A smallish but star-packed field of 148 players arrived at Harrah's Rincon Casino and Resort for the $5,000 World Series of Poker Circuit Main Event yesterday, all working toward an announced first-place prize of $229,002. Among the big names in the field were Gavin Smith, Erick Lindgren, 2007 WSOP-C Rincon champion Peter 'Nordberg' Feldman, Anna Wroblewski and 2007 World Series of Poker Main Event champion Jerry Yang, in one of his rare tournament appearances since winning the biggest prize in poker last summer.
Yang took an early hit to his stack in a big hand with Australian pro Damien Oborne, but it was Bob Van Horne of Carlsbad, CA who put the final nail in Yang's coffin. Van Horne limped from the button with , and Yang moved all in from the big blind with . Van Horne quickly called, and the board ran out to send the World Champion to the rail. Other early eliminations included John 'The Razor' Phan, Brandon Cantu, reigning champion Feldman, Lindgren and 2007 WSOP Player of the Year Tom Schneider. Anna Wroblewski made her return to the US after a strong showing at the Aussie Millions, but busted late in Day 1 when she ran into on a board of A-8-10.
Vanessa Rousso moved into a tough table in the middle of Day 1, joining Wroblewski, Cantu, Theo Tran and Gavin Smith. She started by doubling through Tran right before the dinner break. After a player in early position led out on a flop of , Tran called and Rousso check-raised. Tran re-raised enough to put Rousso all in, and she eventually called with . Tran was ahead with , but the on the river gave Rousso a nice double-up for her birthday.
Damien Oborne made a late surge towards the top of the leader board when he rivered a set to nearly double up late in the day. Oborne finished Day 1 just outside the top ten chip stacks. Smith, Lee Watkinson and Rousso also finished Day 1 with healthy stacks, while Kenny Bedoya took a big chip lead in the late hours of play. After eliminating Layne Flack earlier in the day, Bedoya took down a monster pot to close out play on Day 1. Dewey Archer moved all in with on a board of , and Bedoya quickly called with . No jack would show on the river for Archer, and he was the final elimination of the day as Bedoya stacked his huge pile of chips.
The top ten chip stacks at the end of Day 1:
Kenny Bedoya – 438,400
Peter Neff – 251,000
Michael Pickett – 215,200
Kyle Orvis – 174,000
Matthew Hyman – 168,100
David Peters – 162,300
Jon Eaton – 147,400
Edward Sabat – 113,100
Doug Caillier – 110,700
Evan Scwartz – 108,600