Day 1 of Event #2: $5,000 No-Limit Hold’em (Eight Handed) kicked off on Wednesday, the first day of the 44th annual World Series of Poker. After eight levels of play the 481-player field was reduced to 232, and your chip leader is Tom Marchese. He bagged 153,975, and only a few other players bagged over six-figures, including David "Doc" Sands (110,825) and Scott Baumstein (111,100).
Poker’s biggest names filled the Pavilion Room to battle it out in the first open event of the summer. Among the notables were Daniel Negreanu, Phil Ivey, Erick Lindgren, Jason Mercier, Jonathan Duhamel, Calvin Anderson, David “ODB” Baker, Marvin Rettenmaier, and Chino Rheem. Unfortunately for all of those players, none of them were able to survive the day.
Negreanu took a hit in Level 2 when he ran top pair into an overpair of queens, and was eliminated soon thereafter. Ivey was cruising along until his day came to an abrupt end in Level 7. Ivey was all in and at risk with king-jack on a jack-high board against an opponent with straight a flush draws, and the river completed the player’s straight. Mercier was also showered in Level 7 when he moved all in for less than ten big blinds with ten-seven suited. Mike Gagliano looked him up with two sevens, held, and knocked out the two-time bracelet winner.
The biggest star in the field today wasn’t a bracelet winner, however, it was 18-time Olympic gold medalist Michael Phelps. Throughout the day, Phelps sparred with professionals like Corey Burbick, Andrew Lichtenberger, Christian Harder, and Mike Gorodinsky. In one particular hand, Phelps got the better of Lichtenberger when he called a bet from the pro on a board. The river was the , Phelps called another bet from Lichtenberger, and Chewy mucked when the Olympic legend showed for queens and jacks. Phelps survived the day in his first ever WSOP appearance, and will return for Day 2 with 20,850.
Marchese rocketed up the counts during the final level of the day. On the last hand at his table, he and an opponent went back and forth with a few raises before Marchese's opponent shoved for about 30,000. Marchese called immediately with and was ahead of his opponent's . The board ran out to give Marchese a set of queens and the knockout.
En route to bagging one of the largest stacks (77,825), Moorman received an early double up through WSOP-C grinder Kurt Jewell. Moorman moved all in with two aces on an eight-high board than included two fours and two spades, and Jewell made the call with a lesser hand. Moorman continued to add to his stack throughout the day, and will return tomorrow eying a potential fourth WSOP final table appearance. The Brit of course finished runner up in the 2011 $10,000 Six Max World Championship and the 2011 WSOPE Main Event.
Canadian Griffin Benger has been on a tear of late, winning the EPT Berlin Main Event. He bagged 57,950 chips, while Gavin Griffin, who just finished runner-up in the California State Championship of Poker, ended the day with 72,400.
The 216 survivors will return tomorrow at 2 p.m. local time for Day 2, where we will play another 10 levels. Be sure to return to PokerNews.com for updates from this and every other event at the 2013 WSOP!