WSOP Day 1: Money Drop, Employees, and Big Spenders

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WSOP World Series of Poker Las Vegas 2014
It literally rained money as the WSOP kicked off on Tuesday. (Image: WSOP)

It’s official: the 2014 World Series of Poker is now underway in Las Vegas!

This year, the WSOP staff arranged for something a bit different: those who were taking their seats for Event 1 received a surprise as cannons exploded around the room with $10,000 in $1 bills. Perhaps even more surprising was the choice of accompanying music: “Get Money” by Junior Mafia. Players scrambled to collect some free money before the tournament actually began.

Event 1: $500 Casino Employees NLHE (Day 1 of 2)

After the free money, players had to take their seats and earn the rest. The Casino Employees event offered the lowest buy-in of the Series and a chance for those who normally serve casino patrons to play for a gold WSOP bracelet.

Entries: 876
Prize pool: $394,200
Places paid: 90
First place prize: $82,835

2013 entries: 898
2013 prize pool: $404,100

Reigning champion Chad Holloway of PokerNews lost his attempt to repeat midway through the day, pushing A-8 against the Q-J of Sergio Trevino. But the board offered a queen and jack on the flop to eliminate Holloway.

The WSOP’s own Ty Stewart busted when his sevens ran into queens, and longtime player Bernard Lee was also one of the many casualties of the day.

The night ended with 51 players remaining and a poker dealer from Simi Valley, California, in the lead.

1. Corey Emery (164,900)
2. Jay Graunstadt (125,000)
3. Aaron Henderson (115,700)
4. Peter Alba (105,000)
5. David Luttbeg (87,700)

Event 2: $25K Mixed Max NLHE

The Mixed Max tournament had a structure that allowed for nine-handed play throughout the first day, but Day 2 would play six-handed, Day 3 four-handed, and heads-up for the last four players on the final day. And putting a price tag of $25,000 on it brought some of the biggest names in the game into the action.

Entries: 131
Prize pool: $3,111,250
Places paid: 16
First place prize: $871,148

2013 did not offer this event.

The event was filled with well-known players at every table, though more than half of them exited the field throughout the evening and late-night hours. But as that happened, one player emerged as a major contender, and it was no surprise that she was Vanessa Selbst. In the last 30 minutes of the day, Selbst eliminated Jake Schindler with quad jacks to beat his two pair and straight draw, which propelled Selbst into the chip lead.

There were 60 players bagging chips when play stopped, and the top-earning female player in the world had the most.

1. Vanessa Selbst (562,800)
2. Brian Rast (557,400)
3. Michael Mizrachi (399,300)
4. Jason Mo (393,000)
5. Fabrice Touil (327,600)

On Tap for May 28

Events 1 and 2 will continue, as the former is predicted to find its winner and happy railbirds will watch the latter to see some of their favorite players shoot for gold.

Event 3 ($1K Pot Limit Omaha) begins at noon. There is no 4pm tournament.

Editor’s Note: reporter Jennifer Newell is on site in Las Vegas, and will be offering daily news recaps throughout World Series of Poker 2014. Check back here daily for a detailed accounting of events, exclusive interviews, and anything of interest regarding WSOP.

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