It was the first of many busy days at the Rio on Saturday for the 41st Annual World Series of Poker. Hoai Pham won the first bracelet of the WSOP, the first $1,000 buy-in no-limit hold's event attracted 2601 players, and Kirk Morrison leads the $50,000 Players Championship.
Event #1: $500 Casino Employees Event
When day 2 of the first WSOP event of the year began on Friday, 53 of the original 721 players were still in the hunt, but when the long day was over, it was Hoai Pham who was crowned the champion earning himself $71,424.
Pham, a dealer from San Diego, traveled to Las Vegas specifically for this event, and after playing only 12 heads-up hands with his opponent Arthur Vea, found himself in a dominating position on a flop holding . Vea checked the flop to Pham who moved all in. Vea mustered up a call holding and was unable to get any help.
After the tournament, Pham, the newest WSOP bracelet winner, told reporters, "This is magical." He will be presented his bracelet at 2 p.m. in the Pavillion Room, and he has asked that the Vietnamese National Anthem be played.
Read about all of day 2 in our WSOP live reporting pages.
Event #2: $50,000 Player's Championship
With only six players eliminated from the Player's Championship, day 2 would certainly be the first day of considerable action at the Rio on Saturday. Kirk Morrison, who seems to disappear from the game of poker completely from time to time was certainly noticed in this event ending the day with 741,000 chips.
Morrison took the lead for the first time in an Omaha hi-lo hand about midway through the day. The board read when Morrison bet. Ralph Perry called and Justin Smith check-raised. Both Morrison and Perry called, and they all saw the hit the river. Smith led out betting this time, but Morrison raised, prompting a fold from Perry. Smith made the call only to see Morrison scoop the pot with .
Andy Bloch, the runner-up of the inaugural $50,000 H.O.R.S.E. event sits second with 716,500, and he is followed by Mikael Thhuritz, Nick Schulman, Robert Mizrachi, Daniel Alaei and Brett Richey who round out the top eight. Team PokerStars pros Noah Boeken, George Lind, and Barry Greenstein are all still in the hunt, although Greenstein and Lind are both severely short-stacked.
Day 3 gets underway Sunday at 3 p.m. at the Rio, and PokerNews will have all the action for you in our WSOP live reporting pages.
Event #3: 1,000 no-limit hold'em
Last year's $1,000 stimulus event was such a success that the WSOP has added a number of these small buy-in events, with this one being the first. When registration finally closed after two hours, 2,601 players plopped down the cash to play, and with day 1B starting Sunday, this event is looking to easily finish up with 6,000 total players.
When the day closed early on Sunday morning, only 276 players were left, all led by Terry Fleischer who bagged 119,300 in chips. He is followed by Nancy Todd Tyner, Jerrymee Jose, Drew Crawford and Anders Taylor.
Notables still In contention for the WSOP bracelet are Amarillo Slim Preston, Tommy Vedes, Blair Hinkle, Jonathan Little, Allie Prescott, Jon Friedberg, and Team PokerStars Pro Vanessa Rousso, who ended the day with about 26,000.
Rousso told her table early in the day that she was running the best she ever has after showing her flopped boat holding on a board, but then got unlucky a few hours later when the board made a better hand than both Rousso's aces and her opponents' jacks. They had gotten in all in preflop, and the board rolled out .
Day 1B gets under way Sunday at 12 p.m. at the Rio, and PokerNews will be back to cover all the action.
In addition to the two events that resume Sunday, a $1,500 Omaha hi-lo event gets underway in the afternoon. A fresh batch of hopefuls will take to the felt in hopes of scooping their way to the first Omaha bracelet of the year. The live coverage for this event can be found here.
Video of the Day
The $50,000 has taken center stage so far at the World Series of Poker, and Gloria Balding caught up with Noah Boeken to talk about how tough his table was, what it's like playing with good friend Patrik Antonius, and which of the eight games he likes the best.