PCA Atlantis Resort, Paradise Island, Bahamas - Day 1A
232 players of the 556 that started day 1A made it to the end still holding on to some chips. Here they are, sorted by chip counts, with their day 2 table and seat assignments. They will return Monday at noon to join the survivors of day 1B for day 1. Notables on this list: Steve Paul-Ambrose, who won this event in 2006, is 2nd in chips. 2007 Player of the Year David 'the Dragon' Pham is above average with 73,325 chips, as is 2003 WSOP Main Event Champion Chris Moneymaker with 58,600. David Wells, a lefty and one of only 17 pitchers to throw a perfect game, will return on day 2 with 88,150. Rumor has it that he got personal coaching from Daniel Negreanu over drinks in the bar the night before play began.
Saturday, 05th of January 2008 09:23 PM
Play has concluded for tonight with 30 minutes remaining in level 7. Somewhere around 250 players remain and will return Monday at noon for day 2. They have begun the bag & tag process. Once the chip count list is available, it will be posted here. (Because of the size of the field, the media was advised not to expect the list until morning.)
Ryan Collett is my best guess as to the end of day 1A chip leader, approaching 200k in chips.
Sunday at noon the second starting flight will get underway with another 500+ hopefuls.
Saturday, 05th of January 2008 09:07 PM
260 players are still alive as they begin the 15 minute countown to the end of play. Ryan Collett has extended his lead to about 186k chips (average is ~43k).
Saturday, 05th of January 2008 08:44 PM
Level 7: Blinds 500/1,000 with 100 antes. Play has resumed for the final time tonight.
Saturday, 05th of January 2008 08:33 PM
Level 6 has expired. Following this break, they will play 45 minutes of level 7, then call it a night.
Saturday, 05th of January 2008 08:24 PM
With the board showing Q 8 6, (two diamonds) Eric 'Rizen' Lynch gets his short-stacked opponent all in. Eric is way out in front with pocket Queens for top set. His opponent showed A 7 for the flush draw. "That's the hand I didn't want to see" says Eric. But the flush was not the problem. The last two cards came 4 5, giving the short-stack a runner-runner straight to double through.
Andreas Krause ran pocket Kings into Ted Lawson's pocket Aces and was busted. Shannon Shorr sucked out on his opponent, making a gutshot straight on the turn, only to suffer the re-suckout when his opponent boated on the river. Shannon is history.
Ryan Collett has vaulted into the chip lead with about 167k.
Saturday, 05th of January 2008 07:45 PM
John Racener got his last chips in with A K against two callers, who held pocket Tens and T 8 . The pocket pair held up and John, fresh from his win of the WSOP Circuit Event at Harrah's in Atlantic City, gets the rest of the week off.
Stephan Kjerstad is now the chip leader with ~137k.
33 tables reamain, so fewer than 300 players are still in the mix. Average is ~37,500.
Saturday, 05th of January 2008 07:24 PM
Level 6: Blinds 400/800 with 100 antes. Play has resumed.
Saturday, 05th of January 2008 07:11 PM
Adam "Roothlus" Levy ran his pocket Jacks into pocket Queens and was jacked right out of this tournament. Chad Brown made a desperation play with his last 4k in chips and was dispatched by Steve Paul-Ambrose.
Level 5 has concluded and another break is in progress. Diego Perez has moved into the chip lead with about 115k in chips.
333 players remain (at most) making the average stack somewhere in the neighborhood of 33,400.
Saturday, 05th of January 2008 06:11 PM
The Dragon is making a comeback. I arrived at showdown with the board reading 9 4 3 J J. David Pham tabled pocket Jacks for quads to take the pot, bust his opponent, and increase his stack to about 35k.
Joe Sebok had been circling the drain for a while. He told me earlier that he had been zigging when he should have zagged all day today. Folding JT instead of moving in with it, then seeing the flop of Q 9 8 was the example he gave me. His final hand was moving in over the top of a raise with K9. His opponent held Jacks and Joe was toast.
David Wells has lost some ground and is down to about 80k. Tony Cousineau is moving chips in the right direction. His stack is up to about 90k.
378 players remain making the average stack almost 30,000.
Saturday, 05th of January 2008 05:53 PM
Level 5: Blinds300/600 with 75 antes. Players have resumed the business at hand.
Saturday, 05th of January 2008 05:43 PM
Dario Minieri was eliminated when his suited A4 failed to improve over Tuan Lam's pocket Tens. Steve Billirakis ran his pocket Kings smack into pocket Aces and he has also departed. Danny Wong flopped two pair and got his chips in the middle, only to run into top set. Tuan Lam got his turned straight cracked by a boat on the river and was crippled, only to bust out a few hands later.
That's the end of level 4 and time for break.
Today's number is official: 556 players sat down at the felt today. Tomorrow's number should surpass that.
Saturday, 05th of January 2008 05:22 PM
David 'the Dragon' raised 2k from the big blind after Dmitry Kirin limped late. Dmitry called and the flop was A J 5 . The Dragon checked, Dmitry quickly declared all-in, putting David to the test again. He had 13,250 left in front of him and went into the tank for a bit, then mucked. Dmitry made the in-your-face-show of T 9 (no pair, no draw). The Dragon was looking a bit frustrated. Dmitry was up to about 90k after that pot, good for second place.
