It was another exciting day here in the Pavillion. 2,062 players started day 1b with dreams of a WSOP bracelet and in a bit of deja vu from yesterday we were left with only 312 at the end of the night. They will join the 312 survivors of day 1a tomorrow afternoon meaning we will start day 2 with a total of 624 players
Total registration for the event was 4,178, which is 167 players less than the number of participants this event got last year.
After spending most of the day flying under our radar, Jon Turner is our current chip leader with 99,200. Yesterday's chip leader, Albert Kim, had only 74,675.
Some big stacks at the end of 1b included Jason Koon with 73,075 and Eugene Kim 57,225.
On one of the last hands before the conclusion of Day 1b, we caught up on a hand involving Kara Scott and Ron Burns.
The board read and more than 10,000 chips were up for grabs in the middle. Sitting in the small blind, Kara Scott led out for 5,000 and Burns thought things over before making the call. He showed his for a runner-runner flush and Scott winced in pain as she mucked her cards. Burns ended the day with 32,875 in chips which puts him in good standing as we head to Day 2 tomorrow afternoon.
A player in early position open-raised for 1,325 and Layne Flack three-bet to 3,700 from middle position. Action folded back around to Flack's opponent, who cut out a raise to 7,800 and slid it into the middle. Flack didn't waste too much time mucking his hand.
Flack's tournament life is still strong, however, with a stack hovering around 42,000.
After flying under the radar for most of the day Jon Turner is most definitely making his presence known now.
A player in early position raised to 1,500 and both Turner in the cutoff and the big blind called. The flop came , the big blind checked, the preflop raiser bet 2,500 and Turner called. The big blind folded and the turn brought the . The other player bet 4,500 and Turner again opted to call. The river was the and both players checked.
The other player instantly mucked his hand before Turner revealed his for a pair of queens.
After the hand Turner's stack was up over 110,000 and we believe he is the first player to amass over 100,000 chips.
We caught up with the action with the flop reading and two players all-in. Vince Insalaco tabled the for top pair but found himself dominated by better kicker of his opponent, who held the .
Insalaco could only win the pot with running fives, an extremely unlikely occurrence, but any of the remaining aces or nines in the deck would be good for a chopped pot. The turn card came and Insalaco was down to his last chance for survival in this event.
The dealer found the right card for Insalaco, who offered a fist pound to his disappointed opponent in congratulations. The dealer split the pot in two and both players sat back down to resume play.
As we were making our rounds throughout the cavernous Pavilion tournament area, a conversation caught our attention that reminded us why the World Series of Poker is the one of the most uniquely special spectacles in all of sport.
Jason Mencher of New York, NY was overheard telling a fellow player how excited he was to be competing, and surviving the first day of play, in a WSOP bracelet event. We heard the young player mention that his mother Marla and girlfriend Lauren were anxiously awaiting an update as to his status thus far, and that they would be absolutely ecstatic to know that he is entering Day 2 with 24,525 chips.
While his stack may not be one of the biggest in the room, the sheer joy that Mencher showed while telling his tale reminded us of one thing. While the professional players and their pursuit of prizes and prestige may dominate most of the WSOP coverage, it is amateur players like Mencher and the thousands of others like him who are truly the lifeblood of this two-month poker extravaganza.
Marc Karam is continuing to add to his chip stack. Another player raised to 1,200 preflop, Karam re-raised to 3,300 and the other player contemplated for a bit before deciding to shove all in for around 15,000. Karam snap called with the and was well ahead of the other player's .
The board ran out giving Karam an unnecessary flush and the win. After the hand Karam had around 52,000.