Friday, May 29, 2009

WSOP Day 2 - The first Bracelet

Day 2 brought the very first bracelet of the 40th Annual WSOP. And the first champion of 2009 was none other than a bartender from N9NE Steakhouse in Las Vegas, NV - Andrew Cohen. This was Andrew’s second WSOP cash, as he'd finished 15th in Event #3 WSOP Circuit event for a little more than $15k in the 2006/2007 series. But this time, he made away with the jewelry and the top prize in Event 1 $500 buy in NLHE, which was $83,778.

Andrew really stepped up his game at the final table and began knocking out most of the competitors at the final table to take a huge chip lead that he wouldn’t relinquish. When play slowed down (and it got terrible slow when we hit 5 players remaining), Andrew was the first to really start to mix things up, and he came out on the better side of each of the showdowns to eventually claim the prize.

Most of the participants in the field were relative unknowns, but Andrew now holds the esteemed honor (even if it is for a day) of being the ONLY 2009 Bracelet winner. Congratulations Andrew.

In the other event, the media circus began when Event 2 got under way. Event 2 is the “Who’s Who” of the poker world, and is the $40,000 buy in NLHE event. The field size had been talked about in many poker circles, and in the end, there were 201 players who paid the $40k to enter the tournament, which means a prize pool of a whopping $7.7 million, of which first place would take home just short of $1.9 million. Not too shabby. The tournament will begin paying the final 3 tables (or 27 players if you’re wondering), and with over 200 big name pro’s, there were a TON of notable exits yesterday. The current chip leaders after day 1 are:

Bruno Fituossi – 812,500
Chris Moneymaker – 805,500
Justin Bonomo – 738,000
Alexander Veldhuis – 646,500
Kyle Wilson – 611,500
Brian Townsend – 609,000
Michael DeMichele – 519,500
Emil Patel – 494,500
Alan Sass – 491,000
Andrew Black – 449,500

Personally, I’m pulling for Mark Seif (411,500) or Noah Schwartz (168,000), as those are two people that I’ve had dealings with. They are tremendous human beings, and seeing them take down an event like this would be 100% deserving. I’ll provide more info on twitter (@Pablosplace) as the day unfolds. Action will resume again in the Amazon Room at 2PM as the 89 remaining players toss their chips around in an effort to win the 2nd bracelet and likely one of the largest cash prizes of the 2009 WSOP

I think that one of the great surprises of this event so far has to be the great play of Former WSOP Main Event Champion Chris Moneymaker. Chris just hasn’t received much respect from the top name pro’s since winning the Main Event a few years ago. He’s a skilled player, who definitely got lucky to win that event, but was good enough to get himself there. I like Chris for the same reason that many other players like him; he is largely responsible for the poker boom. It was Chris that took a $40 online satellite buy in all the way to a WSOP Main Event Championship and millions of dollars. Overnight, it gave every amateur poker player the dream of being able to run lucky enough to do exactly the same thing. People everywhere chase the dream of what Chris was able to accomplish. I know that I am not alone when I think “maybe one day, that could be me.” Chris is a wonderful ambassador for the game of poker and gives all of us amateurs hope. I wish him continued success at this event as well.

In addition to the action of Event 2, Event 3 will also get underway today. Event 3 is the $1,500 buy in Omaha Hi-Low Split (8 or better) event, and should attract a decent crowd. I’ll bet that most of the high profile pro’s that busted in Day 1 of Event 2 will likely be playing in this event.

That’s it for the Day 2 recap. I’ll have more information about Day 3 tomorrow morning. Cheers, P

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