Featuring a field of 340 players, Event #20, $2,000 Seven Card Stud High-Low Split (Eight-or-Better), included a strong helping of poker's well-known elite. Joining in on the action were Erik Seidel, Bill Chen, Richard Brodie, Mel Judah, Bryan Micon, Davidson Matthew, James Van Alstyne, Mike Sexton, Allen Kessler, Perry Friedman, John Juanda, Greg Raymer, Cyndy Violette, Sabyl Cohen, Paul 'Eskimo' Clark, Chip Reese, Thayer Rasmussen, Jeff Madsen, Erick Lindgren, Men 'The Master' Nguyen, Young Phan, Marcel Luske, Marsha Wagner, Ted Lawson, Chau Giang, Ted Forrest, Steve Zolotow, Eric 'Rizen' Lynch and Captain Tom Franklin.
Thanks to the solid turnout from the professional players, there were several tough tables at the start of the event. While 2006 WSOP double bracelet winner Madsen, Franklin, and Men the Master faced off at one table, another featured Zolotow, Friedman and Wagner, while yet another featured Amir Vahedi and Chris Ferguson.
Players were enthusiastic in the opening levels, joking and enjoying the early action. Even Greg Raymer and David Williams, (the 2004 WSOP Main Event first and second-place finishers respectively), were found kicking it and trading stories, including one from Williams about a late-night (5am) eyebrow waxing at the Bellagio.
Despite the somewhat bizarre table talk and the unusually playful field, the focus was still on the money, and big names began moving to the rail. Making early exits on the day were Violette, Harman, Daniel Negreanu, Vahedi, Lynch, Mickey Appleman, Todd Brunson, Bill Chen, Brett 'Gank' Jungblut, 2006 WSOP H.O.R.S.E. winner Reese, Lindgren, Erik Seidel, Luske, Sexton, Kristy Gazes, Men the Master, 2007 WSOP bracelet winner Chris Reslock, and even ESPN's Norman Chad.
With the field narrowed to 136 players and both a WSOP bracelet and a solid first-place cash on the line, expect plenty of fireworks on Day Two. With a strong contingency of WSOP bracelet owners including Jeff Madsen, Greg Raymer, Perry Friedman, and Ted Forrest still in the hunt, Day Two should provide the railbirds with plenty of excitement to talk about.
Leading the way into Day Two is Steve Weiss with 33,700 chips. He is followed closely by Mack Lee at 32,975 and Madsen at 30,900. Here's the complete Top Ten entering Day Two play:
PLAYER — CHIPS
Steve Weiss — 33,700
Mack Lee — 32,925
Jeff Madsen — 30,900
Adam Spiegelberg — 26,550
Jack Zwerner — 26,200
Greg Raymer — 26,200
Ryan Hughes — 25,275
John Sucha — 25,050
Perry Friedman — 22,000
Mike Wattel — 19,600
Make sure to check in with Pokernews.com's 'Live Reporting' of Event #20, $2,000 Seven Card Stud High-Low Split (Eight-or-Better), at 3pm PDT for all of the Day Two action.