The freerolling Valentin Vornicu leads the final 62-players at the WSOP National Championships in New Orleans. Brock Parker, Jeff Gross, Jeremy Ausmus and Joe Tehan make the top ten.
Pick up a poker book, watch an online training site, hire a personal coach, talk to forum posters on 2+2 or just find your own tribe of top quality poker players. Ask them all the same question and they will supply the same answer. What is the most important aspect of being a professional poker player? Finding value.
So why then have so many people failed to take advantage of the opportunity that the World Series of Poker (WSOP) Southern Comfort 100 Proof National Championships affords? I guess the answer has to be timing.
The first WSOP gold bracelet to be awarded inside the States, but outside of Nevada, arrives in New Orleans as the World Poker Tour (WPT) $25k World Championships at The Bellagio is just coming to a close, people are still nursing a few financial hangovers brought on by an extended stay in Monte Carlo plus people are already busy packing their bags for a seven week stay in Sin City. So maybe that’s why, despite a guaranteed $1 million prize pool, and a field that is arguably softer than most, only 26-players from a pool of 100 that met the WSOP Player of Year (POY) criteria made the trip to the Big Easy.
So, yes you’ve guessed it, the first day of action saw 126-players take to the felt. 100 of them taking part in probably the biggest freeroll of their life, after qualifying either as a WSOP Circuit (WSOPC) Main Event or Casino Champion, or amongst the National Leaderboard qualifiers, and 26-players who have trumped up $10,000 for the chance to win the first golden bracelet of the summer.
The chip leader is Valentin Vornicu who qualified for the event after securing a first and second place at the WSOPC event at Harrah’s Rincon in San Diego. Brock Parker (2nd), Jeff Gross (6th), Jeremy Ausmus (9th) and Joe Tehan (10th) make the top ten from the $10,000 WSOP POY list and the National Leaderboard winner Ari Engel is pitched in seventh spot. Arguably, the most feared pro in the field in Vanessa Selbst saw her tournament life expire at the end of the fourth level courtesy of KK v 44, with Joe Reichard flopping a set of a pretty innocuous [Js] [4c] [3d] board.
The second day of action kicks of at noon (CST) where 62-players will shrink down to a final table of eight.