While plenty of poker action took place at the Rio on Wednesday, after several mixed game tournaments, the World Series of Poker got back to single game action with the start of the $2,000 buy-in Omaha Hi-Lo, Event #44. A solid field of 534 players took to the felt at high noon hoping to become part of WSOP history and take home a first-place cash of $240,057.
With many professional players seeing action, the stellar field featured one of the week's more powerful line-up of players including 2006 WSOP bracelet winner Rafe Furst, 2007 WSOP bracelet winner Jeffery Lisandro, Annie Duke, Erik Seidel, Humberto Brenes, Linda Johnson, Kathy Liebert, Scotty Nguyen, Marcel Luske, Victor Ramdin, Andy Bloch, Tony G., Cyndy Violette, and Robert Williamson III.
As play got underway, the day's biggest story began taking shape with the powerful play of veteran Omaha players. The Day One action was dominated by the game's elite as they repeatedly demonstrated their honed chops by scooping pot after pot and jumping to the top of the chip counts. Marcel "The Flying Dutchman" Luske took the lead early-on but was quickly passed by Davood Mehrmand and Annie Duke. By days' end, however, only Luske remained high in the chip count.
The day's second biggest story came courtesy of the star-filled field. With almost one-quarter of the tournament entries consisting of the game's top players, there were very few easy pots. As play progressed, big-name players continued to dominate the field as Luske, Kathy Liebert, John Juanda, Robert Williamson III, Young Phan, and Blair Rodman made moves late in the day to position themselves with solid stacks for Day Two.
Throughout the day's action plenty of tough tables featured the high-caliber play of top pros as they demonstrated why they are at the top of the poker food chain. Even late arrivals Phil Hellmuth and Chris "Jesus" Ferguson managed to chip-up, after having missed several rounds, much to the chagrin of the players that had been seated since the start of the tournament. Despite catching cards almost immediately upon arrival, neither WSOP Main Event winner would make it to see Thursday's action.
The tough competition displayed on Day One was further documented by the long list of eliminations. Busting on Day One were Phil Hellmuth, Steve Zolotow, Eric "Rizen" Lynch, Jeffery Lisandro, David Sklansky, Mel Judah, Mickey Appleman, John "The Razor" Phan, Tj Cloutier, Allen Cunningham, Erik Seidel, Paul Darden, Howard Lederer, Tony G., and Chau Giang.
As we enter day two's play, the top ten chip leaders are:
Blair Rodman 68,000
Thang Luu 67,000
Marcel Luske 65,000
Young Phan 64,500
Benjamin Zamani 56,500
Ryan Miller 55,000
Kathy Liebert 52,500
Stephen Ladowsky 51,000
Martin Corpuz Jr. 48,000
Charles Flicker 44,000
Make sure to check back with Pokernews.com for all of the exciting Day Two action of the $2,000 Omaha Hi-Lo Event #44 as the returning 77 players continue their quest for WSOP gold at 2:00 P.M. (PST).