The World Series of Poker turned for home this past Monday when the main event began at the Rio in Las Vegas. The first four days brought more players to the tables than any tournament but one in the history of the sport.
Over 7,000 players entered, and already there have been thousands eliminated. On Friday, the first of two day twos began, and the leader board was filled with some of the most recognizable names in poker. Johnny Chan, Annie Duke, Sammy Farha, and Chris Moneymaker all had strong days.
On Saturday, it was the second group’s turn to begin their day two. With play winding down, it is David Assouline from Canada that has the chip lead with 320,000 chips. Gabriel Walls is second with 316,000, and Ricardo Fasanaro from Brazil was third. In all, seventeen players have over 200,000 in chips.
Allen Cunningham, Frank Kassela, Jason Mercier, and Dan Harrington all are alive. Vanessa Rousso, who has shown herself to be one of the top heads-up players in the world, is in the middle of the pack with 104,000 chips.
The day did not go as well for some of the other big name professional players. Among those that have been eliminated are legendary poker star Doyle Brunson and Freddy Deeb. Darvin Moon, Chris Ferguson, Andy Bloch, JC Tran, and Phil Ivey have also been sent to the rail. Ivey went all the way to the final table of last year’s main event.
The players will take a break on Sunday before reconvening for play on Monday. On Monday, it will be the first time in the tournament that everybody will be playing at the same time. Play will continue throughout the week until Saturday, when the remaining players will go on until the final table is set.