There was a hurricane of action around the Rio All Suites Hotel & Casino on Tuesday as the 2012 World Series of Poker began to open the throttle to full throat. One event was in its second day, two others got in their Day One action and, with another tournament starting on Wednesday, there will be plentiful action for poker hounds across the board.
Event #2 – $1500 No Limit Hold’em – Day Two
Of the 240 players who stepped back to the felt on Tuesday, fifteen of them were Canadians, led by Toronto’s Nicholas Verkaik. On the short stack – and facing the potential of not making the money of the 216 payouts – was Chilliwack’s Noelle Anderson, who started the day with only 7300 in chips. Anderson found a double up early and was able to make it into the money, joining the entirety of the surviving Canadian contingent in at least taking home the $2893 minimum cash.
Verkaik fought deep into the night to attempt to pull in Canada’s first bracelet of the 2012 WSOP, but it was to be for naught. After Vanessa Selbst pushed out a raise and Dan Smith moved all in from the cutoff, Verkaik decided to make a stand for his final 199,000 in chips (more than Smith, less than Selbst). After some deliberation, Selbst made the call and turned up her pocket sevens, racing against Smith’s measly A-6 and Verkaik’s stronger A-Q. Unfortunately, the board ran out eight high to give the double knockout to Selbst and send Verkaik to the rail as the highest Canadian finisher in sixteenth place ($18,890).
Selbst (706K) will be in the Top Five when action begins on Wednesday, looking up at WSOP bracelet winner JP Kelly and chip leader Jacob Bazeley, who sits on a 1.291 million stack. The players will battle this one out to the end today, with the eventual champion taking home the first “open” WSOP bracelet of the 2012 schedule and a $517,725 boost to the bankroll.
Event #3 – $3000 Heads Up No Limit Hold’em/Pot Limit Omaha – Day One
The first “new” tournament of the 2012 WSOP is the $3000 Heads Up NLHE/PLO tournament, where each level change brings in the next game and players battle it out mano y mano against each other. Capped at 512 players, the event drew in a field of 317 players as some may have stayed away due to their inexperience with Pot Limit Omaha.
Gavin Smith, Daniel Negreanu, Matt Marafioti and Jonathan Duhamel were some of the Canadian pros stepping to the felt for this tournament, but they would not be able to make it through the early rounds of the tournament. Negreanu would fall at the hands of Andy Seth in the first round (joined by Smith), while Marafioti would join him on the rail after the second. Duhamel would make it to the third round of the night’s play, falling to Darren Kramer in PLO play.
Even though these powerhouses won’t be around for Wednesday’s play, there were four Canadians who were able to work their way through the carnage to the Round of 64. 2011 WSOP bracelet winner Matt Jarvis will be in action today and it looks as though he has drawn the difficult Guillaume Darcourt for the next round. Joining him on the tables will be two other 2011 WSOP bracelet winners, Philippe Boucher (versus Cory Wood) and Mark Radoja (versus Simeon Naydenov), as well as Edgewater Spring UltraStack Series final tablist Ashkan Razavi (versus Ayaz Mahmood).
The remaining 64 players are in the money (minimum payout $3395), but they are all looking to make it through three more rounds today to make the Sweet Sixteen. Tomorrow a champion will be crowned that will take home the WSOP bracelet and a $207,708 payday.
Event #4 – $1500 Seven Card Stud Hi/Lo – Day One
The final tournament that played on Tuesday was the $1500 Seven Card Stud Hi/Lo event. The field was slightly larger than the 2011 version of the tournament, drawing in 622 players versus the 606 that showed up last year.
Although players like Negreanu, Duhamel and Smith showed up here (following their dismissals from the Heads Up event) they did not make it through the Day One play. 2011 bracelet winner Daniel Idema will be back for some more Stud action on Wednesday, sitting down the leaderboard in 23rd place with his 25,900 stack. He will be joined by Saint-Nicolas’ Gylbert Drolet (49th, 19,700), Vancouver’s Jonas Mackoff (83rd, 14,400), Toronto’s Alexander Krapivinsky (89th, 14,000) and Mike Watson (119th, 11,100), Terrebonne’s Marc Aubin (128th, 10,300), Mississauga’s Xuan Liu (a player this writer believes will have a great WSOP, 139th, 8900), Toronto’s Paul Sokoloff (162nd, 6300) and Kamloops’ Aaron Duczak (195th, 1600).
Leading the way at the start of Wednesday’s action will be William Carroll, who will have to contend with Michael Mizrachi in second place and a lurking Jess Madsen in the Top Ten. With 210 players left, there will be some work for the players to do. The money bubble will pop with the final 64 players as they attempt to work down to a reasonable level for Thursday’s final table. The eventual champion will take down a respectable $201,559 and the WSOP bracelet for their three days of work.
Event #5 – $1500 Pot Limit Hold’em – STARTING TODAY
Event #5, the $1500 Pot Limit Hold’em tournament, faces a big challenge when it hits the green baize at noon today. Last year’s event drew in a 765 player field, with eventual $50,000 Poker Players’ Championship winner Brian Rast taking the first of his two 2011 WSOP bracelets in this tournament in defeating Allen Kessler. With the Stud event eking out a small increase over its 2011 field, this event might be a harbinger of what we might see for future Hold’em events on the schedule.
Only four days into the 2012 WSOP and we have already reached five tournaments that have either completed action or started by the end of today. The schedule doesn’t let up on those combatants in Sin City, however, as five more tournaments will be in action by the time we hit Sunday. It’s a part of the marathon that is the World Series of Poker, however, and only the best can survive the grind.