Ben Volpe on Top After Day One of the WSOP 2011 $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em

Ben VolpeAmerican Ben Volpe emerged as the front-runner after day one of the $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em event came to a close last night at the World Series of Poker (WSOP) of 2011 in Las Vegas.

Ben Volpe, of Illinois, ended the opening day of event #56 on 156,200 in chips as the field was hammered down from its original 3,389 entrants to just 465, with all those remaining alive hoping to bag the gold bracelet and $777,928 for winning one of the last tournaments of this WSOP at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino.

The Pavilion Room certainly witnessed a thrilling opening day in an event that possesses a prize pool of $4,575,150, with players paid down to 342nd place for $2,882.

When the dinner break was reached, Volpe had moved well ahead and held on to that lead for the rest of the day – to be chased by Pennsylvania’s David Zemel in second place on 127,700.

The top five chip leaders are completed by David Eldridge (118,000), of Pennsylvania, New York’s Bryn Kenney (113,000) and Washington State’s Tyler Patterson (109,500).

Other players to make it into day two include Kenny Nguyen (15,000), Randy Lew (15,200), Haibo Chu (55,100), Eddy Sabat (56,300), Gavin Smith (46,500), Nick Holbrook (70,900), Justin Schwartz (80,500), Dan Kelly (99,300) and Brett Jungblut (100,500).

With 2,924 players eliminated on day one, there was bound to be a heavy casualty list, with the likes of Nacho Barbero, Sam Trickett, Liv Boeree, Andre Akkari, Antonio Esfandiari, Scott Montgomery, Humberto Brenes and Vanessa Selbst failing to make the money.

Toronto’s Sorel Mizzi was one of the last eliminations of the day, when, on the button with just one limper ahead of him, he went all-in for his final 5,550 in chips.

Both blinds folded, with just Mizzi’s limping opponent calling. Mizzi showed 3♣ 3 to be up against his opponent’s A 4♠. However, the board fell A♣ 54 7 J♠ to give Mizzi’s opponent two pair – and that was the end of the Canadian.

Top 10 chip leaders after day one of the WSOP 2011 $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em event:

1. Ben Volpe (USA) – 156,200

2. David Zemel (USA) – 127,700

3. Dave Eldridge (USA) – 118,000

4. Bryn Kenney (USA) – 113,000

5. Tyler Patterson (USA) – 109,500

6. Brett Jungblut (USA) – 100,500

7. Dan Kelly (USA) – 99,300

8. Aleksandr Mozhnyakov (Russia) – 94,800

9. Brandon Meyers (USA) – 93,200

10. Simon Lam (USA) – 90,100