The $10,000 Pot-Limit Omaha Championship, Event #50 on the schedule, drew 381 predictably well-known and arguably well-heeled players. And since the buy-in included one rebuy, it was a wild and raucous beginning as players pushed hard to double up or rebuy. But three players, in particular, were employing the "double up or die" strategy: Erick Lindgren, Barry Greenstein and Kirill Gerasimov all had final table appearances in other events later in the day, Lindgren and Greenstein in the $50,000 H.O.R.S.E. event and Gerasimov in the $2,000 NLHE.
As expected, the field settled down after the rebuys were exhausted. At the end of the night, only 87 players remained with Josh Arieh solidly in the chip lead. Arieh won a bracelet in the WSOP $2,000 PLO rebuy event in 2005. But it will take a lot more playing before the bracelet and $ 859,549 first prize is awarded. When the players return for Day 2, they will have to reduce themselves by more than half before they'll see a payday, which begins at 36th place.
Day 1 Chip Leaders:
Josh Arieh — 343,700
Guillaume Patry — 226,400
Shawn Buchanan — 214,800
Peter Jetten — 205,400
Michael Mizrachi — 204,000
Len Ashby — 199,800
Brant Hale — 197,200
Billy Argyros — 195,100
Eddy Scharf — 162,900
Karl Mahrenholz — 155,500
Andy Black was one of the first players eliminated when he got it all in on flush and open-ended straight draws against Arturo Diaz' flopped set. A flush would come, but unfortunately for Black it was a runner-runner one for Diaz and Black had the rest of the day off. Bruno Fitoussi would hit his flush, but his king-high flush was no match for Sigi Stockinger's ace-high flush and Fitoussi was also done. Freddy Deeb was also eliminated in the early going when his flush was outflanked by an opponent's nut flush.
Jamie Gold's day was over when his open-ended straight draw never came and his eventual two pair was no match for Scott Clements' flopped set. Barry Greenstein got an extra hour to think about H.O.R.S.E. when his K-K-x-x scored top set on a flop of K-Q-10. All the money went in after a queen hit on the turn, giving Greenstein the top boat. Unfortunately for Barry, Jonas Entin had Q-Q-x-x and made winning quads.
David Benyamine put all his money in on a turn with heart-flush and gutshot-straight draws. The board was red and two-suited at that point and Jean Ghebali had the diamond draw. The river was red, but heartless, and Benyamine was eliminated. Erik Seidel's A-A-K-3 failed against Jannick Wrang's K-Q-Q-10 when the board ran out J-10-5-10-9, giving Wrang the king-high straight. And Hoyt Corkins' day was cut short when he flopped a middle set of queens, only to run into his opponent's flopped top set of aces.
Chris Ferguson got all his money in after flopping the nut straight with a flush redraw. His opponent called with top set and a bigger flush draw. The flush hit on the turn and Ferguson was out. Phil Hellmuth lost his bid for another bracelet when his flush draw refused to materialize against Rafi Amit's two pair. And Layne Flack's all-in bet on the turn eventually got a call from Rob Hollink. Flack had flopped top two pair, while Hollink was open ended to the royal flush. The royal didn't come on the river, but a flush did, and Flack was eliminated.
Other players that did not survive the day include Andy Bloch, Lee Watkinson, Daniel Negreanu, Mike Matusow, Eli Elezra, David "Devilfish" Ulliott, Chris Moneymaker, Erick Lindgren, Kirill Gerasimov, Gus Hansen, Joe Hachem and John Phan. In one of the last hands of the night Tom "durrrr" Dwan was all in before the flop with A-K-9-8 against Jimmy Tran's A-A-9-3. While the flop yielded a king, the remaining board didn't yield enough to save Dwan.
But while many big names fell on Day 1, many others are returning for Day 2. The chip leaders will be joined by David Williams, Jonas Klausen, David Singer, Rob Hollink, Scott Clements, Bill Chen, Chau Giang, Jimmy Tran, Clonie Gowen, Jeffrey Lisandro, Brad Berman, Thayer Rasmussen, Ross Boatman – and many more.
Check back with the PokerNews "Live Reporting" team for all the Day 2 action, when the remaining 87 players are scheduled to pierce through the money bubble and play down to their final table.