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Event #1 Casino Employee No Limit Hold'Em

Day 1
Buy-in: $500
Players: 867
Prize pool: $389,700 going to the top 81 finishers

The kickoff event at the RIO for this year's WSOP began with honoring casino workers from all over the world. A total of 867 players entered after paying an entry fee of $500 per player. This made a prize pool of $389,700 for the winners to share. All those who signed up will play through 10 levels of action starting with 3,000 chips trying to survive the first round. Some of the names are legend in casinos everywhere such as WSOP tournament announcer Jack McClelland. And Pat Poels who can say he has more than 1 gold bracelet he earned at the WSOP along with Marsha Waggoner. First prize will pay a nice $83,778 along with an even nicer gold bracelet!

And the bracelet dreams of many were snuffed as the field was worn down to just 189 before lunch. Jack McClelland went to the rail after dinner after losing to a Ace high diamond flush. Kyle Morris who has been highly active in the industry with poker films and TV shows also busted. Casey Kuhn of the Riverside Casino and Gold Resort in Iowa got his stack to over 100K as well as Cesar Chavez with 107K. The end of the day came when level 10 was reached and the 82nd player was eliminated. Those returning will see cash for their efforts and 1 will see the first coveted gold bracelet of the season. Here is the final table payout schedule:
  1. $83,778
  2. $51,787
  3. $33,923
  4. $23,483
  5. $17,127
  6. $13,125
  7. $10,545
  8. $8,866
  9. $7,782
Here are the chip counts for the top 9 on Day 1:
  1. Felix Karli -- 108,200
  2. Cesar Chavez -- 107,700
  3. Andrew Cohen -- 103,100
  4. Casey Kuhn -- 100,500
  5. Paul Peterson -- 97,500
  6. Elpidid P. Dulay Jr. -- 87,100
  7. Sammy Porter -- 76,900
  8. John McAvoy -- 75,200
  9. Tigran Karakashyan -- 70,100
Day 2 -- Final Table
At 2:00 pm the action continued at level 11 with blinds at 800/1600 with a 200 ante. Eliminations took place at a furious place with one hand seeing three players busted at the same time. Twenty players were gone in the first 40 minutes of play. One hand saw David Hillis move to the center with pocket 8's only to be called by the pocket K's of Jesse Duang. Hillis could not overcome the better hand and ended up among the railbirds. By 10 pm the field narrowed down to 9 and the final table battle began.

First to go in 9th was Sammy Porter, losing to the set of Jacks belonging to Bobby Rooney. In less than ten minutes Ferdinand Boleski claimed 8th place overcome by the pocket Queens of John McAvoy. But John McAvoy finished in 7th place being defeated the pocket Queens of Jun Dulay. Bobby Rooney also became a victim of Dulay when Dulay made a Broadway straight on the river, resulting in Rooney leaving in 6th place. Then it was time for Dulay to exit the event in 5th when his pocket 8's lost to the two pair (J's and K's) of Casey Kuhn. Grant Yasui followed those defeated with a 4th place win after meeting the two pair (5's and 6's) of Andrew Cohen. Casey Kuhn then finished 3rd courtesy of the set of 5's belonging to Andrew Cohen.

We couldn't get the chip counts at the start of the heads up, but it only took 30 min before the winning hand appeared. After a raise by Andrew Cohen, Paul Peterson moved all-in preflop and was called by Cohen. Cohen showed pocket 6's and Peterson revealed A Q offsuit. The board had 4 J 10 10 7 which was enough for Andrew Cohen to win with two pair (6's and 10's) and collect the first gold bracelet of this series. Congratulations to Andrew Cohen!
  1. Andrew Cohen -- $83,778
  2. Paul Peterson -- $51,787
  3. Casey Kuhn -- $33,923
  4. Grant Yasui -- $23,483
  5. Jun Dulay -- $17,127
  6. Bobby Rooney -- $13,125
  7. John McAvoy -- $10,545
  8. Ferdinand Boleski -- $8,866
  9. Sammy Porter -- $7,782