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2006 WSOP Day 1



2006 World Series of Poker Main Event Day 1
by Randy Saylor  
On July 28, the 37th World Championship was begun at the Rio Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. The Main Event of the World Series of Poker is the single largest poker tournament in the world. This year’s running saw a record 8773 entrants pony up $10,000 to compete.

The field is so large that all of the contestants can’t start at the same time, so the field is split into four flights of approximately 2200, and “Day One” actually consists of four days - 1A, 1B, 1C, and 1D.

Day 1A

Day 1A reduced the field by 1356 and saw a lot of name pros doing the “Walk of Shame.” The first player busted out of his $10,000 chip stack wasn’t a pro, as evidenced by the seven minutes it took him to end his WSOP run. Many poker players will tell you they’ve never felt worse playing poker than right after busting out of the Main Event. Some of Day 1A’s dejected players included Michael Mizrachi, Andy Bloch, Gus Hansen, Matt Matros, Mimi Tran, Young Phan, Dan Harrington, Clonie Gowen, Eskimo Clark, Wil Wheaton, Amir Vahedi, and James Garner (“Maverick”).

Francis Cipriano, an internet qualifier, has the chip lead at the end of Day 1A with $123,200 in chips. The surviving players get three days off to enjoy the sights and sounds of Sin City.

Day 1B

The second flight kicked off in grand style as tournament hosts honored Doyle Brunson’s 30th Main Event appearance with a cake and a presentation to his family and friends. Brunson gave the customary “Shuffle up and deal” announcement before play commenced.

Cards were dealt to 2182 players as play started. One hand later, that number was 2181 as a player’s KK ran into AA. The early Walk of Shame members’ list grew.

Phil Hellmuth, winner of his 10th bracelet earlier in this year’s World Series of Poker, avoid the early craziness by showing up a typical two hours late. His plan failed less than one hour later when he got no help for his AQ versus 77.

Doyle Brunson’s celebration was ended early when another player flopped trip tens against his pocket pair. The nervous amateur got a compliment from Brunson, who was sure he had “that guy beat.”

Joe Sebok got almost as much attention as Brunson, when he showed up outfitted in a “Robin” costume. Batman was nowhere in attendance. Sebok was paying off a bet with his “The Circuit” co-host Gavin Smith, whereby the loser was required to play the entire WSOP dressed as a superhero. There will be no Wonder Woman or Flash at this year’s event, though, as Sebok busted out early. Perhaps Superman’s x-ray vision would have helped.

Miami John Cernuto, Barry Shulman, Paul Darden and Howard Lederer joined the others on the rail with early exits.

The new chip leader was Hossein Tagh Avi with an amazing $229,125.

Day 1C

Another 2160 players sat down at noon for this third flight. No superheroes or certified legends played. Sammy Farha, Hasin Habib, Jennifer Harman, Jeff Shulman, Mike “The Mouth” Matusow, Liz Lieu, Thomas Keller, John Phan, and Antonio Esfandiari experienced unhappy endings with early busts. TJ Cloutier joined the railbirds after dinner.

Greg Raymer, Daniel Negreanu, Josh Arieh, and Robert Mizrachi all enjoyed nice runs and finished the day with solid stacks. Phil Gordon, Phil Laak, Steve Zolotow, Bobby Baldwin, Harry Demetriou, Tuan Le, and 2005 runner up Steve Dannenman didn’t fare as well and busted out, leaving the Day 1C field at 867 when tournament director Jack Effel halted play after 15 hours.

Day 1D

Six former main event winners joined 2154 other hopefuls for the final “first day” action. Joe Hachem (2005), Amarillo Slim Preston (1972), Johnny Chan (1997,1998), Huck Seed (1996), Robert Varkonyi (2002), and Chris Moneymaker (2003) participated.

Early exits included Max Pescatori, boxer Lennox Lewis, Erik Seidel, Vince Van Patten (of the World Poker Tour), and Amnon Filippi. Chris Moneymaker almost joined them, but was saved by a two-outer right before the dinner break. Moneymaker ran out of luck later, as did Chan, Amarillo Slim, Marcel Luske, Toto Leonidas, Scott Fischman, Isabelle Mercier, Ram Vaswani, Chip Reese, Joe Awada, Arnold Spee, and John D’Agostino.

Joe Hachem not only survived, but also played well, and was near the top of the leaderboard with $86,500. Other notables advancing included Freddy Deeb, Robert Varkonyi, Surinder Sunar, Cyndy Violette, Huck Seed, Ted Forrest, Kathy Liebert, and famous internet player “Gigabet” (Darrell Dicken).

At the end of the fourth flight, Day One action was complete. The field of 8873 had been narrowed to 3373. Of these, the top 874 would receive a prize. This amazing field has produced record prizes. The top 12 players each receive at least $1 Million, and first place gets an astonishing $12 Million.

The room still isn’t big enough for 3400 players, though, so Day Two action will again be split into two flights.

Continue Reading:
2006 World Series of Poker Main Event Day 2 and 3 Report
2006 World Series of Poker Main Event Day 4 and 5 Report
2006 World Series of Poker Main Event Day 6 Report
2006 World Series of Poker Main Event Day 7i Report
2006 World Series of Poker Main Event Day 7ii Report

2006 World Series of Poker Main Event Final Table Report 1
2006 World Series of Poker Main Event Final Table Report 2
 


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