Photo Recap: Day 1 of WPT Foxwoods

Oct 29, 2010

By BJ Nemeth

Day 1 of WPT Foxwoods came to an end with about 175 players remaining from a field of 238, but registration remains open until the first level on Day 2. Here’s a look at the top five spots on the leaderboard:

1. Lance Steinberg – 144,000 (360 bb)
2. Mohsin Charania – 134,900 (337 bb)
3. Mike Beasley – 115,000 (287 bb)
4. Erik Cajelais – 110,925 (277 bb)
5. Ehsan Ghods – 98,675 (246 bb)

For a complete list of chip counts and seating assignments, click here.

And now, a photographic look back at Day 1 of WPT Foxwoods:

Shuffle Up and Deal
Vince Van Patten (holding the microphone) and Foxwoods Tournament Director Jeffrey Toth (third from right) welcome the players to Day 1 of WPT Foxwoods. Van Patten explains a few of the changes for this season of the World Poker Tour, including returning WPT Anchor Kimberly Lansing (third from left) and the Royal Flush Girls (Michelle and Sunisa on the left, and Katrina and Jennifer on the right).

Cornel Cimpan
Cornel Cimpan won two WPT titles in 2009 (for a combined total of $2.59 million), and is the defending champion of this event. Cimpan survived Day 1, but only barely — he was tied for last place on the leaderboard with just 6,700 in chips.

AndyFrankenberger GavinSmith ErikSeidel
Gavin Smith (center) and Erik Seidel (right) watch Andy Frankenberger play a pot to the river early on Day 1. Frankenberger won the WPT Legends of Poker in August, and followed it up with a final table last week at WPT Festa al Lago, which gives him the points lead in the WPT Player of the Year race. Smith and Seidel are also having good years, with Smith (the WPT’s Player of the Year for Season IV) winning his first WSOP bracelet over the summer, and Seidel recently being announced as an inductee into the Poker Hall of Fame. All three players survived to Day 2 — Smith (58,875), Seidel (39,550), and Frankenberger (18,025).

RoyalFlushGirls Soheil Shamseddin
Royal Flush Girls Katrina Topacio (left) and Michelle Banzer share some laughs with Soheil Shamseddin at Table 14, which saw a lot of action in the first level of the day. Shamseddin took center stage by playing several big hands in the first 15 minutes of the day, when he lost nearly half his stack before doubling through Jeremy McLaughlin (right, in white).

Nick Schulman
Nick Schulman won this event back in 2005, becoming the first 21-year-old to win a WPT title. No player has ever won the same WPT event twice, but Schulman came close in 2007, finishing second. Schulman survived Day 1 with 22,300 in chips.

Tom MarkEmDown Noyes (1)
Tom "Mark Em Down" Noyes takes detailed notes of his progress on Day 1 of WPT Foxwoods. Looking over his notes, he may have been the first player to reach the 80,000-chip mark earlier in the day. Noyes made a big impression on Matt Stout, who sat next to him at the start of play. Stout sent the following message on Twitter: "82 y/o Tom Noyes is my hero. Beat 2 cancers, has titanium hip n leg, made quads twice in 1st hr, and says that every day is a bonus. =)" Noyes survived Day 1 in excellent shape with 59,325 in chips.

Dwyte Pilgrim
Dwyte Pilgrim won the WPT Borgata Poker Open last month, but isn’t resting on his laurels. Unfortunately, Pilgrim was eliminated on Day 1, so he’ll have to try again to win his second WPT title.

WPT Poker Room Sign (1)
This tournament was held in the area one floor above the Foxwoods poker room. Foxwoods Casino has a WPT-branded poker room, capitalizing on its status as a charter member casino of the World Poker Tour.

Jason Somerville
Jason Somerville was the first player in the field to reach the 100,000-chip mark. Somerville has a side bet in this tournament with Jason Mercier, and Mercier texted him to say he just tripled up to 100,000 himself. Mercier was kidding — he only had about 37,000. But Somerville’s stack was legit, as you can see here. Somerville lost a few chips by the end of the day, but still finished 7th on the leaderboard with 92,725.

McLean Karr
Reigning WPT Bay 101 champion McLean Karr was among the chipleaders late in the day, and finished the day strong (13th place on the leaderboard) with 80,425.

Soheil Shamseddin
Soheil Shamseddin is all smiles during an interview with the WPT crew. Even though he has just been eliminated, Shamseddin seems as happy here as he was earlier in the day joking around with the Royal Flush Girls.

Keith Crowder (1)
Keith Crowder receives a massage from Katie late on Day 1 of WPT Foxwoods. Crowder finished the day slightly above average, with 45,700.

Clock Called on Justin Smith
Justin Smith tanked for more than six minutes when his opponent moved all in on a board of [Js8d3hKd]. Smith eventually folded, and his opponent showed [AdKs] for top pair, top kicker. Unfortunately, Smith didn’t survive the day.

Mohsin Charania
Mohsin Charania finished the day second in chips with 134,900. Charania finished 14th in this event a year ago, and that was the fourth time he had reached the final three tables of a World Poker Tour event. Could this be the tournament where Charania breaks through to his first televised WPT final table?

LanceSteinberg AllenKessler
Lance Steinberg (left) finished as the Day 1 chipleader with 144,000. Allen Kessler (right) was the unfortunate TV bubble boy (7th place) a week ago at WPT Festa al Lago, but heads into Day 2 with 56,475 so he can try again.

WPT Founding Casino Plaque
The centerpiece here shows that Foxwoods is a charter member of the World Poker Tour, signing on to be a part of Season I before the TV poker boom. There has been at least one WPT event held at Foxwoods every year for all nine seasons of the World Poker Tour. The winner of this event will receive one of the globe-topped trophies on either side.

Day 2 begins tomorrow (Friday) at 12:00 noon ET. Return to for continuing live coverage, including hand updates, frequent chip counts, video interviews with Kimberly Lansing, and the as-yet-unnamed recap show starring Jessica Welman and BJ Nemeth.

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