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World Poker Tour Grand Prix de Paris Day 1a: Todd Terry Leads; Hellmuth Sent Packing

Phil Hellmuth

On Friday, Season XII of the World Poker Tour continued as the bwin WPT Grand Prix de Paris kicked off at the Aviation Club de France. This was the first of two starting flights and a total of 79 players put up the €7,500 buy-in for a shot at a WPT title.

By the end of the first five levels only 58 of the original entrants remained with Todd Terry leading the field. According to the WPT Live Updates, Terry came out swinging early and never relented his spot among the chip leaders throughout the day.

Day 1a Unofficial Top 10 Chip Counts

1Todd Terry110,750
2Gilbert Diaz90,100
3Jean-Noel Thorel90,050
4Grzegorz Wyraz75,000
5Micah Raskin70,500
6Roger Hairabedian65,850
7David Hoffer60,000
8David Peters55,525
9Jonathan Little55,000
10Anthony Zinno53,500

Terry got off to an excellent start by eliminating a player very early in Level 1 and essentially doubling his starting stack. Terry, Shawn Buchanan, and a third player saw a flop of {q-}{9-}{8-} and all three players checked to see a {5-} fall on the turn. The unknown player fired out 1,500 and Buchanan called. Terry came over the top with a raise to 6,000 and his opponent three-bet to 13,500. Buchanan tank-folded what he later revealed to be a set of eights and Terry moved all in. His opponent called for his tournament life with {q-}{q-} for top set. Terry held {7-}{6-} for a turned straight that was able to hold through the river.

Terry's domination continued later in the day as he eliminated reigning champion of this event, Matt Salsberg. The two engaged in a hand where Salsberg flopped top set with {K-}{K-} on a board of {K-}{Q-}{10-}. After a series of bets and raises, Salsberg had all of his money in and was looking to fill up to beat Terry's {a-}{j-} for Broadway. Salsberg ultimately did not get there and will return for the Day 1b flight.

Recent World Series of Poker Europe bracelet winner Roger Hairabedian continued his hot streak in his home country by bagging up an impressive 65,850 in chips. Hairabedian came alive in the fourth level of play and eliminated WPT Champions Club member Sean Jazayeri. Hairabedian limped before the flop and found an all in bet from Jazayeri. Hairabedian called with {a-}{k-} and never released his lead against Jazayeri's {a-}{10-}.

Later in the day, Hairabedian eliminated none other than Phil Hellmuth. The two engaged in a three-bet pot that saw Hellmuth continue out on the {8-Hearts}{8-Spades}{7-Clubs} flop and the {3-Hearts} turn. The {4-Hearts} brought three hearts to the board on the river and Hairabedian open-shipped all in. Hellmuth called for his tournament life and Hairabedian showed {a-Hearts}{q-Hearts} for an ace-high flush. Hellmuth flashed the {8-Clubs} for flopped trips and was eliminated from play.

Joining Hellmuth on the rail were WPT Champions Club members Brandon Cantu, Marvin Rettenmaier, and Jordan Cristos as well as John Juanda, Dan Heimiller, and Lauri Pesonen.

While those players failed to bag up a stack by the end of five levels, other notable pros including Phil Laak, Mohsin Charania, Mike Watson, Vitaly Lunkin, Sorel Mizzi, Joni Jouhkimainen, and Ole Schemion are guaranteed to return for Day 2. WPT Ones to Watch Athanasios Polychronopoulos and Christina Lindley will also return for the second day.

Day 1B will kick off on Saturday at 2:30 p.m. CET. A recap of the day's coverage will be made available at the completion of the day, so be sure to stay tuned to PokerNews as the bwin WPT Grand Prix de Paris continues.

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