Event #2: $50,000 Poker Player's Championship

The Brothers Binger

Speaking of Michael Binger, we've just found out (from some some handy recon work by our own Gloria Balding) that he's playing tonight's event thanks to a last-minute satellite here at the Rio earlier in the day. Michael's $2,250 feeder didn't have enough players to get a full seat out of it, but it covered half his buy-in and that was apparently enough to lock up a seat for him.

We've also spotted brother Nick Binger in the field, and we learned that he too qualified via a $2,250 satellite today, and his was big enough to take care of the full entry price. Good luck to the Brothers Binger today.

Tags: Michael BingerNick Binger

More Table Matchups

Marc Karam, David Steicke, Robert Mizrachi, David Oppenheim, Vitaly Lunkin, Tuan Le, John D'Agostino and David Baker -- OK, no soft spots at that table. Let's move one over...

Phil Ivey, Ted Lawson, Chau Giang, David Benyamine, Pat Pezzin and two guys who have won this event before-- Freddy Deeb and Scotty Nguyen. Nope, wouldn't want to sit there either. Moving on...

2009 Player of the Year Jeff Lisandro, Doyle Brunson, Hasan Habib, Michael Binger, and Bill Chen. Lord help the three latecomers who have to fill those empty seats.

Andy Bloch, Matt Glantz, Justin Bonomo and Greg Mueller are playing four-handed over on Table 314 while "Miami" John Cernuto, David Singer, Isaac Haxton, and Alex Kravchenko are doing the same one table over.

Registration is open through the end of Level 2 so more familiar faces should continue to filter in and take those open spots.

All Right, Who's Here?

You probably have a good idea who some of the faces are in the field right now. About half of the players are in their chairs, and we expect to see the rest of the high-rolling flock trickle in over the course of the next three hours.

So here's what we can see from our perch on the media tower. Dan Shak is sitting in the one seat at the far left table. He's got Dan "djk123" Kelly on his left, followed by Dario Minieri, Scott Seiver, Greg Raymer, and Jen Harman.

Across the way we found Steve Sung, Scott Clements, and Jason Mecier all sharing space on the same felt.

Another tough table -- okay, they're all tough tables here, but this one might be the toughest in the room -- has Brian Townsend, Alex Kostritsyn, Daniel Alaei, Ted Forrest and Mike Matusow seated together and chatting vigorously. Sorel Mizzi also joined that table a few minutes late, and now Erick Lindgren is sitting down as we speak. We can hear Mike Matusow's voice from here: "Yes! All the internet fish are at this table!"

With those last two additions, Table 327 is now officially the Table of Doom.

More to come...

From the Floor

The photo gallery is the place to see what we're seeing. Check it out, and check back often:

Scott ClementsMichael BingerDavid BenyaminePatrik AntoniusJason MericerSteve ZolotowDaniel AlaeiBill ChenNick ShulmanPhil IveyBarry GreensteinJeff Lisandro

Extended Introduction


This tournament is clearly a centerpiece of the 2010 World Series of Poker. It was prefaced by fifteen minutes of introductions.

Tournament Director Jack Effel got things started by welcoming everyone in the room to the 2010 WSOP. "The big day has arrived," he said.

"We've had four winners of this event to date. I'd like to ask them to stand and be recognized." Those four winners are Chip Reese (now deceased), Scotty Nguyen, Freddy Deeb and David Bach. Bach, as reigning champion, was brought to the dais next to the David "Chip" Reese trophy, presented to the winner of this event.

"I know Chip carried himself with a lot of class and grace," said Bach. "It's been an honor to be the champion for the last year."

Effel then offered an effusive introduction of Doyle Brunson, who also said a few words.

"Chip was the best player I ever played with. But more than that he was a class act. Everyone respected and admired him," he began. "But I guess life moves on. A poker writer came up to me today and asked me who was the best I ever played. I said Chip. He replied 'Who?'

"It reminded me of a plaque I have in my office. It says achievements and accolades are buried with their owner."

The lights were then dimmed so that a 3-minute video on the legendary Chip Reese could be shown to the assembled crowd (which already numbered three deep all along the rail). When the video was finished, Effel took back the mic.

"It's time to live on that edge and play the highest buy-in event at the WSOP," he said. "Let the gold rush begin."

Tags: Chip ReeseDyle BrunsonDavid BachJack Effel

One Minute Past Five

Our scheduled start time has come and gone and a small crowd of photographers and media types has formed around the podium where the Chip Reese trophy is currently displayed as it awaits its new owner. A few players have taken their seats-- we've spotted Jason Mercier, James Van Alstyne, Scott Seiver, Jeffrey Lisandro, Dario Minieri, and Daniel "djk123" Kelly to name a few-- but most tables only have a seat or two occupied at present.

Tournament Director Jack Effel and the legendary Doyle Brunson are about to call "shuffle up and deal."

Shots from the 50K

Shots from the 50k Poker Players Championship.


$50,000 for a Seat at the Table


Welcome to the 2010 World Series of Poker. Today's the first day of bracelet events and tournament organizers have decided to start things off with a bang. In about 30 minutes, cards will be in the air for Event #2 - The $50,000 Poker Player's Championship.

This is the fifth iteration of this event, and it comes with some changes this year. Previously the game played was H.O.R.S.E. Today the players will play eight-game mix. Those eight games are six fixed-limit games (hold'em, omaha hi/lo, razz, seven-card stud, seven-card stud hi/lo and 2-7 triple draw) and two big bet games (no-limit hold'em and pot-limit omaha).

There are changes in store for the final table as well. This year, for the second time in the five year history of this event, only no-limit hold'em will be played at the final table. Purists may deride that change but it makes the event more television-friendly for the ESPN cameras.

Last year the $50,000 H.O.R.S.E. event drew a star-studded field of 95 players and was won by David Bach. We expect attendance to increase this year but nobody is sure by how much.

Stay tuned. Things are about to get very, very interesting as play starts in the Amazon Room for the first time at this year's WSOP.

$50,000 PokerPlayer's Championship Starts at 5pm

Good afternoon and welcome to the Rio, our home from home for the next two months or so. The 2010 WSOP has only been officially underway for five hours, but it's already time to get down to some extremely serious business.

The $50,000 Poker Player's Championship is regarded by many as the big one - not only is it the most expensive event to enter, it is perhaps also the most demanding. Whoever wins this event will have proved themselves dominant in eight forms of poker and earned themselves a place in poker history.

We fully expect the field to be spectacular. Play is due to start at 5pm PT, so don't stray far from your computers.