Live Tournament Updates
Day 1a Ends With 50 Players
Level 10: 400-800, 100 ante
Today's Big Winners: Hoang Nguyen ($15K), Shawn Buchanan ($15K), and Will Failla ($10K)
There were 136 players at the start of Day 1a, and play finished with exactly 50. That final number is important, as you'll soon find out. (Many more players are expected for Day 1b tomorrow.)
First, the biggest winner was Hoang "Michael" Nguyen, who finished the day with 198,300 to lead the field. As the Day 1a chipleader, he receives a $10,000 bonus. He also busted Shooting Star John Juanda early in the day, receiving another $5,000 and an autographed t-shirt. He's already earned back his entry fee (plus a profit of $5,000), and he's freerolling as the chipleader.
Shawn Buchanan earned the title of "Bounty Hunter" today as he knocked out three of the Shooting Stars: David Singer, Jamie Gold, and Marco Traniello. That's $15,000 for Buchanan, so he's earned a profit of $5,000 in the tournament as well. Unfortunately, while Hoang Nguyen finished with the lead, Buchanan was the final bustout of the day -- much to the delight of Will Failla.
With 60 players left and one 60-minute level left to be played, Will "The Thrill" Failla and Kenny Tran made a prop bet -- Failla said there would be 50 or fewer players left at the end of the day, and Tran took the over (51+). In the final minutes of the level, the tournament clock was stuck on 51 players left. Failla even joked about moving all in with any hand since he was freerolling -- if he busted, he'd win back his buy-in. (Failla did play that last hand,flopped the nut straight with J-9, but he couldn't get any action on it.)
When the tournament clock wound down to zero, there were still 51 players left. So Failla scouted the other tables, only to see an all-in situation developing between Shawn Buchanan and Chad Brown in the final hand of Day 1a. But Buchanan had no shot at the bounty this time -- he was the short stack, and he was all in with 109. Brown had him covered with K10. Failla was sweating the table with more intensity than either of the players involved in the hand.
The flop came QJJ, and both players flopped different open-ended straight draws. The turn card was the 8, and Failla groaned as Buchanan took a big lead with his queen-high straight. Brown needed a "Barry Greenstein" (ace on the river) to win the pot and bust Buchanan. (A nine would chop the pot, but Failla would still lose his bet.)
The river card was the A, and Failla cheered loud enough for the entire room to hear. (Meanwhile, Brown quietly accepted a congratulatory handshake from Buchanan.) Failla sought out Kenny Tran, who paid off the $10,000 side bet.
So at the end of it all, Failla is freerolling, Hoang is chipleader and already has a $5,000 profit in his pocket, and Shawn Buchanan is out of the tournament with three bounty t-shirts and a $5,000 profit of his own.
Here are the top five chipleaders from Day 1a, along with the remaining Shooting Stars:
1. Hoang "Michael" Nguyen - 198,300
2. David "The Dragon" Pham - 160,600 *Shooting Star*
3. Conner Stockett - 124,500
4. Jonathan Little - 121,300 *Shooting Star*
5. Matt Lessinger - 107,700
Other Shooting Stars:
12. Annie Duke - 73,800
15. Freddy Deeb - 68,300
17. Joe Sebok - 65,200
18. Kenny Tran - 63,700
23. Hoyt Corkins - 57,200
33. Erick Lindgren - 27,400
40. Paul Wasicka - 32,100
50. Gavin Smith - 7,100
Day 1b begins tomorrow (Tuesday) at 10:45 am. Return to WorldPokerTour.com as a fresh batch of Shooting Stars take their seats among a field of 200+ looking to collect their bounties.
11:21 PM, 03/16/09