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Hachem, Lisandro star in WSOP Main Event
The third first day of the 2009 WSOP Main Event started out as a star studded affair Sunday and ended in much the same fashion.
While many of poker's biggest superstars have been chewed up and spit out of the Main Event's early levels over the past few years, barely registering enough time for patched-up glamour shots, several showed some staying power today.
2005 Main Event champion Joe Hachem was certainly one of them, getting his stack up to a healthy 75k by the time five levels of play were through and the day was done.
"The last few years, day ones have been pretty frustrating for me, so it's a nice feeling to be able to play some poker, not just come back to Day 2 looking to double up," Hachem told PokerListings as he bagged his chips.
"My whole persona coming in was different. I just wanted to play, not carry the whole world on my shoulders, all the expectations and all that bullshit.
"I made a few hands, took a few bad beats, but overall things went pretty smoothly."
Hachem said the experience of winning the Main Event in 2005 proved invaluable once again today.
"It's like anything else in life," he said. "Having the experience of having done this before and winning it all is huge. You just don't get overwhelmed by the whole thing. Now I just take it day by day."
Having won three bracelets already this year, Lisandro climbed the leader board early and stayed there, bagging close to 150k in chips for a spot in the top ten when play wrapped.
"I'm just trying to play some real poker," he told PokerListings. "I'm not doing anything out of this world."
Having the kind of World Series most players only dream of, Lisandro said he's more than satisfied with the way things are going in the Main Event and beyond.
"I'm just trying to play good solid poker," he said. "I'm pretty happy with the way I'm playing. I can't complain. I'm playing really well."
Other big names with big stacks who survived Day 1c included Justin Bonomo, 2009 WSOP bracelet winner Marc Naalden, WPT title holder and 2009 PokerStars PCA finalist Kevin Saul, 2009 Ante Up for Africa champ Alex Bolotin and four-time WPT final tablist Amnon Filippi.
While 11-time WSOP gold bracelet winner Phil Hellmuth made a huge splash today, entering the room dressed like Spartacus and surrounded by a harem of body painted and toga clad models, he will return for Day 2b Wednesday with less than the 30k starting stack.