World Series of Poker Europe

Super Poker: The 2005 WSOP Main Event is here

Super Poker: The 2005 WSOP Main Event is here 0001

For five weeks, we have thought we were going to see record crowds, mass chaos, total hysteria...Use any of the overblown words the media likes to use to blow things out of proportion.

Well, the main event is finally upon us, and while I will firmly avoid using any words that would make you think the Harrah's staff was not in complete control the whole time, I will tell you that the room was packed to the gills with spectators, and it was difficult to navigate the floor of the card room.

But I chose to brave the floor about 30 minutes into play, to get a feel for who was playing on day one, and how they were playing. To my surprise, I recognized a player at the first table I passed (Barry Greenstein). Much less surprising was that it took me 11 more tables before I recognized anyone else. The floor of the Rio was a madhouse today, and for at least the first ninety minutes or so, this felt like the Superbowl-esque event we had all been anticipating.

The reason I say for the first ninety minutes is that the bustouts were ridiculously fast & furious. I don't believe we lost anyone on the first hand, but we did lose someone on hand # 3, and from there the race to get to zero was on. Over the course of this day, we lost an average of just under two players a minute and the pace of play was rather quick.

For the top pros in today's event, it was really a matter of survival. I overheard one top player talking to another about how "you literally never know what you are going to see when some of these people [turn over their cards]". In many ways, it is more difficult for top players to play in these events, as they don't want to lose too much ground to the players in the room that are making progress, but they can't make nearly the moves that they might be able to make in a group of players they know, because they might actually get called.

It was actually pretty tough to take inventory of the top players that were playing in day one, flight A. The room is so massive, the sea of tables begins to take on a life of its own, and its pretty hard to see the trees among the forest.

Many top players did play today, and here is a list of those who did not make it through day one...with a little commentary here and there.

Jen Harman - Lost to a 6 card straight flush. Runner Runner gutshot straight flush. Yikes. Sorry Jen.

Scott Fischman - was down to about 900 chips only twenty minutes into the tournament, and managed to fight all the way back to nearly 25,000. Unfortunately for Scott, he lasted well into the night, only to lose a coin flip late, and not have to wait until Sunday to play again.

Thunder Keller - Thunder arrived about an hour late, and stayed only about 30 minutes.

Also out on day one:

Jesus Ferguson

Ted Forrest

Josh Arieh

Mike Sexton


Barry Greenstein

Johnny Chan

Phil Laak (and girlfriend Jennifer Tilly - both are out)

Martin DeKnijff

The chip leader at the end of day one is Lee Watkinson. Lee has had several top finishes, including a second to Doyle at the Legends of Poker last year. Lee has a massive stack at 145,000, nearly 50,000 more than all but two others in the field. With about 650 players left, here are the top ten chip leaders, and some other notable chip counts.

Lee Watkinson $145,800

Ed Cardona $129,475

Anthony Laughing, JR $100,175

Kalee Tan $97,325

Corey Cheresnick $95,375

Kenny 'The Kid' Tran $90,500

Carmy Banin $89,250

Tom Pniak $88,200

John Falconer $87,875

Thomas Madsen $87,350

Layne Flack $69,775

Dustin Woolf $67,925

Liz Lieu $57,900

Paul Darden Jr. $55,100

Clonie Gowen $50,475

Daniel Heimiller $45,825

Warren Karp $42,000

Mark Tenner $41,675

Greg "Fossilman" Raymer $39,525

Chris Hinchcliff $37,575

Tomer Benvenisti $33,925

Carl Olson $28,325

David Plastik $26,500

Amir 'Papa' Esfandiari $24,225

Harley Hall $21,475

Jim Feist $18,075

Chris Grigorian $17,575

Kevin Tighe $15,400

Barbara Enright $14,800

Jose Rosenkrantz $13,450

Toto Leonidas $12,500

John Gale $10,050

Anthony Holden $7,625

Gus Hansen $7,300

Jeff Shulman $5,225

These players have until Sunday to rest up, and decide their strategy for the next 2,000 person field they will play in. The good news for them is at that point, there won't be any new flights coming in, and they can just play down from one room, to one table. See you tomorrow.

Ed note: Party Poker have multiple tables available at every limit, 24 hours a day.

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