Thursday, July 8, 2010 10:54 PM Local Time
The fourth and final Day 1 flight has come to a close. Today saw the largest field of all four flights -- 2,391 -- fill the Amazon and Pavilion Rooms. Added to our first three days, the overall total of 7,319 players means this year's Main Event is the second-largest tournament in live poker history (behind the 8,773-player 2006 Main Event).
That field together creates a $68,798,600 prize pool to be divided up between the top 747 finishers. And come November, the one player from this group who manages to accumulate every last chip will claim $8,944,138, the gold bracelet, and poker immortality.
A number of notables chose the last starting day, and for some their starting day was also their finishing day. Phil Gordon was an early exit, as were John Tabatabai, Justin Smith, Michael Craig, Jose "Nacho" Barbero, and the top two finishers from the 2005 Main Event, Steve Dannenmann and Joe Hachem. Others failing to survive to Day 2 included John Juanda, Allen Kessler, Cliff Josephy, Sorel Mizzi, and Wendeen Eolis.
Meanwhile, David Benyamine, Bill Chen, Phil Ivey, Kara Scott, and Jason Mercier all jumped out to good starts today, though they were soon overtaken by Khamsy Nuanmanee. She would be the first to six digits, then would spend much of the evening near or at the top of the leaderboard.
At night's end, though, it was Steve "MrSmokey1" Billirakis making a late charge to claim the lead, with Steven Tabb, Julian Foussard, Dan Springfield, and Lestor Martinez also ending the night filling their bags with extra chips. And a quick glance down the leaderboard shows other familiar names such as Archie Karas, Vanessa Rousso, Josh Arieh, and probable 2010 WSOP Player of the Year Frank Kassela having done especially well for themselves today, too.
Of the 2,391 who started today's Day 1d, about 1,700 made it through, meaning we're still looking at more than 5,000 players whose 2010 WSOP Main Event dreams remain alive. Tomorrow those who made it through Days 1a and 1c will come back for Day 2a, with the rest (from Day 1b and Day 1d) continuing their tourney journeys on Day 2b.
Thanks for following our coverage today! And be sure to come back tomorrow at noon Vegas time when the cards go back in the air once again.
Thursday, July 8, 2010 10:50 PM Local Time
For a moment, I thought Freddy Krueger had burst through the felt as a piercing scream emanated from the center of the room. Although I'm not a believer in such boogie men, there had indeed been a butchering, and the victim wouldn't be sleeping easy tonight.
It was Lyle Berman who started the nightmare, raising it up as he had done many times before. Another player then pushed all in for 18,000 leaving the decision on Ross Boatman who held pocket nines. Boatman, who later claimed that the man could easily have been steaming from previous hands, made the call, only to be shown picket aces.
But despite the predicament, Boatman spiked a nine in the window (hence the scream), and so eliminated his foe. As a result, Boatman will be joining his brother in Day 2 (although different days, if that makes sense) with 44,675.
Thursday, July 8, 2010 10:46 PM Local Time
A horrible noise coming from the throat of a player alerted our reporter to the fact that said player was all in with against Ross Boatman's . The board had run out . Boatman's stack increased to 38,000.
"There's no crying in poker," commented another player as the luckless gentleman busted out.
Thursday, July 8, 2010 10:44 PM Local Time
On a flop of , Ylon Schwartz moved all in and was called by his opponent in Seat 8.
Schwartz's pocket rockets were good, but they needed to dodge the diamond draw. The turn was the and the river the . Schwartz managed to double up here at the end of the day and is up to 23,000.
Thursday, July 8, 2010 10:43 PM Local Time
Wendeen Eolis, the first woman to ever cash in the Main Event, was all in and at risk with and was unfortunately dominated by an opponent's .
The flop was all she wrote and after the turn and river came , respectively, Eolis' tournament came to an end.
Thursday, July 8, 2010 10:40 PM Local Time
Brian Townsend has hit the rail after getting his last in with pocket jacks on the turn of a board, only to discover that his opponent was holding for a straight. The on the river was purely academic, and Townsend duly busted out.
Thursday, July 8, 2010 10:40 PM Local Time
I joined the action on the turn of a board, Tommy Vedes facing a bet of 5,000. After a brief pause, he threw in, reluctantly, it seemed, a single orange chip.
The river was the , and after the initial aggressor had checked, Vedes reached into his stack and flicked 7,700 across the imaginary line. His opponent took a quick peek at his cards to make sure they hadn't turned into quads before making the fold.
Vedes climbs to 62,000 with the final whistle looming.
Thursday, July 8, 2010 10:37 PM Local Time
You know the World Series has escalated to gargantuan proportions when players are celebrating making it into the Amazon Room. "Final room," said Andy Bloch with a smirk as he greeted his new, but only momentarily new opponents.
Bloch's not faring too badly though; at first glance, it looks as though he has just under the 50,000 mark.
Thursday, July 8, 2010 10:36 PM Local Time
Andy Bloch committed his last 25,000 chips when he got all his chips in on a flop of . He was called by the other player involved in the hand.
Bloch was well ahead of his opponent and kept his lead through the on the turn and the on the river.
