2012 Main Event: Bagging & Tagging

Maria Ho ends the day with plenty of chips to work with on Day 2
Maria Ho ends the day with plenty of chips to work with on Day 2

Players have just a few minutes left before the clock is stopped. The tournament staff has made the announcement that all spectators must leave the room, so they can hand out the plastic bags and prepare to store the tournament chips.

Stayin’ Alive

No one wins the Main Event on Day 1 and sometimes it’s a matter of just making it through to Day 2 and living to fight another day.

Several big names are just trying to get through and survive the day, with Erik Seidel, Randy Dorfman, and Men “the Master” Nguyen all currently below the 15,000 chip mark.

On the other side of the coin are Maria Ho, Shaun Deeb, and Daniel Negreanu, all flush with chips and well over 100,000 chips.

Twitter Twatter

Justin Bonomo @JustinBonomo: “I think I was chip lead at my table with 63k, but a 100k+ stack got moved to my left.”

Scott Seiver @scott_seiver: “1 hour left, down to exactly starting stack. An absolutely torturous day so far. Trying to overcome this.”

Brian Rast @tsarrast: “Playing out of my mind today, I feel like I can see their cards. Love the main event!”

Perelman Hero Calls With Ace High

Rob Perelman has been on a fairly friendly table in the Brazilia room today. Instead of the usual seriousness that comes with some poker players to the Main Event, Perelman’s table has been chatty and they aren’t afraid to joke around. Perhaps, this has given Perelman some insight to how his opponents play.

When the blinds were 150/300, Perelman opened for 700. Everyone folded except the big blind who was intent on protecting.

The flop came 3 4 T. Perelman bet 700 again, and the big blind made the call to see if he improved on the turn.

When the turn came the 2, Perelman double barreled for 1,225. The big blind thought about it for a few seconds and ultimately called.

The 3 came on the river, and this time the big blind fired out 1,675. Perelman took a moment to decide on making the call.

Big Blind: K Q

Perelman: A Q

It wasn’t a big hand, but Perelman was able to rake in a decent size pot with just ace high.

Seat Open, Table 274! Cocktails, Table 264!

With just a few minutes remaining in a long Day 1B it’s that time of night when the twin cries of “Seat open!” and “Cocktails!” battle it out on the tournament floor.

For many players, especially first-timers, it’s time to sit back and drink a celebratory beer and bask in the glow of making Day 2-the first in hopefully many steps towards a WSOP cash.

For others, it’s time for the longest and loneliest walk of the year, heading down the long hallway in the Rio one last time after busting the final event of the 2012 WSOP.

Those making the walk of shame have plenty of company. Scotty Nguyen and Bertrand “Elky” Grospellier are just a few of the departed to hit the rails recently.

Bertrand Grospellier @elkypoker: “Minraise 88 button with 12k and guy puts me in from BB with A4o and obviously beats me. Fucking summer finally over. #ragingtilt”

That’s A Wrap

Players are starting to file out of the Amazon and Brasilia rooms. They will have one day of rest before returning on Tuesday at 12 pm.

There are a lot of big names that will be making it to Day 2 from today’s start. Some of the pros include Dan Harrington, Daniel Negreanu, Bernard Lee, Sammy Farha, Brian Rast, Tex Barch, Vanessa Selbst, and Liv Boeree.

Here are what the preliminary top 10 chip counts look like for the end of the day:

James Schafer                              178,000

Jeff Beckley                                  158,550

Matt Woodward                            158,500

Nelius Foley                                 146,875

Jason Somerville                          144,725

Maria Ho                                     130,425

Shaun Deeb                                 125,900

Cody Wang                                  121,900

Brian Hastings                             119,000

Jeremy Kottler                             112,000

Chip Counts Courtesy of WSOP.com

Post a comment

2012 Main Event: The End Of Day Grind

Tom Dwan has had a lackluster WSOP and is now out of the Main.
Tom Dwan has had a lackluster WSOP and is now out of the Main.

There is only about an hour left in play for the day. James Schafer is in the chip lead with 175,000 in chips, but Matt Woodward is right on his tail with 170,000. Bryan Devonshire, Bertrand Grospellier, and John Aguiar are below the 10,000 mark which means that they need to hustle if they want to get to Day 2 with a healthy chip stack.

