Event 5: $1,500 Pot-Limit Hold'em

Esfandiari Leads Stacked Field Into the Money

donpeters • Level 11: 600-1,200, 0 ante
Antonio Esfandiari on top

It was an action-packed day here at the Rio for Day 1 of Event 5: $1,500 Pot-Limit Holdem. A field of 639 players bought in for the tournament and of those, 71 remain. When the last level ended, 77 players remained and that was supposed to be the end of the day, but since they were less than one table away from the money, they played down to the money (a new rule the World Series of Poker added this year).

At the start of the day, we had an absolutely stacked table that started with Jonathan Little, Shannon Shorr, Allen Kessler and Phil Ivey. Within the first two levels, they were joined by the likes of Gavin Smith, Sean Getzwiller, Vitaly Lunkin and Faraz Jaka. Unfortunately for all of these players, none of them survived the day. Other victims included Dan Kelly, Barry Greenstein, Chad Brown, Scott Seiver and Shaun Deeb.

Leading the way above everyone else is none other than "The Magician" himself Antonio Esfandiari, who bagged a whopping 112,600 in chips. He is followed closely by Zach Jiganti with 102,500 in chips and Jonathan Aguier, who will be coming back to a stack of 100,900 tomorrow.

These aren’t the only big names we have left. James Mackey (37,900), Nam Le (31,600), Steve Brecher (23,600), John Juanda (53,800), Terrence Chan (37,700), Tommy Vedes (58,800) and Daniel Negreanu (94,000) are all still alive as well.

The remaining 71 players are all in the money and they will return tomorrow at 1:00 PM to hopefully play down to a final table. PokerNews will be here to bring you all of the action. Thanks for staying tuned and good night from Las Vegas!

Tags: Antonio Esfandiari