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WSOP What To Watch For: Team PokerNews Bracelet Hunting; Michael Phelps Advances

WSOP What To Watch For: Team PokerNews Bracelet Hunting; Michael Phelps Advances 0001

The 2013 World Series of Poker began on Wednesday with the first two events of the summer: Event #1: $500 Employees No Limit Hold'em and Event #2: $5,000 No-Limit Hold'em (Eight Handed). While the $5,000 four-day event is still in its early stages, Event #1 is scheduled to play down to a champion on Thursday, and two members of the PokerNews family are still in contention for their first WSOP bracelet and a top prize of close to $85,000.

Team PokerNews Goes for Gold

Chad Holloway
Chad Holloway

The PokerNews Live Reporting team will be without two of its veteran bloggers on Thursday. Chad Holloway and Josh Cahlik will instead be returning for Day 2 of the $500 Employees No Limit Hold'em event. Only 55 of the original 896 players survived the 11 levels on Day 1, and Holloway will enter the final day third in chips with 99,400. Cahlik, who spent part of Day 1 among the leaders, is still above average with 58,300.

"It feels absolutely incredible," Cahlik said Thursday morning. "I've dreamed of playing poker in the Amazon Room at the WSOP since I was 15 years old. To actually be here and still be in contention is a mind-blowing experience for me. Plus I'm just pumped to finally have a Hendon Mob page now!"

Holloway already has a WSOP cash under his belt, but this marks his deepest run. Yielding a big stack entering the day, Holloway has a blueprint drawn up to reach his first WSOP final table.

"It's exciting to make it through to Day 2, especially being third in chips," Holloway told PokerNews. "What's even more exciting is to advance with my friend and PokerNews colleague, Josh Cahlik. The plan, at least for me, is to sit tight for a while and let the rapidly increasing blinds force the smaller stacks to make mistakes."

Day 2 kicks off at 1 p.m. PST. Follow the progress of Holloway and Cahlik at the Event #1 live updates page here at

Michael Phelps Advances to Day 2

Amid the droves of poker superstars that entered Event #2, celebrated Olympian Michael Phelps took his seat in the Rio Pavilion — and even managed to survive Day 1. Phelps is playing in his first WSOP and told PokerNews on Wednesday that his top priority is to have fun.

"This is my first WSOP event ever, and so I’m just hanging out and enjoying it," said Phelps. "Whatever happens, happens, is my mentality of it. In fact, I wasn’t even going to play in today's event, but somehow I got talked into doing it. ... We’ll see what happens.”

Phelps enters Day 2 as a short stack with 20,850 in chips (average stack is 37,191). Leading the 194 players returning on Thursday is Tom Marchese, who received a gift from an opponent on the final hand of Day 1 to boost his stack to 153,975. He'll have a comfortable lead of the rest of the field when play resumes at 2 p.m. PST on Thursday.

As always, you can find PokerNews' coverage of the 2013 WSOP on our Live Reporting Pages. We look forward to having you follow along and stay tuned for plenty more from our What To Watch For series.

Follow PokerNews on Twitter for up-to-the-minute news.

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