The 2014 World Series of Poker literally blasted off on Tuesday with the firing of cannons and the raining of $10,000 worth of dollar bills on players readying for the first hands of this year’s Series to be dealt. Soon thereafter began Event #1: $500 Casino Employees Event followed later in the afternoon by a star-studded field gathering to begin Event #2: $25,000 Mixed-Max No-Limit Hold’em.
Event #1 featured a fast pace that saw a big field play down to just 51 who’ll return for Wednesday’s second and final day, with poker dealer Corey Emery of California returning as the chip leader. Meanwhile, Vanessa Selbst ended the first day of the four-day Event #2 in first position among the 60 returners who survived that one, with Brian Rast and Michael Mizrachi hovering close and a host of other familiar names in the chase pack.
Following recent tradition, the $500 Casino Employees No-Limit Hold’em event started off the WSOP, with this year’s installment drawing 876 entrants, all with some affiliation to a casino and sharing a dream to claim the summer’s first gold bracelet. Down slightly from last year’s 898, that field nonetheless built a nifty total prize pool of $394,200 to be divided among the top 90 finishers, with $82,835 of it awaiting the winner.
Last year’s champion and PokerNews Senior Editor Chad Holloway returned to defend his title, but this year would fail to reach the dinner break after becoming short-stacked and then being ousted by Sergio Trevino. Others taking part yesterday but failing to cash included last year’s runner-up Allan Kwong, Kristy Arnett, Bernard Lee, Josh Cahlik, Terrence Chan, Shaun Harris, UK & Ireland PokerNews editor Matthew Pitt and WSOP Executive Director Ty Stewart. Meanwhile John Pack, Danielle Barille, and Lee Davy were among those cashing thus far.
Corey Emery claimed the chip lead on one of the last hands of the night after turning a nine-high straight and winning a big pot off of an opponent holding pocket jacks. Here’s a look at the top of the leaderboard with Wednesday’s final day left to go, with Ray Kluever, Chris Danek, and PokerNews’ own Mo Nuwwarah among those still with chips as well:
Event #1 Top 10 Chip Counts After Day 1
Play resumes at 1 p.m. Pacific time on Wednesday, with start-to-finish coverage continuing on our live reporting blog.
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Grabbing the spotlight on the first day of play at the 2014 WSOP was the $25,000 Mixed-Max No-Limit Hold’em event which sports the third-biggest buy-in of all 65 WSOP bracelet events this summer behind Event #46: $50,000 Poker Players’ Championship and (of course) Event #57: The $1,000,000 Big One for One Drop.
Unsurprisingly, Event #2 drew a relatively small but especially tough field with practically all of poker’s biggest names who have made it to Las Vegas this week registering to play. By the time late registration closed 131 had joined the fray — including a customarily late-arriving Phil Hellmuth — thereby building a prize pool of $3,111,250 to be divided among the top 16 finishers with $871,148 due the winner on Friday.
After 10 one-hour levels on Tuesday just 60 remained from that starting field, with Vanessa Selbst leading all after spinning her starting stack of 75,000 all of the way up to 562,800 to end the night. A key hand for Selbst came in the night’s final level when she eliminated Jake Schindler after the latter shoved the turn with the board showing and Selbst called. Schindler had , but Selbst had flopped quads with to leave her opponent drawing dead.
As noted there are a number of top pros still in the hunt for the Event #2 as play changes from nine-handed to six-handed play on Day 2. In addition to the top 10 listed below, Phil Hellmuth survived the night after flopping a set and doubling through John Juanda late. Phil Ivey, Sam Trickett, and Jason Mercier are also among the wall-to-wall talent still alive in this one.
Event #2 Top 10 Chip Counts After Day 1
Day 2 of Event #2 starts at 2 p.m. Pacific time Wednesday, which is when updates will continue on our live reporting blog.
Three events will be in action on Wednesday at the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino. As mentioned, Event #1 be playing down to a winner while Event #2 will convert to six-handed play for Day 2 before moving to four-handed on Thursday and heads-up for Friday’s final day. Also getting started at 12 noon Vegas time today will be Event #3: $1,000 Pot-Limit Omaha.
Video of the Day
Dan Shak did not make it through Day 1 of the $25K Mixed-Max event, but his quest for a first WSOP bracelet will be continuing in earnest as he explained to our Amber Fukuda during a break in play yesterday.