10 THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT THE OPENING DAY OF THE $50K POKER PLAYERS CHAMPIONSHIP

June 23, 2014 - 04:00:55 AM EST  | 

10 THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT THE OPENING DAY OF THE $50K POKER PLAYERS CHAMPIONSHIP
It is the most-coveted bracelet besides the Main Event. It is the true test of who the best all-around player in poker is. It is the $50,000 Poker Players Championship.

The much-celebrated event got underway Sunday afternoon at the Rio, and from as early as Level 1, fans were watching from the rail as some of the biggest names in the game like reigning WSOP Player of the Year Daniel Negreanu, nine-time bracelet winner Phil Ivey, all-time bracelet leader Phil Hellmuth, and past Main Event winners Jonathan Duhamel and Joe Hachem took their seats in this highly-anticipated poker tournament.

With several days to go before the final table on Thursday, June 26th, there is a lot of poker to play, but even after just five 100-minute levels of action, some interesting storylines are starting to emerge. So, with that in mind, here are ten things you should know about the opening day of play in the PPC:

1. Day 1 of this event drew 85 players. By day’s end, 80 players were still alive. 

2. No women have ever cashed in the $50,000 Poker Players Championship. So far this year, two women have taken a shot at the Chip Reese trophy. One, Melissa Burr, is still alive with 127,200 chips after Day 1. The other, three-time bracelet winner Vanessa Selbst, was the first person eliminated from the tournament.

3. There are three players who managed to double their 150,000-chip starting stack by day’s end. Matt Glantz, who final tabled this event in 2008 and again in 2011, leads the field with 324,700 chips. Not too far behind him are Dylan Linde (303,700) and bracelet winner Richard Ashby (300,000), who bubbled the final table in the $5,000 Six-Handed Pot Limit Omaha event just a couple of hours before hopping into this field.

4. So far, four of the eight players who have their name etched on the Chip Reese trophy are in the field. Two-time Poker Players Champ Michael “The Grinder” Mizrachi spent much of the day at the same table as 2011 winner Brian Rast. Last year’s champ Matthew Ashton was also in the field, as was 2009 winner David Bach. All four players advanced to Day 2, and both Ashton and Mizrachi ended the day in the top ten on the chip counts.

5. There were five Day 1 bustouts. As we mentioned, Selbst was the first player to hit the rail, but by day's end Dan Shak, Phil Galfond, Michael Glick, and Sergii Baranov had joined her there.

6. Five of the current top ten players in the Player of the Year standings are in this field, but that number should grow to six tomorrow, as Justin Bonomo tweeted asking about late registration tomorrow.  Ashby, who is currently fifth in the race, fared the best so far, more than doubling his starting stack. The rest did not have as productive of a day. Brock Parker, currently fourth in the race, was the only other player in the group to end with more than he started, while frontrunner George Danzer (137,400), Brandon Shack-Harris (132,400), and Calvin Anderson (89,300) will all be returning with less than 150,000 chips.

7. This is a five-day event with 100-minute levels. The slow structure means registration is open through the start of Level 7, which is approximately 4pm PT Monday, so the 85 –player field still has several more hours to grow. Last year, this event drew 132 players,

8. This event is played eight-handed and features an eight-game rotation. The games played in the tournament are Limit Hold’em, Omaha Hi-Lo, Razz, Seven Card Stud, Stud Hi-Lo, No Limit Hold’em, Pot Limit Omaha, and Limit 2-7 Triple Draw.

9. This is the ninth year for the Poker Players Championship, which was introduced back in 2006. For the first four years, the event played the five-game rotation known as HORSE, but switched to Eight-Game in 2010.

10. Here is a look at the top ten chip counts heading into Day 2 of play:

1. Matt Glantz - 324,700
2. Dylan Linde - 303,700
3. Richard Ashby - 300,000
4. Shaun Deeb - 282,600
5. Alex Luneau - 273,900
6. Ismael Bojang - 271,400
7. Matthew Ashton - 263,800
8. Michael Mizrachi - 254,900
9. David Benyamine - 246,300
10. Dan Heimiller - 245,800

Day 2 of play resumes at 2pm PT. Live updates from the floor of the event are available on WSOP.com.

 
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Jessica Welman – Reporter/Contributor


About the author: Jessica Welman is an aspiring Hollywood mogul turned aspiring academic turned actual poker media member. A graduate of University of Southern California's School of Cinema-Television with an MA in Communication and Culture from Indiana University at Bloomington, Welman first started in poker at the 2008 World Series of Poker as part of a grad school research project. That research project quickly turned into an unexpected career shift.
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