Play is just coming to a close on day 1 of the first open entry event of the 2012 World Series of Poker. Players are settling in for 50+ days of grueling poker action. Event 2, a $1,500 buy-in No Limit Holdem tournament, got under way at 12pm and drew a field of 2101 players. Although this is a new event for the 2012 WSOP and there’s nothing to compare it with, many were expecting a bigger field for this one and already the poker doomsday claims are echoing through the halls of the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino where the WSOP has made its home.
Players started the event with 4,500 chips and the starting blinds were 25-25 with one hour levels, so there was lots of room for play, but that didn’t stop the usual early bust-outs that are typical at these big field events, with Frank Kasella exiting after only a half hour when he held KK vs his opponent’s AA to send him to the rail.
Almost all of the big names turned out for this one, trying to set down an early marker this Summer, but none caused more whispers and camera-phone clicks than the elusive Phil Ivey, who took his seat shortly after the event kicked off. He didn’t make it to day two though; in fact only 240 hopefuls remain in this one, after what was a fast and furious first day. We got through 11 levels, playing until the end of the 500-1000-100 level and an average stack is now just shy of 40,000 chips.
The event sees 216 players get paid, so 24 will return tomorrow but go home empty handed. There are at least 10 players with stacks less than 10 big blinds.
The day one chip leader is Sadan Turker, who managed to come second in one of these big field events last year; he sits on almost 160,000 chips. Veteran Eli Elezra is hot on his heels with 156,000, and Brandon Cantu is also on the leaderboard with 130,000.
Other notable players who are coming back tomorrow include John Juanda, John-Robert Bellande, Vanessa Selbst, Jason Mercier, JP Kelly and last year’s perennial bridesmaid Phil Hellmuth who has 45,000 chips after some sketchy short stacked play that saw a baffled Daniel Negreanu tweeting about Phil’s ‘unconventional’ strategy.
This event returns at midday on Tuesday and play will continue for 10 levels. It’s likely we’ll be close to a final table by then. Tuesday also sees the start of the new Heads Up NLHE/PLO mix event that has a $3,000 buy-in and a 512 cap. That one gets going at 12 pm, while a $1,500 Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo event kicks off at 5 pm.
Author Profile: Rob O’Connor+