Event # 12 ($1,500 No Limit Hold'em 6 Handed) saw another huge field and the most rapid pace of eliminations of any WSOP event to date. Thursday's Day One of this six-player, short-handed event saw 1,427 players on hand in hopes of winning WSOP gold and getting a taste of the $1,947,855 prize pool. The Amazon Room was full and the Poker Pavilion nearly so in an effort to seat the rush of players.
The pace was frantic. It took less than ten minutes for the first dealer to yell out the familiar mantra, "Seat open!" Early casualties included Greg Raymer, Thomas Wahlroos, David 'The Dragon' Pham, Shannon Shorr, Dutch Boyd, Gavin Griffin, and Erica Schoenberg. A partial list of WSOP bracelet holders who moved on to later levels was even more impressive, including Steve Zolotow, Tom McEvoy, David Williams, Layne Flack, Jeff Madsen, Men 'The Master' Nguyen, Jennifer Tilly, Brandon Cantu, Berry Johnston, Joe Awada, Lee Watkinson, Robert Varkonyi, T.J. Cloutier, and Ted Forrest.
The field disintegrated quickly, shrinking from 1,427 players to the 127-player money bubble in only 11 hours. Those players were assured at least $2,142 for their efforts, but the fierce pace had claimed other noted players. Among those exiting short of the money were Cloutier, Joe Cassidy, Jason Strasser, Darrell Dicken, J.J. Liu, Barry Greenstein, Chris Ferguson, Madsen, Forrest, and Nam Le.
While plenty of players made their exits, 2007 Player-of-the-Year candidate J.C. Tran went on a tear. Tran got plenty of action early and stormed to the top of the chip counts. Tran showed no signs of slowing after the dinner break and continued his torrid pace into early Friday morning, becoming the first player to crack the 200,000-chip mark. Play picked up even faster after the money bubble burst, leaving 62 runners by the day's end. Tran maintained his lead as the first day's action closed, with the top ten as follows;
J.C. Tran — 212,400
Eric Haber — 183,100
Clinton Bushin — 146,600
Travis Pearson — 140,100
Christoffer Stahle — 135,500
Mario Delis — 132,000
Jason Warner — 127,000
Garrett Beckman — 119,900
Jonathan Dull — 117,400
Matthew Ehrlich — 108,500
Well-known players still in the field include Erik Seidel, Joe Awada, Farzad Fadai and 'Miami' John Cernuto. Check out our Photo Gallery for tons of shots of all the top players. Make sure to check back with Pokernews.com at 2pm for the start of Day Two, when the remaining field will play down to the final table.