History! The World Series of Poker is history in the making! It's nonstop poker! It is six weeks of agony and ecstasy all rolled into the greatest melting pot in the world. The final ascent has begun and only one will make it to the top! That ONE will be firmly stamped in poker history and the rest will fall by the wayside, some with honorable mention, others will have bad beat stories, and others will carry bragaments away to tell their friends about playing with or busting out a pro. Eight others will even make it to the final table in November with 'the ONE.'
Until then, a recap of Day 1B is in order.
Day 1B started with 985 runners but when the dust settled at the end of level five there were 560 left. Michael "the Grinder" Mizrachi was onstage for the "Shuffle Up and Deal" announcement. Michael is poker history! He won the 2010 Poker Players Championship - taking home his first gold bracelet - and also made it to the November Nine where he finished in fifth place. Standing next to the WSOP Tournament Director Jack Effel, Michael started the day's race of cards and chip wars with "Shuffle Up and Deal!"
More than 100 different nations are expected to be represented by thousands of players that come every year just to play the World Series of Poker Main Event. The thought is always for victory but many players attend just because they want to play in poker's biggest event.
The end of Day 1B found some of the well-known poker players out of action, including Michael Mizrachi who was never able to establish any footing or momentum from his seat at the feature table. Some others that hit the rail were: Eric Froehlich, Rep Porter, Justin Smith, Nicolas Levi, Melissa Hayden, Tuan Le, Andre Akkari, and a few hundred of the other less fortunate.
Still in the ascent and moving into Day 2B are: Ben Lamb, Patrik Antonius, John Racener, Sam Stein, Justin Bonomo, Jean-Robert Bellande, Chris Viox, Maxim Lykov, David "Devilfish" Ulliott, David Bakes Baker, Erick Lindgren, Eugene Katchalov, David Sklansky, David Hiu, Ted Lawson, Roland de Wolfe, and Allen Cunningham, along with many others.
Ben Lamb has turned in an amazing performance at the 2011 WSOP and his run was perhaps the biggest news of the day. Lamb has won a gold bracelet and has finishes in second and eighth place this year - and he is among the early chip leaders. Perhaps it will be known as the ‘Year of Lamb” in the WSOP history books since he is in a position to win the WSOP "Player of the Year" honors and he's also in a position to win the Main Event - it's too early to predict but definitely a possibility at this point.
One of France's most popular singers and actors made it through the day and will come back for Day 2 - Patrick Bruel. Bruel also has a 1998 gold bracelet won in the $5,000 Limit Holdem event.
The Main Event Championship ascent continues through July 19th. The final nine are expected to be known at that date and the elite survivors will then become the 2011 "November Nine" as they prepare for the final climb into poker history.