We had to wait an extra 30 minutes for Event 1 of the 2011 World Series of Poker to start, but the wait was well worth it. 850 casino employees started the day and after ten levels just 77 players still have chips. Jordon Dhooghe leads the field with 129,800, followed by Thanh Ngo with 101,400.
Both players have been leading the pack for the last couple of levels of the day, each attacking the bubble effectively. Alex Alashkar and Robert Gullickson are within striking distance though and there will likely be a lot of chips moving to start day 2 as players mix it up having already made the money.
While there are not any household names left in the field, there were a few notables who entered. Jean-Robert Bellande entered late but exited early when he flopped top two pair against a straight. Defending champion Hoai Pham looked poised to repeat but was unable to gain any momentum after the dinner break. Matt Savage, Ty Stewart and Jack McClelland all survived through a few levels but none made it to the money.
Be sure to check back tomorrow when play begins at 2:30pm local time. Until then, goodnight from the Rio!
Although we missed his bust out hand, Danny Swaney was the first player to leave the tournament with more money than he had at the beginning of the day. On his way out he seemed bummed out, but understandably happy that he made it through the bubble.
There is a rule on the bubble at the WSOP that all-in hands can not be shown until action on all other hands is completed. Ray Flora should have had the sweat of his life as his tournament life was on the line against two other players and the river had already been dealt. But pre-flop action on another table hadn't been finished yet and wouldn't be finished for a another couple of minutes. What the other players didn't know is that Flora already had a boat with on a board so he wasn't too nervous.
The other hand that had not been completed yet was what eventually burst our bubble. was all in against . The board ran a very dry and we have 81 very happy casino employees here at the Rio.
We caught the action with one card left and Ray Flora's tournament life at risk. Flora held and well behind the (seven high) of his opponent for just a 6,000 chip pot.
The board read . Flora, who works at The Orleans here in Vegas, had five outs to split but didn't need them. The was one of the seven outs he had to win the hand, completing the wheel and he was able to avoid the bubble.
Thanh Ngo continues to add to her large chip stack.
We caught up with her in a hand with the flop showing . Her opponent checked and Ngo bet 4,000. He called and the turn came the . Her opponent checked again and Ngo bet another 4,000. The landed on the river and for a third time Ngo's opponent checked. Ngo fired away 8,000, taking down the pot after her opponent folded.
Michael Sussman was getting frustrated as his stack was getting smaller and smaller. When we caught up with him he was all in with the against another players . The board ran out giving Sussman a flush to boost his stack to around 27,000.