Tom Dwan, We Barely Knew You

Tom Dwan made waves in 2010-2011 by playing a ton of WSOP events and chasing some massive bracelet prop bets, but he couldn’t have had a quieter 2012 WSOP. He skipped most events entirely and only showed up for a few of the big events at the end of the schedule.

Any hopes that he’d make up for lost time in the main Event just sputtered out, as he just got moved to the Amazon Room with about 7,000 chips and quickly donated those to a tablemate when he flopped an open-ended straight draw but couldn’t get there.

A Shot of Selbst

Scotty Nguyen’s feature table still has been dragging along despite several rounds of cocktails being delivered. However, Vanessa Selbst has just been moved into an empty seat, so hopefully that’ll serve to shake things up a bit.

Nguyen has slipped down to about 25,000 chips, but Selbst has steadily built her stack up as the day has progressed, with around 110,000 in front of her.

Still Grinding

The Main Event is a unique beast as it’s one of the few events that some players will grind away patiently with a short stack for hours instead of nonchalantly getting in their chips with a shrug and a smirk in an effort to double or go home.

AE Jones and Bryan Devonshire -- two typically aggressive players who’ll not bat an eye at sending chips into the middle -- are just a few tables away from one another in the Amazon Room and both have been saddled with a short stack for much of the day, with Devonshire seemingly on 6,000-8,000 chips for an eternity.

That’s the beauty of both the slow structure of the Main Event and the huge prizepool at the end of the rainbow, as even a 8,000 chip stack (about a quarter of the 30,000 chips players start with) is gives players 20 big blinds to work with at the current level of 200/400.

Top 10 Chip Counts

James Schafer                     175,000

Matt Woodward                   170,000

Jeff Beckley                        149,000

Nelius Foley                        140,000

Bryan Pellegrino                  139,400

Maria Ho                            135,000

Shaun Deeb                       131,000

Pacome Chavignon             125,500

Cody Wang                        122,000

Jason Somerville                122,000

Chip Counts Courtesy of WSOP.com

Post a comment

2012 Main Event: The Main Event Champs Hold Their Ground

Scotty Nguyen can't stir up the action on the feature table.
Scotty Nguyen can't stir up the action on the feature table.

Went on their last 20-minute break of the day. During the break, the Amazon room featured a billowing sountrack from the Greatful Dead. The ambiance was a bit bizare, and when players started filing in it was uncertain if the music would continue.

When the break was over, the music finally came to a close and cards started hitting the felt again. The last level of the day boasts 200/400 blinds with a 50 ante.

Scotty Baby on the Feature Table

The main ESPN feature table is now up and running after the dinner break, and Scotty Nguyen is holding court there at the moment.

Maybe they’re still trying to digest dinner, as there hasn’t been very much action at all so far. Nguyen seems bored to the point he has been getting up, and taking a stroll while missing several hands here and there.

The announcer is doing his best to pump up the sparse crowd but hopefully players will start catching some cards to juice things up. Nguyen has about 35,000 chips, putting him slightly above starting stack.

Tony Dunst
Dunst puts his power suit on.

Dunst Bets To A Four Flush

The well dressed Tony Dunst is known for his swagger and fancy shoes. He has also made a name for himself as an accomplished poker player with over $465,000 in tournament winnings alone. In 2010, he went on board to be a commentator on WPT broadcasts.

Dunst has been hovering around the 20,000 mark, and when we caught up to him he was on a mission to impress us by scooping a few pots. Dunst raised to 700 preflop and got a call from the big blind. The flop came out K T 9.

The big blind player looked at Dunst intently before checking his hand. Dunst sat motionless for a few seconds before checking as well. The 4 came on the turn. The big blind checked again, but this time Dunst fired out 800. The big blind made the call to see a river card.

The river was the 3. Again, the big blind checked his hand. Dunst made it 1,300 to see his cards, and the big blind called.

Dunst turned up his hand to show J T for middle pair turned four-flush.

Stealth Main Event Champs

We’ve been talking a lot about some past Main Event champs with names like Harrington, Eastgate, and Nguyen. However, there are several others that go by the name of Varkonyi, Yang, and Seed that are all still alive and slinging chips.

