2010 World Series of Poker Presented by Jack Link’s Beef Jerky
Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino
Las Vegas, Nevada
Official Report
Event #57
Day 1-A
No-Limit Hold’em
World Championship
Buy-In:  $10,000
Number of Entries (1-A Only):  1,125
Total Net Prize Pool:  TBD
Number of Places Paid:  TBD
First Place Prize:  TBD
July 2 to November 9, 2010


Main Event Mania!
2010 World Series of Poker Main Event Championship Begins

Corwin Cole is the Chip Leader at End of Day 1-A

1,125 Players Enter Day 1-A (Three Starting Days Still to Go)

2004 World Champ Greg Raymer Eliminated Early

Note:  For the tournament portal page for this event, including official results, click HERE.

All journeys begin with a first step.

On July 5th, 2010 at precisely 12:09 pm the 41st annual World Series of Poker Main Event officially began.  Tournament Director Jack Effel passed the microphone over to 2004 world champion Greg “Fossilman” Raymer, who bellowed out to a cavernous room packed with more than a thousand poker players.

“This is what you are all playing for -- the gold bracelet!”

With that, Raymer lifted his bear-claw arm high into the air and flashed a luminous cylinder of 18-karat gold, encrusted with diamonds, which symbolizes the ultimate achievement in the game of poker.

“This is what you all came here for!” Raymer continued as the gold bracelet sparkled in the glare of the Rio’s overhead lights.  “And, now – let’s play some poker.  Shuffle up and deal!”

With those words the Main Event was officially underway.

The Main Event officially began with Raymer’s booming pronouncement.  But the fact is – every participant’s long journey really begins days, weeks, months, and in some cases many years earlier.  Playing in poker’s world championship is the culmination of countless hours of both preparation and anticipation.  Years spent sitting in weekly home games, playing in casinos and cardrooms, grinding out cashes in small tournaments, reading books on poker strategy, and learning from the inevitable mistakes that go along with self-improvement all ultimately clash in the world’s biggest intersection of dreams.

Indeed, everyone who comes to play in the WSOP dreams of winning.  Players, both male and female, from more than 100 different nations -- players who speak many different languages, players with various levels of education, players of just about every conceivable profession -- are all universally amalgamated by the shared dream that this might be their year to win.  Some dreams even come true.  Just ask Joe Cada.  Or, Joe Hachem.  Or, Chris Moneymaker.

The Main Event Day 1-A attracted 1,125 players.  Although the Amazon Room was packed, and overflow expanded into the more expansive Pavilion Room, this is expected to be the smallest turnout of the four starting days.  The WSOP has utilized multiple starting days since 2004, necessitated by the huge field size.  Players are given the option of choosing which starting day they prefer, designated as 1-A, 1-B, 1-C, or 1-D.

Among those who played on Day 1-A were former world champions Bobby “the Owl” Baldwin (1978), Chris Moneymaker (2003), and Greg “Fossilman” Raymer (2004).  Multiple gold bracelet winners who entered on this day were Billy Baxter, T.J. Cloutier, Thor Hansen, Mike Matusow, Erik Seidel, Barry Shulman, David Sklansky, and Dewey Tomko.

The Main Event also attracts celebrities who love the game.  One famous name who played was actor and comedian Ray Romano (“Everybody Loves Raymond”), who is playing in the world championship for the fourth straight year.  One of the world’s top athletes also played today.  Two-time Olympic gold medalist skier Marcus Hellner from Sweden played in his first WSOP event.  Shawn Marion, who plays for the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks, also participated for the first time.  And Norway's Petter Northug, a four-time medalist at the 2010 Winter Olympics (including two golds) also played today.

But the bottom line is – it doesn’t matter if your name is Marion, Hellner, Romano, Northug or even Brunson.  It does not matter if you’re famous, or you're not.    What does matter is how you play your cards and what happens over the next 12 grueling days in poker’s biggest pressure-cooker.
Those players who are fortunate to survive will return for Day 2-A, which will be played on Friday, July 9th.
Those dreams will continue, while some have already been extinguished.  At least for now, and until next year when the WSOP will once again bloom, the passions of all those who love the great game of poker.


