Day 1a of the PokerStars.net Caribbean Adventure is over and done with, and it was a more-or-less intelligent and measured day of poker. A field of 669 players came out for this first of two opening flights, and they didn't exactly come to gamble it up as they sometimes do. With the weather threatening outside, everyone was confined to the indoors for the long haul today. The big board shows that about 430 players have survived the first eight levels of the day.
The list of notables who came out to play is a veritable who's-who of the poker world. Gavin Smith, Bill Edler, Huck Seed, Brock Parker, Erik Seidel, Jeff Madsen, Jonathan Little... the list goes on and on. The Team PokerStars Pros were well-represented as well with the likes of Greg Raymer, Chris Moneymaker, Daniel Negreanu, Dennis Phillips, Barry Greenstein, Noah Boeken, Jason Mercier, and EPT found John Duthie were all among the sponsored Pros who chose the first flight as their opening day. Most of them were rewarded for that choice. Phillips, Negreanu, and Greenstein all had stellar days to finish up with several times their starting chip stacks.
The top of the leaderboard was a cluster of uncertainty for the first six levels, but one man would break out from the field as the day wound down. Dragging monster pot after monster pot, Wayne Bentley surged past the field in the late stages to stuff his chip bag with 329,500 technicolor checks. That puts him miles out in front of his nearest chaser, but the tournament will not be won on the first day.
Those who survived will take the day off tomorrow as we welcome a new set of faces to the Imperial Ballroom. They'll be back at noon on Thursday for the combined Day 2.
So that's it for this opening day. We, unfortunately, don't get a day off like these slackers. We'll be back tomorrow at noon to pick up the action with Day 1b. All expectations are for a packed house tomorrow as we try to cram over 1,400 players into this event. Until then, goodnight from paradise. Paradise Island, that is.
Well it must have been one hand. Or possibly two. Either way, just about every table has finished up their requisite hand(s), and the chips are now being tallied and tagged; they'll see the daylight again on Thursday's Day 2.
We've hit the 10-minute mark in Day 1a, and the clock has been paused. We couldn't hear the announcement over the commotion, but each table will now play... some number of hands. Once through, the bags will come out, and the chips of the lucky survivors will be sealed up for the two-night soak.
We walked up to Jason Mercier's table to see him making a preflop reraise to 6,400. Down the line from him, an unknown female opponent moved all in for about 15,000. Mercier, we would soon find out, held two rather meager cards, but he was getting the right price to call, and he did just that, tabling . His opponent turned up pocket jacks, and they would hold on a board running .
That dropped Mercier down into the danger zone with just a few thousand chips, and he would move them all in a few hands later with . He was looked up by an opponent with pocket kings, and, unable to improve, Mercier made his way slowly toward the exit.
With about 7,000 in the pot on a flop of , one player checked to Amit Makhija. He fired 5,000 before Bill Edler raised to 12,000. Wayne Bentley snap-called the 12,000 and the first player along with Makhija folded.
The turn brought the and Edler checked. Bentley fired 15,000 and then Edler put in a raise to what looked like 55,000. Bentley moved all in and Edler made the call.
Edler began the hand with over 100,000 chips and tabled . Bentley held a flopped set of eights -- .
The river was the and couldn't produce a miracle for Edler. He was sent packing. Bentleyaccelerated himself up to 335,000 chips and is the clear leader heading into the final minutes of play for Day 1a.
From the under-the-gun position, Wayne Bentley raised to 2,000. Action folded all the way around to Amit Makhija on the button. He moved all in for 10,100. The two blinds got out of the way and Bentley made the call.
Makhija held against Bentley's .
The flop came down , pairing Makhija and taking away a few outs from Bentley with his added flush draw.
The turn was the and then the river completed the board with the . Makhija doubled up to over 20,000.
"That's the first ace I've seen in forever," said Makhija.
On a flop of , Tiffany Michelle got the remaining ~11,000 of her chips into the pot, and Team PokerStars Pro Angel Guillen was right there to look her up, though he didn't seem to confident as he shook his head and opened up his cards: . "Oh jeez," said Michelle, turning up her coolered .
The turn brought a useless , and the that filled out the board will be the last card of Tiffany Michelle's day; she's been eliminated.