Huck Seed has more than $7 million in lifetime earnings including $1 million for his Main Event win back in 1996. Today, he has been sitting pretty steady and has about 25,000 in chips in front of him.

Varkonyi and Yang are a lot more familiar to today’s poker fans, with each under pressure to try to prove each year that their Main Event win wasn’t a fluke.

Yang didn’t play much at all for several years after his 2007 Main Event win, but he’s been more active in the last few years, mostly sticking to smaller buy-in events in Las Vegas and California.

Varkonyi has kept plugging away at the tables since his 2002 Main Event win, cashing twice in the Main Event since then as well as cashing in several different tournaments in Vegas and at the Borgata.

Top 10 Chip Counts

Bryan Pellegrino                             139,400

Mario Ho                                       130,000

Pacome Chavignon                         125,500

Cody Wang                                    122,000

Jason Somerville                             112,000

Jeremy Kottler                                110,000

Daniel Negreanu                             106,000

Sammy Farha                                 95,000

Chris Moore                                    91,000

Chip Counts Courtesy of WSOP.com

Post a comment

2012 Main Event: Devonshire Too Smart For His Own Good

Devonshire plays his A-Game.
Devonshire plays his A-Game.

Players are back from their 90 minute dinner break and ready to either rebuild some of the early damage done or to keep their good mojo going from the first three levels of Day 1b.

Bryan Devonshire is Better Than You at Just About Anything

Bryan Devonshire may be struggling at the table so far on Day 1b -- sitting on about 9,000 chips -- but he’s still a smart dude that’s better than the rest of us at just about everything.

While he was playing one hand, he raised pre-flop and tossed out a c-bet versus. Meanwhile he and several other tablemates were discussing the size of various states. Another player mentioned something to the effect that New York was obviously bigger than Kansas.

Devonshire snap-offered to take any amount of action that Kansas was larger than New York, with pretty much everyone shocked that he’d think Kansas was larger.

He stuck to his guns and one player looked it up on his iPhone before sheepishly admitting that Devo was right, with Devonshire just smirking as he raked in the pot when his opponent finally folded.

Kansas: 82,276 square miles

New York: 54,556 square miles

The Rebuilders:

Matthias De Meulder  ‏@mattionfire: “Play resumed after dinner. I have 25k @ 150/300 and a friend lost my ipad...last two levels are gonna be loooooonngg #zzz #wsopmain”

Barry Greenstein ‏@barrygreenstein: “Pocket Aces held vs AK. AIPF. 58k. #wsop61"

Craig McCorkell ‏@CraigMcCorkell: “Had 2nd best hands in big pots.18k on dinner #WSOPmainevent”

Mickey Petersen ‏@mickeydp: “4-bet called AQ vs TT and lost for a 33k pot, just 14k left now but thats still over 40bbs, time to rebuild!”

Those looking to keep the good times going:

Daniel Negreanu ‏@RealKidPoker: “Whitney Houston voice to Main Event "I been savin all my luck, been savin all my luck, been savin all my luck for yoooouuuu"

Brian Rast ‏@tsarrast: “dinner time... thanks @AllAmericanDave for the food. Relaxing at home for an hour, it's kinda nice to get out of the Rio for a bit.”

Katie Dozier ‏@Katie_Dozier: “At about 48k on dinner break. Playing well, running well, and having fun! #pokertrifecta :)”

All Roads Lead to the Amazon Room

Slowly but surely tables are breaking into the Amazon Room here at the Rio, with players falling by the wayside and tables in the Pavilion and Brasilia Rooms breaking, with all of them eventually flowing into the Amazon Room.

Liv Boeree and Daniel Negreanu are two of the recent arrivals, with Negreanu in his element and looking very confident and relaxed, surrounded by railbirds and sitting on around 100,000 chips, enough to put him among the overall leaders.

Negreanu has had another “meh” WSOP so far, with one final table early in Event #5, but not much after that.

He did cash in last year’s Main Event but he’s not had a good WSOP since 2009, when he cashed eight times for over $300,000 total.

Don’t Feel Too Badly for Amanda Musumeci

Amanda Musumeci’s Main Event just ended when her AK ran into pocket aces . Her 40,000 chips gound their way into the middle pre-flop. She’s had one heck of a run here in Vegas in a summer she’ll likely never forget.

