Last Tuesday, the action from the 2010 World Series of Poker (WSOP) Main Event continued on ESPN with coverage of Days 1C and 1D. At 9:00pm ET on Tuesday night, ESPN poker commentator Lon McEachern gave a stirring introduction: “Two champions, two record-holders, Day 1 of the Main Event begins all over starting now.”
The two champions in question were Joe Cada and Phil Hellmuth. The former is the youngest Main Event winner ever, while the latter has claimed a record 11 gold bracelets. Cada took his seat at the feature table, while Hellmuth headed next door to Table 2. Hellmuth, a UB.com pro, entered the tournament fashionably late, this time arriving as an MMA fighter. Looking on were former Main Event champs Johnny Chan and Scotty Nguyen, who also played on Day 1C.
High-stakes cash game pros Patrik Antonius, Tom “durrrr” Dwan, and Chau Giang were seen battling for the $8.9 million first place prize. Dwan wore a button that featured an image of Peter Jetten hugging a koala and promptly hit quad fives. Meanwhile, Giang doubled up through Victory Poker’s Antonio Esfandiari, who later knocked him out. Giang has made the money in the Main Event only once in the last 14 years.
James “croll103” Carroll and Hellmuth sparred at Table 2. On a board reading 5-9-A-J-K, Carroll bet enough to put Hellmuth all-in. Carroll had the goods – pocket aces – while Hellmuth released A-4. Hellmuth ultimately was all-in as part of a three-way pot holding pocket jacks against pocket queens and A-K. The player with queens hit a flush to record a double elimination and Hellmuth exited the Amazon Room at the Rio in Las Vegas.
Cada coasted, winning a pot worth 40,000 after flopping sevens full of aces. His opponent made the nut flush on the river and Cada was paid off. Then, the Michigan native rivered a full house with pocket threes against an opponent with a king-high flush to rake in another 21,125 chips. On his final hand shown, the PokerStars pro raised to 1,100 with pocket jacks and another player 3bet to 4,000 with a wired pair of sevens. Cada 4bet all-in, his opponent called, and the stronger pocket pair held for the win.
The second one-hour episode aired at 10:00pm ET and contained action from Day 1D. Darvin Moon, last year’s runner-up, was seated at the feature table, while 10-time bracelet winner Doyle Brunson made himself comfortable at Table 2. Amazingly, Brunson had not made a Day 2 of the WSOP Main Event since 2004. Moon still wore his trademark New Orleans Saints cap and Wheeling Island Casino shirt.
Moon checked the nuts on the river after making a runner-runner flush in order to see what his opponent had. Little did he know that the action would result in a one-hand penalty under an anti-collusion rule. Moon ultimately called the all-in of Miguel Gonzalez with just A-9 on a flop of 10-8-5. Gonzalez flipped up pocket kings, but a running 9-A pushed Moon’s chip stack up to 90,000, or triple the starting amount. ESPN commentator Norman Chad quipped, “If you gave me quad kings, I wouldn’t feel comfortable in a hand against Darvin Moon.”
Elsewhere, NFL rushing leader Emmitt Smith was eliminated, while 2009 WSOP November Niner Jeff Shulman doubled up with a set. Others in the Day 1D Main Event field who received face time on ESPN included Antoine Saout, Eric Buchman, and Jason Mercier. 2010 WSOP Player of the Year candidate Frank Kassela sparred against Emily Jillette, the wife of Rio entertainer Penn Jillette, while Pascal LeFrancois knocked out 2005 Main Event winner Joe Hachem with A-K against pocket eights.
Also taking center stage during Day 1D was Phil Ivey, who was seated at an outer table. Ivey had a wealth of fans at his side throughout the day and looked to replicate his memorable run in 2009. You can play with Ivey, Antonius, Dwan, and others at the Mac-friendly online poker site Full Tilt Poker.
If you missed any of this week’s coverage, re-runs will air throughout the coming days on ESPN. Next Tuesday night at 9:00pm ET, Day 2 will come to life.