As the World Series of Poker (WSOP) approached its first weekend, the first open event bracelet was won and several other tournaments filled the halls of the Rio in Las Vegas as well.
Negreanu Falls Just Short of 7th Bracelet
In his very first event of the summer, Daniel Negreanu was just inches from the finish line for his seventh career bracelet.
On Friday, the third day of Event #2: $10,000 Tag Team No-Limit Hold’em Championship had six teams returning to the felt to determine a winner. One of them was led by Negreanu and included Eric Wasserson, Mark Gregorich, and David Benyamine. Another Canadian, Mark Radoja, was teamed up with Martin Jacboson and also had a chance to bring gold home for Canada, but they ultimately fell in sixth place for $47,271.
After starting the day with the chip lead and maintaining it most of the day, Team Negreanu met their demise in third place for $119,753. The winners were poker couple Liv Boeree and Igor Kurganov who now enjoy matching bracelets. They also collected the $273,964 first-place prize, but then made good on their promise to donate half of their winnings from this event to the Raising for Effective Giving (REG) charity.
The unique tournament format had teams of players facing one another at the felt. One player from each team would take the hot seat and they could tag out to any other team member anytime they weren’t active in a hand. A cheaper $1,000 version of the same tournament will be offered next week.
Engel Enjoys Early Lead in One Drop
Most eyes were on Event #6: High Roller for One Drop - $111,111 No-Limit Hold’em as it get underway on Friday. This is the most expensive tournament of the series and sees the best players in the world come together at the tables.
There were 119 entries on Day 1, but registration will remain open through the first two levels on Saturday. After eight levels of play, 79 players remained.
Canada’s Ari Engel was an early chip leader as he was responsible for the first elimination of the tournament and he held the position for a good portion of the day, but he finished the day in the lower half of the counts with 479,000 chips.
Martin Jacobson bagged the largest stack at 1,677,000. Daniel Negreanu also jumped in the event after busting Event #2 and finished the day with 451,000. Play will resume at 2 p.m. on Saturday and will continue through eight more levels.
No Canadians Advance in $3,000 Shootout
The second day of Event #3: $3,000 No-Limit Hold’em Shootout reduced the field to just a final table of 10. The three Canadians (Jean-Pascal Savard, Kelly Kellner, and Henry Tran) who had made Day 2 were all unable to win their tables. They each collected $6,407.
The final 10 will return on Saturday to play down to a winner, and the roster includes the likes of Olivier Busquet, Upeshka De Silva, and Taylor Paur.
$1,500 Omaha-8 Down to 29
Also on the docket on Friday was Day 2 of Event #4: $1,500 Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better. There were 254 players who returned to the felt and just 29 of them advanced to Saturday’s Day 3.
Canadians Paul Sokoloff (56th — $3,512) and Jeffery Stepaniuk (121st — $2,315) were the only players to survive into the money in the four-card, split-pot game, but neither made it through the day. Day 3 will see American Christopher Logue return with the chip lead at 498,000 chips.
The Colossus III Begins
One last event was also keeping dealers busy on Friday. Event #5: The Colossus III - $565 No-Limit Hold’em saw two of its starting flights get started — one in the morning and one in the afternoon. Both played down past the money bubble.
There will be another two starting flights on Saturday to add to a huge field of players.