Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier
French poker pro Bertrand “ElkY” Grospellier took the chip lead on a smaller-than-expected Day 1b of the 2012 WSOPE Main Event.
Arguably the best French tournament player in the world, Grospellier amassed 190,400 chips, which was significantly better than Daniel Weinman who was second with 169,000.
In the end 205 players entered the fray on Day 1b, which brought the total attendance up to 420 players.
It represents a nearly 30% decrease from last year’s 593 players. On the bright side it’s still more than the WSOPE Main Event ever attracted when it was located in London.
The 420 players who paid the €10,450 buy-in created a €4 million prize pool with €1,022,376 set aside for first place.
Day 1b of the WSOPE Main Event was remarkably big-name heavy with Daniel Negreanu, Jason Mercier, John Juanda, David Benyamine, Phil Hellmuth, Liv Boeree, Sandra Naujoks and Vanessa Rousso in attendance.
Negreanu, Hellmuth in Top 10 Chip Counts
Team PokerStars Pro Daniel Negreanu certainly didn’t disappoint on Day 1b as he picked up 137,500 chips, good enough for third place overall in the chip standings.
As usual Phil Hellmuth made as late an entrance as humanly possible as he showed up 15 minutes after the dinner break ended.
The Poker Brat got to work quickly, however, and after winning a series of big pots finished in the top 10 chip counts with 116,150.
Some of the other big stacks include Chino Rheem (109,700), Liv Boeree (94,650), Sam Trickett (90,100) and Jonathan Duhamel (67,040).
Day 1b was also flush with Octo-Niners including Jesse Sylvia, Jake Balsiger, Russell Thomas and Steve Gee.
Gee was the only one to hit the rail on Day 1b as he busted to Phil Hellmuth in the final level of play.
The rest of the Octo-Niners, including Greg Merson from Day 1a, will reconvene tomorrow and attempt to cash in two Main Events this year.
Many of the pros survived to see Day 2 but Marvin Rettenmaier, John Tabatabai and Brandon Adams were among the 91 players who busted on Day 1b.
Interestingly Brandon Cantu and Jon Aguiar, who are still dead-locked in the final heads-up match of the Mixed Max event, both played Day 1b and busted.
They will play for a bracelet tomorrow at 4 p.m. CET.
Meanwhile Grospellier and the rest of the Day 1b survivors will have to compete with Michael Mizrachi and his 234,850 chips from Day 1a.
In total 230 players will take to the felt tomorrow for Day 2. Action resumes at 12:00 CET.
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