.
The Grinder, on the other hand, found himself at a table with Allen Kessler and Andy Chang for most of the day, in what was undoubtedly the most uncomfortable table for the other six players unlucky enough to draw seats. Mizrachi raised most of the hands he was dealt, and built a substantial stack, while Andy Chang did the same from the seat directly to his left. At the end of the day, Chang was able to take a $45,000 pot from Mizrachi to take over the chip lead, heading into Day 2 with a whopping $190,000 to his name (average is around $40,000).
That is the story of Day 1 - all fourteen hours of it. Action resumes tomorrow at noon (CST) from the Grand Casino in Tunica, Miss. Plans are to play from 82 down to the final nine, so it could be another long day in the poker room. PokerListings.com never tires, however, and you can rest assured we'll keep bringing you the livest of updates until the last card is dealt and the last chip is stacked. See you tomorrow!