It's almost 3am and play has come to an end here in the Brasilia room. As expected from the first day of a deep stacked limit split game, there have not been that many casualties. Around 133 players out of the 179 starter remain and will come back tomorrow at 2pm.
David Benyamine is the holder of this title and is in great shape to mount a serious defense. Threats to his title include, who we think is overnight chip leader, Chris Bjorin on 134,400 and Scott "BigRiskky" Clements on 130,800.
The blinds and antes will come in to play a lot more tomorrow, so we will definitely be reporting on many exits and try our best to get to a final table before 3am.
In early position, Gavin Smith announced, "All right, I'm going with it. I raise." With that, he flicked out 2,400 chips, leaving himself with just 200 behind. Next door, Ville Wahlbeck made the call, and action passed around to the big blind. The player seated there made another raise, Smith put in his last two chips, and Wahlbeck called the extra bet.
The board ran out with the big blind betting and Wahlbeck calling on each street. "It's not looking too good for me, buddy," said Smith, leaning back in his chair to converse with Matt Glantz at an adjacent table. The big blind tabled for the flush, and Wahlbeck couldn't beat it for the side pot. Smith held his four cards up to his face, studying them for any possible winning combinations. Finally satisfied with his loss, he slapped his cards down on the table face-down, payed his last-longer losses to Matt Glantz, and headed for the exit sign.
David Benyamine, Thang Luu and Greg Raymer see a flop that had seen the former raise, the middle three-bet and the latter four-bet before calls were made. The flop saw Raymer bet to see both players call so the turn came . Same betting pattern here, before the river came . Benyamine now led out and both players called.
Luu tabled , Raymer mucked and Benyamine showed to chop it with his fellow high/lo champion.
Benyamine up to 110,000, Luu on 38,000. Raymer was left with just 900 and busted soon after.
We were three handed on a flop of , and Chris Ferguson checked from the small blind. James Van Alstyne did the same from the big, and Chino Rheem fired a bet. Ferguson ducked out, but Van Alstyne put in the call.
The turn was the . Van Alstyne took the lead now with a bet, and Rheem made the call. The river was the and the action was the same with Rheem calling one more bet. Van Alstyne tabled , making the ace-high flush on the top end. As Rheem mucked, it was clear Van Alstyne's seventy-five low was good for the bottom half too, and he scoops up the pot.
We approached the table where the action had reached the turn and a board showing . Bryan Devonshire led out for a bet that Brandon Cantu called. The river saw Devonshire lead out once more and receive a call.
Devonshire opens and scoops the pot. He's on 25,000 now to Cantu's 20,000.
In this battle of the blinds, the flop came down . Bill Chen checked from the small blind, and Nick Schulman fired a bet from the big. Chen called.
Fourth street was the , and both players checked. The river card brought the , and Chen fired out a bet of his own. This time, Schulman made the call. Chen tabled , for a straight and a seventy-six low. That was good enough to scoop up the whole pot as Schulman mucked his four cards.
Chen is back up to 20,500 now, while Schulman has taken a small step back to 48,000.
As Day 1 starts to wind down, Scott "BigRiskky" Clements has maneuvered his way to the top of the leader board. Clements has been steadily rising throughout the course of the day, and his current stack of 115,000 puts him well ahead of his chasers. Here are the rest of the big stacks:
Chris Bjorin - 93,000
Phil Ivey - 88,000
Sam Farha - 76,000
Alex Kostritsyn - 74,000
Phil Hellmuth - 70,000