After a dramatic, volatile, and occasionally tetchy 10 levels of play today in Event #33: $1,000 No-Limit Hold'em, it was Will Givens who topped the leaderboard as the only player to breach the million mark by bagging up 1,217,000.
The charismatic Givens gave a fine display of loose-aggressive poker, constantly putting opponents to the test and finding a way to get paid off when he had a big hand. He was not averse to some table talk, and his relaxed and confident demeanour bodes well for a run at his first bracelet. Givens has a string of WSOP cashes to his name already including two so far this year. Combining his experience with the chip lead and Givens will be the favorite going forward into Day 3.
Steven Norden will return in second place with 910,000, having played a calculated and patient tight-aggressive game. It was Norden who eliminated Faraz Jaka on the last hand of the night when Jaka moved all in with the and was snapped off by Norden holding the .
Jaka put on a terrific display of poker without ever building up a stack that could do damage to his opponents. Jaka navigated his way through the field with a dazzling display of intuition and card sense to ladder up and finish in 11th for a cash of $16,088.
Dutch Boyd, currently a controversial figure in the world of poker, finished the day third in chips with 812,000. Boyd will be chasing his third WSOP bracelet and the timing could not be better for him as he leads up to releasing his new book Poker Tilt, which is reportedly a mix of strategy and autobiography. Boyd remained in the zone all day and made a series of impressive calls on the river, one of which was a queen-high call. Expect his experience and motivation to support him tomorrow.
Pok Kim, a kooky motor mouth, provided much of the entertainment today, keeping her table alternately in stitches or driven to distraction with her stream of chatter and off-the-wall antics. Kim will return tomorrow with just 194,000 in chips, but has promised to bust the other players one by one.
Gualter Salles, a famous Brazilian race car driver turned poker pro, started the day as chip leader and had his every move scrutinized by the attendant Brazilian media, but he couldn’t get anything going and there was very little for them to report as he got blinded down and ended the day in a disappointing 31st.
For a while, it seemed as if Germany’s Martin Finger could do no wrong. He first hit a royal flush and followed that up with a straight flush to eliminate opponents and build a big stack. Finger also claimed to have been dealt four times today, but didn’t get dealt aces once. He didn’t receive much sympathy from his table for that statement.
Ironically, it was kings that would cripple Finger when he called an opponent who shoved with . A nine flopped and another one turned, removing Finger of a good amount of chips. A few hands he later, shoved into the same opponent holding and was eliminated.
Play will resume tomorrow at 1 p.m. PT, and it is sure to be a hugely entertaining final table as they play down to a winner. That winner will walk away with the World Series of Poker gold bracelet and a handsome $288,744. Join the PokerNews Live Reporting team as we bring you hand-for-hand coverage right through to the end.