June 5, 2011 : Industry observers have been waiting for the first of the low ($1000) buy-in events at this year's World Series of Poker in the hope that it might give an insight into how the blitz on internet poker in the US has impacted this prestigious event.
On Saturday the first of the low budget competitions, event 8 – the $1000 buy-in NLHE – started, and the entries appear to have been encouraging, with 3 300 registrations thus far and counting. There are hopes that late registrations will close the gap between this number and the 4 345 entries achieved last year – many of them through online poker site satellite campaigns.
2116 players started off Saturday on Day 1a of event 8, with a second starting day scheduled for Sunday. Well known faces at the kick-off included Vanessa Selbst, Antonion Esfandiari, Dave Chicotsky.
When we went to press in the early hours of Sunday morning there were 312 survivors from the original Day 1a field, with aces like WSOP champion Jonathan Duhamel, Ana Marquez, Shane Schleger, Dan Shak and Chicotsky still in the running, along with Eric Mizrachi, Chad Brown and Vitali Lunkin.
Albert Kim was in the lead, with Marquez some 15 000 chips behind as his nearest opposition.
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