The WPT World Championship at The Bellagio got underway yesterday with 103 competitors stumping up the $25,000 entry fee. With registration staying open until 5pm on day 3 however we expect to see that figure swell, especially considering that 98 of the original entrants will return for day two - the deep structure (each player starting with 500 big blinds) meaning that early eliminations would be few and far between.
As you would expect from such a costly tournament there are plenty of successful big names present with Daniel Negreanu, Isaac "philivey2694" Haxton, Joe Serock, Michael Mizrachi, David Benyamine, John Juanda and Vanessa's Selbst and Rousso among them. At the end of the days play Haxton, Selbst, Serock and Mizrachi are all among top ten in chip counts.
The current chip leader is US Pro Steve O'Dwyer - O'Dwyer has enjoyed some good form recently in WPT events placing 2nd at the €3000 Main Event in Vienna last December and winning the main event at the WPTN (WPT National Series) in Denmark at the end of February.
One fascinating hand involving Daniel "KidPoker" Negreanu and online tourney legend and fellow WSOP bracelet winner Cliff "JohnnyBax" Josephy has already made the rounds across the internet - as Negreanu tweeted,
"Be prepared for a sick hand: JohnnyBax makes it 500 button calls I call SB with JJ BB calls. Flop Ah Jd 8h I check BB bets 1300 Bax calls. Button makes it 5k I make it 14k BB folds Bax makes it 40k button folds, I fold face up he shows me an Ace. Folding middle sets "
Although Josephy only flashed Negreanu one Ace the general concensus is that he had flopped top set and Negreanu made an incredible fold. After dropping below his starting stack to around 85k chips (start stack was 100k) Negreanu chipped up a little by the end of the day to end on around 127k chips.