It was a long day at Foxwoods Casino in Mashantucket, Connecticut on Saturday as both Day 1a and 1b completed twelve 40-minute levels of play in the latest 2012-13 World Series of Poker Circuit $1,675 Main Event. It marked the first time the WSOP Circuit had visited the colossal property, so it was no surprise that players turned out in full force.
A hefty 350 players tried their luck on Day 1a, which began at 11 a.m. ET, but only 123 of them would advance. Leading the pack with 143,100 in chips was Eric Rando of East Providence, Rhode Island. Rando's big hand was missed, but according to Andy Frankenberger, he got his chips when his overcame and in a three-way all-in situation. On Day 1b, which allowed for re-entries, 228 runners took to the felt, of which 73 advanced. Finishing with the chip lead from that flight, and the overall top spot, was Aryeh Cohen, who bagged up 180,000.
Day 1 Top 10 Chip Counts
Cohen won a huge pot in one of the final hands of Level 11 (500/1,000/100). The hand began with the player to Cohen's left opening for 2,300 from under the gun. Cohen made it 7,000 to go, then watched as a player a couple of seats over shoved all in for about 50,000. It folded back to the original raiser who let his hand go, then Cohen called with the . His opponent held the . The tens remained best through the flop and turn, but then the spiked on the river. With that, Cohen chipped up to over 150,000.
Another player who advanced from Day 1a, albeit with a less impressive 72,300 in chips, was the ever-consistent Allen "Chainsaw" Kessler, who managed to win a decent pot in Level 11 (500/1,000/100) against Zachary “zackmorris99” Donovan, who not only won the PokerStars WCOOP Event #61 $320 NL Hold’em Super Knockout for $81,119.32 back September of 2012, but also won the WSOP Circuit Foxwoods Event #1 $365 NLHE Re-Entry for $48,112.
In the hand, Kessler opened for 2,500 from the hijack seat and the player in the cutoff seat called. Donovan then moved all in from the button for 10,700, the blinds folded, and Kessler made a quick call. The cutoff took his time before folding and the cards were turned up.
Kessler had Donovan out-kicked, and according to the PokerNews Odds Calculator, he was a 64.50% favorite to win the hand. The flop saw that increase to 79.19%, while the turn left Donovan, who only had a 6.82% chance of surviving, asking for a ten to win or a three to chop. Unfortunately for him, the dealer did not oblige, and he was eliminated from the tournament.
Day 1b saw many of the fallen fire another bullet, but it didn’t prove fruitful for the likes of Kurt Jewell, Ronnie Pease, Micah Raskin, Roland Israelashvili, Chris Tryba, Victor Ramdin, Jamie Kerstetter and the Massey Bros. — Ralph and Aaron.
"They got me," Ralph Massey yelled to his brother from across the room in Level 9 (300/600/75). It happened when Massey opened for 1,300 and received calls from three opponents, one being Bobby Corcione. Massey then bet 2,850 on the flop, Corcione raised to 10,000, and the other players folded. Massey responded by moving all in for a bit over 30,000, and Corcione called.
Massey got it in good, but he needed to dodge the flush draw and backdoor straight draw of Corcione. He did so on the turn, but he wasn't so fortunate as the spiked on the river to give Corcione the flush.
Not long after Ralph hit the rail, his brother joined him. It happened in Level 10 (400/800/100) when Buck Ramsey opened from early position and Aaron Massey, who was to his direct left, three-bet to 4,100. Action folded back to Ramsey, he four-bet it to 10,000, and Massey responded by moving all in for 33,300 more. When Ramsey asked for a count, a seemingly excited Massey shook his fist as if to say, "He didn't snap call!" Nonetheless, Ramsey made the call.
Massey's enthusiasm quickly dissipated upon seeing that he was behind. "Good game," Massey said before shaking Ramsey's hand after the board had run out . For the second time, Massey was eliminated from the tournament.
While many players fell throughout both starting flights, a number of notables advanced to Day 2. They include Greg Raymer (89,500), Nancy Birnbaum (109,500), John Dibella (30,400), Andy Frankenberger (94,000), Erek Gaines (133,600) and John Pito (124,900), all of whom advanced from Day 1a; while players like Igor Borukhov (180,000), Ylon Schwartz (73,900) and Ramsey (158,600) all made it through from Day 1b.
Day 2 is set to resume at noon ET on Sunday. Players are able to late register or re-enter up to the start of play, which means final numbers are yet to be determined. As always, you can follow the action in our live reporting blog, but if you’re unable, check back tomorrow for a full recap of the action.
Photo courtesy of WhoJedi from FoxwoodsPoker.com.