Event 61: $10,000 No-Limit Hold'em Main Event
Event 61: $10,000 No-Limit Hold'em Main Event
Day 1a Completed

Day 1a In the Books: William John Leads; Kornuth and Baldwin Big Stacks

• Level 5: 200-400, 50 ante
William John - Chip Leader
William John - Chip Leader

Well today was one of the most exciting days on the poker calendar, as the biggest poker tournament in the world kicked off at Day 1a of the 2012 Main Event! 1066 players stormed the Rio this morning with $10,000 and a dream, and after five action packed levels. William John is looking down at everyone else, as he sits on a whopping 266,700 chips, which covers the rest of the field by 100,000. Trailing John are Gerardo Lubas (165,800), Daniel Strelitz (164,125), Dane Lomas (157,600), and Chance Kornuth (141,775), who round out the top five.

Plenty of famous faces were here at the Rio today, including our defending champion Pius Heinz. Heinz spent most of his day on the main stage in the mothership, and he grinded a shortish stack for much of the day. However, Heinz found a key double up in the last level and his stack grew to 39,275 by the end of the night.

We were also surprised to see the one, the only, Phil Hellmuth, who unlike in past years, made a quiet, subdued entrance to this event. Hellmuth originally had registered for Day 1C of this event, but tweeted that after getting 14.5 hours of sleep, he was ready to play the day. Unfortunately for Hellmuth, it might not have been his best decision, as he was eliminated in the last level of the night when his top pair ran into the bottom set of Michael Tureniec.

While Hellmuth won’t be coming back for Day 2, there are a ton of notable names that still have a shot at the dream of the Main Event Final Table. That list of names includes Eric Baldwin (123,150), Faraz Jaka (115,775), Filippo Candio (85,000), JJ Liu (78,800), Mike Sexton (15,200), and David Williams (9,100).

Of course, not everyone could make it to the end of the day. We lost a handful of famous faces, including Ray Romano, Greg “FBT” Mueller, Allen Bari, Kathy Liebert, Eric Froehlich, Matt Glantz, Lee Markholt,Frank Kassela, Pokernews Hostess Kristy Arnett, former main event final table finishers Raymond Rahme and Soi Nguyen, and three former Main Event Champions: 1993 Champ Jim Bechtel, 2005 Champ Joe Hachem, and the aforementioned Hellmuth.

The players who have advanced to make it to Day 2 will now have two days off before they return on Tuesday at noon to play five more levels. Tomorrow will be Day 1b, where we will see a fresh batch of players try to match the accomplishment of today’s survivors. Play for Day 1b will start at noon tomorrow, so we hope that you come back to Pokernews to check out all the action. Until then, good night from the desert!

Tags: William John

Official End-of-Day Chip Counts (full)

William John AU 266,700
Gerardo Lubas ph 165,825 25
Daniel Strelitz 164,125
Dane Lomas 157,600
Benjamin Pollak 144,200
Chance Kornuth us 141,775
Jonathan Cuevas 141,675
Jared Okun 141,350
Eric Kurtzman 136,900
David Randall 132,725 -25
Mark Dietz 132,300
Vasile Buboi 132,075
Leo Wolpert 128,300
Mark Demirdjian 127,125
Marko Neumann 125,650
Jon Eaton 125,550
Barakeh Fadi 123,450
Eric Baldwin us 123,150
Matthew Kirby 120,825
David Funkhouser 120,600
Jamie Armstrong 120,400
Michael Tureniec se 118,425
Steven Brackesy 118,400
Daniel Lowery 118,250
Kevin Rabichow 117,800

Read full

Some End-of-Day Counts

This is how some of the big stacks and notable names look at the end of Day 1a of the 2012 World Series of Poker.

