Rast, Hellmuth Lead WSOP $1M Big One for One Drop

The Big One for One Drop
The biggest crowd of the summer showed up to kick off the Big One.

Day 1 of the world’s first $1 million poker tournament is over and two-time bracelet winner Brian Rast leads the 37 players who made it through to Day 2.

It was a historic day at the WSOP as 48 players paid $1 million each to enter the Big One for One Drop. After nine levels of poker Rast had stacked 10.71 million while 12-time bracelet winner Phil Hellmuth bagged 8,395,000.

Also finding a spot in the top five heading into Day 2 are Antonio Esfandiari and Gus Hansen.

Here’s a look at the top ten. Click through for the full end-of-day chip counts.

1. Brian Rast - 10,710,000
2. Phil Hellmuth - 8,395,000
3. Frederic Banjout - 7,070,000
4. Antonio Esfandiari - 6,880,000
5. Gus Hansen - 6,800,000
6. Sam Trickett - 6,700,000
7. Guy Laliberté - 6,550,000
8. Ben Lamb - 5,770,000
9. Mike Sexton - 5,740,000
10. Tom Dwan - 4,810,000

The Amazon room was cloaked in fog as the much-anticipated Big One kicked off this afternoon to the sound of Cirque de Soleil drummers and Guy Laliberte’s announcement of shuffle up and deal.

Crowds of spectators gawked as the players were introduced one at a time before taking their seats to take the first steps towards the $18.3 million first-place prize.

Brian Rast
Brian Rast leads after Day 1.

By day’s end 11 players had gone broke.

Seidel, Mizrachi Among Busted

Justin “BoostedJ” Smith was the first player out, and he lost the vast majority of his chips in the very first level of play. Smith was unlucky to river the nut straight while his opponent, Frederique Banjout, made the nut flush.

Smith called an enormous river shove and lost all but a few of his chips. He busted shortly after.

Andrew Robl was the next one to go, busted by close friend Rast who expressed mixed emotions on Twitter.

@tsarrast Happy I just won a huge lot, sad I just busted my good friend and amazing player Andrew Robl.8.3M in chips and rollin'

Former world Champion Jon Duhamel busted next, followed closely by Jens Kyllonen, the only Finnish player in the field.

Next out was a slew of big names, including Nick Schulman, Erik Seidel, Bertrand “ElkY” Grospellier, Eugene Katchalov and Michael Mizrachi. Malaysian businessman Paul Phua was also busted.

Canadian amateur Giovanni Guarascio lasted until the very last hand of the night before going broke, getting what was left of his stack in with A-9 versus A-K.

Action gets back underway at 12pm when the remaining 37 players will return to play down to the final table of nine.

Follow the action live with PokerListings.com.

Most Difficult Table in Poker History

In addition to boasting the biggest price tag in poker history the One Drop may have generated the most competitive eight-handed table ever.

Phil Ivey
Phil Ivey headlined what might have been the toughest table in poker history.

Brandon Steven was the lone amateur at a table that included Phil Ivey, Erik Seidel, Ben Lamb, Nick Schulman, Antonio Esfandiari, Tom Marchese and Vivek Rajkumar.

Including Steven the players at that table had a combined live tournament earnings total of over $56 million.

“I’m at a table with all pros,” Steven told PokerListings.com moments before sitting down to play. “I’m the only one at that table that has ‘Businessman’ next to his name on the player list.”

But according to Steven, playing against the best in the world was one of the things that drew him to the $1 million Big One.

“It’s going to make me play my best. If I was at a table with three or four other amateurs I’d be able to loosen up a bit but at this table it’s got to be mistake-free poker,” said Steven.

Mikhail Smirnov
Mikhail Smirnov

Mikhail Smirnov Folds Quads Face-Up

You know the buy-in is big when players are folding quads face up but according to Mikhail Smirnov it was the right decision.

Smirnov has some experience in big buy-in events, having finished second in the $100k Super High Roller at the Aussie Millions earlier this year.

The hand in question began with Tom Dwan opening to 32k at 6k/12k, Smirnov calling from the small blind and John Morgan calling from the big blind. The flop came down J 8 7 and Smirnov bet 50k.

Only Morgan called and the turn was the 8. Smirnov bet 200k, receiving another call.

The K hit the river and Smirnov led out for 700k a little more than pot. Morgan then moved all-in for roughly 3.4 million.

Smirnov had about the same in his stack but opted to fold. The Russian businessman folded quad eights face-up and the table recoiled in shock.

Phil Galfond tweeted that it was the craziest hand he’d ever seen. Dwan had to excuse himself from the table for a few moments.

Mikhail told Cardplayer.com that it was an easy fold.

Morgan refused to comment on the hand but looked visibly shaken after it was over.

For all the action from the WSOP in Las Vegas click through to our 2012 World Series of Poker Live Coverage section, brought to you by 888poker.com.

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