The World Poker Tour returned to action today with the first day of the 2009 World Poker Finals at Foxwoods Resort Casino at the Mashantucket Pequot Nation in Connecticut.
The $10,000 WPF main event continued a recent WPT trend of declining attendance; it drew 353 players, down from last year’s 412-player field that was topped by Jonathan Little. Today’s field was still big enough to build a prize pool worth $3,321,377, though, with first place worth $910,058 and 36 players in all getting paid.
Plenty of high-profile players turned up to play one of the oldest still-running tournaments in poker today. Among those who didn’t make it through the day were 2009 WPT Championship winner Yevgeniy Timoshenko, 2009 Borgata Poker Open champ Olivier Busquet, 2009 EPT London High Roller champ Matt Glantz, 2009 Aruba Poker Classic runner-up Robert Mizrachi, 2009 Gulf Coast Poker Championship winner Chad Brown, and 2008 EPT Grand Final champion Glen Chorny. They joined another 141 players in exiting the tournament early, leaving just 206 players to return to action tomorrow.
Topping the leaderboard at the end of Day 1 was Legends of Poker final tablist Todd Terry, who finished the day with 165,700 in chips. Terry’s Legends run ended in third place behind November Niner Kevin Schaffel, who finished in second place, and champion Prahlad Friedman. Schaffel is not playing in this event since he’s due to return to the WSOP Main Event final table this weekend, but Friedman remains in the hunt with 67,450 in chips.
Also in the top 10 chip counts at the end of the day were 2009 Southern Poker Championship final tablist Soheil Shamseddin, who will be profiled in next month’s issue of Bluff, in fifth place with 126,000. Michael “The Grinder” Mizrachi ended the day in sixth place with 125,900, while Alan Sasser, a qualifier from subscription site ClubWPT.com, finished the day in ninth place with 121,600.
Play is set to resume tomorrow at 12 p.m. ET. at Foxwoods.
1. Todd Terry – 165,700
2. Danny Shiff – 159,525
3. Adam Lippert – 159,000
4. Jack Schanbacher – 148,775
5. Soheil Shamseddin – 126,000
6. Michael “The Grinder” Mizrachi – 125,900
7. Chris Moore – 123,700
8. Danny Illingworth – 121,600
9. Alan Sasser – 121,600
10. John Barucci – 119,95
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