553 players went into the Amazon Room in search of gold in the form of Event #16 of the 2008 World Series of Poker – $2,000 Omaha Hi/Low Split. Among the field were Ted Forrest, Kristy Gazes, Alan "Chainsaw" Kessler, Barry Greenstein, Justin Bonomo Layne Flack and many other stars. The field was larger than in 2007, attesting to the growing popularity of Omaha Hi/Lo both in the US and around the world. By day's end, following eight levels of play, 169 players would remain.
A notable contingent of players form Australia took the field in Event #16, including Mel Judah, Billy "The Croc" Argyros, Gary Benson and Jeff Lisandro. Also joining the field, but for less time than he had hoped, was 2004 World Champion Greg Raymer, who was eliminated early in Day 1.
Raymer and two other players limped in to see a flop of . Raymer fired at the flop, and Hoyt Corkins was the only caller. Raymer put the last of his chips in on the turn, and Corkins called. The came on the river, and Corkins tabled for the nut flush. Raymer mucked his hand on the way out of the tournament area.
2007 WSOP Player of the Year Tom Schneider took the chip lead early in the event, but ran into some bad luck later on to bust on Day 1. All the money finally went in on the river when the board read . Schneider held A-A-2-8 for two pair and a busted low draw. Larry Brill turned over A-A-4-7 for trips, and Schneider was busted.
Other notable eliminations on Day 1 included Shannon Elizabeth, Andy Bloch, Vanessa Rousso, Event #10 winner Farzad Rouhani and Phil Hellmuth. Hellmuth met his demise in a four-way raised pot with . Mike Wattel turned over and Manny Minaya got out of the way. Hellmuth's was behind Wattel's , and the turn and river didn't help. The 11-time WSOP bracelet winner was sent home on Day 1.
By the time play ended on Day 1, the field had been trimmed by more than two thirds. Among the survivors were Barry Greenstein, Jimmy "gobboboy" Fricke, Josh Arieh, John Juanda, Dutch Boyd and Kristy Gazes. Ivan Demidov held the lead with notables Josh Arieh, David Williams and Scott Clements all in the Day 1 top ten. The end of the day shows this leaderboard:
Ivan Demidov 40,300
Rouhollan Sohayegh 35,800
James Richburg 35,000
Josh Arieh 33,000
Kevin Petersen 32,500
David Williams 31,000
Scott Clements 30,000
Kia Hooshmand 28,200
Mark Roland 27,500
Richard Weeks 27,300
Join PokerNews at 3PM for all the live updates and bustouts as the field plays down to the final table on Day 2.