Gary Bolden Leads Day One WSOP 2011 $5,000 Pot-Limit Omaha Hi-low Split-8 or Better

WSOP 2011American Gary Bolden is the chip leader after the opening day of the $5,000 Pot-Limit Omaha Hi-low Split-8 or Better event at the World Series of Poker (WSOP) came to a conclusion late last night in Las Vegas.

As has become the norm at this summer’s WSOP, event #57 showed a marked increase in entrants, with 352 players starting out in comparison to last year’s 284. That’s 24% up on the event won by North Carolina’s Chris Bell for $327,040 – resulting in a prize pool of $1,654,400 and a top prize of $397,073 this year.

The first day started slightly later than expected, but we still saw the field cut by 163 to leave us with 189 competitors for day two at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino.

Vegas-based Gary Bolden tops the chip count leaderboard on 98,300, while Illinois’ Eric Crain (96,500) is not too far back in second place. South Carolina’s Austin Marks (89,500), Juan Caridad (78,500), of Spain, and Italian Max Pescatori (72,000) complete the top five.

The last tournament before the $10,000 No-Limit Hold’em Championship main event begins tomorrow attracted some of poker’s biggest names, although not all lasted the opening day, with players such as last year’s champion Chris Bell, Dave ‘Devilfish’ Ulliott, Tom ‘durrrr’ Dwan, Bertrand ‘ElkY’ Grospellier, Sammy Farha, Humberto Brenes, Mitch Schock, Erick Lindgren, Daniel Negreanu, Greg Raymer and Joe Hachem crashing out early.

However, while many pros failed to make day two, others – such as skilled grinder Allen Kessler (58,200), all-time money winner Erik Seidel (57,500), online poker star David ‘Doc’ Sands (33,600), Huck Seed (14,400) and Mike ‘The Mouth’ Matusow (20,700) – did navigate their way through a tough opening-day field.

Lebanese-Australian pro Hachem was one of the last to exit the tournament as the 2005 main event champion put his last 9,500 chips in against an unnamed opponent.

A player sitting in middle position put in a 2,200 raise, only for Hachem to go all-in and get the call.

Hachem showed A♣ K 6 2, while his opponent tabled A J 5 2. Hachem’s opponent flopped a pair of jacks on the 8♠ 9♣ J board, with the turn coming Q and river falling 6.

The 45-year-old Hachem said: “Ah, three-quarters,” incorrectly believing he had chopped the low. A few moments passed before he realised his mistake, to then say: “Ah, no low.” So, that was that for Hachem to leave Seed as the only former main event winner left in the tournament.

Top 10 chip leaders after day one of the WSOP 2011 $5,000 Pot-Limit Omaha Hi-low Split-8 or Better event:

1. Gary Bolden (USA) – 98,300

2. Eric Crain (USA) – 96,500

3. Austin Marks (USA) – 89,500

4. Juan Caridad (Spain) – 78,500

5. Max Pescatori (Italy) – 72,000

6. Alexandre Gomes (Brazil) – 70,400

7. Joe Tehan (USA) – 69,500

8. Daniel Fuhs (USA) – 66,400

9. Ali Eslami (USA) – 64,200

10. Daniel Shak (USA) – 62,600