In a history-making day of poker, the USD $1 million buy-in Big One for One Drop began at precisely 1.11pm at the World Series of Poker (WSOP) in Las Vegas on Sunday. The field made its maximum cap of 48 players, a mix of the world’s top poker pros and amateur billionaires as late confirmations saw the likes of Phil Ivey and Tom Dwan enter the fray.
Although the top pros will arguably always have the edge, Day 1 witnessed nine of the 11 bust outs come from the professional player ranks. Hitting the rail in perhaps the fastest way to spend a million bucks was Justin Smith, Jonathan Duhamel, Andrew Robl, Bertrand Grospelier, Erik Seidel, Eugene Katchalov, Michael Mizrachi, Nick Schulman, Giovanni Guarascio, Jens Kyllonen and Paul Phua.
Leading the charge for the astronomical USD $18 million first prize at Day 1 bag up time was Brian Rast on 10,710,000 in chips. Rast is a two-time WSOP bracelet winner, who most notably took out last year’s $50,000 Poker Players Championship. He accumulated his stack after doubling through Jonathan Duhamel, flopping a set of fours and getting all the money in against Duhamel’s pair and nut flush draw. Rast’s set held up and gave him enough chips to then dispatch of Andrew Robl. In a four-bet pot preflop, both players shipped their stacks after the dealer tabled Q♣ 8♣ 4♣. Rast was behind with A♣ K♠ against Robl’s K♣ K♦ but managed to outdraw Robl after a 9♥ turn and 9♣ river for the nut flush.
Phil Hellmuth is second in chips on 8,395,000 after stirring up controversy in one particular hand where he flatted a river bet with the second nuts. His opponent was Paul Phua who had caught sixes full of queens on a board of A♥ Q♦ 2♣ Q♥ 6♠ holding 6♥ 6♣. Phua bet 475,000 – around half his stack – and Hellmuth just called with A♦ Q♣, much to the amazement and needling of his tablemates who couldn’t believe he didn’t shove back to get all of Phua’s chips.
But the hand that really stole the show – and prompted Phil Galfond to call it “the craziest hand I’ve ever seen” in a tweet – involved Mikhail Smirnov open folding quad eights to his opponent John Morgan. The board showed J♠ 8♣ 7♠ 8♠ K♠ and Smirnov bet out 700,000. Morgan moved all in for 3.4 million and after heading into the tank Smirnov amazingly folded his 8♥ 8♦ face up, putting his opponent on the one hand that could beat him ( 10♠ 9♠ for the straight flush). Unfortunately, Morgan didn’t show his hand and also declined to reveal it after the tournament. We may never know whether it was one of the greatest or softest laydowns in poker history, but most forum posters seem to agree it was the latter.
Top 10 Chip Counts
1. Brian Rast – 10,710,000
2. Phil Hellmuth – 8,395,000
3. Frederique Banjout – 7,070,000
4. Antonio Esfandiari – 6,880,000
5. Gus Hansen – 6,800,000
6. Sam Trickett – 6,700,000
7. Guy Laliberte – 6,550,000
8. Ben Lamb – 5,770,000
9. Mike Sexton – 5,740,000
10. Tom Dwan – 4,810,000
Read more at WSOP.com.
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