She finished runner-up in Event #9 for a $481,643 score and has played her way to the final table of the WSOP National Championship event, which will resume on July 11 and be televised on ESPN.

She’ll start that final table 7th in chips and is guaranteed at least $48,576. The winner will scoop up $416,051.

Top 10 Chip Counts

Jeremy Kottler                          120,000

Pacome Chavignon                    118,000

Maria Ho                                  114,000

Jason Somerville                       112,000

Chris Moore                              110,000

Daniel Negreanu                       106,000

Max Weinberg                           105,000

Sammy Farha                            95,000

Galen Hall                                 95,000

Bryan Pellegrino                        94,000

Chip Counts Courtesy of WSOP.com

Post a comment

2012 Main Event: Back From Dinner

Negreanu all smiles as he returns back from dinner with chips.
Negreanu all smiles as he returns back from dinner with chips.

Cards are back in the air after a 90-minute dinner break. Now playing at level 4, players will be paying 150/300 with a 25 ante. Usually in tournaments, the antes bring a different method of play since there is more in the pot to fight for.

Coming back from dinner break, Max Weinberg is the chip leader with 105,000. Daniel Negreanu is also doing quite well with 97,825 in chips. Maria Ho sits towards the top of the leader board with 90,000 as well.

Some players that will have to step it up a notch in the last few levels of play are Ville Wahlbeck, David ODB Baker, David Singer, and Layne Flack.

Here is a look at the top 10 chip counts coming back from break:

Max Weinberg                             105,000

Daniel Negreanu                          97,825

Bryan Pellegrino                           94,000

Cody Wang                                  91,000

Matt Woodward                            90,000

Maria Ho                                     90,000

Kyle Cheong                                83,000

Mark Thoennes                            79,500

Eugene Katchalov                        77,000

David Steicke                              76,000

Chip Counts Courtesy of WSOP.com

Post a comment

2012 Main Event: The Official Numbers Are In

Rast is raking in the chips in Day 1B.
Rast is raking in the chips in Day 1B.

In the last round before the dinner break, the official Day 1B number have been made public.

We’ve also lost a few more players in the last round which include Dennis Phillips, Mark Kroon, Greg Raymer, and Carter Phillips.

Day 1B Numbers Are In

The numbers are in, and Day 1B seems to be a success. Yesterday, there were 1,066 players who decided to plop down $10,000 for a chance at poker championship. Today, 2,144 players arrived to give it their shot. That’s over twice the entrances from yesterday, and tomorrows start is expected to have just as many if not more.

So far, there are 3,210 players total. According to a tweet by Seth Palansky, PR Director for the WSOP, they are expecting over 4,000 players for Day 1C.

Rast Quietly Building

Brian Rast isn’t the flashiest of pros, but he has that knack for picking up chips and putting himself in great spots to make a deep run.

Rast currently has about 75,000 chips and seems to be in control of his table. He’s been taking down several small pots with a pre-flop raise and a c-bet, and his tablemates seem to be staying out of his way.

Respected among pro circles, he made a name for himself with the general public with a stellar 2011 WSOP that saw his friend Antonio Esfandiari twist his arm to play a $1,500 Pot Limit Holdem event. It was a good decision for Rast, as he would go on to win and cash for $227,232.

That score gave Rast the momentum he needed to take a shot in the $50,000 Players Championship event, which he shipped for a huge $1,720,328 score.

The 2012 WSOP was slightly quieter for Rast but only by his high standards. He came 6th in Event #9 for $137,632 and claimed 6th in the $1 million buy-in Big One for One Drop for $1,621,333.

Oh Yeah, THAT Guy

Darvin Moon first shone his light onto the poker scene with his unlikely runner-up finish in the 2009 Main Event worth $ 5,182,601, and he’s back here on Day 1B to try to prove he’s not a one hit wonder.

Moon hasn’t spent much time at the tables since 2009, with his biggest cash since then a $3,046 payday for his 55th place finish in a WSOPC event in New Orleans in 2012.

Today, Moon has scored about 55,000 chips and seems comfortable at his table. He’s been smiling and joking easily with his neighbors and still sporting the New Orleans Saints cap that became his trademark during his 2009 run.

