It was a surprisingly quiet Day 1 here at Event 23, the $10,00 World Championship of No-Limit Deuce-to-Seven Draw. The defending champ, Mike Matusow, provided some color and insight at the start of play; Sam Grizzle and Jean-Robert Bellande provided it at the end.
In between, 96 players sat down and played poker. Some (Tom Dwan, Phil Hellmuth) sat down later than others and left sooner; others quietly chipped up without making much of an impact on the tournament.
At the end of the day, it was Roland de Wolfe's name atop the leaderboard with approximately 180,000 chips. He's followed by John Juanda and Vince Musso. A total of 60 players -- about 60% of the field -- made it through to Day 2.
Those 60 players will go home for the night to get some sleep. They'll reassemble tomorrow for Day 2 at 2pm local time in the Orange section of the Amazon Room. See you then!
Before the draw, both Daniel Alaei and Anna Wroblewski were all in against Jeff Lisandro, who had both players covered. All three drew one card.
Wroblewski picked up an ace to make A-8-6-3-2, while both Alaei and Lisandro drew tens. Alaei's T-7-4-3-2 beat out Lisandro's T-8-7-6-5 to take down the pot and give him a late-night double up to about 52,000. Lisandro slipped to 20,000 while Wroblewski hit the rail.
There has been plenty of short-stack survival at Chino Rheem's table tonight. His luck didn't match theirs. Rheem moved all in for his last 14,200 and saw Gus Hansen reraise all in over the top to isolate from the button. Rheem drew one card; Hansen stood pat with 10-7-6-5-4. Rheem opened T-7-6-3 but drew a nine. He's eliminated just before the end of the day.
With ten minutes remaining in Level 8, the tournament clock was stopped and a card drawn to determine the number of hands that would be played before stopping for the night. It was a seven, ergo seven more hands before our survivors bag and tag their chips.
While Sam Grizzle and Jean Robert Bellande continue to snipe at each other, poker is being played on some of the other tables. Eric Kesselman opened for 2,500 from middle position, then called big blind Chino Rheem's raised to 10,000. Rheem was pat; Kesselman drew one.
After the draw, Rheem checked to Kesselman, who moved in for 22,000. "I have to call," said Rheem. Kesselman showed down 8-6-4-3-2 to drag the pot and cripple Rheem in the process.
The antics at the table currently shared by Sam Grizzle and Jean-Robert Bellande have risen to new levels of sad hilarity. Grizzle has been razzing Bellande ever since he sat down and while he ignored the comments for a while, Bellande has begun to hit back.
At one point, Grizzle challenged Bellande to a heads-up match. Bellande pointed out that they've set up many heads-up matches in the past, only every time, Grizzle failed to come up with the cash.
"The last three times I showed up, no one would stake you. The only way I'll play you is if you show up with money" said Bellande.
"Bobby, you're the biggest joke in poker!" retorted Grizzle.
One table away, Mike Matusow couldn't resist getting in on the conversation.
"I could pull someone off the rail and they'd have more of a chance against you!" cackled Matusow.
"I don't know, I'm lookin' at the rail and they look pretty smart" remarked Bellande.
"I'm lookin' at you like a three-headed donkey!" laughed Grizzle.
Ville Wahlbeck tried to make a move on David Grey, but it backfired. Wahlbeck opened for 2,100 pre-draw then called Grey's raise to 7,000. On the draw Wahlbeck took one while Grey stood pat.
Once the draw was completed Wahlbeck squeezed his card. He then moved all in for 16,400. Grey tanked for more than a minute before calling all in for slightly less. Grey's 10-9-5-4-2 was good enough to take the pot. Wahlbeck is crippled to 1,450; Grey is now on about 45,000.