The first 2010 World Series of Poker bracelet has been handed to San Diego dealer Hoai Pham, who won the $500 buy-in Casino Employees event over the weekend. Pham bested an entry field of 721 players to take the honours.
By Day 2 the field had been whittled down to 52, and the intense attrition rate continued into the final table, where Pham ultimately confronted second placed Arthur Vea in the heads up. Pham took 13 hands to dominate and then beat his last opponent, leaving Vea with a runner up consolation prize of $44,079,
"This is magical. I am very happy. I'm a poker dealer and the whole table was fun," said Pham, who added that he had informed his boss that he was going to take a vacation.
The final entry numbers for the second of the 2010 events - the $1,000 buy-in NLHE - was disappointingly low, failing to beat the field attracted to last year's equivalent, which reached 6,012. With 4,345 entrants, the 2010 field fell well short, a decline attributed to the still weak US economy or the Memorial holiday weekend timing. The remaining five $1,000 NHLE tourneys will be watched carefully to see if the lower registration trend persists.
The attrition rate was high as the tournament progressed, with Saturday's Day 1a entries dropping to 276, and as InfoPowa went to press early morning Monday Vegas time, Day 1b had 280 players still in the hunt, with one more level to play before bagging up.
Jon "FatalError" Aguiar and Terrence Chan are among the leaders, and the cashes should extend right down to the 441st spot, so the excitement is a-building.
The survivors from Day 1a and Day 1b will be starting again at Level 11 when Day 2 action begins.
The biggest gathering of railbirds was understandably watching the $50,000 buy-in mixed game Player's Championship, which saw 116 top players start late Friday afternoon and at press time had reached level 16 in the early hours of Monday morning, with 31 survivors going after the over $1.5 million winner's prize.
The top ten leader board positions and their chip counts looked like this:
Alexander Kostritsyn - 1.6 million
David Oppenheim - 1.1 million
Mikael Thuritz - 1 million
Vladimir Schmelev - 820,000
Nick Schulman - 820,000
Lyle Berman - 810,000
Erik Sagstrom - 730,000
James Van Alstyne - 730,000
Michael Mizrachi - 720,000
Andy Bloch - 688,000
Big names have been eliminated, including Eugene Katchalov, Jeffrey Lisandro, Justin "BoostedJ" Smith, Scott Clements, Phil Ivey, last years winner of the event David Bach, and Doyle Brunson, taken out well into the tourney by Andy Bloch.
Play was scheduled to continue to 3am Monday Vegas time, or about three further levels.
The momentum at WSOP continued with the start Sunday afternoon of the $1,500 buy-in Omaha hi-lo event.
Source: InfoPowa News