Day 1 completed
Either stud hi-lo is aging like a fine wine and picking up in popularity, or there was a dearth of attractive poker events around Las Vegas on Tuesday.
A total of 595 players turned up for Event #40: $1,500 Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo, a five-year high by a considerable amount for the age-old event. That's an increase of 74 players from 2016, and almost 40 better than the 558 who turned out in 2013 and 2014.
When the dust settled, about 140 players had made it through 10 levels of play to put chips in bags. Foremost among them was Jeff Madsen, with a final count of 79,900. Jeff Mitseff (78,100), Cole Jackson (76,800), Chris Ferguson (70,800), and Ryan Hughes (69,100) also bagged big stacks.
Madsen, the 2006 WSOP Player of the Year, already has four bracelets and is looking to add to that tally. About midway through the day, he played a sizable pot with Cal Anderson and made a very strong two-way hand with an ace-high club flush and a wheel for low that scooped the pot. He was one of the more active players at his table and seemed to have a fairly steady stack of over 60,000 for most of the latter part of the night.
Some other players who made it through included Randy Ohel, "Miami" John Cernuto, Adam Friedman, Joe Hachem, Mike Watson, Justin Bonomo, and last year's runner-up, Brandon Shack-Harris. John Monnette, James Obst, Scott Clements, Stephen Chidwick, David Bach, Anderson and James Woods were some of those who headed for the exits and planned their next tournament efforts.
Obst was coming off of bubbling the official final table in the $5,000 Six-Max.
Also on Day 1, the WSOP staff posted a prize pool for the event. The winner will bank $173,228 and a gold WSOP bracelet, and 90 places will be paid overall, so the money should be reached a few levels into Day 2.
To find out who those players who make the money will be, come back to PokerNews at 2 p.m. Wednesday for Day 2 coverage of this event. A full Day 2 seat draw can be found at WSOP.com.
The tournament clock has been paused with 10 minutes left in the last level, and last six hands have been announced for each table.
John Racener completed with the and Nacho Barbero came along with the . Another two players joined the party, including a player with the . The fourth player folded on fifth street.
Fourth street was checked through but Racener and Barbero faced a bet on both fifth and sixth streets, and the two famous players both continued towards the river.
This time it was Barbero who fired to the pot, and he received a snap-call from his left-hand opponent. Racener thought for a moment but eventually released his cards.
John Racener: / (folded on seventh street)
Nacho Barbero: /
Third player: /
Barbero announced "Tens and fives!" in a winning tone, and he was right. His opponent couldn't beat the in Barbero's hand and the Argentinian scooped a nice pot to add a decent chunk to his stack.
Cole Jackson, Jeff Madsen and Jeffrey Mitseff appear to be the players most likely to wind up with the chip lead at this juncture.
Mike Watson bet fifth and sixth streets against David Sklansky.
Sklansky called both times, and both players checked after seventh. Watson showed for fives up, but Sklansky held for aces and eights.
Chris Vitch started a hand with a complete with the and the action folded to the bring-in who raised with the . Vitch called and his opponent then check-called on fourth street.
Fifth street saw Vitch's rival lead out as he paired up his deuces, and Vitch called. The betting fight continued on sixth street where Vitch raised his opponent, earning a call.
Vitch bet the river too and received yet another call.
Chris Vitch: /
"Straight," Vitch said, convinced he was the winner. He turned over for a ten-high straight and scooped the pot.
There was a huge pot in the middle between three players, including Joe Hachem, on seventh street. One player with four low cards bet on the end.
Third player: //
One player called, and Hachem popped in a raise. The bettor called, and the third player thought awhile before calling as well. Hachem rolled over for a flush but no low The initial bettor had a low with , and he took the other half of the pot.