(Way) Outside the WSOP – (Week 1 Review)

by , Jun 6, 2008 | 8:55 am

A review of the action from the first week of the World Series of Poker:

The UNLV marching band and Doyle Brunson helped start the Series and the registration problems that plagued last year’s first event appeared to be a thing of the past. The $10k Pot Limit Holdem event drew over 350 entrants, Nenad Medic would take home the bracelet when play ended on Sunday in a pro-laden final table under the lights of ESPN cameras. Saturday and Sunday brought the first $1,500 NL Holdem of the Series, and the two Day 1’s guaranteed a record field for a preliminary event. 3,929 participants obliged, but the large field would have its share of problems. Hand-for-hand play on day 2 may have started too soon, as the bubble took an extended period of time. Play dragged early into the morning, and a player vote 18 left. By early morning Wednesday, Grant Hinkle won the marathon, crushing James Akenhead’s AK with the lowly 10-4.

Monday was the first day of multiple tournaments starting the same day ($1,500 Pot Limit Holdem and $5,000 Mixed Holdem). Two well-respected professionals, David Singer and Erick Lindgren, would each earn their first bracelets early Thursday morning. Singer, 8th in chips at the start of the final table, worked his way through the field, eventually knocking out Jacobo Hernandez. Lindgren faced a tough lineup, eventually outlasting Justin Bonomo, Howard Lederer, David Williams and others to take down a bracelet that had proven elusive over the years.

Tuesday brought the popular $1,000 NL Holdem w/rebuys event, and those with deep pockets willingly tried to rebuy their way into a bracelet. However, when the dust cleared early Friday morning, Michael Banducci turned a $4,000 investment into a bracelet and $636,736. Later Tuesday, the $1,500 Omaha 8 or better tournament drew a record field of 833, with Thang Luu taking down the bracelet Friday.

Wednesday brought the $2,000 NL Holdem event, will be the first tournament streamed live online this Series (on espn360.com), their final table starts at 3pm PT Friday. Meanwhile, the $10,000 Mixed Event World Championship also has their final table today. The mixed event has had its share of controversy with issues regarding the structure and the rotation of games when tables were redrawn. Online superstar Tom “Durrr” Dwan, who most expect to be the breakout star of the Series, is at the final table but veterans like Sam Farha and Eli Elezra stand in the way between Dwan and his first bracelet.

Thursday was the first 6-handed tournament of the series, it’s $1,500 buyin attractive to many. However, a convention being held in the Brasilia room, helped cause a sellout shortly after the tournament started, leaving hundreds of players upset. 1,236 got seats, with the nature of 6-max NL causing entrants to play more hands, only 72 are left for day 2. The late afternoon tournament, $2,500 Omaha 8/Stud 8 had a more sedate field of 388 start that eliminated themselves into a field of 108 for day 2 action later today.

A few facts and figures from the first week of action, at the end of play early Friday morning:

Entrants: 10,333
Bracelets awarded: 6
Most cashes: Nikolay Evdakov – 4
Most final tables: Theo Tran – 2
Current WSOP POY: Nenad Medic – 110 points
Leading money earner: Grant Hinkle – $831,462

More later today…

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