Day 41 of the 2016 World Series of Poker saw the biggest Main Event starting day by a mile get underway. A number of top pros made it through, including one poker's biggest stars, who has been thus far absent from the WSOP.
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Main Event Field Solidified After Huge Day 1c
It seems Day 1a and Day 1b of the WSOP Main Event are merely preludes to the madness of Day 1c, as droves of players turned out once again for what has clearly become the starting day of choice. This year's record number of 4,240 pushed the three-flight total to 6,737, the best number at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino since 2011.
Under the new 15 percent cashing model, a record 1,011 players will be paid out a minimum of $15,000, with the winner claiming $8 million.
Here's a look at the November Nine payouts:
The huge field meant someone was bound to accumulate a monster stack, and it was Tim Sheehan emerging as the overall leader after running his 50,000 starting stack up to 394,100 following five levels of play.
Sheehan, who now hails from Decatur, Ga., learned his poker chops in a Bay Area home game when he lived on the West Coast. Nowadays, he plays $5/10 live anywhere he can find such a game, but he still misses those Bay Area home games. He still considers the players from those games his poker buddies, as they were the ones most furiously texting him as he built up his huge stack.
“As the saying goes, I have paid for an Ivy League education in poker,” Sheehan said with a laugh. “Over 16 years of playing, I've learned a lot.”
One of those things is that being Day 1 chip leader “doesn't mean a whole lot.” Sheehan is used to the pressure cooker of the Main Event too, as he ran deep last year in a 263rd-place finish for over $34,000.
“I've had lots of ups and downs in my life, so I have the experience to handle it and not go completely crazy,” said the soon-to-be 47 year old. “There are so many amazing players who are just dying to trap you and double up, so you have to be careful at all times.”
Sheehan isn't afraid to make a big calldown, as he showed against Ben Lamb. On a completed board of , Sheehan called a river shove from Lamb, who had barreled every street against two opponents. Lamb showed and Sheehan dragged the pot with .
“He started to chat me up to try to show me he was comfortable,” Sheehan said of what drove him to make the tough call.
Another player who made it through the day, though with far less chips, was 1989 WSOP Main Event champ and 14-time bracelet winner Phil Hellmuth. His patient style has long been a good fit for the Main Event. Many players might be down about bagging 45,200 chips, less than the starting stack, but not Hellmuth.
“The structure's amazing, it feels like a lot of chips to me,” he said. “The amateurs and semi-pros are gonna panic whenever they're low, but I've been playing all fucking summer with 20 big blinds so I'm used to it. I'm still sitting on almost 80 big blinds.”
Hellmuth had to deal with Dan Heimiller – “very, very, very reckless” – who ended up bagging an excellent count of 184,100. Hellmuth said he waited for a spot after Heimiller was raising over and over and finally played back with jacks. He called a four-bet and then was forced to fold to a big river bet after an ace fell.
The “Poker Brat's” poor early run continued as he then lost with kings full to aces full on a board of .
“I was annoyed because I didn't think I could lose that many chips that early in the tournament,” Hellmuth said. “All of a sudden, I'm down to 14,000 and I'm like, 'What the fuck happened?'”
Hellmuth was able to spin it back up starting with flopping a set of sevens against queens and getting a full double. He's fine with where he's at.
“I'm very comfortable, very happy,” he said, clearly in good spirits. “I might get tired and my spirit might get down at times, but my mind isn't going to give up.”
Another famous Phil, Phil Ivey, made his long-awaited debut at the WSOP this year. His day was less than stellar, as only a late double with against a player with kings allowed Ivey to bag a mere 26,100.
Plenty of other notables made it through the day including last year's champion, Joe McKeehen, as well as Greg Merson, Daniel Negreanu, Connor Drinan, Paul Volpe, Mike Leah, Doug Polk, Erik Seidel, and Shaun Deeb, among others.
Players who bagged Day 1c will return Wednesday at 11 a.m.
Online-Turned-Live Grinder Maguire Wins Online Event
Clayton Maguire took down Event #66: $1,000 Online No-Limit Hold'em for a windfall of $210,279, conquering a field of 1,247 entries after defeating tough bracelet winner Simeon Naydenov heads up.
“It was pretty fun playing an online tournament,” Maguire said “I used to play online a lot back in the day but I don't get to as much now.”
Official Final Table Results
|1||Clayton Maguire||Brighton, CO||$210,279|
|2||Simeon Naydenov||Sofia, Bulgaria||$150,569|
|3||Marc-Olivier Carpentier-Perrault||Montreal, Canada||$110,172|
|4||Spencer Taylor||Knoxville, TN||$82,926|
|5||Richard Tuhrim||New York, NY||$59,233|
|6||Park-Yu Cheung||Hong Kong, Hong Kong||$46,201|
|7||Harvey Doncev||Alexandria, VA||$34,355|
|8||Justin Gardenhire||Wagoner, OK||$22,508|
|9||Thiago Nishijima||Sao Paulo, Brazil||$14,216|
Maguire, who was playing under the name “SLARKDUCK” for the online portion of the event – the final six met at the Rio to crown the bracelet winner live – had a big stack heading to the final table but was closely rivaled by Naydenov. Sure enough, the two of them played an extensive heads-up match that had plenty of swings and lasted more than 130 hands.
Late in the game, Maguire was down to two big blinds and was out-chipped more than 20-1. He doubled three of the next four hands and, amazingly, had the bracelet locked up just 13 hands after being nearly felted.
The cash game pro, who now plays live for a living after formerly playing professionally online at $5/10 stakes, estimated his biggest online tourney score was less than $50,000. The money was the main thing he wanted but the bracelet is still a nice memento.
“I'm really happy to win the bracelet,” he said. “It's a feather in the cap.”
What's On Tap?
Day 2ab of the 2016 Main Event kicks off at 11 a.m. with the fields playing down separate from one another. At 3 p.m., the final event of the 2016 WSOP kicks off, the $1,111 Little One for One Drop, with the first of three starting days.
As the 2016 WSOP rolls on, be sure to stay tuned to PokerNews for continued coverage, brought to you by our sponsors, 888poker.