The current chip leader is David Wells, who has about 96k. If that name is not familiar to you, check out Google or Wikipedia. David "Boomer" Wells is 44 years old and has been a professional baseball player for 21 of those years. He is a lefty and one of only 17 pitchers to have pitched a perfect game (May 17, 1998 for the Yankees against the Twins). David finished the 2007 season with the Dodgers and applied for free agency.
Saturday, 05th of January 2008 04:47 PM
We are experiencing some 'challenges' with the internet access here today, so it has been a while since my last post. They are about 20 minutes into Level 4 with 200/400 blinds and 50 antes.
Saturday, 05th of January 2008 03:39 PM
On the turn, the board showed A T 5 7 and seat 5 check-raised David 'the Dragon' Pham's 5k bet enough to put David all-in. The 2007 Player of the Year was put to the test and went into the tank for several minutes. Eventually he surrendered his hand rather than putting his tournament life at risk. David was left with about 10k in chips.
Lucano Pagano flopped top set and got all in on the turn against a player with nothing but a flush draw with gutshot. Of course the flush card landed on the river and the Team PokerStars pro was felted.
Tuan Lam, 2007 WSOP Main Event runner-up, doubled through Dario Mineri when his 8-high straight bested Dario's 7-high straight.
It appears that Frank Nielson is the chip leader with about 65k. Ben Reed is close on his heels with about 62k and Tony Cousineau close behind with ~60k.
Saturday, 05th of January 2008 03:00 PM
Level 3: Blinds 100/200 with 25 antes. Play has resumed.
Saturday, 05th of January 2008 02:50 PM
End of level 2 and players are taking a break. They have started to break tables now, so the pace of eliminations has picked up.
Saturday, 05th of January 2008 02:41 PM
I got the scoop on how Jonathan Drane sent Norm McDonald to the rail. Jonathan limped under the gun and then called a raise from Norm to take a flop of J 9 3. After a raising war, all the chips went in the middle. Norm tabled pocket Queens, but Jonathan's pocket 9s had flopped a set and left Norm drawing to two outs, which did not materialize. Jonathan is now up to about 46k.
Saturday, 05th of January 2008 02:20 PM
Norm McDonald is no longer in the house. His chips have migrated across the table to Jonathan Drane's stack, who is sitting on about 40k. Trying to find out what happened to Norm. Erik Seidel has also been dispatched. Andreas Hoivold flopped a straight and was crippled when his opponent rivered a flush. Andreas was busted soon after when his pocket Tens lost a race to Big Slick.
Saturday, 05th of January 2008 01:30 PM
Level 2: Blinds 100/200. Play continues.
Saturday, 05th of January 2008 01:02 PM
Norm McDonald is in the house, keeping a low profile at the opposite end of the table from a Barry Shulman look-alike, who is sporting some very high profile sunglasses. My pick for table to watch is the table with Chad Batista, one of the top ranked online players, in the 2 seat and John 'the Razor' Phan in the 9 seat. In no particular order, here are the folks I've recognized: Matt Glantz, Jonathan Little, Tony Cousineau, David Grey, Chris 'Armenian Express' Grigorian, Mimi Tran, Thor Hansen, Mike Gracz, Jan von Halle, Eugene Todd, Alex Vuong, Katja Thater, Humberto Brenes, Joe Brooks, Nick Schulman, Josh Arieh, Steve Paul-Ambrose, Chad Brown, Isaac Haxton, Juha Helppi, Bill Chen, Victor Ramdin, Michael Farris, Erik Seidel, James Mackey, Frank Vizza, Tom McCormick, John Racener, David Tran, Chris Moneymaker, Kathy Liebert, Adam 'Roothlus' Levy and Shannon Shorr.
I'm also getting my first look at some of the top European players. These folks are in today's field: Andreas Hoivold, (EPT season 3 Dortmund winner) Arnaud Mattern, (EPT season 4 Prague winner) Julian Thew, (EPT season 4 Baden winner) Kristian Kjondal, (two EPT final tables) Patrick Bruel, (French actor and recording artist, 1 EPT final table) Soren Kongsgaard, (EPT season 3 Grand Final 3rd place) and Rhynie Campbell, (WPT Turks & Caicos winner).
Saturday, 05th of January 2008 12:16 PM
Level 1: Blinds 50/100. Cards are in the air.
The first order of business today will be to eliminate the 10 seat so that all tables are 9-handed. As players bust out, the 10-seat will be removed. No tables will be broken until all are down to 9 players.
The plan is to play 6 levels plus 45 minutes of level 7 without a dinner break, in hopes of getting down to about 290 players.
Saturday, 05th of January 2008 11:34 AM
The action will kick off shortly after noon today with the first of two starting flights. This field is so large they have to divide it over two starting days. 650 players will start today and they expect another 600 tomorrow, making this the largest EPT event by far.
The buy-in is $7,800 + $200 and players will begin with 20,000 chips. Levels are 75 minutes long.
This field will be chock-full of poker pros, a veritable who's who in the poker world. I'll give you an idea who is playing day 1A in just a bit, once cards are in the air.
Kaelaine Minton Reporting
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