The Main Event began with opening festivities.  WSOP Tournament Director Jack Effel recited the customary instructions and rules to all players.  Effel also thanked players, fans, and the entire staff at the WSOP.  Effel noted:  “As we play Day One, I would like each one of you to remember something.  And that is this – simply by being here at the Rio in Las Vegas and participating in the World Series of Poker – you are already a winner.  Each one of you has already achieved something special.  Consider there are 100,000,000 million poker players worldwide.  The combined field of this year’s Main Event represents less than one-hundredth of one percent of the entire poker universe.  This means, each of you represents the dreams and aspirations of millions of poker players around the world who did not make the cut, and who are not fortunate enough to be sitting where you are today.  So, enjoy the experience and play your best.”

This is the fifth consecutive year the WSOP has been guided by Tournament Director Jack Effel.  After being assigned as the Assistant Tournament Director in 2005, he assumed the top floor position in 2006 and has now overseen operations for the five largest live poker tournaments in history.

Honorary “Shuffle Up and Deal” privileges went to 2004 world champion Greg “Fossilman” Raymer.

The tournament officially began on July 5, 2010 at 12:09 pm.

The total number of players who participated on Day 1-A was 1,125.

The first elimination came about 30 minutes into play, which is an eternity in a field of this size.  Stuart Nitzkin, from Northfield, IL suffered the cruel indignity of being the first player to bust out of the Main Event.  In fact, he endured a brutal half hour.  He was dealt pocket aces and lost part of his stack when the final board showed K-K-T-T-T.  The opponent has ace king, for a higher full house.  A few hands later, he was dealt pocket kings and lost the remainder of his stack.  Nitzkin lost, no less, to a player with king-ten (normally an abominable hand in No-Limit Hold’em).  The king-ten ended up making a straight on the turn.


Former world champions who participated on this day included:  Bobby “the Owl” Baldwin (1978), Chris Moneymaker (2003), and Greg “Fossilman” Raymer (2004).

Bobby Baldwin, who has ascended to corporate executive status for MGM-Mirage since winning the Main Event 32 years ago, still finds time in his busy schedule to play in the WSOP every year.  Baldwin survived Day 1-A.

Chris Moneymaker, considered the player most responsible for the poker boom, has experienced mixed results at the WSOP and elsewhere since his historic win seven years ago.  He enjoyed and excellent Day 1-A, finishing in 23rd place.

Greg Raymer busted out very early.  He was eliminated a little more than an hour into play.  Raymer was crippled when he flopped top pair with a flush draw, which lost to a set of tens.  He went out about 30 minutes later.

Notable non-pros who played on Day 1-A included:
Rene Angelil (Husband and Manager of Celine Dion)
Petter Northug (two-time Olympic gold medal winner – 2010 Vancouver Winter Games)
Marcus Hellner (Two-time Olympic gold medal winner – 2010 Vancouver Winter Games)
Shawn Marion (NBA basketball player – Dallas Mavericks)
Ray Romano (Actor and Comedian)
Vince Van Pattten (Television Announcer and Celebrity)

Poker Hall of Fame members who played on Day 1-A included:
Bobby Baldwin
Billy Baxter
T.J. Cloutier
Dewey Tomko


All players began play with 30,000 in chips.

This is the second year players were given triple the number of starting chips.  By contrast, all WSOP Main Events played from 1971 through 2005 gave players 10,000 in starting chips.  In years 2006-2008, players began with 20,000 in chips.  

Day 1-A played four-and-a-half levels.  Each level is 2 hours long.  Play ended at 11:35 pm.

Day 1-A ended with 766 players.  This means 68 percent of starters survived the first day.  Contrast this with last year when 73.5 percent of players survived Day 1-A.  Players played faster and busted out quicker, so far.

Players who survived Day 1-A will return to continue their quest for the 2010 world poker championship on Friday, July 9th, at 12 noon.  


