With six events simultaneously at play, sometimes it's hard to tell one event from another as one looks out across the vast expanse of the Amazon Room. But in the orange section today, the differences were starkly apparent. The $1,500 NLHE tourney drew over 2,000 players, but shed more than 90% of them in a feeding frenzy of aggression. Day 1 of the $10,000 Omaha Hi/Low Championship, however, had a select starting field of 235 players, losing just about half of them in steely, measured play.
Soheil Shamseddin would end the day as chip leader. Shamseddin has already made an Omaha hi/lo final table in this year's event, finishing fourth in the $2,000 Omaha hi/lo event. Shanseddin also cashed in the 2007 WSOP World Championship Omaha hi/lo event. But this field still has a long way to go before making the money. Day One ended with 123 players, and only the top 27 spots will be paid. The eventual sole survivor will reap a $535,678 reward and the coveted gold bracelet.
The Top Ten Day One Chip Leaders:
Soheil Shamseddin — 115,000
James DiGiorgio — 92,800
Erick Lindgren — 91,700
Chau Giang — 84,700
Bruno Fitoussi — 84,600
Annie Duke — 83,700
DR Kegel — 82,000
Brad Booth — 79,900
Hieu "Tony" Ma — 79,400
Meng La — 76,800
As with the other $10,000 Championship events that we've seen at the WSOP, this event drew some of the biggest names in the game. Doyle Brunson, John Juanda, Howard Lederer, Tony G, Phil Hellmuth, Johnny Chan, Alexander Kostritsyn, David Benyamine, Jeffrey Lisandro, Greg Raymer, Barry Greenstein, Michael Mizrachi, Thor Hansen, Jeff Madsen, Daniel Negreanu, Jimmy Fricke, Chau Giang, and Huck Seed, and Justin Bonomo were in the field. And as a result, almost every Day 1 table had a high degree of difficulty. When Gus Hansen took his seat, he looked around his table to see Amnon Filippi, Men "The Master" Nguyen, Carlos Mortensen, Richard Ashby, Max Pescatori and Gary Benson.
Even with the event's split-limit structure and deep stacks, the field saw its fair share of early eliminations. Barry Shulman and Eli Elezra departed soon after the first break. Richard Ashby joined them when couldn't hold on after Johnny Chan's turned full house took most of his chips. Michael Mizrachi lasted another level, but didn't catch his hand after re-raising all in preflop. One player showed a boat for high and two other players chopped the low, and Mizrachi headed for the rail.
John Juanda eliminated his Full Tilt pro brethren Andy Bloch just before the dinner break, and Jimmy Fricke was eliminated just after dinner. Fricke was all in on the turn with an open-ended straight flush draw, when the board showed . But Fricke's failed to improve against his opponent's .
Recent bracelet winner Rob Hollink was eliminated holding the second best of both worlds. With a K-7-A-5-Q board, Hollink had A-3-4-5 for two pair and a 7-5-4 low, while his opponent showed A-2-3-7 for a better two pair and a 7-5-3 low. Howard Lederer went out much the same way, holding the second highest straight and the second best low. And Scotty Nguyen was heard to say "Good luck, Baby," as he wandered off after hitting a straight, only have his opponent scoop with a flush and a low.
Before the last break of the night, Michael Binger, Phil Hellmuth, Jean-Robert Bellande, Billy "The Croc" Argyros and David Levi all went out on a mini wave of eliminations. And as the night came to a close, Tony G, Justin Bonomo, James Mackey, Allen Kessler, Gus Hansen, Scott Clements, Lee Watkinson, Mickey Appleman, and Todd Brunson all failed in their bids for a Day 2 start.
Miraculously, Chris Ferguson survived Day 1, albeit with the shortest stack left in the field. Ferguson was able to play little of this event as his time was being monopolized by his final-table appearance in the $5,000 stud hi/lo event where he came in second to Sebastian Ruthenberg.
Ferguson and our chip leaders will be joined on Day 2 by notables such as David Chiu, Huck Seed, Mike Matusow, Ram Vaswani, Erik Seidel, Jennifer Harman, Berry Johnston, Barry Greenstein, Rafi Amit, Gabe Kaplan, Daniel Negreanu, Johnny Chan and a host of others. Check back with the PokerNews "Live Reporting" team for all the Day 2 action as it happens.