Day 2 of the 44th Annual World Series of Poker saw the first bracelet winner of the summer crowned at the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. Event #1: $500 Employees No Limit Hold'em came to a close with PokerNews' own Chad Holloway winning the bracelet in front of dozens of friends inside the Amazon Room. Holloway, who is the senior news editor here at PokerNews, experienced the winner's interview from a different angle Friday morning after defeating a field of 898 players in Event #1.
Event #1: $500 Casino Employees No-Limit Hold'em
Day 2 began with 55 competing for a bracelet and a top prize of $85,000. Michael Trivett began the final day with a massive chip lead, but Team PokerNews members Chad Holloway and Josh Cahlik were still in the running.
Cahlik, who began Day 2 with 58,400 in chips, eclipsed the 100,000 mark early in the day and then took the chip lead after a massive hand against Wyatt Gibson. Cahlik raised to 8,500 preflop and action folded to Gibson, who re-raised from the small blind to 17,000. Cahlik called and the flop rolled out . Gibson bet around 55,000, Cahlik moved all-in for 126,000 and Gibson called.
Cahlik had come from behind by flopping a set of jacks, and the turn and river gave him the double up and the chip lead with more than 300,000.
Cahlik and Holloway were still going strong with 12 remaining, but Cahlik found himself short after running queens into kings. He got the last of his chips in preflop with and Trivett called with . The sent the PokerNews blogger to the rail in 12th place for $5,010.
Troy Wilcoxon and Vince Petrino were eliminated in 11th and 10th place, respectively, setting up the first official final table of the 2013 WSOP. Holloway was third in chips at the start, but he took the lead after the eliminations of Hieu Le[/URL] (9th place), Trivett (8th) and Tyrone Smith (7th). Holloway then sent Sean Smith to the rail in sixth place when his held up against Small's . Smith, who took third place at the WSOP-Circuit Council Bluffs Main Event this year, collected $13,868 for his sixth place finish.
Daniel Ellery (5th place) and Brian Pingel were the next to go, and Holloway then doubled through Bobby Rooney to claim the chip lead and cripple Rooney, who exited a few hands later in third place for ($33,903).
Holloway began heads-up play with a 2-to-1 chip advantage over Allan Kwong. The match went back-and forth for more than 90 minutes before Holloway was finally able to put it away. On the final hand, Kwong raised to 75,000 and Holloway called to see a flop of . Holloway checked and Kwong bet 85,000. Holloway reraised, and Kwong shoved all in. Holloway snap-called and showed for trips. Kwong tabled . The turn gave Kwong some outs to a straight, but the and river sent the ESPN final table area into a frenzy as Holloway had secured his first WSOP bracelet.
Event #2: $5,000 No-Limit Hold’em Eight Handed
The second event on the 2013 WSOP slate continued on Thursday with Day 2 action, and after another 10 levels of play, only 28 players remain. Rafal Michalowski will enter Day 3 as the chip leader with 632,000. Joining him atop the counts are Markus Gonsalves (502,000), Trevor Pope (465,000), Ismael Bojang (463,000), and Day 1 chip leader Tom Marchese (446,000).
The day began with 194 players, but only 56 would make the money. Among the first players to hit the rail were Grayson Ramage, Randy Haddox, Scotty Nguyen, James Dempsey, Ben Palmer, Leo Wolpert, Faraz Jaka, Victor Ramdin, and Jonathan Little. Palmer and Wolpert were both eliminated by Aaron Jones when they wagered all of their remaining chips with pocket nines and eights, respectively. Jones had them both dominated with pocket jacks, and held when the board brought all blanks.
Michael Phelps, the most decorated Olympian of all time, also exited before the money bubble burst. According to two-time WSOP bracelet winner Vanessa Selbst, Phelps four-bet shoved for a little less than 20 big blinds with ace-queen, and David Diaz looked him up with ace-six. Diaz flopped a pair of sixes, and Phelps hit the door when the turn and river both produced bricks.
After Lloyd Mandel was eliminated on the money bubble, a flurry of eliminations included Angel Guillen, Sergey Rybachenko, Andreas Hoivold, and Steve Brecher. Twenty more players fell and eventually there were only four tables remaining. Michalowski and Gonsalves rocketed up the charts after the money bubble burst. Michalowski was fortunate in one hand where he busted Alexander Kuzmin in Level 18. Kuzmin open-shoved for around 10 big blinds with pocket sixes, and Michalowski called with pocket fours. Michalowski hita four, and Kuzmin was eliminated.
Michalowski and his 27 opponents will return tomorrow at 2 p.m. to play down to an official final table of eight. Join us then for live updates straight from the tournament floor.
Event #3: $1,000 No-Limit Hold'em
Event #3 kicked off at the unusually early hour of 11 a.m. on Thursday with the first of two Day 1 flights of a $1,000 no-limit hold'em event. Both Day 1 flights took place on Thursday, with the second flight kicking off at 5 p.m..
A total of 1,821 players hit the felt on Day 1, and by the end of the evening Thiago Nishijima was the overall leader with 108,509 in chips. He'll be joined at the top of the leaderboard by Jerry Payne, Charles Sylvestre, Scott Seiver and Eric Hicks.
Other notables among the 543 who survived the day were Leo Wolpert (45,375), Amanda Baker (47,025), Amanda Musumeci (36,500), Jacob Balsiger (36,500), Justin Young (34,400), Nam Le (31,500), David Singer (27,500), Tony Dunst (26,150), Josh Arieh (25,950), Kyle Cartwright (19,125), Matt Glantz (18,800), Carlos Mortensen (18,000), Michael Phelps (8,825), and Bryan Devonshire (6,600).
Action resumes at 1 p.m. PDT (9 p.m. BST) and you can follow tournament all the way through to its conclusion in our live reporting blog.
On Friday, Event #2: $5,000 No-Limit Hold’em Eight Handed will play down to a final table. Event #3: $1,000 No-Limit Hold'em will resume with 523 players returning for Day 2 inside the Amazon Room. Starting on Friday are Event #4: $1,500 No-Limit Hold'em (Six Handed) and Event #5: $2,500 Omaha/Seven-Card Stud Hi-Low 8-or-Better.
Video of the Day
Sarah Grant's postgame interview with Chad Holloway isn't quite ready yet, so our video of the day features Kristy Arnett asking a few players for advice on playing against a woman.