Todd Brunson
Todd Brunson is battling it out with Daniel Negranu on the felt and through Twitter.

Todd Brunson and Kid Poker Butting Heads

Todd Brunson and Daniel Negreanu have been battling it out on the same table as well as on Twitter, with both players popular with online and offline fans alike.

They’re both active on Twitter and not afraid to speak their minds, leading to some pretty amusing exchanges and interactions as we’ve seen over the last hour they’ve been seated together.

Todd Brunson ‏@ToddBrunson:"Flopped a set of tens and doubled thru @RealKidPoker."

Todd Brunson ‏@ToddBrunson: "RT @dadogcosmo: @ToddBrunson Last time you'll make fun of a vegan! Meat is murder......delicious, delicious murder. So r his chips"

Todd Brunson ‏@ToddBrunson: "And I lose yet another one... JJ vs apparent AK. Might not make dinner. Last time I show up close to start time."

Todd Brunson ‏@ToddBrunson: "I called @RealKidPoker a moron and he beats me 2 big pots right away... I'll try a different name next time"

Todd Brunson ‏@ToddBrunson: "I'm on ur right u moron RT@RealKidPoker:@dnchips 36,675 end level 2 got moved to another tough looking table with @ToddBrunson on my left."

Dinner Break

Players are about to go on a 90-minute dinner break. When they return, there will be two more levels played until the end of the day. When players bag up their chips at the end of the day, they will also receive their redraw assignments so they know when and where they will return for Day 2.

Players should be in their seats at 8:20pm to resume action.

Post a comment

2012 Main Event: A Look At The Numbers

Carlos Mortensen will not have a 2001 repeat.
Carlos Mortensen will not have a 2001 repeat.

The third level of the day is underway, and we’ve already seen a few bust outs. Victor Ramdin, Carlos Mortensen, and Jordan Rich have all succumbed to the brutal realities of losing all their chips.

The Matador, Action Dan, and Peter Eastgate

The ESPN main feature table isn’t in use so far today, but WSOP officials have set aside three tables in one corner of the Amazon Room to feature three different prominent Main Event winners.

Peter Eastgate is sat at the first of the tables and is currently sitting on about 45,000 chips. Eastgate shocked the poker world by skipping the 2010 Main Event and announcing he was quitting the poker world, but he returned to the Rio in 2011 to once again play the Main Event.

Dan Harrington is at the next featured tabled and is up to around 60,000 chips, getting off to a fast start here on Day 1B as he tries to put together another deep run.

Carlos Mortensen is the third Main Event winner to be featured here, but what had started out to be a good day abruptly went off the rails with Mortensen hitting the rails.

He was up to over 70,000 chips but tangled in a huge pre-flop raising war with the player to his left. Mortensen was able to get his opponent all-in holding queens, but found himself in bad shape versus kings. Mortensen wasn't able to catch up and was left with just a handful of chips.

What he had left went into the middle the very next hand with Mortensen holding pocket fives versus KJ. Mortensen was ahead, but a jack on the flop left him packing up his things and heading out the door.

U-S-A? Viva la France? Arriba España?

So far the US has put in a surprisingly dominating performance in the overall bracelet count race at the 2012 WSOP (Canada a distant second with 3 bracelets). However, the Main Event is a whole other ballgame, especially in recent years.

Of the last four Main Events, only Joe Cada in 2009 hailed from the US. Pius Heinz of Germany took the title in 2011, Jonathan Duhamel scored one for Canada in 2010, and Peter Eastgate of Denmark won it all in 2009.

As far as foreign players building a stack so far today, Marc Inizan of France is already over the 60,000 chip mark, while David Steicke of Australia has also doubled up his starting stack in early play.


Matt Hawrilenko ‏@hoss_tbf: "AK makes top two vs bottom set, strongly considered folding the turn but opp was shortish... Down to 12.7k"

Amanda Musumeci ‏@TheReaLMander: "lost a big pot when i called down a flop c/r'r with 3rd pair correctly tryin to give him room to bluff but he hit on rivr. 18.5k :/"

Brian Hastings ‏@brianchastings: "Seeing lots of flops, not hitting lots of hands + folded KK face up on QJT22 board after he x/c flop and led turn and river. He had 98. 24k"

Mike McDonald ‏@MikeMcDonald89: "Up 90bb this tourney and below starting stack. #DoingItWrong"

Dwyte Pilgrim ‏@DwytePilgrim: "GoodLuck To Everyone Still left in The Main My Dream Was Differed!#NoRegrets"

Mickey Petersen ‏@mickeydp: "*generic tweet about how I have between 20-40k on 2nd break of a seven day tournament* #coolstorybro."

