Day 1a of the 2012 World Series of Poker Main Event saw 1,066 players fork over their $10k buy-ins, and after five levels of play, William John holds a commanding chip total of 266.7k – over 100k more than his closest competitor Gerardo Lubas (165.8k). Among the day’s prominent casualties was Phil Hellmuth, who also failed to make his traditional over-the-top entrance into the Rio. Two other former Main Event winners didn’t make the grade: Joe Hachem (2005) and Jim Bechtel (1993).
Other dashed dreams included Allen Bari, Matt Glanz, Kathy Liebert, John Monnette, Greg Mueller and actor Ray Romano. Among those returning on Day 2 will be CalvinAyre.com roving reporter Tatjana ‘Tattytats’ Pasalic (pictured right), although (sadly) she won’t be wearing the catsuit she was compelled to don on Day 1 following a losing last-long bet with McLean Karr. Tatjana says yoga pants will be the extent of her dressing up on Tuesday, although that might be code for showing up in a downward-facing-dogsuit or something.
Away from the Main Event, there were still a few straggler events finishing up. Dominik Nitsche won Event #59, the $1k NLHE, earning $654k for being the last man sitting out of the original field of 4,620. It’s the German player’s first bracelet and he did so in commanding fashion, personally eliminating most of his final table opponents, including runner-up Jonathan Hilton, who started heads-up play on the wrong end of a 3:1 chip disparity. Hilton earned $405k for finishing second.
Nick Schulman won his second bracelet and $294k by taking down Event #60, the $10k 2-7 Draw Lowball, the same event Schulman won in 2009. The final table also featured the winner of last year’s event, John Juanda, but sixth was the best Juanda could manage this time around. Mike Watell, himself the holder of a WSOP bracelet from 1999, was the last to stand between Schulman and destiny, for which Watell earned $181k.
When the final table of the WSOP National Championship gets underway on Wednesday, Yung Hwang’s stack of 1.224m chips will stand tallest. Matt Keikoan is in second with 957k, followed by Sam Stein with 651k. The rest of the final eight are (in order): Ryan Eriquezzo, Nikolas Stone, Huy Nguyen, Amanda Musumeci and David ‘ODB’ Baker.