Event #49: $5,000 No-Limit Hold’em got underway on Wednesday afternoon and as one would expect from a tournament with such a buy-in, it was attended by some of the best tournament poker players in the business.
By the time registration closed, the kind folks working at the registration desk had taken 696 buy-ins, meaning a prize pool of $3,271,200 was created, of which $719,707 is reserved for the eventual champion. Of those 696 starters, only 204 managed to navigate their way through the shark-infested waters of Day 1. Leading all of those 204 survivors was Ken Einiger, who turned his 15,000 starting stack into a tournament-leading 174,000 over the course of 10 hour-long levels.
Einiger has five cashes at the World Series of Poker, one of which came in the Millionaire Maker earlier in this series. Although there is a long way to go until the money — 72 places are paid — Einiger has given himself the best chance to add a sixth WSOP cash to his record.
While Einiger doesn't have any gold bracelets just yet, he has a different World Series title, coming in the World Series of Blackjack. Einiger won the Season 2 championship for an impressive $250,000 in 2005, and many consider him an expert in the game. Earning a WSOP gold bracelet would only add to big card-playing achievements and make him an expert poker player in many people's eyes.
Also progressing to Thursday’s Day 2 with plenty of chips was seasoned pro Josh Arieh. He will start with 173,400 chips, narrowly missing out on the title of overnight chip leader by 600 chips.
Other notables and big stacks to look out for when play resumes include Rob Prinz (149,400), Germany’s Martin Hanowski (142,900), online grinder Nick Petrangelo (120,000), Vanessa Selbst (117,300), Jason Koon (104,300), Matthew Jarvis (101,000), Lauren Kling (100,300), JC Tran (93,300), Andrew Lichtenberger (69,800), Dan O’Brien (68,900), Ole Schemion (57,000), Joe Cada (39,800), David Vamplew (30,100), and Keven Stammen (25,300).
Day 2 kicks off in the Amazon Room at 1 p.m. local time on Thursday and efforts will be made to whittle the field down towards the final table of nine. Join us here at PokerNews for updates of all of the action, as it happens, from this star-studded event.