With four tourneys in play simultaneously and a hefty $5k buy-in, Event 12 had the smallest field to date, a mere 265 players chasing a first place of nearly $400k. There was little dead money at these tables, each seat filled with a solid Omaha player whether the public had heard of them or not.
Scooped pots (winning both the high and the low), are the way to distance yourself from the pack. Robert Varkonyi, 2002 WSOP Main Event champion, scooped an early pot from David Singer. He knocked out Singer later in the day. Paul Darden loves his scoops as well. On a board of , Barry Greenstein was all-in with , for a flush and a nice low. Darden’s gave him the nut flush and the nut low. It also gave him an autographed copy of Ace on the River, Greenstein’s recent book that he delivers to anyone knocking him out of an event.
In a Celebrity Poker Showdown, Minneapolis Jim Meehan was bounced from the event by Men “The Master” Nguyen and Phil Ivey. These two would quarter the pot with the tied low, while Ivey grabbed the high with the nut flush. In another three-way pot, Tom Franklin pushed out Sean Sheikhan by three-betting the turn and then sent Toto Leonidas to the rail. Those chips wouldn’t last long, as Kiril Gerasimov busted Franklin close to midnight when his nut low didn’t get there. The sharks continued to cannibalize one another: Chris Ferguson crippled Doyle Brunson, Amir Vahedi knocked out Joe Hachem, Bill Gazes finished off Jeff Lisandro, Sam Farha and Gavin Smith two-timed Tony G.
Day 1 ended at 4:30AM with 26 players still in the battle for a seat in the winner’s circle. Gavin Smith ($118k) and Sam Farha ($115k) sit atop the leader board with some great players ready to pounce. Phil Ivey was down to his last few chips at the end of the day only to finish with a flurry. He’ll start the final day with $56k in chips good for 9th place. Chris Ferguson and Andy Bloch each start with $33k in chips, so they’ll have some work ahead of them to finish on top. Tune in to PokerWorks for what will be an exciting final three tables.