We’re entering the home stretch of this summer’s World Series of Poker (WSOP) in Las Vegas as event #49, the $2,500 2-7 Triple Draw Lowball (Limit) tournament, got underway in the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino last night.
A total of 309 players registered to give us a $189,818 first prize, although that was reduced by 205 to 104 by the end of the first 10 levels of play last night.
Vegas player Jimmy ‘Gobboboy’ Fricke tops the leaderboard heading into the second day on 69,700, with 50-year-old Israeli Eli Elezra next on 57,100, to be followed by Colorado’s Drew Boyett (51,200) and Arturo Diaz (50,200), of California.
Still well in contention, though, are St Louis’ Mike Gorodinsky (49,400) and Tommy Hang (48,000), of Washington State, while Joe Hachem and Greg Ramyer – the 2005 and 2004 main events champs – should never be discounted.
Joining them tonight will be several other dangerous pros, including Robert Williamson III, Gavin Smith, Pat Pezzin, Daniel Negreanu and Mike Matusow.
Tom ‘durrrr’ Dwan – who played in three separate events yesterday – somehow made it through day one when battling back from just 700 chips during the 10th level to sit on 11,600 in a distant 83rd place.
However, day one did witness a large number of big-name casualties, including Hoyt Corkins, Nick Schulman, Shannon Shorr, Eric Froehlich, John Juanda and Jennifer Harman.
Meanwhile, Phil Hellmuth – who has recorded two runner-up spots at this year’s WSOP – was also sent to the rail not long after he was crippled when losing a hand to Bill Chen.
The Poker Brat is still attempting to pick up a record-setting 12th WSOP bracelet, but could not survive the opening day.
Top 10 chip leaders after day one of the WSOP 2011 $2,500 2-7 Triple Draw Lowball (Limit) event:
1. Jimmy Fricke (USA) – 69,700
2. Eli Elezra (Israel) – 57,100
3. Drew Boyett (USA) – 51,200
4. Arturo Diaz (USA) – 50,200
5. Mike Gorodinsky (USA) – 49,400
6. Tam Hang (USA) – 48,000
7. Justin Bonomo (USA) – 47,500
8. Adam Spiegelberg (USA) – 45,400
9. Siegfried Stockinger (Austria) – 43,800
10. John Monnette (USA) – 40,100