The 2010 World Series of Poker Circuit made its penultimate stop at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas this week with a $5,150 Main Event that drew 150 runners. Many local Vegas pros who weren't in Monte Carlo to play the European Poker Tour Grand Final (due to volcanic ash or otherwise) came out to play. Yet, at the end of seven levels of play, relative unknown Dan Casetta (168,700) found himself out front among the 67 survivors. He is closely followed by 2009 EPT Monte Carlo High Roller runner-up Randy Dorfman (153,800).
Casetta was near the top of the counts for most of the day. He started play at a table with the defending champion in this event, Justin Bonomo, and the always garrulous Scott Seiver. While Bonomo and Seiver debated esoteric subjects such as which of the 1,000-denomination and 10,000-denomination chips was more orange, Casetta sat quietly and patiently at the table. Within a few levels, he was up to 92,000 in chips. From there through the end of the day his count kept climbing a few thousands chips at a time.
Dorfman, on the other hand, only drew the attention of the field in the last 20 minutes of play. On a board of , Dorfman led into his lone opponent, Darryll Fish, for 20,000. Fish tanked for a minute before moving all-in for 55,000 total. Dorfman quickly called with , two pair, a hand way behind Fish's flopped straight and nut flush redraw. But the river gave Dorfman a full house and a huge pot.
With so many of notables in the field, it's no surprise that many of them made it through to Day 2. Layne Flack, Doug Lee, Steve O'Dwyer, Brock Parker, and Jeff Madsen will start the day with healthy stacks. Local grinder and former PokerNews employee Anthony Yeh also has a "Top 10" stack with 95,300. A sampling of players with less robust stacks and who will be looking to make moves at the start of Day 2 would include Andrew Lichtenberger, Matt Stout, Sam Stein, and 2009 WSOP Ladies champion Lisa Hamilton.
There were, of course, plenty of players who had bad days. Defending champion Bonomo never seemed to get much going. He was crippled after the dinner break by Flack and busted soon afterward. By that point Seiver, Dutch Boyd, Jonathan Little, Isaac Haxton, Tony Dunst and 2007 WSOP Main Event champion Jerry Yang had already beaten Bonomo to the rail. Chau Giang and new WPT Championship winner David Williams busted in the last five minutes of the day.
Just 67 players will return on Wednesday at noon local time to play another seven levels. By the time the chip bags are brought out a second time, the tournament should be at or very close to the money bubble. PokerNews will have all the Day 2 updates live from the tournament floor.
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