The 2012 World Series of Poker Main Event began on Saturday, July 7, with 1,066 players competing on Day 1A in hopes of winning poker’s most prestigious tournament.
The number of players is up 19% from last year’s Day 1A, however, 2012 action will have only three Day 1’s, as opposed to four in 2011. First day action concluded with 657 players still alive and preparing to commence playing on Day 2 Tuesday. William John is the early chip leader with 266,000, well above the rest of the pack as no other player cracked 200,000 in chips. Although never cashing in a WSOP tournament, John has a 50% chance of doing so in the $10,000 buy-in Main Event, according to how early leaders have fared in past history.
The WSOP’s all-time bracelet leader won’t be winning his 13th in this year’s Main Event. Phil Hellmuth busted after six hours of play after shoving all-in with A-J following a flop of A-10-3. Michael Tureniec was holding pocket 3’s for a set, and with 2-7 arriving on the turn and river, the Poker Brat made an early exit. Hellmuth emoted his feelings via Twitter after getting knocked out, tweeting, “I’m out of Main Event! Feeling tortured. Feeling sick…”
The 2011 Main Event winner, Germany’s Pius Heinz, doubled up his chips when his J-4 suited spades trounced an opposing player’s 8-7 of spades on a flop of three spaded cards. Heinz has almost 40,000 chips, roughly 30% more than the designated starting stack. Heinz is aiming to be the first player to cash after winning the Main Event the previous year since Peter Eastgate finished 78th in 2009 after taking the title in 2008.
In Day 1B action on Sunday, July 8, a total of 2,114 players bought in, making a two-day total of 3,180 entrants. With one final Day 1 remaining on Monday as Day 1C, event organizers are hoping that the field will surpass last year’s total of 6,865. One notable casualty from Day 1B is Greg “Fossilman” Raymer, whose A-K failed to connect on the board against an opponent’s pocket Queens, sending the 2004 Main Event champion to the rail.
The Main Event will run through July 16 until the final table of nine players is determined. The action will be halted until October, at which time the final tablers are scheduled to reconvene and play to conclusion.
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