2018 WSOP Main Event Day 1a: Truyen Nguyen Leads; Blumstein Busts

Truyen Nguyen

The first of three starting days of the 2018 World Series of Poker $10,000 Main Event is in the books and a total of 925 players took part in the biggest and most important poker tournament of the year at the Rio All-Suites Hotel & Casino.

After five levels of two hours each, only 659 hopefuls advanced and Truyen Nguyen bagged up the chip lead with a stack of 324,800, narrowly pipping the UK's Chris Fraser for the top spot.

Nguyen, who works in the IT business, used to play online poker before Black Friday and shared a table with 2017 WSOP Main Event 9th place finisher Ben Lamb. In the last level of the night, Lamb was very active at the table, escaping elimination by Nguyen once when they chopped it up when a straight ran out on the board. However, Nguyen then got there a few hands later with a flush draw against the set of Lamb and the top pair of a third player, to bag up massive 324,800. Fraser follows not far behind with an equally impressive 316,100.

#PlayerCountryChip CountBig Blinds
1Truyen NguyenUnited States324,800541
2Chris FraserUnited Kingdom316,100527
3David McCawUnited States220,400367
4John VossoughiUnited States220,300367
5Matthew DavidowNew Zealand216,600361

Some other big stacks and notables that can now enjoy two days off before returning to the action on Thursday, July 5, are Frank Crivello (215,000), Kevin "Phwap" Boudreau (186,300), Nick Jivkov (186,000), Matt Berkey (185,600), Alexandru Papazian (147,100), Gordon Vayo (87,100), the former Main Event champions Joe Hachem (84,700), Scotty Nguyen (84,400) and Joe McKeehen (36,200), as well as Erik Seidel (72,100).

The early spotlight was on defending champion Scott Blumstein and the 2017 champion was moved to the ESPN feature tables after the dinner break. However, his title defense came to a very early end after he called a three-bet by Brian Yoon and check-called bets by Yoon all the way with pocket tens on a six-high board. Running spades gave Yoon the nut flush with ace-jack suited and Blumstein couldn't get away from it to bow out on level three. Yoon went on to bag up 145,000 at the end of the night.

Scott Blumstein
2017 Main Event champion Scott Blumstein made an early exit on Day 1a of the Main Event.

Other former Main Event champions that failed to advance included Qui Nguyen and Jerry Yang. Notables such as Brian Rast, Christopher Andler, Felipe Ramos, Stephen Chidwick, Chance Kornuth, former football star Richard Seymour and Jonathan Little all hit the rail also.

It wasn't just about the superstars of the poker scene though at the tables on Day 1a, as poker commentator David Tuchman (111,000), actor Kevin Pollak (71,300), and the well-known comedian Ray Romano (61,100) all bagged up along with plenty of first-timers and poker enthusiasts from all over the world. One arrival, in particular, caused quite some attention, as American film and television producer Randall Emmett entered the tournament with a band of musicians and girls in exotic costumes. Emmett bagged up an above-average 133,400 and will be among those to return for Day 2 and fight for poker's most elusive title of the year.

Randall Emmett entrance
Randall Emmett made a grand entrance on Day 1a.

While Day 1a is in the books, the second starting day is just one night's sleep away and kicks off at 11 a.m. local time on July 3. The PokerNews live reporting team will be back on the floor to provide WSOP Live Updates of all the action.

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