The World Series of Poker’s Championship Event is now halfway through its four Day Ones, with UB.com sending its stable of pros from Team UB to battle. Joining the crew from UB.com are a slew of online players who won their way into the event through satellites on the site.
According to a spokesperson for UB.com, 158 players won their way to Las Vegas through the variety of means provided by the site. “Until the final Day One (Day 1D), we won’t have an accurate count of how many have actually made the journey to the WSOP,” the spokesperson stated. To encourage players to make the trek to the Rio, UB.com has created a stake for those players to share, even if they don’t cash in the WSOP Championship Event.
For players who have won their way to Sin City through satellites on UB.com, there is a guaranteed $1000 awaiting them if they wear UB.com apparel. This guaranteed money goes up on a graduated scale to a minimum of $3750 if more than 52 of the qualifiers heads to Vegas to take their shot at the World Championship. If a UB.com branded player makes it to the money, they will earn substantially more, depending on how many of the qualifiers show. If more than 52 UB.com qualifiers show up and no one makes the money, the players will each earn $5000 just for going to the WSOP.
As to Team UB.com, several players have already been in action on the felt at the Rio. On Monday’s Day 1A, two of the top players from the squad, Matt “mattg1983” Graham and Tiffany Michelle stepped up to carry the UB.com banner. Of the 1125 players who took part in action on Monday, only 762 will come back for action on Day 2A, with Matt and Tiffany both still alive; Tiffany is significantly below her starting stack of 30,000 in finishing the day with 12,950 chips, while Matt has been able to add to his starting stack and will enter Day 2A with 58,450.
Tuesday saw a few more of the Team UB.com pros enter the fray at the Rio. WSOP double bracelet holder Brandon Cantu was joined by Mark “PokerH0” Kroon and Joe Sebok for play, with two of them not making the cut. “PokerH0,” according to the UB.com blog from “Mean” Gene Bromberg, was cooled on two occasions, once running pocket Queens into pocket Kings, then being shown the door when his Big Slick couldn’t catch up with the Queens he once held.
Sebok, who had one mini-cash during the run of the 2010 WSOP, was a bit more fortunate than “PokerH0.” Joe made the dinner break and, as accurately stated by Bromberg, “…and one hand beyond.” With a dwindling stack, Sebok made a stand with pocket fives and was looked up by A-6. Once his Presto had been vanquished, Joe headed for the door of the Rio.
Cantu, who has picked up a couple of cashes over the WSOP schedule for just under $10K, has had the best run of Team UB.com members in the Championship Event to this point. Of the 1489 runners who came to the line on Tuesday, Cantu is a part of the of the 1017 who will live to play on Day 2B (Days 1A and 1C take Day 2A, while Days 1B and 1D will take Day 2B). According to WSOP statistics, Cantu finished 189th for the day, with a chip stack of 65,025.
The rest of the Team UB.com stable will be storming the WSOP castle over the next two Day One’s. On Wednesday, Phil Hellmuth will make his usual grandiose WSOP entrance as an MMA fighter, with actual MMA warrior Wanderlei Silva as a part of his entourage. In the past, the eleven-time WSOP bracelet winner has made his entrance as General George Patton and Julius Caesar, just to pick some memorable ones.
Entering the Rio much more subtly will be the remaining members of Team UB.com. Led by Poker News Daily guest columnist Annie Duke, Billy “Patrolman35” Kopp, defending CardPlayer Magazine Player of the Year Eric “basebaldy” Baldwin, Anthrax guitarist extraordinaire Scott Ian, WSOP Circuit Rincon champion Bryan Devonshire, the always dangerous Michael Binger, Adam “Roothlus” Levy and Gary “Debo34” DeBernardi will all be on the tables on Wednesday afternoon. UB.com has also tapped former Miss USA Shanna Moakler for a seat at the WSOP Championship Event; “Hollywood” Dave Stann will also be a part of the fray, but his decision between Days 1C and 1D isn’t known at this time.