It stands to reason that if short-handed tables play fast, short-handed tournaments play fast. Logic ruled and the 1,012-player starting field whittled itself down to just 73 players in Day 1 of the $2,500 NLHE Six-Handed event. With 108 spots in the money, the players broke the money bubble barrier with ease. The top spot will pay $528,418 and, of course, the coveted bracelet. Denmark's Alon Shahar ended Day 1 with the chip lead and the only player to break through the 200,000 chip mark. This is Shahar's second cash of the 2008 WSOP after finishing in 39th place in the $1,500 NLHE Shootout event. The top-ten leader board follows:
Alon Shahar 264,100
Dario Minieri 191,600
Justin Filtz 180,200
Randall Brueckner 131,100
Frank Rusnak 127,800
Michael Skomac 123,700
Ed Fernandez 121,800
Andrew Emory 121,400
Cory Albertson 120,500
Brendan Keenan 119,100
Men Nguyen was one of the first eliminations of the day when his flush draw and gutshot to the wheel could neither overcome nor tie an opponent's flopped wheel. Nam Le was out when his K-Q found a queen on a flop, but still couldn't overtake his opponent's pocket kings. James Mackey got it all in with and was in good shape against his opponent's until three diamonds on the board sent him home.
Mark Seif had the misfortune of running his pocket nines into pocket kings. Dutch Boyd ran his pocket eights into pocket jacks. But this was just the beginning of the constant wave of eliminations. The soon-to-be dearly departed included Clonie Gowen, Greg Raymer, Erik Seidel, Marcel Luske, Jennifer Tilly, Phil Ivey, Bill Edler, Alex Jacob, Paul Wasicka, Andy Black, Gavin Smith, Jamie Gold – and so many, many more.
Robert Williamson III's elimination was a little more noteworthy and clearly more painful. On the money bubble, all of Williamson's money went in on the flop. Williamson soon discovered his pocket kings were in trouble against his opponent's flopped set of nines. Williamson picked up four more outs on the turn with a gutshot draw, but the river bricked for him and he was the designated bubble boy.
Brandon Cantu managed to sneak through the bubble, only to be eliminated by Alon Shahar in 106th place. David "Devilfish" Ulliott nursed his short stack into the money, but finally succumbed in 94th place. Kenna James looked like he was going to suck out on Shahar when James' found an eight on the flop to overtake Shahar's , but Shahar would catch a runner-runner diamond flush to put James out in 90th place. And Mark Vos' short-stack move with K-9 couldn't find any traction against Billy Weston's pocket jacks and Vos was out in 82nd place.
With the bubble behind them, the remaining players will be racing for the final table on Day 2. Some of the notables still in the bracelet hunt include Scotty Nguyen, Bill Chen, Max Pescatori, Bruno Fitoussi, Manny Minaya, Kevin Song, and Sebastian Ruthenberg. Check back with the PokerNews 'Live Reporting' team for all the Day 2 action.