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WPT –- Doyle Brunson Classic Championship Day 1

292 Players Show Up For Day 1 Action

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Eric BaldwinRoughly 200 players were on hand for the start of the 2009 World Poker Tour Doyle Brunson Classic Championship on Monday, but by the end of the day, the field size had grown to 292, 205 shy of 2008’s numbers. The difference this year is that registration will still be open through level 8, which will take place around 5 p.m. on Tuesday.

Interestingly enough, Doyle Brunson has yet to enter his very own tournament. Instead, he opted for high-stakes action in Bobby’s Room, playing the likes of David Oppenheim, Phil Ivey, Eric Sagstrom, and Lyle Berman.

This tournament is historically integral to the Card Player Player of the Year race, and this year is no exception. Just three players remain in contention, with Eric Baldwin sporting a sizable lead over Cornel Andrew Cimpan and Yevgeniy Timoshenko. All three players were in attendance and survived the day with above-average stacks.

Last year’s champion, Chino Rheem, started his defense campaign off strong by increasing his stack nearly 50 percent in the first couple levels, but online pro Darryll Fish ended his tournament early with a bit of a cooler.

Both players saw a flop of 7Heart Suit 5Club Suit 3Heart Suit, and the money went in. Rheem showed 6Spade Suit 4Diamond Suit for the flopped straight, but Fish was drawing live with bottom set of threes. The board paired when the turn and river came 7Spade Suit and 8Club Suit, and Rheem was eliminated. Fish took the massive pot and ended the day with a strong 236,625, good for the chip lead.

Daniel NegreanuWhen the day started, all of the players were comfortably seated in the Fontana Lounge, but as the field continued to grow, many of the late registrants were placed in the main poker room. Daniel Negreanu was among those players, and unfortunately he found himself aside some stiff competition, sitting at the same table as Men Nguyen, Scotty Nguyen, and Bertrand “Elky” Grospellier.

The rest of his table was no picnic either, with Mike Leah, Russell Rosenblum, and Billy Kopp keeping him company, as well. Negreanu’s day didn’t last long, and it was Kopp who benefited the most from his departure.

Negreanu’s pocket tens were open-ended against Kopp’s set of jacks and another player’s pocket kings, but the board bricked out to send him to the rail. Kopp scooped the huge pot and cruised to end the day with 201,325.

Other notables to end the day near the top of the leader board included Jon Turner, David Woo, Antonio Esfandiari, and Carlos Mortensen.

The 235 surviving players will return Tuesday at noon to play another five levels. Once registration closes, we’ll have a better idea of what they are playing for.

Here’s a look at the top 10 stacks heading into day 2. Click here for a look at the entire field.

Ranking First Name Last Name Chip Count
1 DARRYLL FISH 236,625
2 JON TURNER 227,325
3 DAVID WOO 205,000
4 BILLY KOPP 201,325
5 CARLOS MORTENSEN 194,525
6 ANTONIO ESFANDIARI 184,225
7 CORY CARROLL 184,025
8 JUSTIN TAZELAAR 169,200
9 NASHAAT ANTONIOUS 164,100
10 DAVID PEAT 160,000