10 up, 10 down. We've reached the end of Day 1 of Event 51, $3,000 Triple Change No-Limit Hold'em.
The faux rebuy nature of this tournament created some interesting play early in the day. Some players took their rebuys right away, willing to take their chances on going broke in order to play deep-stacked poker. Others kept their rebuys behind and flicked their "gamble" switch.
Either way, everyone was on equal footing by the start of Level 5, when all of the unredeemed rebuy lammers were swapped for tournament chips. From there this tournament played down like so many other no-limit hold'em tournaments have at the World Series of Poker, with naked aggression being the dominant characteristic.
The bustouts started early. Double-bracelet winner Frank Kassela was among the first out, leaving with a simple, "Well I guess I played that badly." He was soon joined by the likes of David Williams, Gavin Smith, Vanesssa Rousso, David Steicke, Chino Rheem and many, many more. By the end of the night less than 20% of the starters were still around to bag up chips.
There was a handful of players that bagged more than 100,000 chips at the end of the night. Notables among them included Sida Yuen, Gavin Griffin and James Akenhead. It looked like nobody was going to bag more chips than David Singer, who managed to build his starting stack of 9,000 into 204,100 after ten full levels of play. But then on the very last two hands of the day, Tommy Vedes caught aces back-to-back to surge to the end of the day lead with 237,000 chips.
Vedes will begin tomorrow as the chip leader of the roughly 180 players remaining in this event, with a stack approximately five times the average stack. The field will have to be trimmed in half before we hit the money. It will all start at 2:30pm local time. Your intrepid reporters will of course be there to document the action.
Until then, you can find us at the bar.