Day 1A Report
So it’s underway, and it looks like it’s going to be very close to capacity this year. I was very surprised it didn’t reach the cap last year but with all the additional seats given away in freerolls, as well as the usual pay-to-enter satellites this time around, we are already over 8000 entrants. Of course, if you hadn’t bought in by the start of play yesterday you’re not going to be buying straight in now and with online qualification shut the only real route will be through the satellites at the Rio, so it’s going to be a drip feed of last minute qualifiers only now. Still, I imagine Western Union are doing good trade.
Day 1A got off to a pretty trouble free start, despite the announcement that any shirts with a ‘.com’ address on them would have to be turned inside out else the tournament would not begin, perhaps giving us a sneak peak at what Paddy Power’s forthcoming strip poker tournament will be like. The announcement was made to the entire room of 2138 players but according to one of the tournament staff I spoke to it was actually only meant to be addressed to those at the featured TV table. Sadly Erica Schoenberg was sporting a Mansion.NET shirt anyhow. Quite what law or sponsor is being satisfied by this requirement was unclear.
The TV table itself had a little hiccup when its blinds were not increased in line with the rest of the tournament, staying at 25/25 long after the rest of the field had increased to 25/50. Aside from this and the overworked air conditioning which lead to players asking for cups of ice to drink knowing they would be just cold water within a few minutes, things went smoothly. Listening to the floor staff radioing and asking for the air-con to be turned up, I had could almost here a small Scottish man talking back to them “She’s giving it all she’s got captain, the engines cannae take any more”.
Eliminations on Day 1A included Juha Helppi, Luca Pagano, William Chen, Full Tilt players Clonie Gowen and Lee Watkinson, Tony G, Eskimo Clark, Tobey McGuire (who refused to be photographed all day but seemed happy enough chatting to a friend on the rail after his elimination), John Shipley and Amir Vahedi.
Young Gun Mark Vos, who is having a great World Series, was sitting behind a healthy stack all day and finished in 12th place on 85,375. Chip leader is Francis Cipriano on 123,200 whilst top European is Irishman Paul McCeffrey on 110,650 (described by Steve Hall of Pokerfolio.com as ‘a young Padraig Parkinson’).
Comeback king on day 1 is ex World No. 1 snooker player Steve Davis, who I was convinced was out and had been down to 500 chips at one stage but is listed in the official chip count as having finished 23,100. Of course we do have 3 gentlemen named Steve Davis in the database and it’s not impossible 2 of them were playing, but I hope that’s not the case! EPT organiser and Poker Million winner John Duthie was on a roller coaster ride himself, starting very strongly and maybe even getting the chip lead in the early stages almost tripling up but was then down to the felt before finishing on a playable 14,675. Roland de Wolfe was not so lucky, starting very well too but not making it to the end of the day. Julian Gardner looks to be setting himself up for another good run in the Main Event with 60,325, whilst, Englishman as of yesterday (passports mean nothing, the database is the real authority) Jason Gray finishes on 44,475. Tony Bloom, after doing half of his stack not long after taking his seat, shows one again his class bagging up 38,175.
For a full list of final chip counts and photos from the day’s action please check this thread.