Without a lot of noise and fanfare the 2015 World Series of Poker saw the beginning of the world's largest poker festival on Wednesday afternoon at the Rio All-Suite Las Vegas Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. Day 1 began with the $565 Casino Employees' No Limit Hold'em event — the traditional kickoff event each year — and the $5,000 No Limit Hold'em event.
Event #1 Finalists led by Stephen Gilbert
At 12:00 PM the $565 Casino Employee's No Limit Hold'em brought 688 runners to the tables but by day's end 51 remained. The day consisted of 15 40-minute levels and although Blake Robbins held the chip lead through most of the day, when the bagging and tagging was done for the night it was Stephen Gilbert who held the chip lead but not by a big margin.
The prize pool for the Employee's event grew large enough to see the top 72 players get paid out of a $344,000 total prizepool. The 51 remaining are in the money but as everyone knows the goal is the $75,704 first-place prize and the first WSOP gold bracelet of the year.
Day 2 will begin at 01:00 PM local time on Thursday and the plan is to play down to a champion. The top 10 at day's end:
Darryl Ronconi takes over 200K into Day 2 of Event #2
The only other event to kick off on Day 1 of the 2015 WSOP started at 04:00 PM and the stars came out to play. There were 422 players in the $5,000 No-Limit Hold'em event this year versus the 696 players that entered in the mid-schedule $5,000 No-Limit Hold'em event in 2014.
The field had to be a nightmare for a novice player and a huge challenge for the pros as they were facing other well-known pros in the competition. Some of most recognizable were Antonio Esfandiari, Dan Smith, Joe Ebanks, Jonathan Jaffe, PokerNews.com Podcast co-host Jason Somerville, JC Tran, Joe Serock, and Carlos Mortensen.
2011 WSOP $5,000 Triple Chance No Limit Hold'em runner-up Darryl Ronconi stood at the top of the field when day's end arrived with over 200,000 in chips.
The event played through 10 60-minute levels and 171 players bagged chips for the night. A min-cash in this event will pay $9,381 with the winner taking home a gold bracelet and $466,120 out of the $1,983,400 prizepool — 45 spots will get paid.
Day 2 resumes on Thursday at 02:00 PM and when that day ends, it's the halfway point in the four-day tournament.
Event #5: "The Colossus" $565 No-Limit Hold'em was the topic of discussion most of the day — it's rumored that over 17,000 players are already registered.
But before Event #5 starts, Thursday will see the beginning of Event #3: $1,500 Omaha Hi-Low at 12:00 PM and Event #4: $3,000 No Limit Hold'em Shootout that starts at 04:00 PM.
Image courtesy of WSOP.com.