2012 WSOP, Day 43: Several Canadians Emerge As Contenders From Day 1B Field
After a relatively ho-hum Day 1A of the 2012 World Series of Poker Championship Event, the Day 1B proceedings ramped up the action just a bit. After the late registration period had ended following the fourth level of action Sunday, 2114 had stepped up to take their shot at eternal poker fame and fortune to bring the total number to this point to 3,180 entries. With only today’s Day 1C left to fill out the field – WSOP officials have stated that the numbers for today will be “at least as big as the entire field” – it is possible that the 2012 Championship Event may hit the player numbers from last year and could easily take a shot at the 7,000 player mark.
Getting the honor of handling the “shuffle up and deal” call for Day 1B was one of the most feared men in the mixed martial arts (MMA) arena, Quebec’s very own – and 888Poker.com sponsored pro – Georges St-Pierre. “I wish you all the best of luck,” St-Pierre said to the masses around the Brasilia and Amazon Rooms there for the Day 1B festivities. “It’s my first major tournament…I’ll try not to tap out too fast!”
Minutes into the fray, Edmonton’s Randy Ashe got a baptism by fire when he and Gaston Ruzo went to battle. After a pre-flop raising war, both players got their stacks (remember, the starting stack at the WSOP Championship Event is 30K in chips) to the center and revealed their cards. Both men held pocket Aces, an occurrence that shows up only .01% of the time! After the board ran with no surprise flushes and both men took their chips back, Ashe was heard to exclaim to his table, “I was just talking about it (such a situation) an hour ago!”
Joining Ashe in representing Canada on the felt Sunday were Tyler Bonkowski, Scott Montgomery, Mike “Timex” McDonald, Daniel Negreanu and Gavin Smith (among others) and there were, of course, the stories of doom and excitement that floated around the Rio throughout the play on Sunday.
Showing perhaps a bit of nervousness, St-Pierre found himself on the river and, instead of betting or checking, turned his cards up to show he had a straight. The problem was that there was another player in the hand to act behind him, an offense that often draws a penalty. WSOP officials decided against disciplinary action against the MMA champion, allowing him to pick up the chips from the pot as the table – and St-Pierre – had a good laugh.
It was a downhill trek for St-Pierre following that hand. After a K-10-2-A flop and turn, St-Pierre check-called an opponent’s bet to see a nine hit on the river. After a nine came on the river, an inordinately large 6K bet put St-Pierre in the hot seat; he didn’t seem to mind, however, as he immediately called and mucked when his opponent showed the nuts, Q-J, against his Kings up (K-9). Down to fewer than 10K in chips, the current MMA welterweight champ was forced into submission by Stephan Patz after Patz’ pocket Jacks led all the way against St-Pierre’s J-8.
Although Bonkowski would join St-Pierre on the rail, there were several Canadian success stories through the play on Sunday. Much like last year, Negreanu has had a “quiet” WSOP that has seen him only earn four cashes for slightly more than $70,000. Once again, like last year, Negreanu has gotten off to a nice start in the Championship Event and will be looking to make a drive deep to supplement the funds he has expended this year. By the time the chips were counted early this morning, Negreanu was just outside the Day 1B Top Ten in eleventh place with 140,575 in chips.
Taking top Canadian honors for the day was Toronto’s Anh Van Nguyen, who ended up the day sitting on 163,050 in chips and in fourth place. While an impressive performance, Nguyen is looking up at the formidable Vanessa Selbst, a newly minted two time WSOP bracelet winner with her championship this year:
1. John Hoang, 180,000
2. James Schafer, 171,250
3. Vanessa Selbst, 168,350
4. Anh Van Nguyen, 163,050
5. Jeffrey Beckley, 158,550
Matthew Woodward, 158,550
7. Cornelius Foley, 146,875
8. Shawn Quillin, 146,325
9. Jason Somerville, 144,725
10. Fergal Nealon, 141,825
Joining Negreanu and Nguyen among the Canadians in the Top 100 are Vancouver’s Guang Lu (14th, 135,700), Delta’s Jody Howe (48th, 108,400), Edmonton’s Samuel Ngai (63rd, 100,775), Ottawa’s Stephane Bisson (73rd, 96,875) and Marc Karam (74th, 96,475) and Calgary’s Graydon Kowal (85th, 93,825). The 1387 players who survived the Day 1B carnage will be in action along with the 657 runners still alive from Day 1A (for a total of 2044 players, according to official WSOP reports) on Tuesday – but the fields will still be separated into Day 2A and 2B, accordingly – to continue the fight.
Merging the first two Day Ones together, the WSOP Championship Event leaderboard looks like this:
1. William John, 266,700 (Day 1A chip leader)
2. John Hoang, 180,000
3. James Schafer, 171,250
4. Vanessa Selbst, 168,350
5. Gerardo Lubas, 165,825 (Day 1A)
6. Daniel Strelitz, 164,125 (Day 1A)
7. Anh Van Nguyen, 163,050
8. Jeffrey Beckley, 158,550
Matthew Woodward, 158,550
9. Dane Lomas, 157,600 (Day 1A)
10. Cary Katz, 154,800 (Day 1A)
Monday’s action around the Rio All Suites Hotel and Casino should see the players flooding the tournament rooms. Day 1C will begin at noon and is expected to draw over 3000 players. It will have to reach that mark for this year’s WSOP Championship Event to be potentially considered a success; 3000 players would push the total field over the 6000 mark. To beat last year’s entry total of 6,865 players, over 3500 players would have to step up. To reach the magic 7000 level, nearly 4000 will have to drop their $10K to play.
The players who make it through today’s action will have their very own Day 2B on Wednesday (befitting the expected large outpouring of players) and Thursday’s Day Three will mark the first time that the remaining contenders for the 2012 World Championship come together for this year’s WSOP Championship Event.