Bloch has 50,000 chips with only a few hands left to play for the night.
Thursday, July 8, 2010 10:32 PM Local Time
With the board reading , Steve "MrSmokey1" Billirakis led out for 14,000. His opponent moved all in for 41,000 and Billirakis called.
Billirakis' opponent could double with a four, jack or ace, but the on the river did not suffice. With the knockout, Billirakis' stack ballooned to 187,000 chips.
Thursday, July 8, 2010 10:30 PM Local Time
Layne Flack was in the cutoff and put in a raise to 1,100. Eddy Sabat made the call from the button and the two saw a flop of . Flack bet 1,500 only to be raised to 7,500 by Sabat.
After Flack made the call, the appeared on the turn and both players checked, as they did when the hit the river.
Flack turned over but was behind Sabat's . Flack dropped to 14,000 after the hand while Sabat is up to 60,000.
Thursday, July 8, 2010 10:26 PM Local Time
"Nice playin' with ya, boys," announced the gentleman who had got his whole stack in from early position with . His opponent, Nick Degaetano, was holding .
"OH MY GOD!" lamented the all-in player, now busted.
"You must have been sick when the queen came out," a tablemate said to Degaetano.
Replied Degaetano, "I was actually praying for a king." He's up to 47,000.
Thursday, July 8, 2010 10:24 PM Local Time
With about 7,000 in the pot, Jack Ury bet 2,000 and received a call from the button. When the came on the river, Ury bet 1,800 and the button called.
Ury, who is 97-years-old and admittingly a little hard of hearing, didn't realize his opponent called and sat motionless waiting for action. The dealer asked Ury to reveal his cards but he didn't seem to hear her.
Finally the other players managed to grab Ury's attention and he flipped over for two pair. It was good and he increased his stack to 43,000.
Thursday, July 8, 2010 10:23 PM Local Time
Phil Ivey just got knocked back below starting stack after doubling up a shorter-stacked opponent, but is now down to business building back. He was knocked down to just below 24,000 a little while ago, but is back near the starting stack now.
A player limped in middle position before the hijack seat raised to 1,600. Ivey was in the small blind and three-bet to 4,700. The limper folded and the original raiser tank-folded as well, giving Ivey the pot.
Thursday, July 8, 2010 10:23 PM Local Time
Dan Heimiller was at about 40,000 chips and got them all in the middle preflop against another player at his table.
All Heimiller had to do was stay ahead, which he did with the board running out .
With only 21 minutes left in the evening, Heimiller currently has 86,000 chips.
Thursday, July 8, 2010 10:21 PM Local Time
It's that time of night.
There's about a half-hour of play remaining in Day 1d. We just saw a player win a pot with pocket aces, most probably guaranteeing he'll be surviving to Day 2. Couldn't help himself, it seems, and thus did he express his pleasure with the turn of events with a spontaneous victory lap around the table.
Only the dealer button is allowed to go around the table like that here, though, so he was asked to take an orbit off to think about what he'd done.
Thursday, July 8, 2010 10:19 PM Local Time
There's an assumption that the big stacks at the end of the day have enjoyed a hitch-free day, but that's not always true, as has been the case for Vanessa Rousso.
On her latest encounter, she faced a bet of what I believe was 3,000 on a flop, her opponent leaving just 4,350 behind. After a brief fondle of her chips, Rousso put her foe all in for his tournament life before showing . Her opponent tabled .
The turn and river were both blanks, and after handing over the necessary chips, Rousso found her stack forced to absorb a minor dent. She remains, however, one of the larger stacks in the room with around 115,000.
Thursday, July 8, 2010 10:18 PM Local Time
Melissa Hayden got her last in with on an flop. Her opponent held and following a blank turn and river Hayden doubled to 28,500.
Thursday, July 8, 2010 10:16 PM Local Time
Action folded to Michiel Sijpkens on the button and he raised to 1,000. The small blind folded and Eric Blair reraised from the big blind to around 2,500. Sijpkens, who had been among the chip leaders all day, raised to 7,600 only to have Blair make it 17,000 to go.
Sijpkens then announced, "All in," and Blair snap-called for his 69,825. Blair turned over while Sijpkens showed . If Sijpkens could win the pot, he would catapult past the 200,000 chip mark and likely be the Main Event chip leader heading into Day 2; meanwhile, Blair was playing for his tournament life. The significance of the hand was not lost on anyone in the vicinity as a crowd began to gather round.
Blair was clearly nervous but breathed a sigh of relief when the flop came , giving him top set; however, Sijpkens could complete a straight draw with any jack. The dealer burned and turned the . Neither player held a club so it didn't change a thing. The entire table looked on anxiously as the dealer put up the on the river.
Sijpkens took a hit to his stack and he is down to 105,000. On the other hand, Blair took down a 140,000 pot and is one of the larger stacks in the room.
Thursday, July 8, 2010 10:15 PM Local Time
On a board reading with around 11,000 in the pot, David Singer found himself all in for his last 12,325 with a caller.
The river landed the to see Singer collect the pot and move to over 34,000 in chips.