2012 World Series of Poker $10,000 Main Event -- Day 1A Recap
1,066 Players Turn Out, Defending Champ Heinz Survives
Day 1A of the 2012 World Series of Poker $10,000 main event is in the books. The Rio was abuzz with anticipation as 1,066 players took their seats for the first of three starting days in the biggest poker tournament of the year. This turnout was an increase of roughly 19% over the first starting day last year, which drew 897 entrants. At the end of play only 657 remained.
The organization of the early days of the main event has changed in 2012. In recent years, day 1A and day 1B survivors combined fields for day 2A, while day 1C and 1D combined to form day 2B. This year the fields in each of three starting days will remain separated for day 2.
As one would expect of the premiere event in poker, many of the games most accomplished players were in attendance. Some thrived, including Cary Katz (154,850), Chance Kornuth (141,775), Leo Wolpert (128,300), Jon Eaton (125,550), Eric Baldwin (123,150), Faraz Jaka (115,775), Ryan Welch (110,425), and former November Niner Filippo Candio (85,000).
Others did not fare so well. Notables who hit the rail on day 1A include all-time bracelet leader Phil Hellmuth, Card Player columnist Matt Glantz, Chris Klodnicki, Kathy Leibert, Allen Bari, Eric Froelich and 2005 WSOP main event champ Joe Hachem.
One main event winner who did survive the day is reigning champion Pius Heinz. Heinz captured more than $8.7 million for winning the 2011 WSOP main event, becoming the first German player ever to win the main event. Under the lights on the ESPN stage, he did not get off to fast start.
“My day 1 was extremely rocky, pretty rollercoaster-like,” said Heinz after play ended. “I didn’t win a pot for the first six hours pretty much and was down to 10k on the dinner break. I thought, ‘I am just going to bust on day 1, it’s going to suck.’”
The 23-year-old made a come back late in the evening, flopping flush over flush in one hand and then eliminating a short stack with pocket queens against ace-queen in another.
“I ended the day with 40,000 and I couldn’t be more happy about it, because I thought I was just going to bust right after dinner.”
Defending champions are often put under a lot of pressure the following year. Gone is their ability to fly under the radar, and often times they find themselves the center of attention, with the media and other players fixing their sites on the champ. As if the stress from outside isn’t bad enough, many main event winners are often anxious to prove that their previous win wasn’t a fluke by making another deep run. Heinz seemed to do his best to shrug off all of this extra burden.
“I know how much variance there is in winning any one tournament. I have won it before which is a huge accomplishment, basically what every poker player dreams about,” said Heinz. “Having won it before, I don’t know why I would stress myself any more. Everything that comes now is just cream on top, basically, so why would I worry about it? I am just trying to play well, have fun, and see how it goes.”
Here is a look at the top 20 chip counts at the end of day 1A:
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|3||A Poker Life -- Brian Hastings|
|4||Jamie Gold's World Series of Poker Main Event Bracelet Up For Auction|
|5||High-Stakes Online Poker: Gus Hansen Wins $1.7 Million This Week|
|6||Doyle Brunson Bows Out Of World Series Of Poker|
|7||Final Table Set In European Poker Tour €100,000 Super High Roller|
|8||Tiger Woods To Host Poker Tournament In Las Vegas|
|9||Gambling Lawsuit: Did Ivey Notice Defective Cards At London Casino En Route To Winning $12 Million?|
|10||Ultimate Bet Cheating: Russ Hamilton Admits In Audio Recording, 'I Did Take This Money'|
|1||Jamie Gold's World Series of Poker Main Event Bracelet Up For Auction|
|2||Doyle Brunson Bows Out Of World Series Of Poker|
|3||Gambling Lawsuit: Did Ivey Notice Defective Cards At London Casino En Route To Winning $12 Million?|
|4||Ultimate Bet Cheating: Russ Hamilton Admits In Audio Recording, 'I Did Take This Money'|
|5||High-Stakes Online Poker: Gus Hansen Approaching $10 Million Lifetime Losses On Full Tilt|
|6||Nevada To Add Gambler To 'Black Book' For First Time In Nearly Four Years|
|7||Phil Ivey Sues London Casino For Allegedly Stiffing Him On $12.1 Million|
|8||A Look At The Ultimate Poker Software: Nevada's First Real Money Online Poker Room|
|9||High-Stakes Online Poker: Gus Hansen Now Down $6 Million Since The Fall|
|10||Ben Tollerene Talks About Losing $1.7 Million In Single Session To Viktor Blom|