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WSOP What To Watch For: Sands, Marchese Eye First WSOP Bracelet; Phelps Survives Again


The first bracelet of the 2013 World Series of Poker was handed out early Friday morning, and to the delight and excitement of the PokerNews team, it was our very own Chad Holloway who collected the hardware and close to $85,000. While no champions will be crowned on Friday, many of the game's top pros will attempt to reach the final table of Event #2 in the Amazon Room, while three other events will be scattered around the Rio Convention Center.

Plenty of Big Guns Still Alive in Event #2

Event #2 drew the biggest names in poker on Wednesday, and while most of them have faltered after two days of play, several are still in contention for the first open WSOP bracelet of 2013. Former bracelet winners Dan Kelly and Brian Rast will be joined by a hungry group of players searching for their own piece of gold. Tom Marchese, Joe Serock, David Peters, Griffin Benger, and David "Doc" Sands will all return to the Rio at 2 p.m. PST on Friday to play down to an official final table of eight.

Leading the way on Day 3 will be Rafal Michalowski. The New Yorker has six career WSOP cashes and more than $100,000 in winnings, but he'll be eying his first WSOP final table when he takes his seat on Friday. Michalowski is joined at the top of the leaderboard by hart hitters Markus Gonsalves, Trevor Pope, Ismael Bojang and David Vamplew.

Phelps Makes Another Day 2

For someone who said he is playing the WSOP just to have fun, Michael Phelps is certainly taking the WSOP grind seriously. After busting on Day 2 of Event #2 on Thursday, the 18-time Olympic gold medalist immediately hopped into Event #3: $1,000 No-Limit Hold'em and managed to make his second consecutive Day 2. While he'll start the day with a short stack, Phelps has already accomplished what Phil Ivey and many other top pros have failed to do so far in this series — survive on Day 1 — and he's now done it twice.

Phelps and 542 others will hit the felt at 1 p.m. on Friday when the fields from Day 1a and Day 1b combine. Among the pros returning for Day 2 are Scott Seiver, David Singer, Tony Dunst, Matt Glantz, Amanda Baker, Amanda Musumeci.

Holloway Goes Back to Work

PokerNews Senior News Editor and Blogger Chad Holloway accomplished a life-long dream this morning by capturing a World Series of Poker bracelet in Event #1. But after a short celebration with friends, Holloway will be back to work on Friday handling the live WSOP updates again for PokerNews. He'll have a short break at 2:20 p.m. for his bracelet ceremony inside the Rio Pavilion. We'll have much more on that later today at

As always, you can find PokerNews' coverage of the 2013 WSOP on our Live Reporting Pages. We look forward to having you follow along and stay tuned for plenty more from our What To Watch For series.

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