Vanessa Selbst
Vanessa Selbst is out to secure her title as one of the best overall players in the world.

Selbst Soaring

Vanessa Selbst has had a great 2012 WSOP and so far so good in the Main Event as well. She’s up close to 70,000 chips and has built up a big stack early to put her aggressive style to full effect.

Vanessa Selbst ‏@VanessaSelbst: "Playing 1B of WSOP main today. Not gonna overload twitter with chip counts very often, but have 68k in lvl 3 after making flush in big pot."

A Look Back and Ahead

A field of what looks to be around 2,000 players today so far has us on pace for a crack at matching (or slightly exceeding) last year’s 6,865 players in the Main Event. This is assuming we get a huge field on Day 1C as everyone is predicting.

A bigger field today means more chips in play and some hefty stacks when they wrap up play, with tomorrow upping the ante even more.

As far as a look back to yesterday, here are the top ten chip stacks that moved on from Day 1A:

1. William John: 266,700

2. Gerado Lubas: 165,825

3. Daniel Strelitz: 164,125

4. Dane Lomas: 157,600

5. Cary Katz: 154,850

6. Benjamin Pollak: 144,200

7. Chance Kornuth: 141,775

8. Jonathan Cuenas: 141,675

9. Jared Okun: 141,350

10. Eric Kurtzman: 136,900

Post a comment

2012 Main Event: Crushing Dreams

For now, Georges St-Pierre will have to stick to UFC fighting.
For now, Georges St-Pierre will have to stick to UFC fighting.

The Amazon room is usually the big attraction during the Main Event, as it has the ESPN feature table.  However, today the action just kind of fizzles in the Amazon room.

So far, the most exciting action is coming out of the Pavilion room today. There are plenty of pros stacked in a small area, and there are a few tables which hosts multiple big names.  

GSP Wobbling

MMA superstar Georges St-Pierre has been all smiles here today in his WSOP debut. Despite prematurely tabling his nut flush in an early hand before the action was on him. His stack has slowly been dwindling away, leaving him with about 5,000 chips.

The culprit? A pretty common one for players new to the game, as we watched him call pre-flop raises in three different hands. However, instead of having a plan of action after the flop, he quickly mucked each time when his opponent slid out a c-bet on the flop.

Before Dan Harrington could amble over to explain the M concept to GSP, he was out of the tournament.

Steve Z’s Main Event Advise

Steve Zolotow has been a familiar face at the World Series of Poker since 1985. He is also the proud owner of 2 WSOP Bracelets, one for Chinese Poker and the other for Pot Limit Hold’em.

As a veteran player at the WSOP, we thought we’d catch up to him and see if he had any words of wisdom on how to play the first day of the Main Event.

“Don’t do anything stupid,” he said simply. “It’s a concept that you can use in any area of life.”

Well said. As we watched him play, it didn’t look like he was getting too stressed out by folding hand after hand. This is understandable, since this seasoned pro knows that there is a lot of play left in the next few days.

“Pots won now don’t have the same value as pots won later,” Zolotow added. 

Jean-Robert Bellande
JRB was having too much fun, and now he will have to find entertainment elsewhere.

JRB Down For The Count

Gavin Smith and Jean Robert Bellande seemed to be having a great time chatting with each other on the table. It must have thrown Bellande’s concentration because when we caught up with him he was very low on chips.

Jean-Robert Bellande @BrokeLivingJRB: “Just had to make a huge fold to @olegsmith.. Painful chk folding ak on a 47qk4 board but my gut said I was beat. In the zone. t35k “

“Out of the zone. I just got stone trapped by the goofy old man and lost all my chips. Blog coming tomorrow on jrbpoker.com.”

Belland ended up pushing the rest of his chips in from the small blind on a J 9 8 board.  He was called by the player under the gun, and the player in the cutoff.

Both players checked the 5 and the 7 that came on the turn and river.

