Jeff Manza Leads After Brutal WSOP Event #23 Day 1

Jeff ManzaIllinois’ Jeff Manza survived a brutal Day 1 of event #23 at the World Series of Poker (WSOP) to top the leaderboard after the 924 starters were reduced to just 141.

The $3,000 buy-in Six-Handed No-Limit Hold’em tournament saw two-thirds of the starters eliminated within six levels as Manza bagged up 275,000 chips to hold a healthy lead over Indianapolis’ Aaron Jones (182,900) and Illinois’ Kyle Julius (159,400).

Manza earned most of his chips after flopping trip sevens in a three-player pot worth 195,000. Then, just as Day 1 was reaching a close after 10 levels of play, Manza, with Q♣ 10, called down a bluff from Austrian Florian Langmann on a 2♣ 10♠ 3 K 3 board to ensure he begins Day 2 in pole position to claim the $567,624 winner’s prize and a gold bracelet.

Roberto Romanello Still in Contention

Other notable players to make Day 2 included Roberto Romanello, Eugene Katchalov, Liv Boeree, Bertrand ‘ElkY’ Grospellier, Kyle Weir, Paul Kobel and Jason Mercier.

However, many more big-name pros hit the rail without cashing as the leading 108 places share in the $2,522,520 prize pool. In fact, the money bubble should burst fairly quickly today as 108 paces will be paid, with the smallest cash being $5,019.

Those failing to make Day 2 included the likes of Fabrice Soulier, John Eames, Daniel Negreanu, Lex Veldhuis, 2010 WSOP Player of the Year Frank Kassela, Arnaud Mattern, Ana Marquez, Bryn Kenney, Jake Cody, Melanie Weisner, Jean-Robert Bellande and Andy Frankenberger.

WSOP 2012 Event #23 Day 1 Top 10 Chip Counts

1. Jeffrey Manza (USA) – 275,000

2. Aaron Jones (USA) – 182,900

3. Kyle Julius (USA) – 159,400

4. Matthew Berkey (USA) – 156,600

5. Steve Gross (USA) – 145,500

6. Kyle Weir (USA) – 138,400

7. Jordan Young (USA) – 130,000

8. Alexander Nudin (Russia) – 127,300

9. Eddie Blumenthal (USA) – 125,500

10. Ryan Fair (USA) – 122,400