Poker News

To the casual observer, each starting day of the 2012 World Series of Poker (WSOP) Main Event looks the same. Loads of tables crowded with poker players, the constant rattle of chips throughout the room, the initial buzz of excitement that eventually gives way to resolute grinding. It’s all there each day. But those who look more closely will see that each day has its own personality.

Take Day 1B, the second starting day of the Main Event, for instance. The start could not have been more different than Day 1A. On Saturday, the person bestowed with the honor of initiating the proceedings with the “shuffle up and deal” call was Ellen “Gram” Deeb, the 92-year old grandmother of poker pro Shaun Deeb. Contrast that with yesterday, when it was UFC Welterweight Champion George St. Pierre making the starting announcement. Though he said he would “try not to tap out too fast,” he was unable to last past the first day in his WSOP debut.

Day 1B saw 2,114 players start their runs at poker immortality, just about twice as many as Day 1A. That puts the two-day total at 3,180 with one more starting day to go. Day 1C is expected to be the largest of the three starting days and it will have to be in order for the total Main Event entries to top last year’s 6,865. The tournament is almost exactly on pace with the first two starting days of 2011, though it is not really an apt comparison, as there were four starting days last year, compared to just three this year.

Topping the Day 1B field at the end of the night was California’s John Hoang with 180,000 chips. Unlike Saturday, when William John led his next closest competitor by 100,000 chips, the top of the Day 1B leaderboard is crowded, with James Schafer, Vanessa Selbst, and Anh Van Nguyen all within 17,000 of Hoang. William John’s 266,700 chip stack is still easily the largest of those remaining in the field.

Also surviving to see Day 2 were Daniel Negreanu (11th place of the Day 1B competitors with 140,575 chips), Gram’s boy Shaun Deeb (125,900), Brian Hastings (119,000), Sammy Farha (118,500), Amnon Filippi (109,900), Todd Witteles (104,500), Barny Boatman (98,200), Bernard Lee (96,575), Eugene Katchalov (96,275), Dan Shak (86,625), Dan Harrington (83,750), Erik Cajelais (75,800), 2002 Main Event champion Robert Varkonyi (75,325), Tex Barch (72,975), and 2007 champion Jerry Yang (71,775), among many others.

Not so fortunate were the likes of 2004 WSOP Main Event champion Greg Raymer, Tom “durrrr” Dwan, Yevgeniy Timoshenko, Bertrand “ElkY” Grospellier, Chip Jett, Victor Ramdin, Joe Sebok, David Singer, Todd Brunson, and Amanda Musumeci.

The final starting day, Day 1C will kick off at noon Vegas time on Monday.

2012 World Series of Poker Main Event – Day 1B Chip Leaders

1.    John Hoang – 180,000
2.    James Schafer – 171,250
3.    Vanessa Selbst – 168,350
4.    Anh Van Nguyen – 163,050
5.    Jeff Beckley – 158,550
6.    Matt Woodward – 158,500
7.    Nelius Foley – 146,875
8.    Shawn Quillin – 146,320
9.    Jason Somerville – 144,725
10.    Fergal Nealon – 141,825

2012 World Series of Poker Main Event – Overall Chip Leaders

1.    William John – 266,700
2.    John Hoang – 180,000
3.    James Schafer – 171,250
4.    Vanessa Selbst – 168,350
5.    Gerardo Lubas, 165,825
6.    Daniel Strelitz, 164,125
7.    Jeff Beckley – 158,550
8.    Matt Woodward – 158,500
9.    Dane Lomas, 157,600
10.    Cary Katz, 154,850

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