As the rest of the players exited the Pavilion Room for their last break of the day, we caught up with two players fervently counting their chip stacks to determine if one had indeed busted the other.
The final board read and Reagen Rich was standing up, with his laying in front of him. His opponent looked crestfallen and soon it became evident why: he had gone all-in with and the dagger that was the turn card had slashed his hopes of capturing a WSOP bracelet.
The dealer patiently counted out both players stacks as the player with kings silently hoped to have some ammunition remaining. Unfortunately, both he and Rich had exactly 9,025 chips and the defeated player was sent to the rail for a permanent break.
We've spotted a massive stack of chips at one of the tables that must have escaped our attention for most of the day. Jason Koon, who took 4th place in the WPT Fiesta Al Lago event in 2010, has amassed a castle of chips equaling 59,000. This puts Koon near the top of the leaderboard for this Day 1b and we will be sure to track his progress as the end of the day approaches.
Men "The Master" Nguyen has been eliminated from the tournament.
He raised preflop to 1,100 and Sam Phillips re-raised all in for 8,425. Nguyen had slightly less chips and opted to call, putting his tournament life on the line.
The board ran out and Nguyen was sent to the rail. After the hand Phillips bragged that he had busted two pros so far today. In addition to "The Master," Phillips claimed to also have busted Andy Bloch.
Gavin Griffin, already among the chip leaders in this Day 1b, made it 900 to go from under-the-gun and the player in the small blind made the call.
Both players checked the flop of and the dealer placed the on the turn.
The small blind checked once again and this time Griffin fired a bet of 1,100 into the middle. After some thought, the small blind made the call and we were off to the river.
The on the river was an all purpose card, completing a possible flush, and the small blind checked it to Griffin for a third time. Griffin cut out a stack of chips worth 1,700 and slid them into the middle of the table, only to hear his opponent announce himself all-in for 8,050. After asking for a count, Griffin studied his man for a minute or so before deciding to look him up.
The player in the small blind dejectedly said "nice call" while turning over his for one pair.
Griffin tabled the for an amazing call, astonishing the rest of the table while one player announced "he just looked through your soul." The win added another wing to Griffin's impressive castle and he now owns just over 60,000 chips.
Action folded around to Barry Shulman in middle position who raised to 400, before the next player to act decided to commit his remaining stack of 2,600. The action then folded around to the big blind who deliberated for a minute before eventually folding. Shulman counted out the bet, and called.
Before the flop was shown, the player in the big blind announced "That's what I had!," pointing to the all-in player's cards.
The all-in player responded "Oh, that's terrible," but it wouldn't matter as the flop came out for him to take the lead.
The turn of and the river were no help to Shulman as he dropped back down to 8,000 in chips.
As we scanned the remaining tables for big stacks we happened upon an exciting hand. A player in mid position raised to 1,100 and Marc Karam re-raised to 2,200. The other player called and the flop came . The initial preflop raiser pushed all in for 4,250 and Karam tanked for a bit before deciding to call.
Although Karam was already in the lead, the on the turn secured him the win and helped boost his stack up to around 40,000.