For the past nine months, the 2010-2011 World Series of Poker Circuit has traveled to 15 different venues, offering 154 gold-ring events, and attracted more than 20,000 poker players to its tournaments, each looking to qualify for the inaugural National Championship $1,000,000 Freeroll. After months of hard work, 100 qualifiers made their way to Las Vegas to compete for the $300,000 first-place prize and the first WSOP bracelet of the year.
Day 1 of the National Championship saw nearly all of the 100 qualified players actually take their seats. Unfortunately, a few of players were unable to attend for a plethora of reasons including Brett Richey, Gary Friedlander, and Dennis Summers. While some missed the golden opportunity to compete in the prestigious event, others were intent on taking advantage of their chance, perhaps none more so than La Sengphet, who emerged as the Day 1 chip leader with 165,000.
After eight levels of play, only 35 players remained. Joining Sengphet among the chip leaders are Jonathon Poche (121,400), Shiva Dudani (96,000), and Curt Kohlberg (94,600). A number of notable names are also still in the field including Allen Kessler, Bernard Lee, Charles “Woody” Moore, Dwyte Pilgrim, Chris Klodnicki, and WSOP-C poster boy Kyle Cartwright. In addition, Traci Brown, who along with Sengphet comprised the only two women in the field, managed to make it to Day 2. Sarah Grant caught up with Pilgrim on an earlier break Friday to discuss his WSOP plans and his table mate and fellow survivor Cartwright.
While those players thrived, many failed to survive. Among those who hit the rail were World Poker Tour Player-of-the-Year Andy Frankenberger, Ali Eslami, Steve Zolotow, David “Doc” Sands, Steven Brecher, Allie Prescott, and Shannon Shorr.
Here is a look at the seating assignment and chip counts headed into Day 2.
|2||Tuan Bui Le||20,800|
|3||Charles “Woody” Moore||95,100|
Day 1 of the National Championship certainly delivered top-notch poker action, living up to all the anticipation and hype. On Saturday, the remaining players will return to play down to the final nine and the first-ever WSOP-C National Championship final table. Action is set to resume at 1200 PDT (1900 GMT), so be sure to join us then for all the live updates from Caesars Palace in Las Vegas.