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Bellagio Cup V -- Day 1A

Small Turnout of 79 Players for the First of Two Day-Ones at Bellagio

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The first day of play for season VIII on the World Poker Tour saw a small amount of players shuffle into the Fontana Lounge at Bellagio for day 1A at the Bellagio Cup V $15,000 no-limit hold’em main event. When registration came to a close at 5 p.m. just 79 players had taken their seats. Many more are expected tomorrow, but the 2009 edition of this event will probably shrink from the 448 that played last year.

Among the professionals in action today were some of the most entertaining in the game, including Phil Hellmuth and Mike Matusow. With so many top professionals in action in a small field, many stacked tables came together throughout the day, but one was particularly tough.

Stacked Table of the Day:

Seat 1: Jennifer Tilly
Seat 2: Barry Shulman
Seat 3: Todd Brunson
Seat 5: Erik Seidel
Seat 6: Doug Kim
Seat 7: Jonathan Aguiar
Seat 8: Rhynie Campbell
Seat 9: Christian Harder
Seat 10: Mike Matusow

Alec Torelli

Hand of the Day:

Dan Shak checked a flop of KHeart Suit JHeart Suit 7Spade Suit from the small blind and Alec Torelli bet 2,800. Chau Giang called from middle position and Shak then check-raised to 10,000. Torelli reraised all in and Giang mucked. Shak made the call and they turned up their cards:

Shak: JDiamond Suit JClub Suit
Torelli: 9Heart Suit 8Heart Suit

Turn and River: 4Heart Suit 10Heart Suit

Torelli doubled up on the hand to grow his stack to 109,000, while Shak was crippled.

Torelli went on a tear after doubling up and he finished the day as the chip leader with 308,675. Here are the top 10 chip leaders at the end of day 1A:

Alec Torelli – 308,675
Cornel Andrew Cimpan – 256,375
Ray Taylor – 181,150
Jeremiah Vinsant – 175,450
Adam Geyer – 157,600
Mike Mustafa – 144,200
Hoyt Corkins – 132,900
Justin Smith – 123,000
Isaac Haxton – 122,525
Rob Temper – 108,500

At the end of level 5 day 1A came to an end and 60 players remained from the original 79. The players that were sent to the rail included: Matusow, David Chiu, Dan Shak, Steve O’Dwyer, William Thorson, Shaun Deeb, Phil Laak, Ryan Hughes, and Barry Shulman. Shulman saw his pocket kings get cracked during the final hour of play by the pocket nines of Adam Geyer on an A-9-5-9-4 board.

Day 1B will begin at noon PDT tomorrow, and the new set of players will contest another five levels of high-stakes tournament poker. Check back in at CardPlayer.com tomorrow night for a recap of day 1B from the Bellagio Cup V.