Gomes Takes Commanding Chip Lead Into Day 2; Dempsey & Frankenberger Lurking
On Tuesday, the Brasilia Room at the Rio All-Suites Hotel & Casino was packed full as 978 players forked over $1,500 to play in Event #47 Pot-Limit Omaha Hi-Low Split 8-or-Better. That number was up from last year’s 946, and up considerably from 2010’s field of 847. Needless to say, PLO8 is becoming a popular game.
After ten levels of play, the field was reduced to just 149 players, each looking to make the money by finishing in the top 117 and laying claim to their share of a $1,320,300 prize pool. The man best positioned to not only make the money, but to make a run at the $267,345 first-place prize, is chip leader Alex Gomes.
Gomes built his stack throughout the day and hit when it counted. For instance, late in the night Joseph Haddag got all in preflop and was called Gomes.
The flop gave Haddag top pair with top kicked, but the turn gave Gomes a pair of kings and the lead. The river improved Gomes to two pair, which was good enough to win the pot, sending Haddag to the rail, and locked up the title of Day 1 chip leader with 143,300, almost twice the number of his closest opponent.
Obviously not everyone was as fortunate as Gomes. Dozens upon dozens of notables came and went throughout the day including Daniel Negreanu, David Williams, Olivier Busquet, Mike Matusow, Greg Raymer, Joe Hachem, Jennifer Harman, Erik Seidel, Scott Seiver and Men “The Master” Nguyen.
Another man who couldn’t survive the day was the defending champ, David Singontiko. He had a good showing, making it down to under 180 players, but then the following hand happened with just a half hour left in the day. With 9,800 in the pot and a board reading , Dario Alioto checked and allowed Singontiko to fire out a pot-sized bet. Alioto responded by moving all in for 15,100 and Singontiko made the call.
Alioto held the straight and had Singontiko drawing dead. The meaningless was put out on the river, and Singontiko was left with just 2,500. A couple of hands later, Singontiko was eliminated from the tournament.
In related news, Day 3 of the $50,000 Poker Players Championship unfolded over in the Amazon Room, and the PLO8 tournament saw some spillover from that event. Chad Brown, Shaun Deeb, Dan Kelly, Scott Clements and Jason Mercier busted that tournament and tried their luck in Event 47, but all of them hit the rail early. On the other hand, three other $50K casualties, Allen Kessler, Michael Binger and Barry Greenstein, found success and survived the day, bagging 17,400, 8,000 and 59,300 respectively.
Another man who had a little bit of luck was Lee Watkinson, who was at one point on the verge of elimination. You see, he was short stacked with about 1,500 and got involved in a three-way pot. Watkinson and Rob Whittenburge were both all in with the former having the latter covered. An unknown player was also in the hand and had both covered by a large margin.
The board ran and Whittenburge took the main pot with his full house, while the dealer shipped the side pot to the unknown player. Watkinson, who thought he had busted, left the tournament area but then returned several moments later when it hit him that he should have chopped the side pot since both players had made a Broadway straight. A floorman was summoned, Watkinson received his half of the side pot (900) and was back in the tournament. By the end of the night, he had run that stack up to 22,000.
Some other players who’ll be returning on Day 2 are David Bach (20,800), Berry Johnston (41,000), Warren Oberman (50,500), Michael Cooper (61,000), Andy Frankenberger (76,000) and James Dempsey (77,000).
Notable End of Day 1 Counts
Day 2 action is set to kick off at 1:00 PM PST in the Purple Section of the Amazon Room. Join us then as we bring you all the action and eliminations on the way to the money in Event #47 $1,500 Pot-Limit Omaha Hi-Low Split 8-or-Better.