The halls of the Rio in Las Vegas are starting to get busier as the 2017 World Series of Poker (WSOP) picks up steam. On Thursday, the first bracelet was won, and three other events were also in action.
Negreanu and Radoja Make Final Table of $10,000 Tag Team Championship
The new Event #2: $10,000 Tag Team No-Limit Hold’em Championship resumed with half of the field returning for Day 2. Out of the 102 teams that entered, 51 were back on Thursday. By the end of the day, only six teams remained with Daniel Negreanu’s team holding the chip lead.
The baby-faced Canadian pro looks a little different sans-beard. He has stated that he isn't going to shave until he wins a bracelet, but that might happen before he grows any stubble to remove!
In his very first event of the series, Negreanu is already looking to add a seventh bracelet to his collection. Along with teammates Eric Wasserson, David Benyamine, and Mark Gregorich, they’ll need to outlast the five other remaining teams to win the top prize of $273,964.
Team Negreanu will return on Friday with 1,498,000 chips. Behind them is Team Ajlouny with 932,000, and in third is attached-at-the-hip duo Liv Boeree and Igor Kurganov with 929,000. Ankush Mandavia and Joe Kuether bagged 800,000 chips.
In fifth is another Canadian with bracelet hopes. Mark Radoja is teamed up with Martin Jacobson and they will resume play with 632,000. Rounding out the final six is Javier Gomez and Lander Lijo with 287,000.
This unique tournament format pits teams of players against one another. One player takes the hot seat at a time, but they can tag out to another teammate anytime they’re not involved in a hand.
Among those who cashed on Day 2 was Canadian Matthew Lapossie on a team with Senovio Ramirez and Juan Ramirez. They finished in 11th place for $17,912.
Play will resume at 2 p.m. on Friday and play down to a winner. The first win for Canada might come very early in the series with two of these teams having Canadian players in contention.
First Bracelet Won by American in Casino Employees Event
The first bracelet of the series has been awarded. Event #1: $565 Casino Employees No-Limit Hold’em was only open to players who work in the industry and saw 651 entries create a prize pool of $325,500. On Thursday, just 11 remained with no Canadians among them. American Bryan Hollis claimed the win and $68,817 to go with the bracelet.
Two Canadians Survive Day 1 of $3,000 Shootout
Of the two events that kicked off with Day 1 on Thursday, one of them was Event #3: $3,000 No-Limit Hold’em Shootout. With 369 entries, the prize pool came in just shy of a million dollars.
By the end of the day, only 50 players remained. Of them, two of them were Canadian. The better stack belonged to Jean-Pascal Savard with 104,800 chips, though everyone is very close in chips due to the shootout format. He should be playing with a lot of confidence after just recently winning the largest (by prizepool) poker tournament in Canadian history — the partypoker Million North America.
The other Canadian who will return on Friday is Kelly Kellner of Canadian Poker Tour fame, and the man involved in the new Canadian poker media startup PokerVision Network. He’ll be back with 104,600 chips.
Play will resume at noon on Friday and players will try to be the last player standing on each table to advance to the next stage of the tournament.
$1.2 Million Up for Grabs in $1,500 Omaha Hi-Lo
The other event that began on Thursday was Event #4: $1,500 Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better. A total of 904 entries passed through registration, putting up a prize pool of $1,221,750. None of it will be paid out until the bubble bursts on Day 2.
By the end of play, 254 players remained and it was a very American-heavy crowd. None tipped into a six-figure stack. Rex Clinkscales came close, bagging the chip lead with 96,200. Canadians Jeffery Stepaniuk (40,200), Paul Sokoloff (17,400), and Aaron Duczak (15,300) were the only players from our nation to advance to Day 2.
These players will be back at 2 p.m. on Friday to play into the money and to the end of another 10 levels.