Saturday, May 30, 2009

WSOP Day 3 - A day of Shrinkage

Day 3 of the WSOP produced no bracelets. It was a day to trim the fields of Event #2, the open $40k buy in even and the Monster Event #3, $1500 Omaha Hi/Low-Eight or Better. Both tournaments are monsters in their own right for completely different reasons.

In Event #2 – play began with 89 of the original 201 players competing for a huge cash prize. This was the second day of this event, and action got going quickly with many big name pro’s hitting the rail. The likes of which that made their final exit included Doyle Brunson, Mike “the mouth” Matusow, Phil Ivey, Chris Moneymaker, Huck Seed, Michael DeMichele, Hoyt Corkins, and Antonio Esfandiari among others. In the end, 23 players are remaining. The last 4 finishers all were in the money and took home a prize of $71,858 for their two day efforts. Those cashers were, Vanessa Rousso (27th), JC Tran (26th), Sorel Mizzi (25th), and David “The Dragon” Pham (24th).

The 23 remaining players will get under way today at the Rio as we work closer to the final table. Of the remaining players, the top chip holders are

1- Justin Bonomo (2.6 mil)
2- Ted Forest (2.5 mil)
3- David Baker (2.3 mil)
4- Greg Raymer (2.1 mil)
5- Lex Veldhuis (2.1 mil)

After that, the next place chip count is at 1.2 mil. I’m still pulling for Noah Schwartz (541k) to win this one, but he’s going to have to play some amazing poker today to get into the money.

I find it interesting that Ted Forest was able to do so well given the fact that he didn’t return from the Dinner Break…well, on time at least. 52 players went to dinner, and 51 came back. About 2 hours later, Ted Forest returned to his seat where he’s missed several rounds of blinds and antes. He claimed that he’d gone back to his hotel room and fell asleep. Well the nice mid tournament nap apparently refreshed him, and he’s now 2nd in chips!

In Event #3, we saw that largest field EVER in the history of the WSOP for a Pot Limit Omaha Hi/Lo-Eight or Better event. 918 total players bought in for the $1500 entry, which is almost 100 more than entered for this event last year. This is a great sign as to the continued growth of Poker. The event included several marquis names including the likes of Phil Hellmuth, Annie Duke, Daniel Negreanu, and Chris Ferguson. Probably the most interesting story of Event #3 is that last years champion in this event, Thang Lu, is not only alive in the tourney, but thriving as the chip leader. It’ll be interesting to see if he can hang onto the lead and repeat as the champion in this event.

A total of 197 players will make their way to the Rio again today to resume play. Chip counts weren’t made available as I wrote this, so I don’t have any updates there. But I’ll let you know about more notables at some point.

Today will have three events in play, as we play down to a Final Table in Event #2, Reduce the field size of Event #3, and begin play in Event #4. I thing Event #4 (which is the $1,000 NLHE event) may actually pose the largest field size of any of the tournaments outside the Main Event. It’ll be interesting to see how many players turn out for their shot at a bracelet.

I’ll have more for you tomorrow. Cheers, Paul

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