Event #36, $5,000 Omaha High/Low Split, began Thursday afternoon with a smaller field heavy on high-stakes players and Omaha specialists. Although small in comparison to the No Limit tournaments, there were plenty of the game's elite players in attendance among the 280 entrants, each hoping to net a gold WSOP bracelet and $361,000 in first-place cash.
Among those on hand were Annie Duke, Erik Seidel, Marcel Luske, Michael 'The Grinder' Mizrachi, Mike Matusow, C.K. Hua, Greg Raymer, Davidson Matthew, Huck Seed, Doyle Brunson, Freddy Deeb, and one of Thursday's earlier bracelet winners, Jeffery Lisandro (Event #32, Seven Card Stud). The smaller field produced the expected notable matchups, too. One table offered Brunson, Amir Vahedi, 2007 WSOP bracelet winner Eli Elezra, Chad Brown, and Men 'The Master Nguyen, while Daniel Negreanu joined Phil Ivey at another.
147 players survived the early rounds to move into Day Two play, but many of the big names won't return. Among those eliminated early were Negreanu, John Gale, Humberto Brenes, 2007 WSOP bracelet winners Alex Kravchenko and Elezra, Bill Gazes, Marco Traniello, Joe The Sheriff Cassidy, Kristy Gazes, Jeff Madsen, and Mizrachi. They were joined in later rounds by Sherkhan Farnood, Jordan Morgan, Bill Chen, Hua, Toto Leonidas, Brunson, Deeb, Luske, Berry Johnston, Minh Ly, Ivey, Michael Keiner, and Lederer.
The action itself remained lively. One hand featuring Chris Ferguson, Hasan Habib, Nick Schulman and David Levi ended up as a chop. After a flop of , action was checked around to Levi, who bet. Habib folded after Ferguson and Schulman called. The turn brought the , and after Ferguson checked, Schulman made the bet, with Levi and Ferguson calling. After the river, Levi made the river bet and the others called. Levi showed for the nut-flush high, while Schulman showed for an 8-6 low. Ferguson's cards were mucked, unseen. It was typical of the action, with players seeing inexpensive flops and making moves on later streets.
Sitting atop the chip counts is Russian star and WPT winner Kirill Gerasimov with 60,000 chips. The overnight Top Ten looks like this:
Kirill Gerasimov 60,600
Greg Jamison 42,500
Ernie Scherer 41,700
Suzie Matzura 40,100
Prince of Docness 40,100
Stephen Landrum 38,600
Pat Pezzin 38,400
Robert Kirkwood 37,700
Patrick Bueno 36,800
Rusty Florante 36,700
Other players of note high on the leader board include David Benyamine, Patrik Antonius, Mel Judah, Chris Reslock, Barry Greenstein, Perry Friedman, Lee Watkinson, Scott Clements and John D'Agostino. Check in at PokerNews.com's 'Live Reporting' of Event #36, $5,000 Omaha High/Low Split, with the action resuming today at 3pm PDT.