The chip leader is Corwin Cole, from Las Vegas, NV – with 228,200.  This amounts to about 7.5 times his starting stack.  Cole is 25-years-old.  He currently has six WSOP cashes, including a fifth-place finish in an event played in 2008, which paid $189,311.  Cole’s career WSOP earnings now total $243,938.

Ranking second in chips is Dwyen Ringbauer, from Henderson, NV.  He has 191,125 in chips.  Ringbauer has no record of cashes at the WSOP.

Poker pro Michael “the Grinder” Mizrachi is currently in third place, with 142,650.  Mizrachi won his first WSOP gold bracelet this year when he won the Poker Players Championship.

Among the chip leaders is Barry Shulman (113,325).  Shulman is a two-time gold bracelet winner.  He won last year’s WSOP Europe Main Event championship.  Shulman’s son Jeff made it to the November Nine, finishing fifth in last year’s WSOP Main Event.

2003 world champion Chris Moneymaker has 107,425 in chips.  He is among the chip leaders.

John Shipley, from the UK, crossed the 100,000 chip threshold and remains very much alive as one of the top 50.  Shipley finished seventh in the 2002 Main Event.  Known for his aggressive play, he was the chip leader going into that final table.

Former gold bracelet winner Johnny “World” Hennigan, who won the 2009 Ante Up For Africa charity tournament and donated the entire sum of his winnings to the cause, is also in the top 50.

Maria Ho, known for her deep run in the 2007 Main Event (38th place) and appearance on a popular television show, is in the top 100.

Two-time gold bracelet winner Vitaly Lunkin, from Moscow, who burst upon the scene last year as one of the top finishers, is one of Russia’s top poker pros.  He currently ranks among the top 100.

Dwyte Pilgrim, from Brooklyn, NY who has been one of the WSOP Circuit’s top performers over the past two years, ranks among the top 150.

Based on WSOP figures during the mega-era (2003 to present), the Day One chip leader has a slightly less than even chance of cashing in the Main Event.  Since 2003, there have been 23 Day One chip leaders.  The number of chip leaders is higher than number of years, due to multiple starting days.  Of the 23 Day One chip leaders during this period, only 11 finished in the money (48 percent).   Twelve players were eliminated short of the money.

One Day One chip leader ended up winning the Main Event.  That happened last year, when Joe Cada was the chip leader after Day 1-C.

Based on WSOP figures during the mega-era (2003 to present), the 9/19 Day One chip leaders who cashed finished as follows:
2003 – Barry Greenstein finished 49th
2004 – Chuck Agnew finished 82nd
2005 – Lee Watkinson finished 45th
2005 – Sammy Farha finished 316th
2007 – Josh Evans finished 76th
2007 – Tinten Olivier finished 223rd
2007 – Jeff Norman finished 500th
2008 – Steve Austin finished 552nd
2008 – Henning Granstad finished 553rd
2009 – Redmond Lee finished 444th
2009 – Joe Cada finished 1st


This is the 57th and final event on the 2010 WSOP schedule which is played in Las Vegas.  Five more gold bracelet events will take place in London, England at the Empire Casino, to be held in September as part of the 4th Annual World Series of Poker Europe.    

This marks the sixth consecutive year the WSOP has been held at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino.  Prior to 2005, the WSOP was held at Binion’s Horseshoe in downtown Las Vegas.  As a testament to the expansion of the WSOP since Harrah’s Entertainment assumed ownership and control of the world most prestigious poker event, more than twice the money has been awarded to winners within the Rio during the past six years than during the entire proceeding 35-year period at the Horseshoe.

During the mega-era, the eventual WSOP champions and their chip positions at the conclusion of Day One were:

2003 – Chris Moneymaker, 60,475 in chips (ranked 11th)*
2004 – Greg “Fossilman” Raymer, 74,400 in chips (ranked 7th)
2005 – Joe Hachem, 67,350 in chips (not in top 25)
2006 – Jamie Gold, 100,125 in chips (ranked 23rd)
2007 – Jerry Yang, 99,700 in chips (not in top 25)
2008 – Peter Eastgate, 62,325 in chips (not in top 25)
2009 – Joe Cada 187,225 in chips (ranked 1st)

*NOTE:  2003-2005 started with 10,000 in chips.  2006-2008 started with 20,000 in chips.  2009 starts with 30,000 in chips.

