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2012 WSOP Event Day 1: Surprises and Startups

Scott Nguyen

Scott Nguyen

The Brasilia room was overflowing at the unofficial Monday opening of the $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em tourney, event #2 and first open event of the 2012 World Series of Poker (WSOP) finals.  This event is open to anyone, as long as they meet the light criteria of having the cash to put down and being at least 21 years of age. There were some notable players to mention entering this year’s tournament. To the disbelief of countless people, Phil Ivey made his first showing since his 5th round elimination on July 10, 2010 during the WSOP Main Event, making it almost 2 years since he participated in the WSOP circuit. Also, giving us a pair, 8 time bracelet winner Phil Helmuth made his showing after boycotting the WSOP last year. Hopefully being considered the best all-around player in the world will offset showing up almost 3 hours after play had already begun.

With the number of entries, the prize pool sits at $2,836,350. After breaking down the maths, 216 players will make the money and with only 239 still holding chips, it’s almost a guarantee that the money bubble will burst early today. The top 45 will all take home five-figure sums, while the final champion will earn $517,725.

With 2,101 players entering, the Brasilia room was stuffed with players taking aim for a seat in the Amazon room, the next step in the tournament, and hopefully a path to the final table. However, compared to last year, it is a dismal turnout with a 33.5% drop in players from the same event in last year’s WSOP event. The 2011 $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em tournament drew 3,157 players to the opening tables. A possible contribution to this is the fact that last year’s affair began on a Saturday, instead of the Monday starter this year.

Day #1 ended with a very small gap between the top 2 seats. Fan favorite Eli Elezra trailed the top spot, held by Sadan Turker, by only 2,200 in chips. Sadan Turker, who hails from London, may not have quite as prominent a list of live tourney wins like some well-known people taking chairs in this year’s event, but he has taken home cash in previous events. He took 2nd place in a $1,000 No-Limit Hold’em event last year, taking home $377,411 in cash. It was not only the biggest win of his professional career, but is also currently a large bulk of his lifetime earnings on the live tournament trail. That win may have provided him with a valuable understanding of how to traverse the large playing field in a low buy-in tournament. Day 1 ended with a fairly tight top 10, with the only large separation being between the top 5 and players 6-10 at 16,300 chips. The day 1 top ten results were as follows:

2012 WSOP Event #2: $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em – End of Day 1 Leaderboard

  1. Sadan Turker- 158,100
  2. Eli Elezra- 155,900
  3. Ryan Snickles- 142,400
  4. Brandon Cantu- 130,100
  5. Peter Campo- 125,500
  6. Michael Lee- 109,200
  7. Nicholas Verkaik- 105,600
  8. Thad Mitchell- 99,700
  9. William Ryan- 95,300
  10. Elliot Shmukler- 95,200

The second of three scheduled days for Event #2 resumed today at 1:00pm. Today was also the ramp up in WSOP action, with Event #3: $3,000 Heads Up No-Limit Hold’em / Pot-Limit Omaha, and Event #4: $1,500 Seven Card Stud Hi-Low 8 or Better beginning as well. Chris Viox took last year’s Seven Card tournament, raking in a little over $200,000 and the coveted bracelet, in the mostly American field of players. Expectations are that many seats will be filled with strong players in Event #3, even though it is a new addition to the WSOP brand.


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