1,013 players took to the felt for the start of Event #19, $2,500 No Limit Hold'em. Again the field was full of prominent names, including David Plastik, Jennifer Tilly, Billy Baxter, Daniel Negreanu, Kirk Morrison, Erik Seidel, Kido Pham, Michael Binger, Michael Gracz, Joe Tehan, Humberto Brenes Mike Matusow, Rene Angelil, Sorel Mizzi, John Juanda, Annie Duke, Phil Laak, Jeff Madsen, Gavin Smith, David "The Dragon" Pham, Andrew Black, Layne Flack, and Bill Chen.
Many big names exited during the first round of play, including David Plastik, Men 'The Master' Nguyen and Andy Black. The second round brought more, including Daniel Negreanu, Ralph Perry, Jamie Gold, Chau Giang, 'Bodog Ari' Engle, Greg Raymer, Isabelle Mercier, Roland de Wolfe and David Williams.
Tough beats left a bad taste in the mouth of losers, too. Freddy Deeb cracked an opponent's pocket kings with A-10 and Nam Le's pocket aces lost to an opponent's A-K via a rivered straight. Although bad beats are a part of the game and everyone has had it happen to them, it seemed as though several of the beats on Day One were extremely nasty.
One odd note was the 'animated' table talk of Davood Mehrmand, interrupting play and requiring tournament directors to be called on several occasions. Eventually, John Esposito was seated at the table and he quickly told Mehrmand to keep quiet.
Another interesting tale from Day One came from the Poker Pavilion, where a somewhat tired Mike Matusow did his best to stay awake and avoid blow-ups. He was unsuccessful at both, trying several cans of energy drink to stay awake. After a quick, moment-long snooze, he experienced his first big blowup. Matusow's stack took a big hit when he called an opponents all-in re-raise with pocket sixes. Unfortunately for Matusow, the player held pocket aces, taking almost half of Matusow's chips. Even with several outside factors disturbing his play, Matusow showed he was a trooper and finished the day high in the chip totals.
Despite the 1,013 entrants, the field made the money on the very first day. As the clock ticked down on the final level of play, tournament directors insisted that play continue until the players made the money. The wishes of the remaining players were granted when one fortunate soul (the unknown bubble player) had his pocket aces cracked.
Leading the way into Day Two is Lars Bonding at 155,600, with the overnight Top Ten like this:
PLAYER — CHIPS
Lars Bonding 155,600
Alex Bolotin 152,800
Devin Porter 135,100
Greg Mueller 122,000
David Redlin 111,400
Richard Totii 107,400
Bertrand Grospellier 106,800
Sam Abueid 104,000
Alex Outhred 104,000
Mike Matusow 103,700
There are several other big-name players left among the 99 survivors, including Chad Brown, David Pham, Carl Olson, Jon 'Pearljammer' Turner, John Phan, Lee Watkinson, Humberto Brenes, and Rob Hollink.