With the holiday over, the fireworks were confined to the inside of the Rio as Day 1c of the 2009 World Series of Poker Main Event drew the biggest field yet of the Day 1 flights. 1,697 players signed up for Day 1c, prompting tournament officials to shift the schedule to five levels on Days 1c and 1d, as opposed to the four levels played on Days 1a and 1b. Among the poker superstars taking the field on Day 1c were Scotty Nguyen, Jamie Gold, Dennis Phillips, Joe Hachem, Matt Savage, Daniel Negreanu, and John Juanda. Also in the field was “Miami” John Cernuto, who returned to WSOP action after collapsing during a preliminary event this summer. Antonio “Magic Man” Tarver brought out the athletic star power, as the former light heavyweight champ took to the felt. At the close of play, Joe Cada led the Day 1c survivors.
The larger field meant more big names busting out, and some of the early eliminations included David Saab, David “Chino” Rheem, Evelyn Ng, and Daniel Negreanu. Negreanu’s stay at the featured table was much shorter than he had hoped, as he was sent home well before the dinner break. All the money went in on the flop, and Negreanu opened for two pair. He was in deep trouble when his opponent made the call and tabled for the bigger two pair, and when the turn brought the Negreanu was left with only two outs. The on the river wasn’t one of them, and Kid Poker was finished.
Jamie Gold was another Day 1c casualty, busting later in the afternoon when he got it all in with to an opponent’s pocket jacks. Gold missed the flop entirely, and when the turn brought the , he was drawing dead. Other Day 1c eliminations included John Caldwell, Al “Sugar Bear” Barbieri, and Annie Duke.
One thing players didn’t want to see at their table at any point during this WSOP was the trademark fedora of triple bracelet winner Jeff Lisandro. Lisandro’s winning ways continued all through Day 1c, as he racked up an impressive stack to finish the day among the chip leaders. In an early pot, Lisandro checked his big blind to see the flop of . Lisandro bet out and the small blind called. The hit the turn, and both players checked. The small blind fired a bet when the hit the river, and Lisandro quickly raised. After a moment’s hesitation the small blind called and showed for eights full of aces. Lisandro tabled for jacks full of eights, and scooped yet another big pot.
1983 Main Event champ Tom McEvoy won the Champions’ Invitational event earlier this summer, but couldn’t make it through the minefield of Day 1c. He made his exit after the dinner break and was soon joined on the rail by late eliminations Brandon Cantu, David Singer, and recent “Rumble Nowhere Near the Rio” winner, Liv Boeree.
As play drew to a close, WSOP Media Director Nolan Dalla took a moment to recognize one player in particular who would move on to Day 2. Kent Senter was diagnosed in March with multiple myleoma, a rare cancer of the plasma cells, and given anywhere from six months to two years to live. Senter, a father of four, had always dreamed of playing in the WSOP Main Event, and with his diagnosis and the expensive treatments, that dream seemed unlikely to ever come true. Until Bluff Magazine publisher Eric Morris contacted PokerStars, who put up the $10,000 entry fee so that Senter could live out his dream. Senter made it through Day 1c with a medium stack and received an ovation from the entire room when Dalla introduced him.
Joe Cada was the man sitting with the most chips when the final pot was pushed, his stack of 187,225 establishing him as the overall chip leader of all the Day 1 flights so far. Tyler Patterson, Sebastian Stier, and Chance Kornuth also finished with hefty stacks. Other notable Day 1c survivors included Phil Hellmuth, Joe Hachem, Terrence “Not Johnny” Chan, Marc Naalden, Justin Bonomo, Hevad Khan, Isabelle Mercier, Dennis Phillips, and Howard Lederer.
Join PokerNews at noon local time as the final – and likely largest – flight of Day 1 players takes to the field for Day 1d.