Garnering Attention
Day 1a is in the books at the 2008 World Series of Poker Main Event and Mark Garner leads the way with 194,900. A total of 1,297 players started the day but by day’s end only 636 remained. Garner, who finished 25th in 2006, made a run late in the day to finish on top.

Just behind Garner is Brandon Adams with 176,000. After a slow start Adams got hot Late in the night Adams fell victim to a prank by poker commentator Ali Nejad. Late in the night Adams was receiving a massage when Nejad took over the duties for a few minutes. Everybody except Adams noticed until Nejad’s laughter gave himself away.

The starting field included a few well known celebrities and professional athletes but the only one to make it to Day 2 was former sitcom star Ray Romano. National Hockey League tough guy Brad May busted out shortly after the dinner break and ER star Mekhi Pfifer was sent packing just before play ended for the night. 

Romano finished up the night with 61,025 in chips and was happy with his play, despite a few missteps.

“I really wanted to make it to day two. I am just very competitive by nature, I just wanted to make it to day two, that was my goal. I got a little bit of advice from a friend who finished 100th last year,” said Romano. “I played tight as all hell and I got a couple of hands and I made a little bit of money, but I could have made more money. I fell asleep reading Doyle Brunson’s book last night.”

Former NBA benchwarmer Jack Haley, who had the attention of the ESPN cameras throughout the day, was short-stacked for most of the day and was also eliminated just after dinner. Based on his table talk throughout the day he wasn’t too heartbroken about being knocked of poker’s biggest tournament.

“I either need to accumulate mad chips or get going man,” Haley joked. “Does the term Spearmint Rhino mean anything to you dealer?” The Spearmint Rhino is one of Las Vegas’ most popular clubs for gentlemen.
For complete rundown of all Day 1a chip count visit the official WSOP chip counts. The remaining players will return to the Amazon Room on Tuesday to combine with the players from Day 1b. Day 1b action gets underway at Noon PT. You can follow all the action from Day 1b of the 2008 WSOP at