WSOP What To Watch For: Daniel Negreanu, Joe Cada Contend for Bracelets
Massive crowds swarmed the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino on Saturday, and it's not likely to let up at the World Series of Poker on Sunday. More than 6,300 players participated in Day 1 of the inaugural Millionaire Maker Event yesterday — a new single-day attendance record for the WSOP. On top of that there were two champions crowned in the Amazon Room, and a total of five events were taking place around the Rio Convention Center.
Two more bracelets will be awarded on Sunday, and some big names are in contention to scoop the hardware. Sunday will also bring the start of two new events: Event #7: $1,000 No-Limit Hold'em and Event #8: $2,500 Eight-Game Mix. It won't be nearly as hectic, but we're still expecting another busy day at the WSOP.
Cada Seeks Second Bracelet
World Series of Poker Main Event champions are always measured by their accomplishments after they win the big one. In the past, a handful of world champs like Phil Hellmuth, Johnny Chan and Doyle Brunson have become legends of the game based on their many poker achievements, while countless others have fallen off the map.
Since winning the Main Event in 2009, Joe Cada has five cashes at the WSOP, including a runner-up finish in last year's Event #31: $1,500 No-Limit Hold'em. On Sunday, he'll take another crack at his second bracelet when he returns for Day 3 of the $1,500 No-Limit Hold'em (Six Handed) event. Another title would certainly help validate his place among the ranks — and a $324,764 payday certainly wouldn't hurt, either.
Cada enters the "unofficial" final table fifth in chips out of the seven remaining. He'll be surrounded by accomplished pros like Mike Mustafa, Eric Blair, Manig Loeser, and Kevin Stammen, who is also eyeing his second bracelet.
Cada had a tumultuous ride at the end of Day 2 and said it was a "miracle" that he survived after losing several big pots to Mustafa, who enters Day 3 with the chip lead. But the former champ added that he's feeling good about his chances at the final table, and with a talented group of finalists around him, we're looking forward to seeing how this one plays out.
Negreanu's Astounding Run Continues
Daniel Negreanu is enjoying arguably the greatest year of his decorated career, and it could get even better on Sunday. Negreanu is one of 19 players still in contention for the title in Event #5, and although he enters the final day as a short stack, all eyes will be on "Kid Poker" as he chases his second bracelet of 2013 (he won the WSOP-APAC Main Event in April).
Negreanu is also keeping a close eye on the WSOP Player of the Year, an honor he won back in 2004. He currently holds a sizable lead over his next closest competitor, Charles Sylvestre, but with bracelets being awarded every day Negreanu will see his edge decline unless he puts together a solid string of results. A victory in Event #5 would certainly make it difficult to catch him.
Negreanu will be battling the likes of Mike Matusow, George Danzer, David "Bakes" Baker, Mike Gorodinsky, James Van Alstyne and Owais Ahmed when Day 3 kicks off on Sunday. You won't want to miss the conclusion, so be sure to follow our live updates all day at the PokerNews Live Reporting page.
Historic Millionaire Maker Rages On
Many events at the World Series of Poker don't even begin with 1,400 players. But that's how many will return for Day 2 of the massive Millionaire Maker event on Sunday.
Two Day 1 flights on Saturday saw a combined 6,343 players create a prize pool of more than $8.5 million, and $1.1 million of that will go to the eventual champion. WSOP Executive Director Ty Stewart said the event exceeded all expectations — he even coined Day 1 of the event as “Sunny Saturday,” the polar opposite to “Black Friday.”
"This is a statement maker and there seems to be a lot of shared pride at showcasing the interest that still remains in the game of poker," Stewart told PokerNews on Saturday. "There is now a sense that perhaps the tide is turning; that poker’s darkest days are behind us and now there is optimism for the future. The statement is clear that poker is not just alive and well but the future is bright."
Among the notables bringing big stacks into Day 2 are Scott Clements, Brendon Rubie, Vladimir Geshkenbein, Ryan Welch, John Monnette and Andrew Lichtenberger. The event continues Sunday at 1:00 p.m. PST, and although it is scheduled to conclude on Monday, the enormous turnout has already prompted speculation that the WSOP will extend the event onto a fourth day. You can follow all of the action right here at PokerNews.com.
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