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Day 1C - The 2006 WSOP Main Event

Another Large Field Chases the $11 Million First Place Cash Prize

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How many people want to win $11 million? A lot. How many people showed up on Day 1C in pursuit of $11 million and the world's most famous gold bracelet? To be precise, 2,160.

In al,l 6,480 entrants have participated in the 2006 main event, with at least another 2,000 scheduled for play on Monday, July 31.

The third flight of day one participants featured the usual field of big-name poker pros, online qualifiers, and satellite winners.

Day 1C also included a veritable family reunion of recent main event success stories, as 2004 WSOP champ Greg Raymer, 2005 WSOP runner-up Steve Dannenmann, 2003 WSOP runner-up Sam Farha, and 2004 WSOP third-place finisher Josh Arieh were all on hand.

The celebrity special guest appearances continued with magicians Penn and Teller. The duo kicked off the action with the famous announcement, "shuffle up and deal."

Play started at 12:05 p.m. PDT with $25-$50 blinds.

As usual, unknown Internet players and amateur hopefuls made up the majority of the day's participants, with big-name stars dispersed throughout the masses.

"It's just such an amazing environment," Daniel Negreanu said outside the Amazon Room. "You look around and see nobody you know."

Negreanu controlled the action at his table early and climbed the leaderboard. By the 6:43 p.m. dinner break, "Kid Poker" had built a stack in excess of $41,000, making him the first-half chip boss.

Some pros who failed to survive the day shift were Sam Farha, Liz Lieu, Thomas Keller, Hasan Habib, John Phan, Jennifer Harman, Mike "The Mouth" Matusow, Antonio Esfandiari, and Card Player president Jeff "Happy" Shulman.

T.J. Cloutier took a short stack into the latter half of action. "If I get through day one, you can start betting on me," Cloutier remarked in regard to his history of success on day twos and beyond.

Any side bets on Cloutier would have to wait until next year though, as he exited the tournament play shortly after the dinner break.

For Jean Robert Bellande, Day 1C proved to be an up-and-down experience. At one point, left with only $1,700 in chips, Bellande battled back and built his stack to over $28,500.

A run-in with then chip boss William Thorsson ended Bellande's comeback. After calling all in on a Jdiamond 8club 3heart flop, Bellande flipped over 8heart 8diamond, only to have Thorsson take a commanding lead with the Jheart Jspade. The 3spade turn gave both players superfluous full houses and Bellande's 2006 main event came to an end while Thorsson's stack leaped to $112,000.

The Full Contact Poker "Protégé" winner, Brian Fidler, appeared to be putting to good use the lessons learned from his mentor, Daniel Negreanu. Fidler, coming off a runner-up finish at the 2006 WSOP Lake Tahoe World Series of Poker Circuit event, hovered near the middle of the leaderboard for the better part of Day 1C.

As action moved into early Monday morning, one former WSOP champion solidified his position as a threat going into Day 2B.

Greg Raymer worked his way up from a $6,500 chip stack in the last few hours of play. The run started when Raymer called an all-in bet on a Kspade 4heart 2spade flop with Kclub 10club. His opponent showed Aheart Adiamond, but the 10spade turn gave Raymer two pair, cracking his opponent's pocket aces.

Raymer played the rush and took down a number of pots. With less than 30 minutes left in the sixth and final level of the day, the 2004 main event champ owned a chip stack right around the $50,000 mark.

At 2:58 a.m. PDT, and with 867 players remaining, assistant tournament director Jack Effel announced the end of Day 1C.

Along with Raymer, pros John Gale, Robert Mizrachi, Nam Le, Adam Schoenfeld, Josh Arieh, and Daniel Negreanu moved on to day two action.

Notables in the list of tournament casualties included Phil Gordon, Tuan Le, Phil Laak, Josh Schlein, Steve Zolotow, Bobby Baldwin, Harry Demetriou, and last year's main event runner-up finisher Steve Dannenmann.

For complete Day 1C final chip counts, please visit the "featured chip counts" link on the CardPlayer.com homepage.

The remaining fields from 1C and 1D return to the Amazon Room for Day 2B on Wednesday, August 2.

Stay tuned to CardPlayer.com for live updates, chip counts, photos, videos, and for a new episode of "The Circuit."

For more information on bracelet winners and other WSOP news stories please visit http://www.cardplayer.com/tournaments/wsop/2006s.


Quote of the Day
: "Fudge!" - A Day 1C participant "swears" in celebration after winning a big hand.