There are probably a handful of events eagerly anticipated by all poker professionals. Event #2, the first event of the World Series, brings a huge field. The $50k H.O.R.S.E. event will bring out the best looking to identify the top mixed game player, the Main Event brings poker glory, and this $10k PLO prices out almost all of the dead money from the field, leaving just a bunch of poker players to chase the $655,746 first prize from the 214 player field.
You could make an educated guess, on Sunday, which table was running each event. If there was a lot of aggression but no testosterone, it must be the Ladies Event. The Final Table held the $2.5k NLHE event. The $1k NLHE with re-buys Day 2 brought attention to the familiar corner. And if railbirds craned to catch a glimpse of someone who wasn’t known among the poker glitterati, it was the $10k PLO event. They played well into the morning to get to three tables, and the bust outs were scattered like bottle rockets from the July 4th holiday. Barry Greenstein knocked out David Williams, Scott Fischman sent Chris Ferguson back to the FullTilt suite. Top pros made a beeline out of the room, all short of the money.
Roy Vandersluis, from Australia, put a great read on the Professor, Howard Lederer. With the board reading , Lederer bet and was smooth called by Vandersluis. The final card was , and this time Vandersluis took a stab at the pot. Lederer contemplated for a bit then mucked his hand. Had Vandersluis picked up some tell on one of poker’s greats? Maybe, but it must have been hard to focus on the Professor when you look down at these cards: for flopped quads that improved with the royal flush on the river.
Scott Fischman held a monster chip lead for much of Sunday, but it started to turn sour after midnight when it became Monday. He lost a huge pot when his opponent misread his hand, thinking Fischman’s kings were good only to finally figure out he had made a straight. His morning ended in a three-way pot with Hasan Habib and Rafi Amit. Fischman called a flop bet and raise, hoping for a club to make his flush and get back into business. The turn brought a club, but his couldn’t compete with Amit’s flush, so it was Amit tripling up and Fischman headed for the door.
The 26 survivors are packed full of big-time players. Jim McManus, Patrik Antonius, Sam Grizzle, Ronald De Wolfe, Barry Greenstein, Ben Roberts, Lee Watkinson, and short-stacked Daniel Negreanu all will be chasing Habib when Day 2 starts late Monday afternoon.