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WSOP 2009

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Event #57, $10,000 Main Event, End of Day 1A Report

Official Report
Event #57
World Championship
World Series of Poker Main Event
No-Limit Hold’em
Buy-In: $10,000
Number of Entries: TBA (Day 1-A – 1,116)
Total Net Prize Pool: TBA
Number of Places Paid: TBA
First Place Prize: TBA
July 3--November 10, 2009

Day 1-A Headlines

1. Shuffle-Up and Deal: 2009 World Series of Poker Begins!

2. Eric Cloutier (Mont-Laurier, Quebec) is the Chip Leader at End of Day 1-A

3. First of Four WSOP Main Event Starting Days Now Complete


The Main Event Begins

The tournament began with opening festivities. WSOP President and Commissioner opened up the tournament by introducing WSOP Tournament Director Jack Effel, who recited customary instructions and rules to all players. Effel also thanked players, fans, and the entire staff at the WSOP. He recognized the dealers in particular for their skill and devotion, which received a nice ovation. Effel then announced any player dealt four jacks in this year’s Main Event will receive a special prize from Jack Link’s Beef Jerky valued at more than $100.

The microphone then passed back to Pollack who revealed the 2009 WSOP platinum and diamond bracelet to the large crowd. This marked the first time poker’s most coveted prize has been shown in a mass public display.

Next, Pollack introduced “Sasquatch,” a huge hairy man-beast who is the face of the official WSOP sponsor Jack Link’s Beef Jerky. Sasquatch was given the honorary “Shuffle-Up and Deal” honors. The monster blathered “Shuffle-Up and Deal” to a room full of 2,000 people and was heartedly applauded by the crowd as he hugged both the Commissioner and the Tournament Director, who were the unexpected targets of Sasquatch’s affections.

This is the fourth consecutive year that the WSOP has been guided by Tournament Director Jack Effel. After being assigned as the Assistant Tournament Director in 2005, he assumed the top floor position in 2006 and has now overseen operations for the four largest poker tournaments in history.

The tournament officially began on July 3, 2009 at 12:07 pm.


Play on Day 1-A

Day 1-A attracted 1,116 entries.

The field size of the Main Event is/was so large that four starting days are necessary – 1-A (July 3rd), 1-B (July 4th), 1-C (July 5th), and 1-D (July 6th).

The first player eliminated at the 2009 WSOP was Rafael Zimmerman, from Oneonta, NY. He was interviewed shortly after busting out, which occurred about ten minutes into play. “It’s one thing to bust out because of a bad beat,” Zimmerman said about his misfortune. “But going broke after being drawn out on by the worst hand is different. I consider it an honor to bust out with the best hand.”

Former world champions who played on Day 1-A included Berry Johnston (1986), Johnny Chan (1987), and Jerry Yang (2007). Johnston and Chan will return for Day Two. Jerry Yang did not survive.

Notable non-pro celebrities who played on Day 1-A included:

Poker Hall of Fame inductees Dewey Tomko, Berry Johnston, Johnny Chan, and Billy Baxer all played and survived Day 1-A.

Players played for four complete levels. Play ended at 10:30 pm.

Players started with 30,000 in chips. This is the first year players were given triple the number of starting chips. By contrast, the WSOP Main Event from 1971 through 2005 gave players 10,000 in starting chips.

Day 1-A ended with 821 players. This means 73.5 percent of starters survived the first day.

Players who survived Day 1-A will return to continue their quest for the 2009 world poker championship on July 7th, at 12 noon.


Day 1-A Chip Leaders

The chip leader is Eric Cloutier, from Mont-Laurier, Quebec (Canada). Cloutier is a former professional hockey player. He played briefly for the NHL’s Boston Bruins. Cloutier owns a few sports bars located in the Baton Rouge and New Orleans areas of Louisiana. He has been playing poker on the tournament circuit for about five years and has cashed in many events.

Ranked second in chips is Redmond Lee, from London, England. He also performed well two years ago in the 2007 Main Event, when he ended up finishing in 41st place. Lee currently has two WSOP career cashes.

Among the chip leaders is James Navolanic, who ended the day in second place. He is a 21-year-old college student from Cleveland, OH. Navolanic is attending The Ohio State University and is pursuing a degree in communications. This is his first year to play at the WSOP and is his first WSOP event ever.

Seven of the top eight chip leaders are non-Americans.

Actor Jason Alexander is near the top of the leader board (31st place).

The highest-ranked former WSOP gold bracelet winner is Phi Nguyen, from Hawaiian Gardens, CA (36th place).

Odds and Ends

This is the 57th and final event on the 2009 WSOP schedule which is played in Las Vegas. Four more gold bracelet events will take place in London, England at the Empire Casino, to be held from September 19th through October 1st.

This marks the fifth consecutive year the WSOP has been held at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino. Prior to 2005, the WSOP was held at Binion’s Horseshoe in downtown Las Vegas. As a testament to the expansion of the WSOP since Harrah’s Entertainment assumed ownership and control of the world most prestigious poker event, more money has been awarded to winners within the Rio during the past five years than during the entire proceeding 35-year period at the Horseshoe.

Based on WSOP figures during the mega-era (2003 to present), the Day One chip leader has a slightly less than even chance of cashing in the Main Event. Since 2003, there have been 19 Day One chip leaders. The number of chip leaders is higher than number of years, due to multiple starting days. Of the 19 Day One chip leaders during this period, only nine finished in the money (47 percent). Ten players were eliminated out of the money.

Based on WSOP figures during the mega-era (2003 to present), the 9/19 Day One chip leaders who cashed finished as follows:

2003 – Barry Greenstein finished 49th
2004 – Chuck Agnew finished 82nd
2005 – Lee Watkinson finished 45th
2005 – Sammy Farha finished 316th
2007 – Josh Evans finished 76th
2007 – Tinten Olivier finished 223rd
2007 – Jeff Norman finished 500th
2008 – Steve Austin finished 552nd
2008 – Henning Granstad finished 553rd

(The average place of finish for those who cashed is 226th place)

The eventual WSOP champions and their chip positions at the conclusion of Day One were:

2003 – Chris Moneymaker, 60,475 in chips (ranked 11th)*
2004 – Greg “Fossilman” Raymer, 74,400 in chips (ranked 7th)
2005 – Joe Hachem, 67,350 in chips (not in top 25)
2006 – Jamie Gold, 100,125 in chips (ranked 23rd)
2007 – Jerry Yang, 99,700 in chips (not in top 25)
2008 – Peter Eastgate, 62,325 (not in top 25)

*NOTE: 2003-2005 started with 10,000 in chips. 2006-2008 started with 20,000 in chips. 2009 starts with 30,000 in chips.

The most dominant Day One Main Event performance in history was by three-time WSOP gold bracelet winner John Bonetti, who passed away two years ago. Bonetti finished the first day of the 1993 Main Event with 500,000 in chips (the figure is an estimate, since there was no Internet coverage, nor accurate records from that year). Since there were 231 players registered, he had a staggering 22 percent of the total chips in play. Bonetti went on to finished third that year.

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