World Series of Poker: GSP DOA at WSOP Main Event
The first day of play at the 44th annual World Series of Poker Main Event is in the books and the big names breezed through, for the most part.
But some big names that are not known for their poker prowess got blown away at the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino just off the Vegas Strip.
UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre is known for his patience and strategy in the Octagon, but he lacks it at the poker table.
"We predicted that GSP would be DOA at the WSOP and we were right," said Dean Stone, a Canadian poker writer at OnlineTexasHoldem.ca, in an interview on Wednesday.
Including GSP, 6,352 players had ponied up $10,000 each to enter the tournament, creating a total prize pool of just under $60 million.
The field will be narrowed down to the final nine this Sunday. Those nine players will then get together Nov. 4 to begin final-table play.
Notable poker stars entered in this year's tournament include former main event champs Joe Hachem, Pius Heinz, Jonathan Duhamel, Jamie Gold, Dan Harrington, Phil Hellmuth, Carlos Mortensen, Huck Seed and Jerry Yang, as well as legend Doyle Brunson and pros Daniel Negreanu and Phil Ivey.
Actors Jason Alexander, Brad Garrett, Kevin Pollack, Ray Romano and Jennifer Tilly are also competing, and they are joined by NHL goaltender Roberto Luongo, Olympic skier Petter Northug and Spanish soccer star Gerard Pique.
Luongo, in the midst of a year-long contract-related drama with his NHL team, finished 634th last year, which put him in the money.
Through Day 1C of play, according to WSOP.com, Mark Kroon owned the largest stack of chips, with 246,900 in clay. He was followed on the chip-stack list by Imari Love at 214,300; Karlo Lopez at 196,550; Michael Mizrachi at 176,100; and Frederik Jensen at 169,975.
This year's winner will claim a top prize of just under $8.4 million, at least before the tax man takes his bite. The winner also, of course, will receive a WSOP main event gold bracelet.
Odds on whether a woman will make the final table remain a popular betting choice, and the ladies enjoyed extra attention recently with their own championship, which was won by Canadian Kirsten Bicknell.
The final 648 players will finish in the money; the top seven will each win at least $1 million, while finishing 648th will garner a player a payout of just over $19,000.
Day 2 action picks up again on Wednesday.
The Main Event, no-limit Texas hold 'em, is the last of 62 WSOP events played this year. The final table in November will be televised by ESPN.
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