Day One of the much-anticipated $1m buy-in Big One for One Drop tournament is in the books and there’s a very familiar face at the top of the chip counts – Sam Trickett. The UK poker superstar, who famously finished as the runner-up to Antonio Esfandiari in this event in 2012 for $10.1m, bagged up an impressive 13.4m chips. That puts him a whole 4.2m chips ahead of the second placed player, UK poker player/businessman Tom Hall.
Many of Trickett’s chips came in an early collision with Vanessa Selbst. After lots of raises preflop, Selbst finally six-bet shoved with A-K. Trickett wasn’t overly happy with the situation but eventually called with pocket Kings to see he was in a great spot to win the 8 million chip pot. A cruel Ace on the flop had him fearing the worst before a dramatic King on the turn reversed his fortunes and put him into pole position in the tournament. It also eliminated Selbst, who was one of the favourites to win. With an exceptional record in high roller tournaments – and his history in the Big One for One Drop – Trickett now looks like an odds-on favourite to make the final table, and perhaps go one better than in 2012.
Original champion Antonio Esfandiari also had a productive day, finishing on 6.2m chips (from a 3m starting stack) to put himself fifth overall. Trickett and Esfandiari will be seated next to each other to start the play on Day Two. Of course, many eyes all day have been on Phil Ivey, fresh off winning his tenth WSOP bracelet this week. Ivey had a very consistent day, eliminating Rono Lo on the final hand of the session to finish in third spot with 7.6m chips.
Overall, 42 players entered the event, creating a $$15.3m first prize. It’s slightly down from the 2012 total, when 48 players entered and the top prize was $18m. However, considering the enormous stakes it is still a successful turnout and the eyes of the poker world will be fixed on these five poker tables for the next few days. 31 of those 42 entrants will be returning tonight but there have already been some notable eliminations including Jason Mercier, Brian Rast, Selbst and Igor Kurganov.
Play resumes at 1pm Las Vegas time today where another ten levels are scheduled to be played. Can Sam Trickett continue his dominance and romp all the way to the final table chip lead? Or will Phil Ivey take the initiative and cement his status as the world’s greatest poker player? Stick with PokerPlayer365.com for all the latest from the WSOP’s Big One for One Drop.
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