Every year, thousands of poker players flock to Las Vegas for a chance to become a multi-millionaire and poker's next world champion. The long marathon that is the World Series of Poker Main Event began on Saturday with a guaranteed $10 million top prize on the mind of those who took their seats at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino.
Two other events were also playing out alongside the Main Event on Saturday. Pat Walsh took down the $10,000 Pot Limit Omaha Championship, and a final table was reached in the $1,111 Little One For One Drop.
Here's a look at the highlights from Saturday's action at the World Series of Poker:
The marquee event of the 2014 World Series of Poker began on Saturday with the first starting flight taking center stage.
With this year seeing the WSOP celebrating 10 years at the Rio, 2005 Champion Joe Hachem announced the traditional "shuffle up and deal" to get the cards in the air. Fellow Main Event Champions led players into the field with both Ryan Riess and Greg Merson finding themselves located on the feature table, while Chris Moneymaker, Tom McEvoy and Johnny Chan were also in the field alongside bracelet winners Jason Mercier, Phil Laak, Ted Forrest, Hoyt Corkins, John Monnette, Billy Baxter, Antonio Esfandiari, David Singer and Layne Flack.
It would take until midway through the second level until the first few bust outs started to occur as Steven Sanzone was bounced out the door before Bruno Fitoussi, Steven Gee, Dave Swanson, Jean-Robert Bellande, David Chiu and Marc-Etienne McLaughlin were just a handful of the players eliminated throughout the day as the starting field of 771 was cut down to approximately 505 by the end of play.
Although the chip lead rotated between the likes of Aaron Wilt, Mukul Pahuja, Ken Einiger, Jon Broderick and Nick DiVella throughout the day, it would be no-limit hold'em beast and Swede Martin Jacobson ending the day as chip leader with 200,100.
Wilt (157,650), Seamus Cahill (150,775), Andy Hwang (118,875), Pahuja (114,800), Alex Simic (110,675) and Raymond Ezzie (104,850) all round out the top few chip counts while the likes of Flack (75,450), Riess (70,225), Moneymaker (69,850), Esfandiari (59,775) and Annette Obrestad (54,625) all sit with healthy stacks.
The PokerNews Live Reporting Team will be back on deck at 12:00 p.m. (PDT) Sunday to provide all the Day 1b action live from the 2014 World Series of Poker Main Event.
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More than 100 players started Day 3 of Event #62: The $1,111 Little One for One Drop and by the time play concluded early Sunday morning only nine were left standing. Jackduyph Duong ended the day as the chip leader with 3.18 million in chips. He barely edged out Eric "Basebaldy" Baldwin who ended the day with 3.14 million. Vimy Ha was a close third with 2.825 million.
It was an action-packed day filled with bad beats, coolers galore and high drama. Baldwin found himself short-stacked and all in early on in the day with pocket sevens against aces. He would spike a seven to survive and then later in the evening would go on a mad rush winning two big all in pots against Maurice Hawkins. The first saw both players holding ace-king but Baldwin had and hit a diamond flush to double up.
A few moments later the two were at it again, this time Hawkins with and Baldwin with . Hawkins took the lead with an ace on the flop but it also included three diamonds. Baldwin would once again hit a diamond flush to send a pained Hawkins home in 12th place.
Baldwin held chip lead at that point but would ship a million to Ted Driscoll toward the end of the night to move Duong to the top of the counts. The other contenders at the final table include Brandon Eisen (2.155 million), Theodore Driscoll (1.1 million), Igor Dubinskyy (770K), Shai Zurr (2.265 million), Bao Nguyen (585K), and Matthew Lapossie (1.96 million).
Play will resume at 1 p.m. local time on Sunday. Tuned to PokerNews to see who wins the $637,539 first place prize money and WSOP gold bracelet.
The $10,000 Pot-Limit Omaha Championship began two days ago with 418 entrants putting up $10,000, the last big buy-in event preceding the Main Event. After 29 one-hour levels, only one player was left standing. Pat Walsh (St. Charles, MO) topped the field and earned his first World Series of Poker bracelet to go along with the first-place prize of $923,379.
Walsh found himself near the top of the chip counts throughout the tournament. When Day 1 concluded, he was 16th in chips out of the remaining 132 players. After 10 more levels on Day 2, Walsh sat third in chips with 23 players remaining. His Day 3 path to the final table was relatively easy as by the time the final two tables were reached, Walsh held the chip lead. He continued chipping up from there, eliminating Daniel Hood in 15th place and scoring a massive double elimination, sending Tom Marchese and Alex Kravchenko to the rail in 11th and 10th place, respectively.
From there, Walsh held onto the chip lead for the entire final table until Javed Abrahams gave him a run for his money in the heads-up duel. Abrahams took the chip lead briefly and had a chance to close it out. Walsh got his chips in after the flop with the nut straight, but was an underdog to survive. However, Abrahams missed his many outs to close it out and 18 hands later Walsh emerged victorious.
Final Table Payouts
The Main Event resumes on Sunday with Day 1b, and a much larger field is expected. Meanwhile, Event #62: The $1,111 Little One for One Drop will play down to a winner, wrapping up the preliminary events on the 2014 schedule. Here’s the full schedule of bracelet events for Sunday, June 6 (all times PDT):
- 12:00 p.m. — Event #65: $10,000 No-Limit Hold'em Main Event (Day 1b of 7)
- 1:00 p.m. — Event #62: The $1,111 Little One for One Drop (Day 4 of 4)
Video of the Day
Rossana Woo speaks with 2013 Main Event Champion Ryan Riess who was doing very well at the feature table on Day 1a of the Main Event.