William John AU 266,700 36,700
Gerardo Lubas ph 165,800
Daniel Strelitz 164,125 12,125
Dane Lomas 157,600
Chance Kornuth us 141,775 73,775
Johnathan Cuevas 141,675 7,675
Eric Kurtzman 136,900 -13,100
David Randall 132,750 -15,250
Vasile Buboi 132,075 -27,925
Leo Wolpert 128,300 -6,700
Barakeh Fadi 123,450 3,450
Eric Baldwin us 123,150 5,150
Jamie Armstrong 120,400 -16,600
Michael Tureniec se 118,425 -1,575
Faraz Jaka us 115,775 17,775
Ryan Welch 110,425 -9,575
Roman Valerstein 99,950 41,950
Anton Wigg 94,000 24,000
Zach Hall 85,250 -39,750
Filippo Candio 85,000 31,000
JJ Liu tw 78,800 23,800
Karina Jett us 68,500 14,500
Isaac Haxton us 59,200 10,200
Ilan Boujenah 51,050 -1,950
Kevin Pollak 43,900 -100

Read full

William John Dancing His Way To The Big Stack

William John
William John

We arrived at William John's table with the board reading {K-Spades}{J-Clubs}{9-Clubs}.

He bet 10,000, one player folded, and another called to see the {Q-Clubs} turn. John checked to his opponent who bet 14,000, but that didn't shake John who called to see the {8-Clubs} river.

It was at this point where things got a bit confusing, as John picked up a few orange chips and tossed them back and forth in his hands. He then put them back on the table and was on the verge of betting 25,000 before he stood up out of his chair and started dancing to the music he was listening to.

As he was dancing, he announced all in and happily showed {A-Clubs}{K-Hearts} when his opponent folded.

William John AU 230,000 70,000

Tags: William John

Kasella Home Late

Two-time World Series of Poker gold bracelet winner and 2010 WSOP Player of the Year, Frank Kassela has just made a late exit from the Main Event here in 2012. He was all in for his extreme short stack, holding {j-Diamonds}{5-Spades} against the {2-Hearts}{2-Diamonds} of Danny Smith. The {k-Diamonds}{10-Hearts}{7-Diamonds}{8-Hearts}{8-Diamonds} board was not friendly to Kassela, sending him to the rail.

Frank Kassela us Busted

Tags: Frank Kassela

Luongo Gives Up A Late One

Roberto Luongo has taken a bit of a hit during the last three hands of the night.

With the board reading {9-Hearts}{4-Diamonds}{3-Clubs}, Luongo and an opponent went back and forth with a few raises before his opponent called all in for about 28,000 with {4-Spades}{3-Spades}. Luongo trailed with {Q-Hearts}{Q-Diamonds} and was unable to catch up when the {10-Clubs} turn and {J-Spades} river fell.

Roberto Luongo 41,000 -20,000

Tags: Roberto Luongo

Three More Hands

• Level 5: 200-400, 50 ante

The tournament clock has been paused and the call for just three more hands has been made. Stay tuned for any late action, some end-of-day chip counts and a full recap of Day 1a.

Quads to Double for Stout

One of the friendly World Series of Poker tournament staff here in the Amazon Room just recalled to us how Matt Stout managed to double his stack from around 13,000 up to 27,000. Apparently Stout was all in preflop against one opponent, with Stout holding {k-}{k-} and his opponent having him covered holding {8-}{8-}. The {a-}{k-}{q-}{q-}{k-} board gave Stout the quad cowboys, just about enough to rake in the double up.

Matt Stout 27,000

Tags: Matt Stout

No Day 2 For Kristy Arnett

Kristy Arnett
Kristy Arnett

PokerNews hostess Kristy Arnett has just been eliminated from the World Series of Poker Main Event with just 30 minutes of play left on Day 1a.

The flop read {10-Diamonds}{9-Spades}{8-Clubs} and Arnett shoved all in over the 4,000-chip raise from the player to her right. While he was tanking she told us the following.

The player to her right had limped under the gun, and Arnett raised it up to 1,400. The other players folded and the limper, Moacyr Arnaldo Farah, called. On the flop, Farah checked and Arnett fired out 1,600. At this point Farah made it 4,000 and Arnett moved all in for around 12,000 chips. Arnett's opponent paused before making the call.

Kristy Arnett{J-Hearts}{J-Clubs}
Moacyr Arnaldo Farah{Q-Diamonds}{J-Diamonds}

The turn was the {2-Clubs}, and the river the {8-Spades}, knocking out Arnett. Hopes and dreams were shattered this year for Arnett, but our guess is we'll be seeing her back in action next year.

Kristy Arnett us Busted

Tags: Kristy Arnett