What do you do with a spare $10,000 in Indiana in the fall? Play the WSOP
Circuit event at Harrah's, that's what! 144 poker players ponied up the dough for the World Series of Poker Circuit event at Harrah's Indiana this week, and Day 1 was certainly action-packed, as the field was thinned to 27 by night's end.
Internet superstars and brick and mortar poker studs joined together to duke it out for their piece of the prize pool, and the prize they're all fighting for is the $223,041.60 first place prize, which also includes a $10,000 entry into the WSOP Main Event at the Rio in Las Vegas 2008. Big names from the online world like Ari ‘BodogAri' Engel, Doug ‘Rico Carli and Chad ‘lilholdem' Batista (the 2006 WSOP-C Indiana champ) squared off against some big-time live casino players, including WSOP bracelet winner ‘The Stunning One' Bill Edler and 2007 WSOP Player of the Year Tom Schneider.
These poker stars were joined by a bona-fide sports star at the WSOP Circuit event, as former Louisville Cardinals' basketball coach Denny Crum joined the field. Crum coached the Cardinals for 30 years, made it to the Final Four six times, and brought two national championships to the school. Crum proved on Day 1 that his strategic mind extended past the hardwood, as he dodged bullets to make it through Day 1. On his biggest hand, his pocket Kings ran into a classic cooler in his opponent's pocket Aces. Crum turned things around when he caught a King on the flop, then fell behind again when an Ace on the turn gave his opponent a bigger set. Crum pulled the buzzer-beater when he hit a one-outer on the river to make quad Kings to drag a monster pot and stay alive.
Many of the internet stars did not fare as well on Day 1, with Wade ‘soggy dogg' Woelfel, Jeremy ‘Jburleson' Burleson and defending champ Chad ‘lilholdem' Batista all busting out. Doug ‘Rico' Carli did all he could do to survive, getting his chips in good with against his opponent's , but the board of hit his opponent hard and sent Carli to the rail.
Ari ‘BodogAri' Engel was another top internet pro who fell short on Day 1, when Kou Vang sent him to the rail and took over the chip lead. On a board of , Engel pushed all in over the top of Vang's final bet. Vang thought long and hard before calling with , and his set was good enough against Engel's busted draw. Vang held the chip lead for most of the evening but lost a big pot late in the day to move him down the chip stacks a little. The top ten chip stacks looked like this when play wrapped up for Day 1 -
Vito Cassulo Jr. - 139,900
Bryan Sapp - 105,900
Tom Schneider - 97,400
Michael Dolan - 87,500
Terry Quinn - 85,100
Matt Sterling - 77,100
Wilbur Futhey - 70,900
Russell James - 68,800
Marc Fratter - 64,900
Kou Vang - 60,200
Watch live updates NOW from Caesar's Indiana as the remaining 27 players play down to a final table!