This week started off with a bang, when the first shot was fired at the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas signaling the start of the 42nd annual WSOP. Monday, May 30th was Day 1 at the Rio and started with two tournaments; the Casino Employees No Limit Holdem and the Heads-Up No Limit Championship events.
WSOP Day 1 Event #1
As the sun set on Day 1, out of the 850 casino employees that started the day to battle for the first place prize of $82,292, only 77 players were left after just 10 levels of play. The top five chip counts at the end of the day were:
1. Jordan Dhooghe 129,800
2. Thanh Ngo 101,400
3. Ahmad Alashkar 92,800
4. Anthony Nicholson 85,100
5. John Pack 84,800
WSOP Day 1 Event #2
Also starting on Day 1 was the Heads-Up No Limit Championship which saw a small but elite field of 128 players put up $25,000 to vie for the Championship title and gold bracelet. After only two lively rounds, the field dwindled to just 32 players left to fight for the $851,152 first place prize. Some of the famous faces who made a quick exit by falling during the first round were; Daniel Negreanu, Phil Laak, Michael Mizrachi, and David Williams. Other familiar faces who followed them to the rail in round two were; Erick Lindgren, Vanessa Rousso, Jonathan Duhamel, Dan Cates, Shaun Deeb, Scott Clements, David Baker, and Scott Seiver. Notables returning for Day 2 on Wednesday include; David Benyamine, Gus Hansen, Tom Dwan, Eric Froehlich, Steve Zolotow, Carlos Mortenson, and John Juanda.
At the end of Day 1, the Heads Up Championship chip count tally was:
1. David Benyamine 300,000
2. Anthony Guetti 300,000
3. Chris Moorman 300,000
4. Richard Lyndaker 300,000
5. Daniel Stern 300,000
Phil Ivey a NO Show at WSOP, Sues Tiltware
In other Big Name/ Big Game news; the Tiger Woods of poker - Phil Ivey - is sitting this WSOP out.
Ivey posted a message on his Facebook page reflecting on why he is choosing to boycott the world’s most prestigious poker tournament this year. Citing his lawsuit against Tiltware, the software and marketing company for Full Tilt Poker, Ivey voices his outrage over Full Tilt’s apparent refusal to settle up their player accounts.
In part, Ivey posted that “My name and reputation have been dragged through the mud, through the inactivity and indecision of others and on behalf of all poker players I refuse to remain silent any longer. I have electronically filed a lawsuit against Tiltware related to the unsettled player accounts. As I am sure the public can imagine, this was not an easy decision for me. I wholeheartedly refuse to accept non-action as to repayment of players funds and I am angered that people who have supported me throughout my career have been treated so poorly.” Read more here…
Full Tilt Players Patience Wears Thin
While Kudos should go to Phil Ivey for standing up for all of the Full Tilt players who have been waiting for the release of their funds, those angry by Full Tilt’s silence are speaking out. Since Black Friday, players with funds in their online poker accounts have been anxiously awaiting the release of their money, especially from Full Tilt Poker. It is no surprise that the TwoPlusTwo Forum has been buzzing with posts by disgruntled Full Tilt account holders who have run out of patience with the former powerhouse online poker site. A recent post on TwoPlusTwo relayed the latest Full Tilt Poker announcement to US players which reads in part:
"We acknowledge that our lack of communication reflects poorly on us, and rightfully so. We have been too optimistic in estimating how long it would take to sort through the issues we have faced since Black Friday. And as frustrating as the delays have been for us, we recognize that it cannot compare to the frustration you have been feeling.
We further recognize that our lack of communication has led to much speculation and many unsubstantiated rumors, which have often been contradictory. With this message, we hope to clear up as much confusion as we can, while at the same time keeping in mind the constraints imposed on us as a result of the cases brought in the Southern District of New York."
Forum poster ‘synth_floyd’ sums it up pretty well by responding to Full Tilt’s statement with, ‘Yay another non-announcement.’