Justin Bonomo Leads WPT World Championship Super High Roller

Justin BonomoAmerican Justin Bonomo holds the chip lead after Day 1 of the World Poker Tour (WPT) World Championship $100,000 buy-in Super High Roller at The Bellagio in Las Vegas as one of only three players to break through the one million-chip barrier.

Vegas-based Bonomo holds 1,433,000 chips after a late burst, while Frenchman Jean Noel Thorel is on 1,214,000 and New Jersey’s Tom Marchese takes 1,076,000 into Day 2 of an event that attracted 25 entries – seven of whom re-entered.

Ten levels were played out as six players hit the rail to leave the event with 19 returning today as they all chase the top prize, including some less-well known names such as California duo Bill Klein (seventh on 740,000) and Roger Sippl (12th on 556,000), and Daniel Perper (11th on 680,000), of Illinois – all of who survived – as well as Day 1 casualties Michael Parziale, Rob Zeps and Brazilian Clemenceau Calixto.

Daniel Negreanu Fails To Make Most of Two Re-Entries

However, there were also some big-name exits, with San Francisco’s Galen Hall, Toronto native Daniel Negreanu – who re-entered twice for a $300,000 total outlay – and former WPT champ Bertrand ‘ElkY’ Grospellier being eliminated early.

Still, the remaining field includes some of the biggest names in poker, including Bonomo, Marchese, California’s John Juanda (19th on 220,000), Vegas trio Erik Seidel (18th on 246,000), Isaac Haxton (eighth on 716,000) and Dan Smith (fourth on 913,000), as well as Florida’s Team PokerStars Pro Jason Mercier (17th on 284,000), Phil Galfond (ninth on 710,000), of Maryland, Montana’s David ‘Doc’ Sands (10th on 707,000) and Englishman Sam Trickett (fifth on 890,000).

London-based Frenchman Grospellier was knocked out by Nottingham’s Trickett during level 8 – when the blinds were set at 2,500/5,000 with a 500 ante. The hand saw Mercier, under the gun, open with a raise to 12,000 before button Grospellier re-raised all-in for 120,500.

Bertrand ‘ElkY’ Grospellier Eliminated

Big blind Trickett called and Mercier folded, with the English pro showing 10 10♠ to hold the pre-flop lead over 31-year-old Grospellier’s A J, although the Team PokerStars Pro did have two overcards. However, the Triple Crown winner hit the rail as the first elimination after the board ran out Q 8♣ 2♣ 7 7♠.

Toronto-based Bonomo, meanwhile, struggled for much of Day 1, before enjoying a late double-up against eight-time World Series of Poker (WSOP) champion Seidel to take the chip lead into today.

In level 10, with the blinds at 4,000/8,000 and a 1,000 ante, Bonomo’s A K overcame the A♠ A of 52-year-old Poker Hall of Famer Seidel after all the chips had hit the middle pre-flop.

The board ran out 10 5 4 4 8♣ to give 26-year-old Bonomo the winning flush on the flop to move on to 1,020,000 and leave former Team Full Tilt Pro Seidel down at 200,000.

Day 2 Allows for Late Entries

Six players re-entered, with Canadian superstar Negreanu being joined by Vegas duo Cary Katz (14th on 415,000) and Andrew Robl (sixth on 813,000), Hall, Mercier and Marchese.

However, we could well see Team PokerStars Pros Negreanu and Grospellier, as well as Japan’s Masa Kagawa, Parziale, Zeps, Calixto and Hall, back today as the opening-day field unanimously agreed to allow players to register 15 minutes into Day 2. Of course, this would also allow for new entries, so we could see a few names on the Day 2 list.

WPT World Championship Super High Roller Day 2 Starters

1. Justin Bonomo (USA) – 1,433,000

2. Jean Noel Thorel (France) – 1,214,000

3. Tom Marchese (USA) – 1,076,000

4. Dan Smith (USA) – 913,000

5. Sam Trickett (UK) – 890,000

6. Andrew Robl (USA) – 813,000

7. Bill Klein (USA) – 740,000

8. Isaac Haxton (USA) – 716,000

9. Phil Galfond (USA) – 710,000

10. David ‘Doc’ Sands (USA) – 707,000

11. Daniel Perper (USA) – 680,000

12. Roger Sippl (USA) – 556,000

13. Dan Shak (USA) – 533,000

14. Cary Katz (USA) – 415,000

15. Justin ‘Boosted J’ Smith (USA) – 367,000

16. Brian Hastings (USA) – 308,000

17. Jason Mercier (USA) – 284,000

18. Erik Seidel (USA) – 246,000

19. John Juanda (USA) – 220,000