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World Series of Poker -- David Benyamine and Vladimir Schmelev Chip Leaders After Day 1 in Omaha 8 or Better Championship

Russian Player Continues Dominance in 2010 World Series of Poker

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Vladimir SchmelevJust a few months ago if you said the name Vladimir Schmelev in a poker room, most people would respond with “Who’s that?” That has all changed now.

We are not even a full month into the 2010 World Series of Poker and Schmelev already has a second-place finish in the $50,000 Players Championship and a seventh in both the $10,000 seven-card stud championship and $10,000 seven-card stud eight-or-better championship this year.

And after Saturday, he is trying to contend for yet another final table in a big buy-in event. He is second in chips behind David Benyamine after Day 1 of the $10,000 Omaha eight-or-better championship. Schmelev has 95,000 and only trails Benyamine, who is sitting on 108,000.

As expected, this event drew a relatively small, pro-heavy field. Two hundred and twelve players registered for this event and top pros filled just about every table. Only 145 of those players were able to survive the day and make it to day 2 tomorrow.

Some notable pros who were unable to survive a day of chopping pots and missed low draws included Tom Dwan, Doyle Brunson, Hoyt Corkins, Scott Clements, Jason Mercier, Tommy Vedes, Eric Buchman, and Ted Forrest.

Card Player Publisher Barry Shulman has made it to day 2 of this event with 76,200 in chips. He made a surge in the later levels of day 1 to win some pots and accumulate an above average stack.

Other notables who made it through the day healthy in chips include Phil Hellmuth, Perry Friedman, Jennifer Harman, Chino Rheem, Phil Ivey, Nick Schulman, and David Baker.

Day 2 will get started at 3 p.m. on Sunday and the survivors will play 10 levels before the day is over. The money bubble will most likely burst at some point on Sunday, with the top 27 spots getting paid. Most players’ focus, however, will be on the top spot and the $488,237 that goes with it.