The number of females who played Main Event Day 1-A was 26.

The most dominant Day One Main Event performance in history was by three-time WSOP gold bracelet winner John Bonetti, who passed away three years ago.  Bonetti finished the first day of the 1993 Main Event with 500,000 in chips (the figure is an estimate, since there was no Internet coverage, nor accurate records available from that year).  Since there were 231 players registered, he had a staggering 22 percent of the total chips in play.  Bonetti went on to finished third that year, as Jim Bechtel won the championship.

This is the 885th gold bracelet event in World Series of Poker history.  Note:  This figure includes every official WSOP event played, including tournaments during the early years when there were no actual gold bracelets awarded.  It also includes the 11 gold bracelets awarded to date at WSOP Europe.


Tournament attendance is up significantly from this same point last year. Last year, through 56 events, there were 53,808 entries. Thus far this year, there have been 65,647 total entries, an increase of 22 percent.

Prize money is also up from last year’s figures. Last year, through 56 events, the amount of prize money won was $111,631,536. This year’s prize money currently stands at $118,311,250, an increase of about 6 percent.

Through the conclusion of Event #56, the nationalities of gold bracelet winners have been:

United States (38)
Great Britain (5)
Canada (5)
Hungary (2)
New Zealand (1)
France (1)
Russia (1)
Norway (1)
Holland (1)
Israel (1)

Through the conclusion of Event #56, the national origin (birthplace) of winners has been:

United States (31)
Great Britain (5)
Canada (5)
Vietnam (2)
China (2)
Hungary (2)
New Zealand (1)
France (1)
Lebanon (1)
Russia (1)
Mexico (1)
Bangladesh (1)
Norway (1)
Holland (1)
Israel (1)

Through the conclusion of Event #56, the breakdown of professional poker players to semi-pros and amateurs who won gold bracelets is as follows:

Professional Players (39): Michael Chow, Michael Mizrachi, Praz Bansi, Josh Tieman, Peter Gelencser, James Dempsey, Men “the Master” Nguyen, Matt Matros, Yan R. Chen, Steve Gee, Carter Phillips, Jason DeWitt; Eric Buchman, David Baker, Richard Ashby, Dutch Boyd, Sammy Farha, David Warga, Will Haydon, Matt Keikoan, Mike Ellis, Luis Velador, Ayaz Mahmood, Phil Ivey, Luigi Kwaysser, Scott Montgomery, Steven Kelly, Steve Jelinek, Dean Hamrick, Ian Gordon, Gavin Smith, Jesse Rockowitz, Chris Bell, Shawn Busse, Sigurd Eskeland, Chance Kornuth, Ryan Welch, Brendan Taylor, Daniel Alaei

Semi-Pros (8): Frank Kassela, Tex Barch, Miguel Proulx, Jeffrey Papola, Frank Kassela, Mike Linn, Dan Kelly, Tomer Berda

Amateurs (9): Duc Pham, Aadam Daya, Pascal LeFrancois, Simon Watt, Vanessa Hellebuyck, Jeff Tebben, Konstantin Puchkov, Harold Angle, Marcel Vonk

Through the conclusion of Event #56, here is the list of repeat WSOP gold bracelet winners:
Praz Bansi
Men “the Master” Nguyen
Russ “Dutch” Boyd
Sammy Farha
David Warga (* his first WSOP win was in a non-open event)
Matt Keikoan
Luis Velador
Phil Ivey
Frank Kassela (two wins this year)
Daniel Alaei

Through the conclusion of 2010 World Series of Poker -- Event #56:
Youngest Winner – Steven Kelly (21), Dan Kelly (21)
Oldest Winner – Harold Angle (78)
Female Winners (open events) – None
Multiple-Event Winners (this year) – Frank Kassela