Bellande: Q J

Under The Gun: Q 8

Cutoff: K 9

Bellande was able to triple up, but it wasn’t enough to keep him in the game.

Gavin Smith @olegsmith: “My day just got quite a bit less fun with the demise of @Broke LivingJRB.”

Hellmuth Always The Center Of Attention

Yesterday, Phil Hellmuth decided to surprise everyone (himself included) by showing up to play the Main Event on Day 1A. He usually waits until the very last day to enter the event, and he tends to show up several levels into the last day.

It might be the last time he decides to play the first day of the Main Event, for he busted a couple hours before the end of the day.

Today, he is back on the ESPN feature table. However, he isn’t playing-he’s shooting a commercial for ESPN.

“Go all in!” Hellmuth keeps repeating for the television cameras.

Spectators caught wind of the event pretty quickly. So far, it has been the biggest gathering of spectators we’ve seen since the main event started.

Post a comment

2012 Main Event: First Break Down

Eric Seidel has 25 Main Events under his belt.
Eric Seidel has 25 Main Events under his belt.

Players came back from a 20-minute break to play 100/200 blinds. We’ve seen a few more faces show up in the Pavilion room recently. Eric Lindgren, Eli Elezra, Andy Bloch, Steve Zolotow, Sammy Farha, and Gavin Smith are all in the Pavilion room trying to accumulate chips.

Break Time Tweets

On the first break of the day we thought we’d catch up with what players had to say about their starts here on Day 1b on Twitter:

Vanessa Rousso ‏@VanessaRousso: "End of level 1. I have 39k from 30k start stack. Grinding! :)"

Erik Seidel ‏@Erik_Seidel: "Playing my 25th WSOP main today. Always feels special to play. Ideally would like to hold off any celebration till Oct"

Mike McDonald ‏@MikeMcDonald89: "I received 3 walks in the first level of this tournament #NoToughness"

Brian Hastings ‏@brianchastings: "Just got to say "there are three ways to play jacks and they're all wrong!" in the flow of a serious conversation at my table. 30.5k"

"Just saw guy bet 800 into 2400 on the 624dddAh6h board and snap fold AJdd face up to a 2200 river raise. #quickestnutflushfoldever"

Greg Raymer ‏@FossilMan: "Good news is most of my table has no fold button. Bad news I've yet to have best hand, including every hand I folded. 20K #wsop60"

Kevin Saul ‏@KevinSauLivePro: "25,675 after level 1 of main, way behind last year's pace #UGH"

Justin Bonomo ‏@JustinBonomo: "Terrible first level. Lost with the only hand I made. Down to 23k from 30k starting. #wsop61"

Brian Rast ‏@tsarrast:"Day 1b... Was 25 minutes late but had a good first level. Up to 46k."

Being a Bridesmaid Isn’t So Bad

Dennis Phillips and Steve Dannerman are seated on adjacent tables in the Pavilion Room today, providing a good example that winning isn’t always everything -- especially at the Main Event.

No one ever wants to finish second or third in a big poker tournament but the Main Event isn’t a bad one to settle for a consolation prize. Dannerman’s runner-up finish to Joe Hachem in 2005 was worth $4,250,000, while Phillips’ third place finish in 2008 put $4,517,77 in his pocket.

Phillips has already had a very nice 2012 WSOP, finishing runner-up in the Seniors Event for a $372,895 score.

Post a comment

2012 Main Event: Things Are Getting a Bit More Exciting

No aces cracked for Harrington.
No aces cracked for Harrington.

The first level of the day is almost in the books. Blinds started at 50/100, and with a 30,000 starting stack players have a lot to work with. The structure is relatively show throughout Day 1 play, which will lend hand to the long hours and continuous days of play that are ahead.

That’s More Like It

Yesterday was a bit blah here at the Rio with just 1,066 runners. Most players were in the Amazon Room, and there were only a smattering of tables in the Brasilia Room.

Today is much more like the typical exciting Main Event action, with streams of players and spectators milling around and all three tournament rooms, (Amazon, Brasilia, and Pavilion) in use with players seated trying to become the next Main Event champ.

