Wednesday, June 8 2011 : Early days yet, but the signs are encouraging
Fears that the recent US enforcement actions against online poker sites may have blunted interest in the World Series of Poker have been assuaged to some extent by figures just released on registrations for the first eleven events now either completed or currently running.
The latest WSOP entry statistics show an overall 2.5 increase over those of 2010, with 10 624 players signed up this year vs. 10 358 in the comparative period in 2010.
Three events have surpassed the entries achieved last year by over 10 percent, and so far prize pools worth $21.1 million have been generated – up almost 6 percent on the same period last year.
However, it's early days yet with the bulk of the scheduled events still to run, and a tough 2010 overall target to beat that includes 72 966 entrants and $187.1 million in prize pool cash.
As the tournament entered day 8, event eight – the $1,000 No-Limit Hold'em event – was the centre of attraction as it entered its third day with Jon Turner holding a massive chip lead but fighting off sixty survivors of an original field of 4 178.
When InfoPowa went to press in the early hours of Wednesday morning Vegas time play had reached level 26 and there were just 7 players left, with Sadan Turker in the lead, almost a million chips ahead of Jon Turner, who had lost the chip lead earlier.
Still in play were Lawrence Riley, Sean Getzwiller, Hunter Frey, Stefan Raffay and Max Weinberg.
Event 10 – the $1,500 buy-in No-Limit Hold'em Six Handed competition – entered its second day with the original entry field of 1 920 cut down to just 188 players, led by Anthony Spinella and with the money bubble in sight.
Ryan Welch was chasing the leader, with many respected names not far behind him, including Brian Colin, Nacho Barbero, Victor Ramdin, Amit Makhija and Alex Kamberis.
By early Wednesday morning PST the field was down to just 22 players as the day neared its scheduled end at level 19, with Alexander Wice holding a significant chip lead over Jeff Popola and Ryan Welch still among the leaders, albeit in the third spot.
34 players remained in action early Wednesday morning in event 11, the $10,000 buy-in Omaha Hi-Lo Split Championship which attracted an original field of 202 entrants, with only 164 left after the first day's action.
Starting day 2 of the competition, Fabrizio Gonzalez held the chip lead, with November Niner Eric Buchman, Richard Ashby, Marco Johnson, and Freddy Deeb in hot pursuit.
By level 17 in the early hours of Wednesday morning Andy Bloch was the latest elimination, and the chip lead was in the hands of Viacheslav Zhukov, playing a clever strategic game like his historical namesake in Russian history, followed by Guillaume Rivet, Jason Steinberg and Richard Ashby.
Day 1 of Event 12, the $1,500 buy-in No-Limit Hold'Em Triple Chance tournament kicked off Tuesday with a starting field of 1 340 players which had been reduced to 160 when play closed at level 10 in the early hours of Wednesday morning.
The original field was replete with former WSOP champs, including Jaime Gold, Jonathan Duhamel, Joe Cada, Greg Raymer and Scotty Nguyen, but none of them managed to survive the first day, leaving only former main event champion Carlos Mortenson still in the running.
They were not the only big names to head for the rail; Tom Dwan, Phil Laak, Antonio Esfandiari, Annette Obrestad, Gavin Griffin, Jason Mericer, TJ Cloutier, and Chad Brown all failed to make the money, but there are still plenty of big guns chasing the bracelet such as Ted Forrest, Issac Haxton, Andy Black and Bruce Chen.
When play halted for the day Peter Hernandez was in charge, closely followed by Jonathan Karamalikis and JC Tran.