Halfway Started: Sarnoff In Front

Greg Raymer. Daniel Negreanu. Lee Watkinson. Ted Forrest. Kenny Tran. All five of these top level pros were part of the casualties on Day 1b at the 2008 World Series of Poker Main Event. But they weren’t alone. Of the 1,157 players who started the day only 621 survived the day.

Leading the way is Ben Sarnoff who took advantage of a table change in the middle of the third level of play to build up his stack to 177,000.

I’ve been at two tables. The second table is unusal. I don’t think they have ever played against a big stack before,” said Sarnoff. “There were a couple of people who kept challenging me. There was one guy with a big stack who kept going at me and I kept getting hands. He gave me about 40,000 in chips.”

Just behind Sarnoff is Brian Schaedlich with 156,000. He qualified via a $130 satellite at Mountaineer Race Track in West Virginia. This is not only Schaedlich’s first WSOP, but his first time in Las Vegas.

It’s my first time out here, just want to make my first main event a big one and try to have a lot of fun,” said Schaedlich. “I thought I would be (nervous) if I ended up with a big stack, but I haven’t broke my concentration,  I think when I go home and get to my hotel room it will probably hit me then”

But while Sarnoff and Schaedlich are at the top of the leaderboard, two of the game’s top young players are in the top 10.

Robert Mizrachi managed to build his stack to 131,000 and finds himself in fourth spot. Two spots behind him is Canadian Marc Karam with 113,000. 2008 WSOP Player-of-the-Year Erick Lindgren found himself at the feature table for the entire day and wound up in the top 20 in chips with 93,325.

The 616 players who survived the day will return on Tuesday at Noon PT and combine with the 636 players left from Day 1a action. Mark Garner is the current overall chip leader with 194,900.

Check out the Day 1b chip counts for a complete breakdown of the day’s action.