The 2012-13 World Series of Poker Circuit continued on Saturday with Day 1 action from the Horseshoe Council Bluffs, which is in Iowa just across the Missouri River from Omaha, Nebraska. Day 1a and 1b both played out, and each completed twelve 40-minute levels of play, with the former flight drawing 234 runners and the latter 128 for a total of 362 players — a nearly 25% attendance increase from the year prior. A combined 133 players (89 from Day 1a and 44 from Day 1b) managed to survive to Day 2, with Scott Sharpe and his stack of 289,500 leading the way.
“I ran good,” Sharpe told PokerNews after he bagged and tagged. “Coolered a few people, to be honest.” Sharpe, who has finished runner-up in two previous WSOP Circuit events, was modest when asked how it felt to bag up the chip lead. “Long way to go still, but I’m very excited for tomorrow.”
Top 10 Day 1 Counts
On Day 1a, Kelly Cortum finished with the chip lead, and he got some of his chips in Level 7 (200/400/50) against local pro and circuit regular Drazen Ilich. It happened on a flop when Cortum bet 3,000 from the small blind, and Ilich raised to 6,500 from the cutoff. Cortum reraised to 12,000, Ilich called, and the two saw the turn. Cortum moved all in for Ilich's last 24,000, and Ilich simply said, "You got it," before folding. Cortum claimed that he had flopped a set.
While it took 12 levels for Cortum to amass his Day-1a-leading stack, it only took Sharpe seven levels to surpass it on Day 1b. In Level 7 (200/400/50), Sharp became involved in a massive four-way all-in pot that saw him and another player each holding . Another player held , while the player with the best hand had . The flop put Sharp and his counterpart out in front, and they'd end up chopping the pot after the appeared on the turn followed by the river. That pot boosted Sharp's stack to 150,000.
In Level 9 (300/600/75), a big hand took place that saw Sharpe get richer. It happened when Eddie Blumenthal opened and an unknown player three-bet to 7,500. Sharpe then opted to move all in from the button and put the pressure on his opponents. Blumenthal thought long and hard before calling off for around 45,000 with , the three bettor did the same with the , but both players were behind the of Sharp. The ten-high flop, which contained two spades, made things interesting, as did the turn, but the blanked on the river and Sharp scored the double elimination to chip up some more.
Another player who failed to find Main Event success was Ting Ho, who had actually had some success at the WSOP Circuit Council Bluffs on Friday when she finished as runner-up to Nathan Bjerno in Event #9 $580 No-Limit Hold'em for $16,302. It was an impressive performance for the woman dating the current National Leader Board points leader, Rex Clinkscales. Unfortunately for her, she wouldn't find the same success on Day 1a.
In Level 9 (300/600/75), Ting got her last 5,250 all in preflop holding the and was racing against the of Tony Hartman. According to the PokerNews Odds Calculator, Ting had a 45.63% chance of surviving the hand, though that dropped to just 12.73% on the flop. The turn gave Ting just a 9.09% chance of doubling, and the river dropped it to zero. Ting took her leave from the Day 1a flight and opted not to fire a second bullet on Day 1b.
Others who fell on Day 1a included Clinkscales, Larry Ormson, Arkady Tsinis, Jason Mayfield, Kat Bowen, Bernard Lee, Mitch Schock, Tripp Kirk and Mark “P0ker H0” Kroon. All of those players opted to re-enter on Day 1b, but only the first four from that list made it through to Day 2.
Kroon’s second bullet misfired in Level 5 (100/200/25) in a pot that had 1,500 in the pot on a flop. The player in the small blind checked and the big blind bet 1,200. Mark Fink, who won a ring on Friday night and is the current Casino Championship points leader at the Council Bluffs stop with 95, then raised to 3,200 from middle position only to have Kroon three-bet to 6,125. The big blind and Fink called, and then both of them checked the turn. Kroon fired in his last 14,000, the big blind folded, and Fink called. Kroon tabled the for a flopped flush, and he seemed none too pleased when Fink showed the for a full house. With that, Kroon was eliminated for a second time.
While many fell, a laundry list of notables are still in contention. They include the defending champ Scott Stanko (19,500); the all-time WSOP Circuit ring winner Alex Masek (27,400); the all-time WSOP Circuit leader for most cashes Doug “Rico” Carli (43,000); the Brothers Hinkle, Blair and Grant (46,200 and 78,500); five-time ring winner Ari Engel (63,000); and WSOP bracelet winner Robert Cheung (92,500).
Day 2 is set to kick off at noon CST. Registration is open up to the start of play, which means official numbers won’t be available until Sunday afternoon. Of course PokerNews will be on hand to bring you all the live updates from that event, so be sure to follow along.