The first of many non-Hold'em events starts today at the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino with Day 1 of the $1,500 Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better slated to begin at 3 p.m. local time. Many mixed games and Omaha specialists are sure to join, including last years champion Julien Martini.
The French pro Martini came out on top of a 911-player field to claim the heaviest part of the $1,229,850 prize pool with the top prize of $239,771 going directly onto his resume, along with his first WSOP bracelet. Martini has not slowed down in the slightest, booking over three million in earnings since the tournament and will surely be a force in today's event.
Martini defeated American Kate Hoang heads up and the two decided to celebrate shortly after. A spark caught fire and the two started dating. "I won the two biggest prizes of my life in a bracelet and Kate, we are very happy," Martini said. Let's see if one of the new poker power couples will return for another deep run together in this event.
All players will receive 10,000 in chips to start, 2,500 more than last year and the levels will be 60-minutes in duration. Day 1 players will have to last a total of 10 levels in order to secure a Day 2 birth.
There is a 15-minute break after every two levels and the tournament will not see a dinner break until the second day. Late registration will remain open until the beginning of level 9, but this is not a re-entry event so players will need to find success on their first bullet.
The PokerNews live reporting team will be here to bring full coverage on all the action as the day unfolds, so stay tuned.