We’ve also got a lot more big names in the fray today including Main Event winners Dan Harrington, Peter Eastgate, Carlos Mortensen, and Robert Varkonyi as well as a whole host of other top pros such as Vanessa Selbst, James Akenhead, Bertrand, David Singer, Barry Greenstein, and Chad Brown.

Harrington On Aces

Dan Harrington has been a pivotal player in the poker industry since the 1980’s. He has over $6 million in tournament winnings, and has contributed numerous publications to the poker industry. His most acclaimed works are the “Harrington on Hold’em” and “Harrington on Cash Games” book series.

With his signature green hat in tow, Harrington took his seat at the spectator table in the back of the Amazon room.

In an announcement, Harrington was given accolades about his achievements. As the dealer was sending out cards, Harrington smiled, checked his cards, and fired a raise. As the crowd applauded, Harrington stood up and waved. It must have been a tell to the rest of the table, because they all folded allowing Harrington to take down the pot.

Harrington flipped over his cards showing pocket aces.

Girl Power

One of the big storylines of the 2012 WSOP was the success of female players. There were a lot of deep runs by women in the early events, but Allyn Jaffrey Shulman struck first when she won the $1,000 buy-in Seniors Event for a $603,713 payday. Then Vanessa Selbst capped off her own strong WSOP with a win in Event #52, banking $244,259 and cementing her spot as one of the best poker players in the world, male or female.

Selbst is in action here on Day 1b along with Maria Ho, Leo Margets, as well as a host of other female players looking to make a name for themselves here in the Main Event.

Luongo, Romano Talk Day 1a

Now that's it's the Main Event the PokerListings video crew has invaded Las Vegas and started firing out poker videos from the Rio. Yesterday they scored interviews with two of the biggest stars playing - Ray Romano and Roberto Luongo - in addition to a bunch of regular old professional poker players. It's worth a watch and you can check it out below:

Post a comment

2012 Main Event: Cards Are In The Air For Day 1B

Robert Mizrachi is hunting for a main event bracelet.
Robert Mizrachi is hunting for a main event bracelet.

Cards are in the air for the Main Event of Day 1B. We have another exciting day with new faces. For the first and last time during this entire tournament, players will be on an even playing field starting with 30,000 in chips. The levels are two hours with a 20-minute break after each level.

To get the day started, WSOP Tournament Director Jack Effel made the announcements to the players. Then, he passed the mic over to UFC fighter George St.Pierre.

“I wish you all the best of luck,” said St.Pierre, “Its my first major tournament. I’ll try not to tap out too fast!”

Then the words, “shuffle up and deal” were announced and cards started flying through the air.

Familiar Faces

Usually the field on Day 1A is smaller than on the other starting days. We expect today’s numbers to be larger than the 1,066 players that entered yesterday. Where there are more players, we also expect to see more pros. Updates will be provided throughout the day on familiar faces we’ve seen take their seats

So far, these are the players we’ve spotted:

Robert Mizrachi

Chip Jett

Andrew Lichtenberger

Abe Mosseri

Erik Seidel

Ali Eslami

Dermot Blain

Dario Alioto

Liv Boeree

Bertrand “Elky” Grospellier

Brian Hastings

Amanda Musumeci

Kevin Saul

Jason Somerville

Daniel Negreanu

Dennis Phillips

Post a comment

2012 Main Event: Get Ready for Day 1b

Will Daniel Negreanu play?
Will Daniel Negreanu play?

One starting day is finished at the 2012 WSOP but Day 1b is right around the corner and it could be a big one.

Yesterday 1,066 players plopped down $10,000 to play the biggest poker tournament in the world and 657 survived to Day 2. Day 1a is usually the smallest of the starting days, however.

There’s no telling how many players will come out today but we’ve heard rumblings that Daniel “Kid Poker” Negreanu may make an appearance, although that remains to be seen.

MMA star Georges St-Pierre will provide the shuffle up and deal for the action today and after that will actually play in the tournament for the very first time thanks to 888poker.

Hopefully he’s as good at knocking people out on the felt as he is in the octagon.

Last year Day 1b drew 985 players but considering we’re down to three starting days this year there’s a good chance that number will be eclipsed today.

Action begins in roughly one hour so check back to this page for up-to-the-minute live updates straight from the Rio All-Suites Hotel in sunny Las Vegas.

Post a comment