716 players took to the felt at the Amazon Ballroom for Event #29 of the 2008 World Series of Poker, $3,000 No-Limit Hold'em. The field, while slightly smaller than 2007's field of 826, held plenty of high-powered poker stars. Among the big names playing Event #29 were Phil Laak, Jennifer Tilly, John "The Razor" Phan, Kristy Gazes, Jimmy Fricke and Mike Matusow.
The action was fast-paced as the field narrowed to just 81 survivors on Day 1, with big names including Joe Sebok, Tom McEvoy, Matusow and Laak among the early eliminations. Laak went to the rail after pushing all in over the top of his opponent's flop bet with on a board of . His opponent quickly called with for bottom set, and Laak missed his flush draw to bust out long before the dinner break.
After winning the last-longer bet with Phil Laak, Jennifer Tilly went on a tear early, taking out opponents right and left and climbing the leader board fearlessly. Her luck ran out midway through Day 1 when she lost two huge pots in a row for her elimination. In the first hand, David Singer called her preflop raise, then moved all in over the top of her bet on the flop. Tilly called with for a pair of fives, but was drawing thin against Singer's . No help on the turn or river, and Tilly was left crippled.
She moved the last of her chips in on the very next hand when the flop came down . Cliff Pappas made the call with , and Tilly was ahead with for two pair. The turn helped neither player, but the river sent Tilly to the rail. Other early eliminations included Anna Wroblewski, Clonie Gowen, Evelyn Ng and Erica Schoenberg, leaving Kathy Liebert, Beth Shak and Kristy Gazes as the remaining notable female pros.
John "The Razor" Phan made his move towards the top of the leader board late in the afternoon, collecting a couple of big pots to finish among the chip leaders. Other notable survivors from Day 1 with big stacks included David Singer and Liebert.
With 81 players remaining in the field, play was halted on Day 1 just short of the 72-player money bubble. Others still alive include Eric Lynch, Barny Boatman and Tony Dunst. Alex Zaslavsky finished the day with the chip lead, as the top ten chip stacks looked like this:
Alex Zaslavsky 187,100
Ryan Young 148,500
Matt Vengrin 147,000
Hjalti Jacobsen 132,800
Alex Melnikow 130,100
John Phan 127,400
Earl Plyler 118,100
Douglas Miranda 111,100
Roberto Romanello 107,600
Vincent Peraino 100,600
Join PokerNews at 2PM PDT as the remaining players battle it out on the money bubble and fight their way down to the final table.