2008 WSOP Event #26, $1,500 Razz, Day 1: Greenstein Surges to Top
Day 1 of the 2008 WSOP's Event #26, $1,500 Razz, saw 453 players sign up for the seven-card stud lowball event. Entrants were up significantly over 2007, when Katja Thater took down her first bracelet after besting a field of 341 players. The field was full of notable players, including Phil Ivey, Doyle Brunson, Thater, Barry Greenstein, Kenna James and Chris "Jesus" Ferguson. Ferguson went missing after dinner when he made the third round of the $10,000 Heads-Up No-Limit Championship. Deciding to remain in the heads-up event, Ferguson was blinded off into oblivion from the razz tournament.
Eliminated in a more traditional fashion were players such as Eskimo Clark, who made the final table of this event in 2007. In his final hand, Clark called all the way to seventh street, but couldn't beat his opponent's 7-6-5-2-A low, and was eliminated early in the day. Also busted before the dinner break were Sabyl Landrum, Men Nguyen and last year's winner, Katja Thater.
Action moved quickly after dinner, with Phil Ivey, Mark Gregorich and Greg Raymer all heading to the rail shortly after the break. Doyle Brunson busted early in the evening when his 8-7-6-5-3 low was no good against his opponent's 6-5-4-2-A. The elder Brunson was joined on the rail by his son Todd soon enough when Todd got all his chips in on fourth street with one caller. Brunson's board ran out J-10-7-4-4-3-A for a 10-low, while his opponent made a 9-6-5-3-A to bust Brunson. Also eliminated in the early evening rounds were Nick Schulman, Chip Jett, Billy Baxter and Thor Hansen.
David Levi began making moves late in the evening, including taking out John Juanda with a smooth 6-low. Levi made a 6-5-4-3-2, and Juanda headed to the rail. Levi finished Day 1 second in chips to Barry Greenstein. Greenstein picked up a big pot late when he took out both Kenna James and Jordan Rich in one hand. The betting was capped on third street, then James and Rich got their last chips in on fourth street. Greenstein made 8-6-3-2-A to beat James' K-5-J-K-3-7-x and Rich's A-5-J-3-J-x-x. That hand propelled Greenstein to the chip lead, which he held as Day 1 drew to a close.
At the end of Day 1, Greenstein led the field that included Vanessa Rousso, Tom Schneider, Andy Bloch, and PokerNews' own Jon Schwartz and Dave "F-Train" Behr. The top ten chip stacks looked like this as the remaining 104 players bagged their chips:
Barry Greenstein 31,600
David Levi 30,200
Mark Gerencher 29,700
Allie Prescott 29,200
Anthony Viganola 28,600
Vanessa Rousso 28,200
Mike Wattel 27,000
Frank Kassela 26,200
Martin Stilling 23,100
Sam Grizzle 22,900