Cookies on the PokerWorks Website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies on the PokerWorks website. However, if you would like to, you can change your cookie settings at any time.

Continue using cookies

Poker News | World Series of Poker | WSOP Journal

WSOP Main Event Day 1B

Share this
Men and women who had never been on time before in their lives milled around the Rio for two hours waiting in anticipation of their start to the Main Event. Harrah's staff had things running much more smoothly Saturday, with players streaming into the Amazon Room in unison, two lines through one door. Seat assignment in hand: you may enter. Railbirds and spectators waited until the first break before they could enter.

Doyle Brunson started the festivities as Harrah's presented him with an ornate cake to celebrate the thirtieth anniversary of his first WSOP championship. "I wish all you players good luck," said Doyle. "Shuffle up and deal." With that, Doyle made his way to his seat at Table 6 along with most of Team Doyle. His son Todd was an alternate, waiting patiently until the eighth table broke. By the time he got to his seat, his father's table had been broken down and replaced with alternates. Neither man ended the day with chips.

Today was a day of very big names starting their pursuit of poker's top prize. Billy Baxter, inducted into the World Series of Poker Hall of Fame Thursday, played with his friend Doyle's logo on his shirt. Along with Doyle and Todd, there were a Who's Who of Poker, past, present, and future. Allen Cunningham, Annie Duke, John Juanda, Jason Lester, Joe Sebok, Devilfish Ulliott, Dewey Tomko, David Williams, Jeff Madsen, David Grey, David Colclough, Humberto Brenes, Howard Lederer, Bill Gazes, Rafe Furst, Paul Darden, and Prahlad Friedman. Two of the biggest names in poker had vastly different days.

Holder of ten bracelets, Phil Hellmuth arrived late as usual to his table, which had been moved from Table 100 to the ESPN Feature Table. Hellmuth should have had his driver make a few more trips down the Strip, and he might have had a chance at his 11th bracelet. He was at the table less than two hours, his final hand A-Q going down to pocket 7's. ESPN got its Hellmuth outbursts, its Degree All-In Moment, and plenty of excitement. It just lasted much too short for their purposes.

The other name may be the most feared player in poker, Phil Ivey. Surrounded by online qualifiers as he took his seat, many of the players were excited to see him and worried about how they would perform. Ivey's been through all of that in spades. He's here, investing his time, for one reason and one reason only: to reach the end. To do that, he'll need to avoid a whole host of players: ‘set' farmers, maniacs, bluffers who hit, gamblers, fools, as well as the short list of players who have the game to sit at the felt with him. Ivey moved well throughout the day, and closing on midnight he was in solid shape.

As it got close to midnight, the chip leaders had a familiar ring to them: two PokerStars qualifiers were in the top five (Akshay Kumar and Chris Ellison), along with Phil Ivey. David Williams took an approach to this tournament that is becoming all too familiar: building a big stack quickly. He was in the Top Ten in chips but gave some back as we approached midnight.

PGA Tour Pro Paul Azinger was trying to follow in the footsteps of fellow golf pro Rocco Mediate. Mediate last year made it deep into Day 2 before busting out, and Azinger was holding his own. He recovered from lymphoma in 1993, as well as the death of one of his best friends Payne Stewart in a plane crash six years later. Zinger fought through this and challenges on the golf course, failing to win a tournament for seven years until the 2000 Sony Open in Hawaii. Handling adversity and nerves is nothing new, and this fierce competitor won't be intimidated on the felt.

The current number of entrants in the 2006 WSOP Main Event: 8,666 and more will be added as alternates. 2,176 started Saturday, and they will be playing into Sunday before they complete six levels.

News Flash

The IRS Scores Big at 2015 WSOP ME Final Table

The IRS managed to snag 34.13 percent from the payouts of the 2015 November Nine, totaling $8,467,091.

Read more

Quick Room Review

Bonus Room review

Subscribe to the Nightly Turbo

Be the first to know all the latest poker news, tournament results, gossip and learn all about the best online poker deals straight from your inbox.

RSS Feed