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Doyle Brunson North American Poker Championship

Day 1A of the DBNAPC Features Game's Biggest Names; Hachem Ends WPT Boycott

A star-studded field, a mass of fans and media, and yes, even "Texas Dolly" himself, all turned out for day 1A of the 2006 Doyle Brunson North American Poker Championship.

Play began at noon PST with $50-$100 blinds and $30,000 starting stacks. Along with boasting a talent-rich 250-plus player field, day 1A of the DBNAPC also marked the return of Joe Hachem to the World Poker Tour.

A member of the group of professional players who filed an antitrust lawsuit against the WPT, Hachem ended his boycott by participating in the $15,000 buy-in event.

"I don't really want to talk about it [the lawsuit]," Hachem said during a break, "I'm just excited to be playing. This is my first one back."

For Hachem, staying focused on the DBNAPC rather than courtroom battles proved to be a necessity as his WPT return began with a table draw that put him in the 9 seat at a table that also featured Gene Todd (seat 1), David "The Dragonfly" Singer (seat 2), Lee Watkinson (seat 3), Max Pescatori (seat 5), David Sklansky (seat 6), Mimi Tran (seat 8) and Prahlad Friedman (seat 10).

Doyle Brunson, perhaps the only other player capable of deflecting the spotlight from Hachem, also started day 1A at a high-profile table. The tournament's namesake took seat 6 at a table that included Haralabos Voulgaris (seat 1), Yosh Nakano (seat 3), David Grey (seat 4), Tony Cousineau (seat 5), and T.J. Cloutier (seat 7).

Brunson, who received an honorary bracelet from the Bellagio, and Hachem, both survived day 1A of the DBNAPC.

At the 58-minute mark of level 2, the tables from the poker room broke, and the remaining first flight action played out exclusively in the Fontana Bar. The high volume of poker pros led to a series of big-name eliminations. Carl Olson busted David Williams and Alan Goehring en route to amassing over $100,000 in chips, while Clonie Gowen climbed to the top of the leader board by knocking out Tuan Le and Patrik Antonius (forced to wear a robe to the event after losing a bet) on consecutive hands.

Other notables to fall during the second half of play included "Yukon" Brad Booth, Todd Brunson, Vanessa Rousso, Alex Jacob, Eric Froehlich, Phil Hellmuth (eliminated by fellow UltimateBet teammate James "KrazyKanuck" Worth), David "The Dragonfly" Singer, David Daneshgar, Joe Sebok, Hoyt Corkins, and Phil Ivey.

Michael "The Grinder" Mizrachi moved closer to claiming the Card Player Player of the Year award as Shannon Shorr and Nam Le, fourth and second place on the POY standings, respectively, both failed to advance to day 2.

At 8:28 p.m., McClelland turned off the tournament clock and set a nine-hand cap. Half an hour later, and with nearly five levels completed, day 1A of the Doyle Brunson North American Poker Championship concluded.

Clonie Gowen and Freddy Deeb ended play at the top of the leader board with $180,000 and $179,000, respectively. Kristy Gazes, Carl Olson, Mark Newhouse, Michael Mizrachi, and James Worth all finished action in the top 10.

J.C. Tran, third place in the POY race and Mizrachi's closest remaining competition, also advanced to day 2, albeit on a short stack.

For a complete list of chip counts and eliminations, please click here.

The DBNAPC continues with day 1B, which begins at noon PST.

Stay tuned to for live updates, chip counts, photos, videos, and for the return of Card Player's "The Circuit."

Quote of the Day: "As we all know, this is Doyle's 11th bracelet" - Jack McClelland, after awarding Doyle Brunson the honorary DBNAPC bracelet, and within earshot of 10-time WSOP bracelet winner Phil Hellmuth.



almost 15 years ago

Doyle Brunson. If there was a Poker Hall of Fame,Doyle would stand
alone. Remember what Doyle say's him self.( Luck Favors The Back
Bone, Not The Wish Bone. WILLIAM VITH