To say that there have been some strange occurrences going on at the Rio for the 2019 World Series of Poker Championship Event (the “Main Event”) would be a huge understatement. A check of the lunar calendar doesn’t show that there is a full moon or any other heavenly alignment to cause issues, but there have been not one but TWO disqualifications on Day 1C AND Phil Ivey’s stay in the tournament was quicker than a couple in the back seat of a car on Prom Night. Then, to top it off, an earthquake paused action on Friday night, sending players scattering for cover and officials to deal with the headaches.
Things You Don’t Do at a Casino, Part 1
The first instance of disqualification was a pretty simple one. According to reports from WSOP.com, a player who just picked up a small pot, Georgii Belianin, suddenly decided while he was scooping up said pot that he would swipe a stack of chips from his opponent on his left’s stack. Upon being notified of the action, none other than WSOP Tournament Director Jack Effel came to the table, which also featured former World Champion Joseph McKeehen, and escorted the gentleman from the felt.
Here’s the kicker: Belianin’s chips were removed from the tournament, but his $10,000 entry fee stayed in the prize pool. PokerNews.com quoted Effel as saying, “Here’s the thing; you’re playing the Main Event…you can’t touch other player’s chips.” Although there were some at the table who thought Belianin might have done what he did as a joke, when you’ve popped $10,000 for your right to play in the tournament, you don’t mess around.
Things You Don’t Do at a Casino, Part 2
The second disqualification incident was a bit more…revealing. Apparently an all-in player decided to take the “all-in” part more seriously than others, declaring his move and flipping up his hand and showing his cards (Q-3) while there were still players to decide their action. As a player pondered his move, the all-in player decided to drop trou and moon the table, yelling “I’m all in blind!” He then decided to remove his shoes and throw them at the table, with one shoe hitting the dealer and apparently sparking the disqualification.
The person in question was filmed doing this in a Tweet that was shared by Scott Davies (and we also h/t to blattsmullet):
Enter Phil Ivey…and Exit Phil Ivey
Phil Ivey came to the WSOP this summer looking to add to his 10 WSOP bracelets and, after coming up short in the $50,000 Poker Players’ Championship, had one of his final chances for 2019 in the “Main Event.” That chance lasted all of 60 minutes for the Poker Hall of Famer, either because of crappy cards or disinterest (it is well known that Ivey is more into high stakes cash games than pursuing tournament poker immortality).
Seated in one of the auxiliary playing areas that was being employed by the WSOP due to the massive throngs of players, Ivey didn’t even make it out of the first level of the day. After starting with a 60K stack, Ivey had been cut down to less than half that amount (25K) when he decided to clash with Jeffrey Chang and Hirotaka Nakanishi. Little did Ivey know that this would be his final hand of the Championship Event.
After Chang opened the action, Nakanishi three bet and Ivey made the call. After Chang added in his chips, the 9♥ 7♠ 10♠ flop hit the felt and the fireworks were sparked. Chang would check his option and saw Nakanishi bet and Ivey call. Chang now came to life, putting out a 6500-chip bet, which was enough to get Nakanishi to give up the ghost. Ivey wasn’t done, however, plopping the remainder of his stack (17,500) into the center and Chang snapped him off.
Ivey: A♠ 4♠
Ivey put his tournament life at risk with a flush draw, running into the two pair of Chang, and desperately needed for a spade to come. Instead, a J♣ came on the turn and, once the 3♥ hit the river, Ivey was out of the tournament in the first level of the day’s action.
Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On
If all of this wasn’t enough, there was an
earthquake that saw the tournament send players to an early dinner break. At approximately
8:19PM, a 7.1 magnitude earthquake struck in California. As Las Vegas was the
closest major city to the Ridgecrest epicenter of the quake, the Rio felt the
effects. ESPN’s cameras, which were showing the Day 1C action on their airwaves,
caught the effects of the quake, with their cameras shaking and unable to focus
on the tables.
With players a bit unnerved by the tumbler, WSOP officials shipped the players out of the massive structures that make up the Rio convention arenas (and serve as the playing grounds for the WSOP) and to a dinner break. It also gave them time to clean up some of the damage, as some chandeliers fell from the ceilings and shattered on the floor but didn’t hit any people.
Unofficial Top Five Led by Day 1A Leader Campanello
With the three Day Ones now in the books, we do have an unofficial Top Five:
1. Bryan Campanello, 417,500 (Day 1A)
2. Adam Owen, 351,800 (Day 1B)
3. Raymond Travis Rice, 335,000 (Day 1A)
4. Asi Moshe, 330,200 (Day 1B)
(tie) Gary Blackwood, 330,200 (Day 1B)
One thing that isn’t currently available is a player count for the tournament. Late registration is open until the start of action today (12 noon), at which point the prize pool will be determined. The 4900 players from Day 1C, along with the 3250 from the first two Day Ones of the tournament, will guarantee the 2019 WSOP Championship Event will be over 8000 (8150, to be exact) and, if enough people come out of the woodwork, might take a run at the largest WSOP Championship Event in history (2006, 8773 players).