The World Series of Poker may be most famous for its No Limit Hold'em World Championship, but its reputation for hosting the World Championship of Pot-limit Omaha continues to grow. To satisfy the game's Omaha-playing elite and the notorious faction of action-oriented high-stakes online players, the WSOP provided a worthy battle ground with the start of Event #50, the $10,000 Pot Limit Omaha tournament.
Play got underway at 12:00 P.M. (PDT) to determine which of the game's superstars would claim the title of reigning Pot-limit Omaha champion, much to the delight of the Rio's early railbirds. Much like this year's star-studded $50,000 H.O.R.S.E. tournament, , today's PLO tournament brought out the game's biggest names including Jeff Lisandro, Robert Williamson, Annie Duke, Erik Seidel, John Gale, Scotty Nguyen, Huck Seed, Mel Judah, Barry Greenstein, Men Nguyen, Humberto Brenes, David Colclough, Mark Vos, John D'Agostino, Doyle Brunson, Patrik Antonius, Greg Raymer, JC Tran, Johnny Chan, and yesterday's No Limit short-handed bracelet winner, Bill Edler.
Each of the starting players was greeted with a special feature for this year's tournament: a special red-colored chip worth an additional 10,000 chips. Although not actually called a "re-buy," the red chip essentially gave players 20,000 chips and was introduced to make players feel that they were getting the most action (and maybe a 'second chance') for their $10,000 investment.
With the red chip in hand, several players tried to make moves early in play as Antonius, Josh Arieh, Toto Leoindas, 2006 two-time WSOP bracelet winner Jeff Madsen, and 2007 winner Jeffery Lisandro were forced to use their "not-so secret" weapon almost immediately out of the starting gate.
Despite being forced to use his red chip early, Antonius rebounded after dropping to 7,000 chips. Catching a run of cards that boosted his stack to the top of the chip counts, Antonius continued to apply pressure to his table throughout the day's play and positioned himself with a solid stack for Day Two.
As the Harrah's staff colored off the remaining red chips, the day's most vicious round of play got underway (round Four) and players began falling from the field quickly. Hitting the rail were Amnon Filippi, Howard "The Professor" Lederer, Daniel Negreanu, David Williams, Erik Seidel, Allen Kessler, Jim Becthel, Mike Sexton, and Dario Mineri.
Players continued to press toward Day Two during the early hours of Monday morning, with only 55 players surviving the carnage as Hoyt Corkins, Phil Laak, John Phan, Scott Fischman, Andy Black, Sam Farha, John Juanda, John D'Agostino, and Phil Ivey hit the rail before the day's play ended.
Entering day two, here are the top ten chip counts:
Jonas Flug-Entin 366500
Dau Ly 354500
Kenneth Strandli 287000
Antonio Salorio 264500
Roy Brindley 231000
Patrik Antonius 205500
Robert Mizrachi 204000
Liekke Kimmo 197500
Rene Mouritsen 189500
John Duthie 188000
Make sure to check back with Pokernews.com for all of the exciting Day Two action at 2:00 P.M. (PDT) as the returning 55 players take to the felt to determine who will be the next player to sport WSOP bling on their wrists.