Pros show in Tunica

Matt Stout
Matt Stout rode a strong after-dinner performance to finish Day 1 second in chips.

At stake is a prize pool worth $735,900, of which 18 players will take a piece. Grand prize is $183,974 and also includes a Matt Stout lead a contingent that also included young guns Shaun Deeb, Jason Potter and Sabyl Cohen-Landrum, as well as nittiest nit who ever did nit Allen Kessler and a surprise guest in 2003 WSOP Main Event champion Chris Moneymaker.

Moneymaker would amount to very little on Day 1 of this three-day event, lasting barely a level before bowing out of contention.

Junglen and Deeb would follow suit, with Edler, Potter and Cohen-Landrum also hitting the bricks before action stopped with 27 players remaining at 1:52 a.m. Central Time on Tuesday.

By day's end, David Dao would emerge as chip leader with $291,700 to his name, most of it amassed after a fortuitous suck-out with K-Q against Dina Rylander's pocket aces midway through the evening.

Also putting in strong performances in Day 1's action were PokerListings blogger Stout, who finished up with $255,500, and Jeremy Byrum with $214,000.

Get full chip counts here.

Story of the day, however, was the battle between Allen Kessler and Gavin Smith, a one-sided battle both on the felt and over the airwaves. Smith continually berated Kessler for his nitty behavior, openly questioning the Chainsaw's aptitude for the game and taking serious issue with his seemingly endless supply of bad beat stories.

"It would be an awful [crappy] game if nobody played bad," Smith told the Kessler after hearing yet another self-righteous complaint, to which the Chainsaw issued a priceless rejoinder.

"Yeah, it would just be me and [some other less nitty poker player] playing."

Kessler would be eliminated midway through Level 7 when his pocket aces failed to hold up to a rival's pocket jacks.

True to form, Smith had a parting shot. "Tough to get busted out by Allen Kessler," Birdguts announced. "First you've got to be really short ..."

Taking a close second in the battle for story of the day was that of a man calling himself Speedy Gonzales, who regaled his table with an account of how, on the occasion of his fleeing from Cuba, he became marooned in an open-topped boat and was reduced to killing dolphins with his oars and drinking their blood to survive.

Gonzales was eliminated midway through the proceedings, or else his tale would have led this story.

Tournament action recommences on Day 2 at 2 p.m. Central Time Tuesday and will continue until a nine-handed final table has been reached. Check out our live coverage for all the action.

 

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