Wednesday brought the start of the $2,000 No Limit Event #10, attracting many of the game's elite. 1,531 runners began the chase toward WSOP gold and a first-place cash of $566,916.
Well-known players included Phil Ivey, Allen Cunningham, Greg Raymer, David Pham, Andrew Black, Clonie Gowen, Shannon Elizabeth, Barry Greenstein, Scotty Nguyen, Kathy Liebert, T.J. Cloutier, J.C. Alvarado, Layne Flack, Dutch Boyd, Josh Arieh, Men 'The Master' Nguyen, and David Williams.
Action was the rule and many of the big names exited early. It was a short day for Flack, Arieh, Cunningham, Pham, Mark Vos, Nam Le, Mark Seif and Men the Master, as they busted in the early rounds of play.
The next two hours brought more of the same. Phil Ivey, Thomas Walhroos, Barry Greenstein, Sabyl Cohen, Jon Friedberg, Dutch Boyd, Huckleberry Seed, and Shannon Elizabeth made quick exits after seeing their chipstacks disappear.
One interesting table featured WSOP Main Event runner-up David Williams, 2007 bracelet winner Mike Spegal, and 10-time WSOP bracelet winner Phil 'Poker Brat' Hellmuth. The always-late Hellmuth took an immediate liking to Spegal's new bracelet and took his own steps toward earning a record 11th bracelet when he doubled up with trip aces early in the action. Williams, however, didn't have the same luck and was eliminated when his pocket fives got beat by his opponents A-Q.
As play continued on and as players dropped steadily throughout the day, the big story of the day focused around Hellmuth, who was set to break his own record of 57 WSOP cashes. At roughly 1:40am, Hellmuth once again re-wrote history by outlasting the majority of the field and earning his 58th WSOP tournament cash. In collecting his 91,000 chips, Hellmuth has once again made an argument that he is one of the greatest living players in the game by setting yet another record.
Two famed female players also made impressive starts. Full Tilt endorser Clonie 'Cyclona' Gowen (74,000) and poker-forum magnet Brandi Hawbaker (91,000) both wreaked havoc on their opponents. The top ten in chips at the end of the first day's play:
PLAYER — CHIPS
Shaun Deeb — 193,900
John Gale — 129,600
Brian McCann — 127,500
Michael Greco — 126,400
Howard Orr — 122,800
Partho 'Spiderman' Data — 122,200
Matt St. Clair — 120,000
Ryan Brown — 120,000
Paul Snead — 119,100
Michael Banducci — 110,800
Others high on the board include Gowen (93,100), Hellmuth (91,800), Hawbaker (87,100), Justin Bonomo (85,400), Eric Froehlich (73,900) and Bertrand Grospellier (65,100).
Make sure to check Pokernews.com for all of the Day Two action at 3pm PDT as Phil Hellmuth tries to move closer to that record-setting 11th WSOP bracelet.