The common saying goes that third time is the charm. Today, John Juanda probably agrees with that sentiment. He ends the opening day of the €50,000 Majestic High Roller here in Cannes, but it did come at a price, as he did have to rebuy two times before amassing a pile of 538,500 chips to end the day.
Juanda busted at the hands of Big One For One Drop final tablist Richard Yong early in the action of the unlimited rebuy event. He bought back in and less than an hour later, Yong busted him a second time. There were no hard feelings for either party though and Yong even loaned Juanda €50,000 to buy-in for a third bullet, casually tossing a brick of cash across the table to his friend so he could buy-in for another 150,000-chip stack.
Thanks to rebuys, the field currently stands at 43 entries with 37 players remaining. That number will go up though, as registration is open through the end of the first level of play on Day 2. Other players who rebought include Ziv Bachar, Roger Hairabedian, Tom Dwan, and Marvin Rettenmaier.
It was Rettenmaier’s elimination that propelled Juanda to the top of the leaderboard when Rettenmaier ran ace-king into Juanda’s pocket aces. Rettenmaier opted to rebuy after the hand.
One player who decided to fire only one bullet in this tournament was October Niner Greg Merson. He ran into Erik Seidel’s pocket aces, elected not to rebuy, and was the first official elimination from the tournament. Merson was not the only elimination of the day though. Others who busted and opted to call it a night include Sheng Sun, Senh Ung, Wang Qiang, and Bachar, who gave up after busting a second time.
Jonathan Duhamel has already announced his plans to register to play the High Roller tomorrow morning and there are certainly plenty of others who may decide to join him. The Day 2 action does not resume until 4pm, which means some of the players in the Main Event who bust early in the day will have an opportunity to hop into the action should they see fit.
Unsurprisingly, this field is a stacked one and it will only get tougher when new players join the fray on Wednesday. Here is a glance at the top ten chip counts from the end of Day 1. Full chip counts and live updates from the event are also available on WSOP.com
Official Top Ten:
1. John Juanda - 538,500
2. Richard Yong - 408,200
3. David Benefield - 375,100
4. Mike Watson - 370,900
5. Jean-Noel Thorel - 355,000
6. Tony G - 350,000
7. Tobias Reinkemeier - 348,800
8. Daniel Negreanu - 320,000
9. Erik Seidel - 293,800
10. Paul Newey - 291,500