2008 Event 54 World Championship No-Limit Texas Hold'em Day 1A

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2008 WSOP Event 54
World Championship No-Limit Texas Hold'em Day 1A

Individual Event Reports

Event #54 -- World Championship No-Limit Texas Hold'em Day 1A

  • Number of players Day 1A: 1,297, Remaining 636
Notes from the WSOP on Day 1A:

The tournament began in the area confined to the Amazon Ballroom. The number of tables (155) was enough to accommodate all the players registered on Day One.

The first elimination of this year's Main Event took place about five minutes into play. Barry Clancy, from Fort Worth, Texas was dealt pocket aces. The other player was dealt pocket jacks. After an inconsequential flop of 6-3-2, the player with the pocket jacks re-raised all-in. Clancy called with the pocket aces. The turn was a blank. The river was a jack. The WSOP had officially dealt out its first bad beat of the year. The first royal flush of the 2008 WSOP was dealt at approximately 3:15 on Day 1-A, about three hours into play.

The only major celebrity to survive Day One was actor Ray Romano. This was the second straight year the popular performer has played in the WSOP Main Event. "You bond with people at your table," Romano answered when asked what he likes about playing poker. Romano also revealed that he re-read Doyle Brunson's classic Super/System the night before he played.


12:02 pm
The directive to "Shuffle Up and Deal" has been announced, and the Main Event begins! It was given by none other than "Mr. Las Vegas" Wayne Newton, who also sang the song Viva Las Vegas with the UNLV marching band. This could only happen in Vegas.

12:41 pm
This year seats for 3,000 players per day will be made available for Days 1A, 1B, 1C and 1D. The goal is to just survive the first five levels of play in order to make the cut. All levels will last 120 minutes and each player will begin with $20,000 in chips. Adjustments may be made to the number of levels played each day. Dinner breaks will take place after 3 levels and last 90 minutes. Blinds will be as follows:
  • Level 1 = $50 to $100 blinds
  • Level 2 = $100 to $200 blinds
  • Level 3 = $150 to $300 blinds
  • Level 4 = $150 to $300 blinds, ante $25
  • Level 5 = $200 to $400 blinds, ante $50
And don't forget, this year when we get to the final table on July 14th, action will stop and resume on November 9th until 2 are left. Then the next day November 10th, those two will play heads up until there is a champion.

2:01 pm
Some of the faces seen so far on Day 1A are David Benyamine, Erica Schoenburg, Paul Wasicka, Eric Froehlich, Event #54 H.O.R.S.E. champion Scotty Nguyen and Josh Arieh. T.J. Cloutier was there but he will play on another day. He was just wishing luck to other players that he knows. The spectators are jammed pack for this event. If you are planning on walking to the Amazon room in the RIO, bring comfortable shoes and something non-alcoholic to drink while you're waiting in line to get in.

2:57 pm
Svetlana Gromenkova who won the Ladies Event this year is at the tables and doing well at this early point in the day. On one hand she went all-in with pocket J's against another player who had 10 8 after 10 8 7 hit the board. Her luck is continuing from other events as a 7 came on the turn, giving her a larger two pair and a bigger stack to continue with. Also at the tables is Tom Durr, Jason Alexander from the Seinfeld TV series, Roy Winston, Shannon Shorr, Roy Winston, David "Devilfish" Ulliott, Maureen Feduniak, Blair Hinkle who won a bracelet earlier in the series and Chris Reslock.

John Gale was an early bustout after an all-in move with A J 2 J on the table. John was holding A Q, but unfortunately he was against Svetlana Gromenkova who was holding pocket 2's, giving her a full house and the remainder of John's chips.

3:58 pm
David Benyamine was the latest to leave after losing an all in move with A J with J 8 3 A 8 on the table. The other player had pocket A's giving him a full house (A's/8's). Rich Zhu also went to the rail after being busted as well. At this point tables are actually beginning to break because of the high rate of departure for losing players.

4:42 pm
Ray Romano from "Everybody Loves Raymond" is also playing at the tables on Day 1A. At last word, Ray had about 40K in chips. Some of the busts that have taken place include David "Devilfish" Ulliott when his pocket 9's were overcome by another player holding pocket Q's that turned into a set, David Pham, James Mackey, Allyn Jaffrey Shulman, Vanessa Selbst and Eli Elezra.

5:37 pm
Roy Winston was busted after losing an all-in move to an Ace kicker. Jason Alexander went to the rail after his pocket A's were overcome by another player with A 2 with a board of 9 3 4 5. (Ouch!)

6:48 pm
Added to the list of the fallen are Dan Harrington, Lyle Berman, Katja Thater, Jan Von Halle, Maureen Feduniak after her pocket A's were cracked wide open by another player brandishing a set of 5's and Young Phan.

9:24 pm
After the 90 minute lunch break, it was time to get back to business. Action continued at Level 4 for the field. Tuan Lam is no longer in the Main Event as his all-in with K Q was met with A K by another player. With no help from the board, it was lights out for Lam. Following Lam were Abe Moserri, Gavin Smith, Shawn Rice, Bob Feduniak, Chad Brown, Jimmy Tran and Eric Froehlich.

10:12 pm
Vince Van Patten, co-host of the World Poker Tour, has been doing well so far on Day 1A, holding his own and winning nice pots. But Juha Helppi and Roland De Wolfe had their chances ended and are now railbirds. Roland went all-in with pocket Q's, only to be called with pocket A's. It was estimated that there are about 820 left in the field. The stats are not out yet, but when they are we will put them on the Day 1A page for you.

11:05 pm
Busts continue with Jamie Pickering going out after his all-in with A 3 lost out to another player holding A 4, Kevin Saul when his K J was outdone by another holding K Q and J.J. Liu who was eliminated by a set of 5's.

11:56 pm
Josh Arieh had to hit the rail when another player who paired their Jack card motivated Josh to muck his cards and quietly leave the table. John "Miami" Cernuto went all-in with pocket Kings to another player with A K. All was good...until an Ace came up on the river, sending John packing and out of the Main Event.

12:37 am
Top players so far are Patrick Fortin with 145,000 chips, Stefan Mattsson with 139,000 and Brandon Adams with 132,000. Alam Smurfit is also no longer in the Main Event after his all-in preflop move with A 5 was beat down with two pair (A's and 10's) of another player. Adam Katz had his paired Queens overruled by a pair of Kings, and had to leave the table. They were followed by Steve Sung, Berry Johnston, Mehki Phifer, Erica Schoenberg and Jonathan Little.

1:20 am
At this time, tournament officials will call it a day and 627 players who survived will take a rest until Day 2. Some who made the cut include Kido Pham 120,650, David Rheem 111,375, Svetlana Gromenkova 94,125, Chau Giang 87,625 (he was reported as busted but that was not accurate), Nick Schulman 69,000, Zachary Schwartz 68,975, Jamie Rosen 68,800, Hasan Habib 68,300, Weikai Chang 67,900, Harry Demetriou 59,150, Tex Barch 59,125, John Hennigan 51,875 and Chris Reslock 49,325. Officially there were 1,297 players that took to the Main Event on Day 1A.

Top 9 players with chip counts from Day 1A:
  1. Mark Garner -- 194,900
  2. Brandon Adams -- 176,450
  3. Kellen Hunter -- 155,200
  4. Stefan Mattsson -- 154,275
  5. Patrick Fortin -- 145,275
  6. Jeff Frerichs -- 138,025
  7. Soren Peterson -- 135,475
  8. Adam Hudson -- 127,750
  9. Wayne Brown -- 124,575

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