Four more events saw action on Wednesday at the 2008 World Series of Poker, including Event #45, the much-anticipated $50,000 H.O.R.S.E. World Championship, which drew the game's biggest players and a deep crowd of spectators to the Amazon Room. On the opposite side of the hall a retired police detective claimed the day's only bracelet, early in the day.
That bracelet was for the title in Event #42, the $1,000 Seniors No-Limit World Championship, where the final nine players, the survivors from an initial field of more than 2,200 two days prior, fought for the jewelry. Dale Eberle and Dan LaCourse held the top two spots as this final began, and they were the last two standing when this final reached its heads-up phase. At that point the showdown quickly went in favor of LaCourse, the former detective who credited his observational training with assisting him in getting reads on others. LaCourse's win was worth $368,832, while Eberle's game runner-up effort brought him $235,141.
While LaCourse's victory was being celebrated on one side of the Amazon Room, poker's biggest stars were just settling in across the way on Day 1 of the H.O.R.S.E. event. When the registration period finally closed, the total number of entrants stood at 148, the same as in 2007. 140 of the 148 players were still around when the night ended eight levels later. Among those few who won't be the third winner in this "pro's" championship are Phil Hellmuth, Amnon Filippi and David Williams. Rather better days were enjoyed by James "mig.com" Mackay, Chris Reslock and Pat Pezzin, each of whom at least doubled their starting chips on the day. Today's Day 2 session will begin to weed out the lesser stacks and shape the top of the leaderboard.
The H.O.R.S.E. toruney was the second of two events to get underway on a day where action in only four events took place. The other first-day action took place in Event #44, $1,000 No-Limit Hold'em w/ Rebuys. This one drew 879 entrants, 115 of which survived Thursday's ten levels to return to today's Day 2, when playing though the 81-player money bubble will be the first order of business. The tight leaderboard was topped by Jamel Maistriaux and Curtis Kohlberg, with two-time bracelet winner Mark Seif the biggest name in the top ten.
Event #43, $1,500 Pot-Limit Omaha Hi-Low, worked its way down to a final-table lineup in a relatively fast-paced session. The big news here is the presence of one player who would likely otherwise be found in the H.O.R.S.E. championship, in eight-time bracelet winner Erik Seidel. Seidel comes to this final second in chips as he searches for bracelet #9, while Jonathan Maren held the top spot overnight, and Martin Klaser was in third, just behind Seidel. Well-regarded tournament veteran Casey Kastle also made this final.
Today brings the start of two more events as the pre-Main Event phase of the WSOP continues its stretch run. Starting up at noon was Event #46, $5,000 No-Limit Hold'em Six-Handed, which offers up a field heavy on Internet players, while getting underway at 5pm will be Event #47, $1,500 Seven Card Stud Hi-Low-8 or Better.