The big story of the first day’s play at the World Series of Poker (WSOP) 2011 in Las Vegas might be that Phil Ivey has refused to take part in protest at Full Tilt Poker’s slow movement on returning cash to players signed up to the poker site following the events of April’s ‘Black Friday’.
However, the 42nd staging of the WSOP did get going yesterday, when the newly-added $25,000 Heads-Up No Limit Hold’em Championship attracted a half-capacity line-up of 128 participants to generate a prize pool of more than $3 million.
The eventual winner will pick up $851,192, as well as the first bracelet of WSOP 2011, but will first have to overcome possibly the strongest group of contestants assembled for a poker event.
Just check out some of the big-name players who failed to make it to day two of the event. They include:
- Daniel Negreanu
- Barry Greenstein
- Shaun Deeb
- Antonio Esfandiari
- Sam Trickett
- Eugene Katchalov
- Daniel ‘jungleman12’ Cates
- Lex Veldhuis
- Erick Lindgren
Canadian Daniel Negreanu – a four-time bracelet winner – failed to make the cut although he did say on Twitter that, while he has been “going to the WSOP for over 10 years”, he still remains as “giddy as ever, if not more”.
The 36-year-old from Toronto added that he considers the WSOP to be “very special” and “can’t wait to get started on the grind”, although he might not be feeling quite so happy after his elimination from the first event.
Actually, there was one other major talking point yesterday evening, when Londoner James Bord clashed with Chinese-Indonesian professional John Juanda.
Last year’s World Series of Poker Europe (WSOPE) main event winner – who also failed to make it through day one of the opening event in Vegas – became embroiled in a war of words with Juanda and, while Bord provided the majority of the trash talk, security did eventually arrive to separate the arguing duo.
Yes, this is one tough event to come out top in – even with Phil Ivey having failed to turn up as he attempts to “doing everything” in his powers to “seek a solution to the problem” of frozen Full Tilt Poker accounts “as quickly as possible”.
However, with the field now reduced to 32 players – with 16 making the money – you can be sure there is going to be plenty of thrilling action at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino today, when the likes of Tom Dwan, John Duthie, Yevgeniy Timoshenko, Nick Shulman, David Benyamine, Olivier Busquet, Juanda, Chris Moorman, Jake Cody, Maxim Lykov, Daniel Alaei, Andrew Robl and Isaac Haxton return to the tables.
The payouts start at $67,436 for places 16 to nine, while all last-eight players will pick up $138,852, the semi-finalists will be handed $283,966 and the runner-up will take home $525,980.
The draw for day two of the $25,000 Heads-Up No Limit Hold’em Championship is:
- David Benyamine vs Anthony Guetti
- Chris Moorman vs Richard Lyndaker
- Dani Stern vs Jake Cody
- Isaac Haxton vs Jonathan Jaffe
- Ashton Griffin vs Tom Dwan
- Daniel Alaei vs Gus Hansen
- Steve Blilirakis vs Trevor Pope
- Matt Marafioti vs Maxim Lykov
- Eric Froehlich vs Steve Zolotow
- John Duthie vs Carlos Mortenson
- Jason Smirnov vs Darren Elias
- Erik Cajelais vs Nikolay Evdakov
- Yevgeniy Timshenko vs Amritraj Singh
- Oliver Busquet vs Andrew Robl
- Kunimaro Kojo vs Nick Shulman
- David Paredes vs John Juanda