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WSOP National Championships Day 1: Hellmuth and Riess Fall; Negreanu and Nitsche in Contention With 49 Left

TAGs: Daniel Negreanu, Dominik Nitsche, Phil Hellmuth, Ryan Riess, WSOP

Lee Davy brings you an update from the first day of the World Series of Poker National Championships at Harrah’s Cherokee in North Carolina.

WSOP National Championships Day 1: Hellmuth and Riess Fall; Negreanu and Nitsche in Contention With 49 LeftThe fifth iteration of the World Series of Poker (WSOP) National Championships has kicked of at Harrah’s Cherokee in North Carolina, and Foxwoods Casino Champion Brad St. Vincent leads the final 48 players with 178,800 chips.

This is the first time this event has been held in North Carolina. The rules were pretty simple. 100 players qualified for the event due to their performances in the 2014-2015 WSOP Circuit (WSOPC) season. That included WSOPC Main Event champions, casino champions and a sprinkling from the WSOPC leaderboard. In addition, members of the WSOP World Ranking Top 100 were allowed to pay $10,000 to enter the event.

The event eventually attracted 122 players. Amongst them were WSOP legend Phil Hellmuth, PokerStars Team Pro Daniel Negreanu, former WSOP Main Event winner Ryan Riess and the defending champion Dominik Nitsche.

Hellmuth and Riess both fell, but Negreanu and Nitsche will return for Day 2 alongside the likes of Justin Liberto (87,500), John Eames (54,700), Tristan Wade (51,100), John Monnette (47,700), Jeff Madsen (45,800), Scott Clements (30,900) and Jared Jaffee (25,700).

The prize pool has not yet been released by the WSOP, but it will be a minimum of $1m, meaning a $300k+ prize pool for first place.

Here is a run down of the major moments:

Level 3

Ryan Jones eliminates Allen Kessler. The pair get it in on a king high flop with The Chainsaw holding AK, and Jones holding pocket aces.

Level 4

WSOPC gold ring winner Darryll Fish eliminates WSOP bracelet winner Justin Oliver. Oliver’s ATdd failing to beat the pocket tens of Fish and that gave Fish the momentum to finish the day fourth in chips.

Level 5

Daniel Negreanu joins the fray. The PokerStars Team Pro was fresh off his deep run in the WSOP Main Event, and his whistle stop tour of the Californian card clubs, where he is promoting iPoker in the state. Kid Poker would have a tough table all day with the likes of Dominik Nitsche, Loni Harwood, Darryll Fish and Jeff Madsen sharing table space.

This was also the level that the event lost one of the most in-form players in the world. Nick Pupillo losing out to Taylor Black: AJ<AK all-in pre.

Level 6

Ryan Tepen is eliminated in a 22bb pot running pocket eights into pocket tens.

Level 7

Paul Mattioda eliminates former World Poker Tour (WPT) Player of the Year Mukul Pahuja after the latter flopped quad deuces in a 3B pot. The board ran out 22337 and Pahuja made the ace high hero call on the river; a decision that sent him to a self imposed exile on the rail.

Then we lost a man that Pahuja once called a Cheeseburger Salesman. 14-time WSOP bracelet winner Phil Hellmuth calling an all-in river bet holding KT on a king high board, only for WSOP bracelet winner Justin Liberto to be holding KJ for top two pair.

Level 9

The tournament ended with two high profile bust outs. Former WSOP Main Event champion Ryan Riess lost most of his chips in a flip against Aaron Frie before running K7 into K9 in a blind versus blind all-in against Robert Hankins. Shannon Shorr was also sent to the rail although WSOP.com had no details regarding his exit.

Top 10 Chip Counts

1st. Brad St. Vincent – 178,800

2nd. David Peters – 168,400

3rd. Charles Moore – 159,900

4th. Darryll Fish – 139,800

5th. Loni Harwood – 136,400

6th. Robert Hankins – 131,900

7th. Alexandru Masek – 126,700

8th. Jake Schindler – 123,900

9th. Jesse Wilke – 119,800

10th. Juan Mendoza – 116,500

Play will recommence at noon ET.

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