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Day 1B at the WPT World Poker Open

A Day of Numerous Stories Include Musical Chairs and The Brothers Mizrachi

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Day 1B of the 2007 World Poker Tour World Poker Open saw an influx of professional players who had either busted out of the World Series of Poker Circuit event next door or flown into the United States after the conclusion of the Aussie Millions. One hundred and forty-two players were registered for play when the day began, but not all were accounted for when play got under way.

Two players who did not spend too much time in the tournament were Andy Black, who Jerry Yangwas the first big-name professional eliminated, and the 2007 WSOP main event champion, Jerry Yang. These two players were out early, while some players had still yet to make an appearance on the tournament floor. Among the stragglers were Danny Wong, Darrell Dicken, and Phil Ivey. Strangely, all three of them also made quick exits. Not one of these players was in their tournament seat for even one level of play.

The early stages of the day were unkind to these professionals mentioned above, but many other pros pushed forward. An interesting situation developed early in the day when Gavin Smith, T.J. Cloutier, John Racener, Todd Brunson, and David Williams all found themselves seated together at table 66. In one of the thinnest fields on the WPT tour, these five individuals had managed to find themselves at a very tough table. They put the brakes on during the time they were seated together, which wasn’t very long, because their table was the first to break as contenders were shown to the rail.

It seemed like many professionals were physically on the move during day 1B of the tournament, engaging in the poker world’s version of musical chairs. Brunson and Williams were moved from table 66 to Barry Greenstein’s table. Then Greenstein was moved away from these two to a table with Erick Lindgren and Vanessa Rousso. Gavin Smith was also later moved to this table and … you get the picture. Another peculiarity that took place during this melee of moving was the pairing of two brothers, Michael "The Grinder" Mizrachi and Robert Mizrachi, a couple of levels into play. The situation came to a quick end, however, when older brother Robert was eliminated a short while later.

Eric 'VegasKing' StigletsUp-and-coming Internet player Eric “VegasKing” Stiglets easily made the best hand of the day, and most likely the tournament, when he hit a royal flush during level four. He held A 10 in the hole and made the huge hand on the river. He unfortunately received no action when he bet this monster hand, though.

One player who did receive action on a monster hand was Mike Postle. In a hand late in the day, Postle found himself heads up with aces against an all-in opponent on a board of 7-3-x. With all of his money in the pot, his opponent in seat 7 turned over 7-3 for two pair. An ace on the turn gave Postle top set and the lead, while a 3 on the river gave both players a full house. Postle of course had the better end of it and raked in the pot. Postle, who made a habit during the day of eliminating opponents, grabbed an overwhelming chip lead with 125,000 after the hand. This was at a time where his next-closest competitor (Lindgren) held 62,800. Postle was later joined at the top and then surpassed by Chad Brown, who became the second player in the tournament to break the 100,000 mark. Brown rode a late surge to the top of the leader board, and he remained on top when play ended for the night.

Another highlight of the day came when the prize pool was announced by tournament director Johnny Grooms. The total number of entrants drawn by the 2007 WPO stands at 259. The first-place prize is $892,413. As play winded down, a handful of other familiar faces busted out of the tournament; they included: Chau Giang, Lee Markholt, Todd Brunson, and Josh Arieh. Many top players survived day 1B, as well, and many of them were near the top of the leader board at the end of play. Here is a look at the top 10 chip counts coming out of day 1B:

Chad Brown – 112,325

Brett Faustman – 107,700

Michael Postle – 84,600

Jae Chang – 78,275

Micah Raskin – 71,325

Lyle Vincent – 70,100

John Racener – 64,600

Gabe Costner – 64,075

Sean Burstein – 62,525

Jim Rumpitz – 62,100

The remaining players in the two fields will combine for the first time tomorrow at noon, and the 144 players will shrink to a final 27 tomorrow. Check out all of the action in live updates, chip counts, tournament photos, and videos tomorrow on CardPlayer.com.