2021 WSOP Day 1: Series Underway With Star-Studded $25k H.O.R.S.E.

2021 WSOP Lines

The 2021 World Series of Poker finally began yesterday, with three events getting underway, and it was a good start for Florida poker pro Chad Eveslage who bagged the chip lead in Event #2: $25,000 H.O.R.S.E.

Eveslage is coming off the back of a series of cashes over the last month, and looking to improve on his best WSOP performance - a deep run in the 2014 Main Event for $103,025.

Away from the H.O.R.S.E. the first two winners of the 2021 WSOP will be crowned later today, with both the Casino Employees and COVID-19 Relief Charity Event playing down to a winner.

Meanwhile, two more events begin today, with cards in the air in both The Reunion (10am PT) and the $1,500 Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better (3pm PT).

2021 WSOP Live Reporting Hub

Follow all the live action as it happens from the 2021 World Series of Poker in Las Vegas!

Event #1: $500 Casino Employees

Leo Abbe

For the first time in 26 months, the poker world came together at the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino for the start of the 2021 World Series of Poker.

The $500 Casino Employees Event took its traditional role as the opening event of the WSOP, with 419 entries generating a prize pool of $175,980. After 17 40-minute levels on Day 1, around 50 players survived to Day 2 with their dream of capturing the coveted gold bracelet still alive.

Leading the way is Leo Abbe, a Sportsbook Promotions Associate with DraftKings. Abbe took two big pots off former chip leader Juan Carlos Latuff towards the end of the night to finish with 537,000.

Other big stacks include Shawn Weintraub (474,000), Roberto Reyna (461,000), Andrew Bart (422,000), and Akash Desai (415,000). PokerNews' Jesse Fullen (pictured) survived the day with 223,000.

Jesse Fullen

Not everyone was fortunate enough to make it through to Day 2. Chad Holloway, the 2013 champion of this event, busted on Day 1, as did 2019 Main Event fourth-place finisher Garry Gates and WSOP Executive Director Ty Stewart. PokerNews team members Connor Richards, Matt Hansen, and Dannah Kamp also hit the rail.

The remaining players will return at 12 p.m. PST tomorrow in the Amazon Room. The schedule calls for them to play down to a champion. Be sure to stay tuned to PokerNews for what will surely be a packed day of action.

Be sure to catch all the updates from Event #1: $500 Casino Employees from our Live Reporting Hub

Read More: Big Names Expected in WSOP 2021 High Roller Tournaments

Event #2: $25,000 H.O.R.S.E.

Chad Eveslage

The 2021 World Series of Poker kicked off with a bang by scheduling a $25K H.O.R.S.E. directly on the opening night. Day 1 of Event #2: $25,000 H.O.R.S.E. consisted of ten intense 60-minute levels of play, and at the end of the night, Ft. Lauderdale, Florida poker pro Chad Eveslage sits atop the chip leaderboard with 860,000 in chips.

Eveslage remained quite active throughout the day, capitalizing in key spots and on key hands on his way to the top of the leaderboard.

Today's event attracted 73 total entries, with 47 players headed to Day 2. John Monnette (589,500), Jean Gaspard (569,000), Jesse Klein (490,500), and Mike Matusow (421,500) all bagged up solid chip stacks.

Needless to say, plenty of the world's very best are left in contention as well, with Daniel Negreanu. Phil Hellmuth, Shaun Deeb, Benny Glaser, and Adam Owen being just a handful of the big names that advanced to Day 2.

Join us on PokerNews on Friday at 2 p.m. PST as the hunt for the coveted WSOP Gold Bracelet will continue. Registration for this event will remain open until the first card is dealt on Day 2, and the prize pool and payouts will be announced shortly after registration has closed.

Mike Matusow

Top 10 Chip Counts

RankPlayerCountryChip Count
1Chad EveslageUnited States860,000
2John MonnetteUnited States589,500
3Jean GaspardUnited States569,000
4Jesse KleinUnited States490,500
5Mike MatusowUnited States420,500
6Adam FriedmanUnited States420,500
7Chris VitchUnited States371,500
8Shaun DeebUnited States321,000
9Hal RotholzUnited States314,000
10Randy OhelUnited States295,000

Late registration in this event is open until the start of Day 2, with players allowed one re-entry. The tournament resumes at 2pm (PT) and plays ten more 60-minute levels.

Don't know how to play H.O.R.S.E? Head to the PokerNews Rules section for all the information, including strategy, advice, hand rankings and more!

WSOP 2021: What's New this Year at the Rio?

Event #3: $1,000 Covid-19 Relief Charity Event

Jesse Lonis

Event #3: $1000 Covid Relief No-Limit Hold'em Charity drew 266 players, paying the top 38 places. With one hundred dollars from every buy-in benefitting frontline health workers, $25,000 was raised in total on top of the $231,400 prize pool.

After 9 hours of play, Jesse Lonis ended the day as the chip leader with 2,285,000 chips. Jeremy Ausmus sits in second with 1,395,000, while Asher Conniff (755,000), Steve Gross (485,000), and Mitchell Halverson (385,000) round out the final five.

2021 WSOP Event #3 Final Five Players

SeatPlayerChip Count
1Jesse Lonis2,285,000
2Asher Conniff755,000
3Mitchell Halverson385,000
4Steve Gross485,000
5Jeremy Ausmus1,345,000

The tournament drew big names such as Ryan Reiss, Matt Stout, and Jeff Platt, but all of them left the tournamnet area empty-handed.

The final table was reached in rapid fashion as the rate of eliminations came in at a breakneck pace, taking the field down from three tables to the final table in little more than an hour. Ian Steinman (18th Place) and Pete Chen (17th Place) were two of the notables to hit the rail during this stretch of play.

A double elimination that took out Kevin Wang and John Yocca in one fell swoop to set the final table, a hand which gave Lonis a huge boon to his stack to enter the final table with.

Eugene Tourevski next went out in eighth place, Craig Mason fell in seventh place and one time big stack Litan Betito was the final victim of the night, succumbing in sixth place to end the proceedings with five remaining.

The final five return on Friday at 4 p.m. PST to play down to the winner. Make sure to tune back in to PokerNews as the first bracelet winner of the series will be crowned.

The Reunion Headlines WSOP Day 2

One of the most hotly anticipated tournaments of this year's WSOP gets underway later today with the first of three flights in The Reunion. Massive $5,000,000 guarantee.

The first two bracelet winners will be crowned today in the Casino Employees and Covid-19 Relief Charity Events.

Time (PT)Event
10:00Event #4: $500 The Reunion Flight A
12:00Event #1: $500 Casino Employees Day 2
14:00Event #2: $25,000 H.O.R.S.E. Day 2
15:00Event #5: $1,500 Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better
16:00Event #3: $1,000 Covid-19 Relief Charity Event Day 2
  • The 2021 WSOP got underway with three events including the Casino Employees and the $25k HORSE. Meanwhile, three former winners are eyeing up second bracelets in the Covid-19 charity event

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Will Shillibier is based in the United Kingdom. He started working for PokerNews as a freelance live reporter in 2015 and joined the full-time staff in 2019. He graduated from the University of Kent in 2017 with a B.A. in German. He also holds an NCTJ Diploma in Sports Journalism.

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