Poker Coverage: Poker Tournaments Casino News Sports Betting Poker Strategy

Main Event Day 1B Recap

1545 Players Show Up and Just Over 600 Survive


The $10,000 world championship of no-limit hold'em is the only major televised event in which professionals, amateurs, celebrities and even families can all compete together for a bracelet, millions of dollars, and a place in poker history. The 1,545 entrants who started day 1B of the championship event proved that it is the players that make the game great. Main event legends such as world champions Tom McEvoy, Berry Johnston, Dan Harrington, Scotty Nguyen, and Joe Hachem all came back to take a shot at becoming two-time champions. The players who made their name as main event runners up, such as Erik Seidel, Sammy Farha, David Williams, and Paul Wasicka came to seal the deal this time around. Hollywood poker enthusiasts Norm MacDonald, Nick Cassavettes, Sam Simon, and Montel Williams came out to show the world what showbiz could do. Barry Shulman, his wife Allyn Jaffrey Shulman, and son Jeff were a part of the day 1B field. Brothers Ross and Barny Boatman, as well as mother-son duo Shirley and David Williams, proved that poker can be a family affair. Putting all these people together would make for an interesting party, but today they all came to play.

Hundreds of tables dealt hundreds of hands to thousands of players each day at the World Series of Poker, allowing incredible and improbable hands to play out. Early today ,some such hands arose. After a flop of 7 5 3, a short stack player moved all in and got two callers. After the K fell on the turn, another player went all in for $22,000 on the side and was called by a third player. The short stack who was all in revealed A x for the nut flush, which was good against the K x of the player who still had chips. The second all-in player revealed 6 4 for the straight flush, taking down the main and side pots. Ryan Daut also had the dubious honor of busting out with a very strong hand that ran into an even stronger one. Holding pocket eights, Daut caught the dream flop of 8 7 8 and got all of his money in the middle. Daut certainly wanted to get called holding quad eights, but unfortunately his opponent had made the call with one of the only hands Daut didn't want to see:10 9. When the J rolled off the turn and completed his opponent's straight flush, Daut had to feel sick to his stomach. He had held the absolute nuts on the flop, and one card later he was out of the tournament.

Joe Sebok had a roller coaster day. He jumped out to an early chip lead in the afternoon, dodging a number of outs to take down a huge pot with two pair in the third hour of play. Sebok later took a couple hits and found himself closer to the bottom of the pack, ending the night with around $10,000. Montel Williams' table was frequently surrounded by media, as Williams found himself involved in a number of large hands after winning a monster pot with K K that put him toward the top of the leader board. He slipped back down after splashing around a bit, ending the day with $15,000. .

At the end of the night the leader board looked as follows:

Dag Mikkelsen: $253,000
Gene Strickland: $180,000
Sven Johnson: $176,000
Chris Viox: $163,000
Rep Porter: $150,000
Bob Poole: $148,000
Todd Phillips: $138,000
Scotty Nguyen: $135,000
John Duthie: $135,000

Berry Johnston, Cliff "JohnnyBax" Josephy, and David "The Dragon" Pham also broke the $100,000 mark today. While some prospered, others faltered. Elimination is part of the game of poker. No matter how good a player, nobody wins every hand, every session, every day, or even every year. With that in mind, many great players did not make it through the day. Erik Seidel, Isabelle Mercier, Max Pescatori, Justin Bonomo, and Jennifer Harman were just some of the many notable day 1B casualties. Norm MacDonald found himself on the rail after dinner, but he continued to watch his friend, accomplished television writer and producer Sam Simon, and chat with fans and players.

At the end of the day, 610 players of the 1,545 that started had survived. Day 1C is set to begin Sunday at noon. Make sure to check back here at for all your live coverage.