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Saturday, July 5, 2008 | Francis Lee


The Poker tournament everyone has been waiting for has finally started. The World Series of Poker Main Event, a $10,000 no limit hold’em world championship that every budding poker player dreams of winning. The first part of the event has the field split into four separate fields and the survivors of each field are brought together to battle it out for the bracelet. The number of entrants has increased with each year with the number of online qualifiers and amateur players trying to get there name lodged into poker history, and tournament directors has predicted this year would be no different.

A total of 1,297 players started out on this first day with the notable names in the field being Scotty Nguyen, Barry Greenstein, Dan Harrington, David Benyamine, David “Devilfish” Ulliott, and Joe Sebok just to name a few. This field also contained a large number of 2008 bracelet winners with Dan Lacourse, Marty Smyth, Max Greenwood, Vanessa Selbst, Blair Hinkle and the current WSOP ladies champion Svetlana Gromenkova taking to the felt.

It took around 20 minutes for the first player to be eliminated and from this point onwards they started to flow. Some of the big names to fall early on included Andrew Prock as his big slick was out gunned by pocket Jacks. John Gale was eliminated when he doubled up Sveltlana Gromenkova as she hit a set of Deuces on the Flop. Tom Dawn was another early casualty when his opponent hit a flush on the River with Dawn having top pair.

As we went into the second blind level David Benyamine’s event came to an end when running into his opponent holding pocket Aces, Benyamine’s Jacks were no good sending him to the rail. The devil fish David Ulliott followed Benyamine to the rail as his pocket Nines were no match for Suhail Falchouri’s pocket Queens. James Mackey was unlucky to be eliminated as his flopped set of Jacks was beaten by his opponent hitting a flush in the River.

The eliminations picked up quite a bit as the half way point was approaching which included the end for Eli Elezra, Dan Harrington, Gavin Smith, and last years main event runner up Tuan Lam. With just four hours played we had a total of 200 players eliminated and this was expected to increase as the short stacks in the field started to make a stand.

As the tournament progressed and we reached the last break of the day there was a number of players who had past the $100,000 mark with Patrick Fortin leading the way. Kido Pham was also doing well sat in third place on $110,000 in chips.

Nick Shuleman was one of the first player eliminated after the break as his pocket Sixes lost to :as :jc pairing on the board. Jack Haley a former player for the LA Lakers found his pocket Tens dominated by Pocket Aces with no help coming on the board.

Luca Pagano was one of the last players eliminated as the day dew to a close as his flopped set of Three’s were bettered by a flopped set of Sevens. Former WSOP champion Berry Johnson moved his short stack in with :as :10d only to find his opponent with pocket Queens. No Ace on the board sent the former champ home.

After five levels of play the day was brought to a close with just under half of the field remained with just 636 players left. Every one would have a three day break as they wait for the other three fields to play there heats. The Official top ten chip counts at this point was as follows.

WSOP 2008 Main Event Day 1a chip Rankings

  • 1st Mark Garner $194,900
  • 2nd Brandon Adams $176,450
  • 3rd Kellen Hunter $155,200
  • 4th Stefan Mattsson $154,275
  • 5th Patrick Fortin $145,275
  • 6th Jeff Frerichs $138,025
  • 7th Soren Peterson $135,475
  • 8th Adam Hudson $127,750
  • 9th Wayne Brown $124,575
  • 10th Todd Rebello $123,925



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