Despite a busy schedule for major poker events, plenty of players were on hand to pony up $10,000 for the World Series of Poker Circuit event at Caesar's Indiana. 144 players joined the field on Day 1, including both Internet stars and brick-and-mortar pros. Spotted in the field on Day 1 were WSOP 2007 Player of the Year Tom Schneider, Ari 'BodogAri' Engel, Doug 'Rico' Carli, 2006 WSOP-C Indiana champion Chad 'lilholdem' Batista and 2007 WSOP bracelet winner Bill Edler, who joined the field in Indiana after busting out of the WPT Fallsview event and catching a quick plane stateside. The 144 players were all vying for the $223,041.60 first-place money, plus a $10,000 entry into the World Series of Poker Main Event.
The Indiana Circuit event also drew some star power from outside the typical poker circles, as former Louisville Cardinals coach Denny Crum joined the field. Crum coached the University of Louisville basketball team for 30 years, taking them to six Final Fours and two national championships. Crum had a good day at the tables, escaping a classic cooler when he ran pocket kings into aces late in the day, but the board of turned a cooler into a bad beat, then turned a bad beat into a cooler, and finally turned a cooler into quads!
It was a tough day for the internet stars, as Jeremy 'Jburleson' Burleson, Wade 'soggy dogg' Woelfel and defending champ Batista were all eliminated. Doug 'Rico' Carli got all his chips in ahead with to his opponent's , but the flop of left him drawing very thin. The turn and the river brought him no help and he went to the rail just after the dinner break.
Kou Vang took an early chip lead when he got all his chips in the middle against Ari 'BodogAri' Engel. After Vang led out on the river, Engel pushed all in over the top with on a board of . Vang went into the tank for several minutes, but finally called with for a set, good enough to knock off Engel and take the chip lead, which he held for much of the afternoon and evening. Vang lost a big pot late in the day but still finished up Day 1 with a top-10 chip stack.
Vito Cassulo Jr. ended Day 1 with the chip lead, but only 27 players survived the day, among them Tom Schneider, Crum and Bryan 'squirrely' Sapp. The top ten chip stacks looked like this as play wrapped up for the night:
Vito Casullo Jr. – 139,900
Bryan Sapp – 105,900
Tom Schneider – 97,400
Michael Dolan – 87,500
Terry Quinn – 85,100
Matt Sterling – 77,100
Wilbur Futhey – 70,900
Russell James – 68,800
Marc Fratter – 64,900
Kou Vang – 60,200
Join PokerNews at noon today as we bring you all the live updates from Caesar's Indiana as the remaining 27 players play down to Friday's final table.