First Bracelet Winner on the Horizon, 1K Draws Large Numbers

Jesse Sylvia, left, and Tom Marchese, right, are seated together in the $5,000 No Limit Hold'em Eight-Max.

Jesse Sylvia, left, and Tom Marchese, right, are seated together in the $5,000 No Limit Hold’em Eight-Max.

The first bracelet winner of the 2013 WSOP is just 11 eliminations away in the kick-off event, the $500 Casino Employees No Limit Hold’em and the money bubble is slowly approaching in the $5,000 No Limit Hold’em Eight-Max. Elsewhere at the Rio the third tournament of the summer, the $1,000 No Limit Hold’em, officially got underway at 12 pm and amassed a field as large as to be expected with a $1,000 buy-in.

$500 Casino Employees Event

The end is on the horizon for the kick-off tournament of the WSOP. The Casino Employees event drew 898 players, up just shy of 23 percent from the 2012 WSOP, but the field has now been trimmed down to the final 12 players. The plan is to play down to a winner tonight, but there is a possibility play will end for the evening with the first bracelet winner of the summer still undetermined.

“It’s scheduled for a two-day event so it should play down tonight, but it’s about 85-15 that we won’t get there tonight,” said floorman Robbie Thompson.

Sean Small was out front of the 12-player field with a stack of 465,000, followed by Allan Kwong and Chad Holloway with 360,000 and 355,000 respectively.

$5,000 No Limit Hold’em Eight-Max

The first open event of the WSOP is halfway through Day 2 and only 96 of the original 481 remain.  When the final 56 are left payouts from the $2,260,700 prizepool will begin. While the money bubble was not quite on the horizon, many players in the field were admittedly happy to still be seated with chips.

“I’ve made Day 2 of my first tournament of the summer, so I can’t complain,” said Frank Rusnak, who has 16 WSOP cashes to his name.

Trevor Pope took the position of chip leader with 228,000 and Tom Marchese, who began the day with the chip lead, is not far behind with 185,000. David Sands, Jeremy Ausmus, David “Bakes” Baker, Barry Greenstein and Jesse Sylvia are still alive. Josh Arieh, Ana Marquez, Craig McCorkell, Byron Kaverman and Dani Stern were among the Day 2 eliminations.

Jared Jaffe was also among the earlier bustouts of the day.

“I got it in with king-king versus ace-king and an ace on the river,” Jaffe said of his all-too-familiar bustout hand. “I should go play the 1k but I don’t really feel like it right now.”

$1,000 No Limit Hold’em 

The first $1,000 No Limit Hold’em event of the Series got underway at 12 pm, with a format that’s never been seen at the WSOP. The tournament featured two starting flights, giving players the chance to fire two bullets on Day 1. Players who busted the early flight were allowed to try again at 5 pm or players had the choice of starting the day in the 5 pm flight.

Xuan Liu, Amnon Filippi, Phil Collins, Kenny Nguyen, Christian Harder, Adam Levy and Bernard Lee are among the 470 players who remain from the 1,828 players which began the 12 pm flight. Andy Philachack, Nick Binger, Nick Schulman and Tommy Vedes are just a few of the notables out of the 1,196 players to register for the 5 pm flight. More players are expected to join the field as registration is open until 9:45 pm.

With the fields narrowed down in the first two events, the third tournament of the summer has also picked up players who have already busted at least one tournament.

Daniel Buzgon took his seat in the 5 pm start after being taken out of the $5,000 No Limit Hold’em Eight-Max by 2012 WSOP Main Event runner-up Jesse Sylvia.

“I got it in in a fun little spot with Sylvia,” Buzgon said of his 7x 4x which was counterfeited by Slyvia’s Kx 8x after the two got their chips in the middle on a flop of 8x 7x 4x. Running deuces on the turn and the river to give Sylvia the best hand.

Michael Phelps, the most decorated Olympian of all time, Will Failla and Keith Ferrera also joined the field after being eliminated from Event 2.

For other players the two-flight tournament marked their first run at WSOP gold this summer.

“I’m freaking out just a little,” said Sachin Ramrakhani as he took his seat. “But it’s all for fun right?”

Matt Salsberg, Jeff Madsen, 2009 Main Event champion Joe Cada, David Williams, Tristan Wade, Jake Cody, Andy Bloch, Faraz Jaka, and Dominik Nitsche are just a few of the famous faces to been seen in the field which spanned two tournament rooms.

Coming up

Continue to follow for news on the progress of the $500 Casino Employees Event, $5,000 No Limit Hold’em and $1,000 No Limit Hold’em as the night continues on.

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